Just as my father used to say, “it’s not the sleeping; it’s the lying awake,” it’s not the trade; it’s the extraction or theft of nature’s resources and assets, including the labor of Mother Nature’s human children.
The problem is people, singly and in groups (corporations) staking a claim and taking assets to which they are not entitled and which they have not earned.
Let us remember that governments are corporate entities; like territories designated as countries by geographic boundaries, they are figments of the imagination backed up by a use of force that is generally approved by other corporate entities. (Disapproval = warfare). In the modern age, there’s a preference for governments to be public corporations, rather than family or ecclesiastic sinecures (kingdoms and theocracies), in which membership is by a person’s nativity and residence. That’s what makes public corporations different from private ones. The latter, albeit that some are based on blood relationships, are mostly defined by purchase. People buy their membership in private corporations. But, the ultimate purpose of the private and public corporation is the same — to dilute or eliminate the individual responsibility of participating persons. By joining a group (corporate body), each person gives up responsibility for the results of what the body does. The trees are lost for the forest and that’s presumed to be a good thing. Humans, you see, are not keen on responsibility, especially when the consequences of their acts turn out badly. Besides, failure tends to be deflating and inhibit future action. So, shedding blame on the corporation makes it easier to resume enterprise and “try again.”
The core difference between the public and private corporation lies in the former’s empowerment to rely on the use of physical force to coerce the behavior of reluctant or recalcitrant humans. The use of physical force by private corporations is only sanctioned when it is directed against other than the human children of Mother Nature. Indeed, the private corporation almost seems designed to wrestle with Mother Nature and extract the bounty she seems reluctant to give up. In the event that other humans presume to interfere and side with Mother Nature against the extraction of her bounties, private corporations presumably count on the coercive powers of the public corporation to back them up.
When the coercive powers of the public corporation (nation state) are designated as being subject to civilian direction, it simply means that the military is to serve as the handmaiden of the private sector and do what it wants, as a back up. Think of it as the “wait till your father comes home” pattern of household organization writ large. The use of military force is to be held in reserve in case bribery and persuasion don’t produce the desired compliance. And compliant behavior is the primary objective when it comes to dealing with other humans. The destruction of Mother Nature’s human children is not desired because they are a necessary witness to power. But, if they are not compliant, then they are useless (“fungible” in Rumsfeld’s dictionary) and liable to being disposed of and/or dispossessed, depending on whether they have a claim on any assets someone else wants.
Private corporations relying on public corporations to wield physical force and coerce submission has worked very well by introducing another screen to dilute and disperse the connection between an agent and the effect of his/her actions. The agents of government wielding physical force effectively disguise on whose behalf that force is being applied — information without which it is difficult, if not impossible, to retaliate. And that’s the point. Corporations are organized to hide who acts and who’s to be held to account for corporate actions.
So, given that corporations are designed for obfuscation, calling for “accountability” is either a sham, or a veiled reference to restructuring the private corporation entirely by imposing the kinds of initial limitations and restrictions used to secure the public corporation. In part that’s because, it has turned out that the private corporations have been suborned to carry out depredations and deprivations the public corporation (in a government based on popular consent) is constrained from undertaking. For example: mercenaries were hired to do in Iraq what regular military personnel are prohibited from doing — i.e. coerce an unarmed civilian population — while the private corporations delivering communications services were suborned to violate the privacy of their clients, which the public mail services is precluded from.
The extent to which “privatization” aimed to circumvent restrictions on public agencies, as well as public awareness of how power was being used to promote private interests and subvert the common good is yet to be fully explored.