What happens to First Amendment rights when corporations become arms of the government? From Jeffrey A. Tucker at brownstone.org:
Many of us with a libertarian frame of mind presume as a matter of theory that the interests of business are at odds with those of government. That’s generally true for businesses of a certain size. The regulations and taxes one faces in running an enterprise in the “land of free” are utterly shocking, as any small business owner can tell you. Even gaining the legal right to pay an employee is an arduous undertaking.
But matters change for any large businesses, especially industry leaders. Here the problem of mutual capture – business deeply involved in regulatory agencies to the point that which is the hand and which is the glove is not clear – is pervasive. It’s been an issue since the Gilded Age, as historians know. The bigger the government, the bigger the problem of these government-business partnerships.
It’s always worse in a war, when the opportunities for racketeering by ostensibly private enterprise are legion. That includes the war on the virus, which has been brutal on small businesses but a fabulous reward for large media enterprises.
Rarely do we experience this in such a direct way as we did during the pandemic. We were amazed to see huge corporations that control vast amounts of digital communications openly censoring on behalf of the CDC and the WHO. We know because they said so, and still do. Perhaps we might have assumed that administrators of these companies were as confused about the science as the politicians were. Maybe it was civic pride at work here.