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Chapter Seven
The Corporate Giants

The rise of huge business houses, and their power and influence, will become a major factor from now on. As the 'hundred-year pages' of the future flip over, and as we look at the long-term vista ahead of us, we see the sovereignty of nations being challenged by the sovereignty of the giant corporates. What we have is a developing phenomenon of complex business entities which become so powerful that they can deal with national governments on equal terms ... and often on term that 'can't be refused', for they will achieve great de facto financial, economic and military power.

We have noted the increasing social chaos of coming decades, and how these deteriorating conditions lead to the successful development of intra-montane enclaves. The giant corporations will be the prime movers and supporters of this development. By 2050, surface living conditions, in most parts of the world, will be grim, and most wealthy people will be living in the security and comfort of the enclaves. The giant corporations will have their headquarters and key facilities there, including research, banking, and military strength. As the first enclaves will be constructed in USA, let us pause to consider American conditions.

In common with most countries around the world, USA will suffer greatly from natural disasters in coming years. Earthquakes, eruptions, fires and floods will cause major problems for both Federal and State governments. Crime, violence and lawlessness will increase, and hard drugs will be a sad aspect of the general destabilisation. Graft and corruption will be widespread and political leadership will be tainted and unworthy, and will not have the respect and cooperation of the people. International terrorism, directed at the United States, will add to the chaos. Developments of science and technology will cause radical changes of supply and demand, and will result in destabilising upheavals in industries and in agriculture. By 2030, USA will have retreated from its present stance as international 'policeman', and the Federal Government will be almost exclusively preoccupied with internal problems. US military expenditure will have been substantially reduced, but super-power status will have been maintained. The general 2030 USA scene will be one of 'sauve qui peut'. With law enforcement at a pitifully low ebb, the survival of the fittest rule will apply in a very real way.

In this environment of lawlessness, where uncertainty and fear are heightened by radiation and biotoxin scares, the enclave promoters find a receptive 'ear' among the corporation top executives. Financially, the proposals make very good sense ... particularly when initial soundings indicate that 'cash up front' will not be a problem. It transpires that many scared wealthy people are eager to buy in. The initial share floatation is sold out within minutes, and the shareholders find that they can sell at a handsome profit if they so desire: most of them retain their holdings. Large blocs of shares have been taken up by the large corporations, and they appoint capable key executives in charge of planning, construction and overall management.

Let us talk a little about how the large corporations are run. They will enlist the best brains in the areas of strategy, planning, organisation, management, science, technology, finance, and law. As governments become less and less effective, the comparative strength of the large corporations will become very obvious. Parliamentarians talk up big, but the people who run large corporations play their cards close to the chest. Very little information is leaked to the news media concerning the key plans and strategies. Interlocking is very important, and the Japanese are masters of this strategy. They subscribe to, or exchange, large blocs of shares in each other's corporations. The top directors confer and collaborate in arranging joint finance, various deals, and provision of mutual support on a quid pro quo basis.

The large corporations are, of course, organised and run on a hierarchical basis, and a small but powerful minority of highly capable people 'call the shots'. Closely-held power enables the leadership to ensure the retention of a large portion of the net profits within the corporation, with a smaller portion being distributed in dividends. Another capital-retention ploy is for shareholders to be encouraged to take further shares in lieu of cash dividends. Interlocking provides good insurance against product obsolescence, and enables a rapid transfer of funds across a wide spectrum of enterprises, providing the emphasis and means where the greatest opportunities open up. In future, we will see more interlocking taking place across national and ethnic boundaries ... producing combinations of great basic strength, diversity of talent, creativity, and surgent growth. The large business complexes of the future will be very powerful, gaining sovereignty status in their own right, not by reason of public votes but by reason of de facto political power. An interesting aspect is that there will be less likelihood of international conflict, for the 'arteries and veins' of the interlocked giants will reach far and wide, through virtually every community, worldwide. They will not only protect their members; they will also protect their clients, customers, allies, friends and associates ... and they will have the security and military muscle to do it. They will be, in effect, a legal mafia, and their influence will be beneficial from a peacekeeping point of view: wars will be against their commercial interests.

The corporation syndicates will control most of the advanced scientific and technological research and development, which will take place largely within enclave precincts. Areas of development will include:

The potential profits on enterprises, based on the above, are huge. The increase of volcanism, earthquakes, other natural disasters, and the onset of the mini iceage will add impetus to the space effort, and the large corporations will pioneer the human diaspora to the star-planets.

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