Postmodern ways to sell your soul

We still keep watching the fallout from the recent financial collapse and its ramifications. It’s been more than 4 years, but the “how” is still a big question for the average folk on the street. It’s hard to fathom for a wage earner or a small business owner or an entrepreneur how these sophisticated financial derivatives work. We have no clue what those bankers did, and it honestly seems to me that only a very few of them are aware of what really goes on.

Perhaps we should long for those simpler days where the economy was a zero sum game, where the only way to grow was to steal at your neighbor’s expense—could it be a coincidence that every major religion forbids messing with neighbors? But not anymore. The Pandora’s box has opened and there has been no going back since the Industrial Revolution. Growth is a must for economies to survive. And nowadays how far we can stretch this growth seems to be in the hands of those ostracized inventors of such tools like those financial derivatives.

The sky is the limit with what you can do with a corporation. After all, they have human rights and don’t come with a biological clock that limits their life span. No wonder so many people prefer the long living of their corporation at any cost. Perhaps they are perceived like an offspring, some form of continuation of us as we move forward to other forms of being or oblivion. If a corporation can have human rights, why can’t it be the other way around? I feel that it’s only a matter of time for those financial inventors to come up with the idea of Ego Shares, every human a corporation.

Imagine the possibilities: There would be a human capital boom, public offerings would be all over the place where people would sell a part of their wealth and future incomes in order to raise capital. All economies around the world would be injected with a new serum of youth and the wave of growth would fuel the economies for decades to come. And then…

And what happens when someone gains more than 50% ownership of another person? Can he tell her what to do, where to work, how to live? Or would this bring us back to square one, back to those glorious days of empires where a handful of fortunate had a right to tell masses of unfortunate how to live, work, and die? Could all this never ending wave of financial innovation lead to a postmodern form of slavery?

It can, if you ask me, if it has not already done so…