Why an economy that’s not dominated by the corporate sector would be much better for individuals, communities and nature

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Posted Apr 27 2017 by Dave Darby of Lowimpact.org
Time to ditch the corporate sector in favour of the solidarity economy

Lowimpact.org is an organisation that was founded by two people in 2001 because of concerns about ecological damage and what that might mean for the future of humanity. The focus has always been on individual lifestyle change to reduce our impact on nature. Over the years, that focus has changed slightly to include a non-corporate perspective, recognising that the corporate sector is coming to dominate all aspects of our lives, from food, energy and banking to IT, housing and employment, and that an economy dominated by a corporate sector focused on growth and profit at all costs can never be sustainable, let alone democratic or just. We are working with others to launch a new site at some point, to make it easier for the public to disengage from the corporate sector when it comes to the essentials of life.

Our last blog post described the kinds of organisations that will comprise a non-corporate economy

Meanwhile, here’s a short checklist of reasons that you might want to switch from the corporate to the non-corporate sector.

Here are some of the things that the corporate sector does:

  • makes all our towns look the same
  • sucks money out of our communities to pay its shareholders
  • avoids taxes, which means that the rest of us have to pay more
  • employs sweatshop labour
  • campaigns against environmental legislation
  • squeezes small farmers
  • corrupts our political system with donations, lobbyists and jobs for politicians
  • bombards us with advertising
  • steals our online data
  • concentrates wealth in very few hands
  • promotes unhealthy food
  • promotes materialism
  • makes life more impersonal, preventing contact with humans who care
  • crashes the economy by packaging bad investments and giving them triple A ratings
  • takes our tax money to bail itself out and pay huge bonuses
  • spreads biased and superficial news via its media
  • damages nature
  • promotes war by selling weapons to both sides in global conflicts
  • uses zero hours contracts

And I’m sure you can think of many more ways that it harms us. The only way to fight back as an individual is by not giving the corporate sector your money.

In the non-corporate sector (involving businesses that can never be or be bought by corporations), on the other hand:

  • money stays within local communities – it’s not siphoned off to pay corporate shareholders
  • we employ ourselves, either individually or co-operatively – there’s no exploitation, because workers would be exploiting themselves
  • there’s no scope for making money from other people’s work
  • homes are owned by the people who live in them – either individually or collectively
  • homes exist to house people, not as investments or to rent to other people
  • no businesses are ‘too big to fail’ and won’t require taxpayers’ money to bail them out
  • work is much more meaningful, satisfying and interesting
  • you can talk to real people and get personal attention
  • towns regain their character – businesses, products and services are often traditional and unique to the local area
  • supply chains are shortened and don’t involve sweatshops or environmentally-damaging materials
  • communities are strengthened and become safer, friendlier and more interesting

We can only defeat the corporate sector by starving it of funds. Only a relatively small percentage of people will understand the importance of this enough to do something about it. But those people will have friends and family members who can be persuaded to switch, and the more people who switch, the more job opportunities there will be in the non-corporate sector. We can do this. We’ll let you know when the new non-corporate site is launched via this blog and our newsletter.