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Thread: Transnationalism

  1. #1
    Movember 2011Movember 2012 Nordstern's Avatar
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    Transnationalism

    As a follow-up to the patriotism thread, I've been thinking a bit about the future of our social and legal structures. Specifically, how much transnationalism is going to impact our lives. At this point, I don't think it's a possibility, but an eventuality.

    The three big things that led me to believe this were the Citizens United decision (establishing that corporations are people), the recent Hobby Lobby court decision (establishing that corporations can now be exempt from some laws based on unwritten principles), and the fact that major companies now have more annual revenue than the GDP of many countries.

    Is transnationalism going to result in a Caldari State-style society? Is the Shiawase Decision (http://shadowrun.wikia.com/wiki/Shiawase_Decision) a reasonable extrapolation of recent US Supreme Court rulings? Or is OP simply looking at this the wrong way?
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    Pretty much are what? Extraterritorial? A corporation? Earning more annual revenue than the GDP of a small country? Looking at it the wrong way?

    A one-sentence response is a pretty good discussion killer - that goes double if it's as vague as the post above.

    On-topic: I haven't really been keeping up with American court cases. What recent decisions in particular is the OP referring to?
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    Ophichius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steph View Post
    Pretty much are what? Extraterritorial? A corporation? Earning more annual revenue than the GDP of a small country? Looking at it the wrong way?

    A one-sentence response is a pretty good discussion killer - that goes double if it's as vague as the post above.

    On-topic: I haven't really been keeping up with American court cases. What recent decisions in particular is the OP referring to?
    Citizens United is the 2003 decision that allowed corporations to buy political advertising, effectively dodging around the restrictions on corporations giving direct donations to campaigns. Since campaign money is mostly spent on advertising, allowing a corporation to buy an ad for their chosen candidate is just cutting out the middle man to the same net effect.

    Hobby Lobby was the recent decision that ruled that closely held companies don't need to comply with laws that their owners have religious objections to. It's a furthering of the concept of corporate personhood, this time allowing corporations religious protections.

    As far as transnationalism goes, to some extent that's already happening. Look how having a major corporate sponsorship can pave the way for visas, and how much pull lobbyists have with governments. I doubt there will ever be a sharply-defined turning point, as there was in the Shadowrun universe. Rather we'll see expansions of corporate personhood, and an increase in laws written for the convenience of corporations instead of the people.

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    מלך יהודים Zeekar's Avatar
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    Currently that trend is only in the USA and I really hope it wont catch on in EU.


    

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transnational_citizenship

    I have no idea why you would be so quick to assume that transnationalism is strictly a phenomena limited to large corporations.
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    Ophichius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakshasa The Cat View Post
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transnational_citizenship

    I have no idea why you would be so quick to assume that transnationalism is strictly a phenomena limited to large corporations.
    Because we can actually understand the context of Nordstern's post? Go re-read it and actually try and spot the contextual clues. He's worried about corporate powers exceeding national powers, or being sufficient to significantly influence nations. Not about some pissant definition wanking of a single term.

    -O
    I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those Thukkers, that way I wouldn't have to have any goddamn stupid useless conversations with anybody.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophichius View Post
    Because we can actually understand the context of Nordstern's post? Go re-read it and actually try and spot the contextual clues. He's worried about corporate powers exceeding national powers, or being sufficient to significantly influence nations. Not about some pissant definition wanking of a single term.
    Many of the CEO's and holders of wealth are transnational, and currently we are seeing the rise of a class of transnationals who work in high-skill professions. I have no idea 5 years from now what country I'm going to be working in, and the same goes for my brother who also happened to end up in Japan.

    And this very much ties into his initial post on transnationalism, you on the other hand only see this through a narrow lens of "BIG CORP".

    It is also the emergences of a new class of citizens who can and do easily move to where the high-paying jobs are.

    Edit: Also to note, he OP focuses too much on the US legalities when it comes to transnationalism. The US is not the world.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophichius View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Steph View Post
    Pretty much are what? Extraterritorial? A corporation? Earning more annual revenue than the GDP of a small country? Looking at it the wrong way?

    A one-sentence response is a pretty good discussion killer - that goes double if it's as vague as the post above.

    On-topic: I haven't really been keeping up with American court cases. What recent decisions in particular is the OP referring to?
    Citizens United is the 2003 decision that allowed corporations to buy political advertising, effectively dodging around the restrictions on corporations giving direct donations to campaigns. Since campaign money is mostly spent on advertising, allowing a corporation to buy an ad for their chosen candidate is just cutting out the middle man to the same net effect.
    Citizens United has been in the works for several decades. The courts already recognized companies as an entity with certain rights long before CU as lawsuits were brought against the company and not the owner themselves. The writing on the wall was in the 1970's case which set the precedent that was to be the basis for CU. The "precedent" against it were Congressional laws that had only been challenged mildly. The ruling was going to happen one way or another especially with the exemption and specificity clauses surrounding Unions and other protest groups.

    Hobby Lobby was the recent decision that ruled that closely held companies don't need to comply with laws that their owners have religious objections to. It's a furthering of the concept of corporate personhood, this time allowing corporations religious protections.
    To be more specific on this one, it held that companies don't need to comply with certain parts of the ACA (aka Obamacare) as it is a paid service that the law forced upon them. This wasn't so much a support of corporate personhood as it was a direct challenge to Obamacare and some of the mandatory benefits it required. Ironically some of the questions that detractors of the ruling posed were not only valid before the ruling but are again allowed with this one. But it did not reduce their rights, only the fact that if they wanted a better plan, they had to seek out an Obamacare plan on their own. Something that most Americans ignored when Obamacare was debated because they were already covered by a plan subsidized by their work.

    As far as transnationalism goes, to some extent that's already happening. Look how having a major corporate sponsorship can pave the way for visas, and how much pull lobbyists have with governments. I doubt there will ever be a sharply-defined turning point, as there was in the Shadowrun universe. Rather we'll see expansions of corporate personhood, and an increase in laws written for the convenience of corporations instead of the people.
    The Visa issue isn't nearly that devious. If a large company with a good record is willing to sponsor you then the government should have little worry about the person. The company will also vouch for your importance to their productivity which in tern supports the US. If the person becomes a major security risk or law breaker then the company will also be reflected in his behavior and future sponsorships may be impacted. Those who have been through this process know how much paperwork and checks they have to do.

    As far as the lobbyist deal, they're doing what they're supposed to be doing. As a person with a special interest, you as an individual have little political pull. As a group of like minded individuals, suddenly you have much more. You hire a lobbyist to represent you and grow your group. This is nothing special, but many groups have long roots and established ties within the political structure. We're talking about a very basic concept here and I don't see it going away anytime in the future. Not with a country of our size and population and apparently we're not the only country with this issue.

    Maybe you meant a super-PAC. Those organizations who have very rich sponsors and whose advertisements are the bread and butter of elections. They tend to go after candidates for a range of reasons, not necessarily special interests.


    In the case of the Shadowrun example posed by Nordstern, there would have to be a LOT of new cases which diminished regulatory powers as a whole rather than certain provisions. And I don't see anything like the United States v. Seretech from the series happening especially as the US gov. only places minimums on those kinds of provisions and not detailed "do this to this extent and not more". In any case the courts would rule the regulations were inadequate for that specific industry and require updating, something that wouldn't limit regulation as a whole. The gulf from limiting regulation to sovereign corporate government is also a gulf that needed a jetpack to bridge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keorythe View Post
    As far as the lobbyist deal, they're doing what they're supposed to be doing. As a person with a special interest, you as an individual have little political pull. As a group of like minded individuals, suddenly you have much more. You hire a lobbyist to represent you and grow your group. This is nothing special, but many groups have long roots and established ties within the political structure. We're talking about a very basic concept here and I don't see it going away anytime in the future. Not with a country of our size and population and apparently we're not the only country with this issue.
    Your description of a lobbyist makes it almost sound innocent, in reality the job of a lobbyist is essentially bribing politicians. Eric Cantor's campaign budget for steak house money was the same amount as Dave Brat's entire campaign fund. Think about that for a second. Or how about Obama making a telecom lobbyist head of the FCC? It's almost comical. You are right with your last 2 assumptions, it won't go away anytime soon and the game is the same in most countries. It makes a true democracy pretty much impossible though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keorythe View Post
    Maybe you meant a super-PAC. Those organizations who have very rich sponsors and whose advertisements are the bread and butter of elections. They tend to go after candidates for a range of reasons, not necessarily special interests.
    I'd say their special interests are pretty much the only reason they are "wasting" money on this. What else is there to gain from it?
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irrelephant View Post
    Your description of a lobbyist makes it almost sound innocent, in reality the job of a lobbyist is essentially bribing politicians. Eric Cantor's campaign budget for steak house money was the same amount as Dave Brat's entire campaign fund. Think about that for a second. Or how about Obama making a telecom lobbyist head of the FCC? It's almost comical. You are right with your last 2 assumptions, it won't go away anytime soon and the game is the same in most countries. It makes a true democracy pretty much impossible though.
    Ok how about a description a bit more aggressive. They either bribe the politician with advertisements and positive image campaigns or they threaten the politician with negative advertisements and negative image campaigns. But the reality is that on top of the campaign money that can be thrown around, the lobbyists have to make a very good case that what they're supporting is going to be supported by the politician's voting base. No amount of campaign money is going to cause a politician to support a prospect that they think might cause too much of an uproar with their voting base during a re-election.

    You can argue that politicians are getting direct cash flows from lobbyists for supporting the business, but then you're talking about some highly illegal practices and are completely separate from parts of this discussion. Sure, there are ways of circumventing those laws, but none of them were effected by the Citizens United ruling.

  12. #12
    Donor Aea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keorythe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Irrelephant View Post
    Your description of a lobbyist makes it almost sound innocent, in reality the job of a lobbyist is essentially bribing politicians. Eric Cantor's campaign budget for steak house money was the same amount as Dave Brat's entire campaign fund. Think about that for a second. Or how about Obama making a telecom lobbyist head of the FCC? It's almost comical. You are right with your last 2 assumptions, it won't go away anytime soon and the game is the same in most countries. It makes a true democracy pretty much impossible though.
    Ok how about a description a bit more aggressive. They either bribe the politician with advertisements and positive image campaigns or they threaten the politician with negative advertisements and negative image campaigns. But the reality is that on top of the campaign money that can be thrown around, the lobbyists have to make a very good case that what they're supporting is going to be supported by the politician's voting base. No amount of campaign money is going to cause a politician to support a prospect that they think might cause too much of an uproar with their voting base during a re-election.

    You can argue that politicians are getting direct cash flows from lobbyists for supporting the business, but then you're talking about some highly illegal practices and are completely separate from parts of this discussion. Sure, there are ways of circumventing those laws, but none of them were effected by the Citizens United ruling.


    Content:

    Lobbying is basically bribery, they (especially with CU) provide an nearly unlimited source of funding for campaigns and their associated expenses. Plus revolving door politics allows for the interests behind lobbyists to provide a direct financial benefit to legislators and regulators after their government tenure. It's just technically short of Quid pro quo and therefore allowable. The laws preventing this type of thing (moving from private sector regulation to the private sector you were previously regulating) actually don't apply to high level positions (isn't that funny).

    To consider whether or not the lobbying has a total effect on policy is an absolutely fallacious tangent. Most matters of governance may not directly impact all voters or even be visible to them while providing a huge benefit to private interests (often at the expense of the public good).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keorythe View Post
    But the reality is that on top of the campaign money that can be thrown around, the lobbyists have to make a very good case that what they're supporting is going to be supported by the politician's voting base. No amount of campaign money is going to cause a politician to support a prospect that they think might cause too much of an uproar with their voting base during a re-election.
    To a certain extent that is true, the "system" fails should some case get too much negative publicity. For the most part they never make the news or are part of campaigns though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keorythe View Post
    You can argue that politicians are getting direct cash flows from lobbyists for supporting the business, but then you're talking about some highly illegal practices and are completely separate from parts of this discussion. Sure, there are ways of circumventing those laws, but none of them were effected by the Citizens United ruling.
    I think there is nothing to argue, it's pretty much the norm for a while now. To pick a prominent non US example, germany's chancellor Schroeder pushed for the North Stream pipeline only to accept the position of head of shareholders for the North Stream AG a year after he went out of office. He still profits today from the politics he pushed years ago and well i guess GazProm aint too unhappy either.

    The next step is regulatory capture and is somewhat relevant to the op i think. Not sure if i'm a pessimist or realist, but the future doesn't look too bright in my eyes. Corporations might lose a battle here and there but overall the war is pretty much won.
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    Movember 2011Movember 2012 Nordstern's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophichius View Post
    Because we can actually understand the context of Nordstern's post? Go re-read it and actually try and spot the contextual clues. He's worried about corporate powers exceeding national powers, or being sufficient to significantly influence nations. Not about some pissant definition wanking of a single term.

    -O
    It's scary how perceptive you are. Are you a clinical psychologist by trade?

    In any case, yes, I am worried that corporations having more power than government would have disastrous effects on society. Libertarians would say that makes me a statist. Well no shit, I've seen what happens in feudal and lawless societies. The purpose of government is just that, to govern. The goal of government is to (ostensibly and/or intentionally) serve the public interest. Not so with corporations, partly because it would tie them to one place. My biggest beef with libertarians is that many of them wish to castrate government to the point where no one can stop them. And if government isn't able to stick up for you against larger entities, who will?
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    Well libertarianism is like prescribing an amputation because you keep stubbing your toe.

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