Jeme A Brelin jeme at brelin.net
Mon Jul 1 16:40:57 PDT 2002

On Mon, 13 May 2002, Craighead, Scot D wrote:
> Jeme:
> >Why limit yourself to the narrow confines of "business" and it's
> >one-sided, destructive notions of success?
> >.
> >.
> >.
> >Again, I say we should really start looking at alternatives to business
> >for valid means of social interaction.
> Why do you view business as evil?  Is a hammer evil?  It could be used
> to save a life or to take one.

Was it St. Augustine that said, "No thing is inherently evil, but its
manner of usage may make it so."?  Maybe St. Francis.  (The web searches
on this subject are FILLED with nonsense, by the way.  Particularly this
absurdly obvious statement, "Nothing is inherently evil -- it is only our
moral judgment which makes it so."  Well, duh.)

(Let me just clarify that, by "business", in this context, I meant
something like "capitalist firm".  I think that was understood.  I want to
make it clear that we're not just using any old definition of the term,
but a very specific one.)

A business is not a hammer, though.  A business is both a method and an
intent (i.e., manner of usage).  A business, in this context, is an
organization that provides for the exchange of things for the profit of
the business.  The benefit of other parties is a secondary concern.  You
might say that the benefit of other parties SHOULD concern the business
for the benefit of long-term profit-making and so on, but there are
certainly business models that do not depend on "customer satisfaction" or
anything like that.  And, of course, the rationale itself is always in
terms of self benefit.

A business is, by its nature, selfish, greedy, and destructive.  It is not
a hammer, but a hammer swinging at eye level, wielded by those who intend
to crush skulls.

> I could be used to make something that benefits people, or make thing
> that hurts.

It could be used to make something the benefits a few people while it
hurts many people... or it can be used to make something that benefits
many people for the short term while hurting everyone in the long term.

> A business is something that is created by investors to make money
> back for the investors.  That's all it is.

Exactly.  It's selfish, one-sided, and destructive to the good of the
many.  Read my first sentence that you quoted above.  You disagree with
the "destructive" part, but you clearly understand that it's created for a
one-sided, selfish purpose.

> No one says, "Let create a business so that there will be more jobs
> for people".

Jobs are just the exploitation of labor for the benefit of the few.  If
the trade between laborer and business-owner were equitable, there would
be no room for profits.  A business REQUIRES profits and, therefore,
requires exploitation.

> A business is just a type of tool, no more and no less.

That's where you're mistaken.  Trade is a tool that can be used for good
or evil (though, like, say, a thermonuclear device, the good uses are few
and very specific while the temptation inherent in the power it brings
makes evil uses much more likely).  A business implements trade for evil.  
A business is not just a tool, but a tool with intent and purpose.

     Jeme A Brelin
    jeme at brelin.net
 [cc] counter-copyright

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