Dangers of a Private Company being the Thought Police

By Energymancer | Energymancer | 8 May 2019

There are dangers of using private companies for Social Change. Here is why it won’t work long term. First, let's establish why companies are in business. They are in business to provide a service for a price that generates profit — the basis of the Free Market. So to try and force a private company to be a social change police force will not work long term for the company. Any customer adversely affected would no doubt sue the company.

There is now a stockholder presented resolution at Mastercard to create a human rights council to monitor the clients and deny service to a particular group of clients. This group is people who engage in hate speech or White Supremacy among others.

The service agreement with many companies includes a clause to allow the company to deny services to anyone for many reasons. Mastercard is the first of the large credit card companies to be targeted by the Social Justice Warrior activist. These activists are using the same techniques that were employed by the Anti-War activist of the '60s and '70s.

The method is simple; buy a few shares of stock in a company and then force a proposal to be presented at the annual stockholders meeting. These resolutions are a waste of time and resources as the majority of them are voted down. The Activist can then use the stockholder's vote as fodder for a campaign to discredit the company. These smear campaigns usually are short-lived and have little if any effect on the company. They have an added benefit to the SJW's; They can use it in fundraising.

The danger of a private company acting as thought police is there is no oversight. This company council would have nearly unlimited power to deny service to any company or person based on political beliefs. As we have seen politics is an unstable platform to build on. What was acceptable as little as ten years ago is in some cases repugnant in today's society. In 2008 the Democratic party was in favor of a southern border wall and voted to fund a wall. Today the border wall is a contentious issue causing division along party lines. The Democrats are fighting the funding and construction. This issue is one of many topics where society changed direction.

To continue on point; major financial institutions such as MasterCard being the arbitrator of what is acceptable speech is dangerous in so many ways. It is a private company, so it does have the right to refuse to serve anyone for just about any reason. It often refuses to serve people based on their financial history. If a person has a low credit score, they may decline to issue a credit card. With the proposed resolution MasterCard would need to create a social score. This score would by definition be very subjective. The group creating this social score would need to look at much more than financial data; they would need to reference all of the accounts on all social media platforms.

These Social Scores would no doubt leak out to other companies. They are giving the other companies or government agencies a reason to deny services. Withholding a credit card would also limit people's ability to purchase many things. Several large cities have many stores that no longer accept cash. It is a security risk to carry large amounts of money after hours. The Chinese people are finding their Social Score is hampering them. A low social score is limiting people's access to public transportation and passage on trains or planes.

Without a credit or debit card, a person would have to carry cash for all of their needs. Carrying large sums of money is dangerous. Going to an airport terminal and purchasing a ticket with cash is a red flag to the airline and law enforcement agencies. It would also be a tip-off to the transportation company that this person could be trouble. Renting a car would be out of the question. Many hotels are now requiring a credit or debit card to book a room.

Caution for anyone thinking this is a good idea. When a group proposes a plan; as a way to make society safe and to stop bad people, we need to look at it very carefully. First, because it will not stop at the company or agency where it starts, secondly, it will not stay limited to the original proposal. The line of what is acceptable will keep moving. This line will encompass an ever-growing list of offenses. Third, the penalties will start as punitive monetary or the loss of services and increase over time. Other companies will eventually fall prey to the original group that started this policy with MasterCard.

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I am an author, adventurer, and political junkie. I am sarcastic, irreverent, I believe all sacred cows should be gored and served from a bar-b-Que grill.


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