Sunday, January 08, 2006

More on a theme

Since yesterdays theme turned out to be one of the more fundamental reasons capitalism sucks (we can't have the decisions about how production will be organised made by people whose only motive is profit, because there are far more important considerations than that - including whether or not people die), I thought I'd deal with a common solution: lets just make it more profitable for companies to work environmentally sustainably, or not kill people, or whatever it is.

Now I certainly think, under capitalism, there's a place for trying to make dangerous practices expensive (whether it's through protest, suing them, or regulations), otherwise there'd be a lot more deaths in the mines than there are at the moment. But it's not enough, because companies have more power than those who are trying to fight them.

I'm going to use And the Band Played On as an example, because I think it's very small scale shows that these problems are pretty unsurmountable. The bath-houses were one of the major advertisers in the San Francisco gay press. So the press didn't want to print anything that would ruin their major advertisers. Which was a little bit of a problem, as you can imagine.

Of course when you get to the stage of a mine it's all a lot more complicated, and there's lobbyists and so on, but it's still the same basic principle. Money gives you power.

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