Friday, August 22, 2014

The Cyclic Oligopoly Complex


     It happens over and over again, and it's a recurring problem I call the cyclic oligopoly complex.

   How it functions is, everyone jumps on board with a company, it could be any company—take a store like Walmart or a cable company like Comcast, or an internet company like Google or Facebook, it's not important. The problematic part of this cycle is when the majority of people invest their time and money into a company, making it a giant that subsequently can't be beaten. The company then starts buying other companies and it turns into a type of octopus that wants to work its tentacles into as many areas of our lives as possible. Why do we keep enabling this?

     Many of you are familiar with the time-tested rule "absolute power corrupts…", meanwhile people view corporations as separate from government when they shouldn't—because companies, not only governments control, i.e. "govern" things we require to lead meaningful lives in today's world (There does exist corporate/government collusion which is a valid and related issue).

It isn't wise to not leave yourself any alternatives, especially when putting all your eggs into a basket that belongs to a company whose goal is to make money off of you, or monetize you and your data.

We need to recognized our role in enabling such pervasive power to land in the hands of just one individual or company, and to diversify where we invest our time and money (since it's not like company A does an astoundingly better job than company B in most cases, in most cases they're on par with each other it's just that people get attached to one, or identify with one).
   
    This cycle can be observed as easily as ever, in recent times, due to how quickly (within ten years or less) a company like Google or Facebook can go from an "edgy start-up company" with an anti-establishment image even, to a company that's so powerful and ubiquitous that we seemingly can't live our lives without it—they become the establishment, and they establish a monopoly or oligopoly in as many areas as they can.

We've seen it happen over-and-over, that companies reach such lofty levels of power and influence, which then makes it easy for them to behave in oppressive ways, ignore customers, and exploit customers due to becoming "too big to fail" - Let's stop doing that, can we?
 
     Stopping this cycle is the ultimate "voting with your wallet" against corruption in the long term.
 


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