Megatraveller, Megacorporations, and Misplaced Corporate Hatred

Sorry, the mindless drivel of the political ads about corporations has gotten to me.  You know: “He will take on the big corporations and get back what is rightfully yours,” drivel.

In 1987, I was visiting a hobby shop in Kalamazoo, MI and ran across Megtraveller the RPG (original pen and paper stuff) and bought the original boxed set.  I had already been playing Traveller so the transition to a more complex and expanded Megatraveller was a natural fit.  In the world of the star spanning Imperium anything was possible.  You could be any science fiction type role and play multiple different styles of campaigns.  It was a great system enhanced by the fact the record keeping and game mechanics were simple but still allowed so many different actions.

The world of Megatraveller had one other feature, it employed the as part of the world of the Imperium – the megacorporation.  These giant of industry were enormous.  They had an office on any civilized world of the Imperium and often had a home world and star system of their own as a central office.  They employed their own everything including armed forces and fleets of ships.  They wielded tremendous power because of their shear size and wealth. Sometimes this power was used for good, sometimes for evil.  Mostly it was simply used to make more money.  Characters often needed them because they produced products and technologies that could be found nowhere else.  They also were able employers who everyone knew ‘the check would not bounce’ so to speak. The currency of a Megacorporation in Megatraveller was hard currency.  In fact, after the Imperium collapses in the game system, it is the megacorporations that still have value after all else has become worthless.

I point out the benefits because I think in our real world we miss the benefit of corporations.  Businesses become corporations for one simple reason — to make more money.  In reality a corporation is just a vehicle in which people expand their existing business by adding more capital.  By doing this they are able to do more.  Among these benefits: hire more people, expand the business to get more products and services to people, give more to charity, develop new ideas and technologies that benefit people, etc.  I wonder how charities; for instance, would do without corporate sponsorship? Corporations exist to create and generate wealth which they use to generate more wealth.  If left alone, this brings prosperity to everyone involved with the corporation to one extent or another.

When people simply label corporations as bad I am not sure which is at work: stupidity, prejudice, envy or jealousy.  The idea that if we stick it to the rich or corporations that I am going to benefit is intellectually vacant to me.  Just because someone  or something else loses in prosperity does not necessarily mean I am going to benefit.  Sorry all your hatred toward corporations will not get you a single nickel from them. If they are brought to failure by the governing bodies of this country, you will gain nothing. More than likely, it will actually have the opposite effect.

In truth, the poor and middle class like to blame corporations and rich people because it takes the focus off their own failures.  Blame never has once solved a problem, it is a tool for those who do not want to take responsibility for themselves.  To be truly free, you must take responsibility for yourself.  It was not corporations, that caused people to spend more than they earn or have debt levels so high they can’t see a way out.  That was a product of each individual’s choices.  Greed may exist but it is a human problem, not just a rich people and corporation problem.  It is a greedy decision to make plans to live off welfare and thus the prosperity of others through taxation. It is just as greedy as any decision that the Ebenezer Scrooges of the world have ever made.

*Sigh*  My rant is over but to say this.  If you want freedom, true freedom, you must take responsibility for yourself.  Blaming anyone for where you are will not help you move forward in your life. I also don’t believe we will go forward as a nation by looking for someone to blame.  We instead need a vision where everyone can profit if they take responsibility for themselves and let things be free to do what they need to do.  That includes corporations by the way.

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