Posts Tagged tribalism
When I was in grade school, our social studes texts taught us that Dwight Eisenhower invented the nuclear family to encourage suburban sprawl, so that when the bomb got dropped on our cities, our population wouldn’t be destroyed as a result of critical concentration.
Of course, family units had been growing smaller for a long time – a long, long time. Take a look at this brief paper by the American Economic Association. (Luckily, the important bit is before the Keynesian economic drivel really starts dripping onto the page). It discusses the history in Europe of the sharpest double-edged sword in human history: the corporation.
Most of us now think of corporations in general economic terms – for-profit, non-profit, limited liability, et cetera; or, in history, guilds, expeditionary charters, trading companies, and the like. But the history of the corporation is the story of people coming together in the face of widespread social disorder with the hope of establishing an insulating bubble of order around themselves. Communes, regional defense cordons, extragovernmental guilds and farm shares: these were the first corporations, the foundations for restabilization of national governments, replaced by chartered corporations owned by and managed by those governments.
The problem, of course, is that the entrants into a corporation are rarely on equal footing from the start, and corporations have a very dry, dispassionate, anti-holistic view of their membership.