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Published:September 3rd, 2010 18:30 EST

IDENTITIES: How Governed, Who Pays? Chapter 8

By HB Paksoy

08. Corporate Identity

by H.B. Paksoy

     1. Sub-groupings within a polity will tend to organize themselves around their interests. These will be devoted to the preservation and advancement of economic and political position of the members banding together.

     2. One of the primary means of such organizations is the joint-venture, also referenced as a corporation.

     3. Prototypes of joint ventures existed early in human endeavor. As soon as early medieval universities were developed, law faculties sprang up to serve the needs of the merchants functioning within this type of structure, to formalize and to enforce relations between them.

     4. Nor are relations of joint-ventures confined to intra-merchant transactions. Governing strata is known to form partnerships with merchants. Some polities and their governing strata encourage this type of venture and prosper; others seek to control their existence. The governing strata supply the capital, and the merchants peddle their wares for maximum profit.

     5. It is not unusual therefore for the merchants to be close to the governing strata, if not to maintain outright membership in both endeavors. Therefore, the corporate identity is not confined to commercial transactions.

     6. As one result, when necessary, the corporate identity will call upon the governing strata of the polity for military (and other security) protection.

     7. The arrangement works so long as the governance strata is able to maintain control of the trade routes or distribution channels with military power.

     8. After new markets are opened as a result of new technology, polities will begin establishing joint ventures to exploit new opportunities. Polities, not just their merchants, will begin competing not only commercially, but by extension, also militarily.

     9. Ensuing profits lure other polities into the race, who form new joint ventures chartered by their own governance strata, even if under thinly veiled cover.

     10. To serve the needs of the joint ventures, various institutions are also developed. These include more facile international banking and credit systems.

     11. General distributors are an important part of the mercantile system infrastructure. Originally executing financial `factoring` functions, general distributors perform as intermediary credit advancers and wholesale distribution channels. They are critical to the operation of the mercantile system, as the baronies are to a monarchy.

     12. General Distributors are the primary agents of the joint ventures, at the cutting edge of marketing and market share enlarging operations.

     13. General distributorships are usually established with expatriates dispatched for the purpose from the originating polity, but with the participation of local capital and persons.

     14. The local participation in general distributorships is crucial, for it is their country and the local personnel will know how to approach their countrymen for anything that will be necessary for successful operation.

     15. The General Distributorships will absorb, finance and carry inventory, allowing the original joint venture at the originating polity more flexibility with higher level credit extending institutions.

     16. The competition between the polities will lead to piracy, with the corporations of one polity preying on the operational instruments of others.

     17. The acts of piracy are primarily directed at the general distributorships, markets, or, at least the local principals operating within them.

     18. In original mercantilism, rather than short term large gains, the aim of the joint venture is to accumulate wealth over one lifetime, to secure a steady supply of goods from those supplier locations as well as to open markets for manufactured export goods.

     19. The new mercantilism seeks immediate benefit to the consolidated annual report, to stave off competition for another year.

     20. Originally the principal personnel functioning within the joint ventures were usually the second, third and fourth sons of nobility.

     21. Since only the first son of a nobleman inherited the title and the ancestral domain and the attached income, the remaining sons were left without resources. Normally, this would have had an adverse effect on the baronial system, with the remaining sons competing to replace the elder brother to access the fruits of their birthright. New corporations operate in a similar system.

     22. By sending these spare sons to distant locales, the new joint ventures guarantee removing this potential threat to their social order.

     23. This process supports and maintains mercantilism as a social system as well.

     24. Mercantilism, as a system, for all practical matters, is a closed one. One must be born into it.

     25. As long as the members born into the club respect the unwritten internal rules, and operate accordingly, they are rewarded with a steady income.

     26. Being a closed system, mercantilism prevents social mobility; as it is intended to maintain status quo by freezing individuals in their stations in life.

     27. Even after the industrial revolution, when individual entrepreneurs of non-aristocratic backgrounds began amassing wealth, mercantilism adapted itself to the prevailing conditions by co-opting the industrialists into its own ranks.

     28. Joint ventures operating in Mercantilism strive to acquire additional domains for their seat (home, industry) polities.

     29. At that point, mercantilism becomes a support for empire, under whatever designation.

     30. Symbiotically, empire became a framework to be preserved for the purpose of maintaining mercantilism.

     31. Any system that wishes to perpetuate itself will establish institutions within for the purpose. In its empire framework, mercantilism also takes steps in that direction by devising an education system. This is an amalgamation of formal schooling, coupled with a structured apprenticeship.

     32. The mercantilist educational system requires a stair-step form of schools, for its needs. There are institutions where the officials responsible for daily routine and low-level operations trained.

     33. At the highest level, select and selective universities specialize in programs to train individuals in the arts of thinking and adapting to changing conditions without losing sight of the ultimate objective: how to maintain the system and extract the greatest wealth from sources.

     34. The graduates of the select and selective universities are also put through an elaborate apprenticeship program. In the end, successful functionaries rise to elevated positions including "governor generalships" under whatever designation.

     35. As the affairs of the joint venture companies begin to involve the offices of the empire, the governing strata of the seat polity begin to take a deeper functional interest in the operations and policies of the joint venture companies.

     36. This leads to oversight committees, at first whose existence is at first kept a state secret of the polity.

     37. At the same time, the empire is competing against other empires. This is a further reason for the polity`s governance strata to get involved in the affairs of the joint venture companies; for the empire will need additional resources, to coordinate the struggle against the opposition.

     38. This competition is certainly not confined to the commercial arena.

     39. At first, the competition is waged in overseas territories between two (or more) rival empires. This is militarily safer than engaging each other in their own territories. The spoils will be obtained overseas as well, in the form of markets and sources of raw materials unobtainable elsewhere.

     40. A group of people, from the edges of the empire, will decide to try a new governance or belief system; one that has not previously been applied to a polity at large. It is also decidedly against the mercantilist system. This will add further complications to the mercantilist new world order.

     41. It must be borne in mind that, polities are also continually struggling with internal ferment. There are several competitions, waged primarily in the minds of the masses.

     42. Economic, political and military systems always form a trivet, and no governance system is immune to the interlacing. This is especially important to keep in mind when the governance strata is bent on changing the governance system. Demands of theocracy are not the same as empire.

     43. A theocratic strata, despite its powers, cannot by itself secure the structure of an independent state.

     44. The belief system(s) that existed prior to the establishment of the new official belief system is formidably resilient.

     45. Those with vested interests within the governance strata of the land will also force the theocracy into an uneasy alliance with themselves.

     46. One reason is that the governance strata will find it difficult to hold court without at least a ceremonial acquaintance with the theocracy. The two dogmas clash, and must call a temporary truce. The final account will be settled later.

     47. The result is a combination of secular joint ventures operating under the control of the established governing strata. This control will be cloaked with the spiritual good wishes from the new belief system hierarchy. The latter will be striving for total control at a later date.

     48. That is, until a string of lone but powerful voices begin speaking out from within the ranks of the theocracy. 49. Ranging from Wyclif, to Hus, to Luther, and Henry VIII, these type of individuals are office holders of the belief system governance, but all challenge the excesses committed in the name of it. They seek their own form of equality and reform.

     50. Rediscovery of pre-theocratic texts adds further fuel to the raging debate. These texts contain elements directly challenging the received wisdom of the theocracy, or, if you will, theodicy.

     51. Only after strenuous efforts expended by `new theologians` and their lay followers, largely engaging in paradiastole, pre-theocratic texts are co-opted into the theocracy, as if they had always been members.

     52. But the curiosity of some individuals prods them forth. In this instance, the nagging question is: what was there as a governing system before theocracy? Some groups, aware of the connections between identities and economic benefits, are willing to take direct action without waiting for a definitive answer. They will even camouflage their secular knowledge and intentions under a religious identity. So, free enterprise (any initiative can be undertaken by anyone) will begin battling a more structured and immobile governance and economic system, such as mercantilism (where only heads of joint venture houses are allowed initiatives).

     53. After a suitable incubation period, fermenting ideas will begin circulating. One of the results of the process was the French Revolution. The effects of that revolution on identity and identity formation is indelible. Unlike the Puritans, who regarded free enterprise as their co-equal identity, and cloaked it under a belief system, the French citoyen desired a broader set of freedoms.

     54. In the aftermath of the 1789 revolution, there emerged in France a new type of identity, by, in part, resuscitating forms older than the prevailing coalition between theocracy and empire; with mercantilism providing the high level glue holding together the partnership. 55. This new citizen identity directly challenges the governance by theocracy, but does not stop there. As it develops, it also becomes a grave threat to the empire form of governance, along with its vital club-mate, mercantilism.

     56. The idea of citizen, as opposed to a "subject," (be it to a nobility, clergy or commercial enterprise) is one of the ideas emanating from the movement.

     57. All polities whose governance strata subscribing to "subject" and ruler method of governance system will be alarmed by the development, anywhere, of the germ of a new world order; unless they themselves are creating a new one.

     58. Nonetheless, the idea of "citizen," as in group membership, with privileges not found in any other system, took root.

     59. The established governance strata was not and will not be willing to relinquish their hallowed privileges without a struggle. That, of course, requires a change in the governance system as well.

     60. It must be remembered that individualism is quite different than citizenship.

     61. Not every polity received this citizen idea with equal set of rights. Any adaptation of the term for the purpose of creating a new identity, came with special restrictions.

     62. Whereas one type of citizenship for individual participation within the new corporate identity provided rights, another practice involved the subjugation of the individual to the special segment of the governance strata of the respective polity.

     63. In both cases, the outward wordage of the rights are the same. It is the application that makes the difference. In one, the individual can make choices, whereas in the other the individual is expected to set aside his individual allegiances to family, ethnic group and belief systems in favor of allegiance only toward the governance strata.

     64. This, of course, is very reminiscent of earlier, belief system based demands on the individual where the membership in a particular belief system demanded that all members in that particular belief renounce all other ties; ethnic or familial.

     65. In this manner, those belief systems strove to harvest from their neighbors able men for membership. This had the effect of not only swelling the ranks of the gaining belief system, but also weakening the populations who were still in opposition.

     66. Of course, the energetic belief system governing strata believed that the men so co-opted would also convert their families and relations as well.

     67. Those acquiescing to the conversion were granted additional privileges, in the form of economic incentives or outright grants.

     68. Having been so rewarded, the new converts, fortified with their new identity are ready for service in joint ventures as they may be directed by the governance strata.