What Jonathon Haidt Got Wrong in The Righteous Mind [2nd of 4]

"Superorganisms* emerge, dominate their preferred niches, change their ecosystems, and push their competitors to the margins or to extinction....[c]orporations are superorganisms They are not like superorganisms; they are actual superorganisms." Jonathon Haidt~The Righteous Mind, Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion

He is certainly right about that point and he has the social science research to back it up, but where he really misses the mark is when he says that the "only force left of Earth that can stand up to the largest corporations are national governments." Haidt is a really perceptive person, a deep thinker, an honest intellectual who has written a work of lasting importance and he is completely wrong on this point.

The greatest and most threatening superorganism of all is the State and corporations and the State do not threaten each other. They complement each other. Established corporations write regulations that the State enforces.  The regulations crush innovative, new enterprises--think about Uber and the State's plan to call of its independent contractor drivers, employees; or, the State's plan to find illegal discrimination everywhere it finds disparate impact (which situation is the natural result of humans being unique); or, Hillary Clinton's recent statement that the State must fund a new Manhatten-like Project to defeat encryption technology; i.e. each successful new enterprise is a threat to an existing corporation and often a threat to the State's requirement that is must be the ultimate authority in all matters.  

Successful government employees leave their jobs to work for the industries they regulate. Wall Street is bailed out by the American taxpayers, many of whom lose their homes, but the banks who give jobs to the former regulators are wealthier than ever.  

The idea that the State will in some manner restrain the multi-national corporations would be funny if  their joint efforts did not mean the ultimate destruction of the qualities in humans that make use who we are.  There used to be joke, "I am from the government and I am here to help you."  In my next post we will see just what this means for us.  

*A superorganism is an organism made out of smaller organisms.


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