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Limiting Freedom In the Name of Freedom -- How Limiting Corporations Can Increase General Freedom

Updated: Jan 5

Between Anarchy and Corporate Confinement

Freedom, a fundamental value in our contemporary world, thrives amongst liberating democracies and regimes resistant to democratization. Yet, this cherished ideal, when unrestrained, ironically risks tilting dangerously toward two unsettling realities:

  • The anarchy that festers in the absence of a unifying authority,


Anarchy casts a long and ominous shadow that in theory could nurture sociopathic behavior. In the absence of a regime, a strong central government can evolve, due to the existence of a power vacuum. Lawlessness runs deep, breeding crime and spawning terrorist cells, unhindered by law enforcement. Governance, if it exists at all, stumbles under the weight of its own incompetence. History bears witness to this grim reality, from the chaotic French Revolution to the power vacuums left by imploded empires.

But there exists another, less-discussed shade of unrestricted freedom, one that leads not to the collapse of order, but to its subversion. This freedom empowers global corporations to rise as behemoths, casting long shadows over our lives, our privacy, and most importantly, our access to information.

Such is the example with the Chinese "superapp" known as WeChat. It is a Chinese-government-backed social media application that monitors every of its users in secrecy and censors words without early notice. It is owned by one of the world's biggest coporations, known as Tencent Holdings. It is also a partial shareholder in the popular music app, Spotify.

Well-developed corporations wield this power like a double-edged sword, filtering information to suit their agendas, shaping narratives, and potentially silencing voices of protests. It is one of the reasons honest philosophers are better truth-seekers than journalists. The specter of a future world, secrely managed by syndicates of corporate titans, looms large on the horizon, in the absence of international regulation (as debates regarding international law still continue to exist).

Thus, we find ourselves balanced between a tug-of-war the fate of present freedom worldwide. Unrestrained freedom, while alluring, threatens to bring us into the abyss of anarchy or deliver us into the clutches of corporate overlords. Finding the sweet spot between sensible liberty, with its necessary checks and balances, remains the daunting yet crucial challenge of our times.

As presented in my article on Nietzsche's "Overman", freedom is ironically allowed under the tyranny of circumstance, AKA, under the things and beings that allow freedom in the first place.

How Corporate Titans Threaten Our Freedom

The very freedoms we cherish, carved in laws and nurtured by democracies, harbor a paradoxical threat: the potential for their subversion is represented in colossal corporations. These behemoths, capable of overcoming the balance granted by free-market economies, can twist the very essence of those freedoms, transforming them into instruments of domination and control.

The collapse of many local businesses, for example, was an inevitable possibility because said businesses had no ability to overcome the vast advantages granted by companies such as Amazon and Aliexpress (AKA e-commerce).

Imagine, for a moment, the grip of a single entity on a lifeblood like electricity, like the Israeli Electric Company, and its hold over Israel and the Palestinian Authority. With such grip over an essential resource, a corporation wields the power to dictate the quality of life of millions, their monopoly putting basic availabilities at their mercy.

This is not mere hyperbole. Corporations, with their global reach and financial prowess, can eclipse the influence of even the established of nations. We, living in a false sense of security, readily surrender our data and privacy through barely-considered user agreements, feeding the very entities that threaten our freedoms.

The lure of connection, of social media platforms like Facebook, proves this herd mentality. The instant gratification, the allure of belonging, comes at great sacrifices we take for granted. We click without a second thought, oblivious or unaware to the power we surrender over to authorities whose mechanisms are not entirely within our understanding.

In cyberspace, largely devoid of regulations, these corporations become their own sovereigns, self-proclaimed rulers of our digital lives. Virtual dictatorships.

They control the information we see, the content we consume, and the voices we hear, crafting a reality as sanitized as their bottom lines.

The consequence is slowly visible: a slow reduction of freedom, replaced by a regimented existence under the heel of these corporate titans. Perhaps there is a link between their influence, and between the decrease of democracies worldwide. They may not wield political power (even though they might through influence), but their dominion over our data, including by some of our own companies, and our very understanding of reality can crush our human and civil rights just as effectively.

The shadow of corporate control remains a silent tyrant threatening the very freedoms we hold dear, as we are occupied in our hedonistic pursuits.

To reclaim our autonomy, we must break free from the shackles of convenience and apathy. We must demand transparency, advocate for stricter regulations, and hold these titans accountable for diminishing our right for privacy. Only then can we truly step back into the light, our freedoms reclaimed, our rights restored.

A Call for Vigilance and Regulation

Left unchecked, the unyielding power of corporate giants threatens to transform our world into a realm not so distant from the dystopian fictions that haunt our imaginations. Images of mega-corporations like Tekken's Mashima Zaibatsu, DC’s LexCorp, and Resident Evil's Umbrella Corporation, serve as fictional warnings of a possible, realistic future.

While real-world corporations may not yet possess power that overcomes that of nations, their rising influence over our data, privacy, access to information, and even our understanding of reality demands a vigilant response.

It is imperative to recognize that I harbor no animosity towards Facebook or any other corporation. My intention is not to incite conflict, but to shed light on the potential for unchecked corporate power, capable of threatening the very freedoms we cherish. I am merely a writer, and I'm not going to be a social justice warrior. I'm simply committed to the exchange, critique and distribution of ideas.

To safeguard our freedoms, we must embrace the democratic principle of checks and balances, extending it beyond the realm of government and into the economic and social spheres. This calls for a willingness to accept some limitations on corporate freedoms in order to protect our individual rights and collective well-being. It demands regulations that promote competition, safeguard consumer rights, and ensure professional discretion.

The path towards a just and equitable future requires a collective awakening to the shadow of corporate hegemony. We must act with vigilance, demanding accountability from those who wield immense power, and working together to create a world where individual freedoms flourish not in the absence of regulation, but through its careful application.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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