At my house in the Poconos, I have had some difficulty getting Internet service. The house is on a steep slope, too steep for a satellite dish to pick up a satellite signal. There is no cable service on my side of the road at present: it would cost me $4000 to have them bring it over.
Finally, I discovered that Verizon could provide me with DSL Internet: slow and primitive, yes, but better than nothing. So I ordered the service four weeks ago... and am still waiting for the delivery of my DSL modem.
After several calls to Verizon, it turns out that their shipping department has repeatedly tried to send the modem via UPS to my PO box. Now, I knew that you could not do this, but apparently the "shipping professionals" at Verizon were oblivious to this fact. And when the modem kept failing to arrive, it did not even occur to them to investigate what the problem might be.
So huge corporations of inhuman scale can be just as frustrating to deal with as huge government at an inhuman scale. Yes, corporations rarely shoot or imprison people: but that is because governments stop them from doing this. We know that cut loose from this check, corporations can be just as violent as can governments.
Now I have great sympathy for the position of the ancaps who are also wary of concentrated corporate power, and who note that such power is enabled by the state. But their conclusion, "just eliminate the state and we will eliminate corporate power at the same time," is simplistic. It is true that, given there is a state, corporations within its jurisdiction must make use of that state to gain the sort of power to which we both object. But if the state is replaced by private defense agencies providing "justice" for money, what in the world is to stop giant corporations from simply buying a legal system that favors them even more than does the present one? After all, while money has quite a bit of influence in our present system of governance, votes still do have some influence. In ancapistan, as it is usually depicted, that check on the power of money has been completely removed.
One ancap commenter here, faced with this problem, dismissed it by saying, "Sure, the rich will get all of the justice under ancap, just like today they buy up all of the bread."
Frankly, this response reeks of desperation: there is a pretty hard limit to the amount of bread that a rich person can consume, but I cannot conceive of any limit to the amount of laws enabling the rich person to get even richer that he might be willing to purchase.
Ancap scenarios seem to envision a world in which, when the state is dissolved, all of the wealth and power possessed by giant corporations simply vanishes at the same stroke. Only under that fanciful scenario would ancap defense agencies actually wind up providing the sort of justice that the "little guy" wants. But I have not seen a hint of a suggestion as to how that corporate wealth is to be made to disappear.
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