History has shown us that mega corporations will not self-regulate in the interest of the public good, health, or safety when doing so reduces their market influence, power, or their profitability.
We can consider examples like leaded petrol, leaded paint, leaded pipes, fast food, soft drink companies, companies polluting water and air with industrial waste, forestry, electricity pylons, pharmaceuticals, alcohol manufacturers, the tobacco industry, and I’m sure many more. Because these mega corporations have so much sway and influence on government individuals and policy makers, any resistance has been shown historically to be drawn out and slow, if at all, and only implemented when the people in sufficient numbers demand it, but always vigorously opposed in every possible and conceivable way by the corporations in question.
Democracy only has substance when each individual accepts that they have a proportional duty to maintain the integrity of their democracy in the interests of the people. If we allow ourselves to be manipulated and controlled by mega corporations in their self interest, then democracy becomes impotent and illusory, and our very freedom is threatened.
To simply think for ourselves and come to another conclusion to that which is served up by mega news corporations daily, is to be branded a ‘conspiracy theorist’ and by implication, due to the manufactured stigma around such a term, have no credibility. Many conspiracy theories of the past have become conspiracy realities in the pages of history.
Those who take the time to investigate alternative points of view and share them for consideration should be seen as the natural product of a healthy democracy, and a critical check and balance to those mega corporations whose self interest may oppose the good of the people.
This is why freedom of information is so fundamentally important, because it allows each individual the freedom to consider and evaluate various points of view and discern for themselves what they think about it. This is to embrace the freedom of thought, the foundation of a free people.
Consider for a moment that there was no internet and libraries had been privatised with 90% of them owned and controlled by a company named ‘Google’. Would it be acceptable if Google started controlling which books our children had access to? How would we respond if when our children requested specific books they were told, “Sorry those books violate our community guidelines”?
What if our mail service was privatised and before making any deliveries the mail was opened and only delivered if deemed appropriate for us to read?
Is it possible that by controlling the information, these corporations could influence the thoughts, emotions, and behaviour of the people, and in turn all aspects of society and government?
What we are seeing right now by mega tech giants is a modern day ‘burning of the books’ in an effort to serve their self interest and the interests of other mega corporations they are associated with, all in the name of so called ‘safety’.
By sharing information and opinions we keep those books on the shelf so to speak, so that each person can discern for themselves the value of the information. Freedom of information allows the people to make fully informed decisions. Our duty, as citizens of a healthy democracy, is to stand in it’s defence when it is threatened. This can, in the first instance, be done simply by holding a point of view which is built upon diversity and critical thinking.