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Virtual corporations:
a new form of feudalism?

Advocates of the abolition of the State, whether they be anarchists or arch-liberals, do not seem to realise that - even if its functioning is currently quite unsatisfactory - the State is an essential building block of society. If the State continues to be weakened, what is likely to take its place in terms of regulation, education, social care,...? The answer might well be the virtual corporation. The virtual corporation, advocated by progressive management experts and government officials alike, calls on information technologies to enable an ever closer relationship between companies, their suppliers and their customers in a drive to satisfy as rapidly as possible and as completely as possible the desires of their customers. In this potential re-organisation of society around virtual corporations, many of the tasks currently assumed by the State like regulation, education, health-care, social security may well be taken on exclusively by those corporations for their "members". This situation is apparently already partly the case in Mexico, where multinational corporations house their employees in closed, protected quarters with all sorts of reserved services and privileges. In so doing, the progressive replacement of the State by virtual corporations in this apocalyptic vision could well lead to a return to feudalism in which the notion of exclusion will take on a new and even more gruesome form.

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ISSN: 1664-834X Copyright © , Alan McCluskey, info@connected.org
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Created: October 21st, 1996 - Last up-dated: October 21st, 1996