Seen on Facebook:
"The government doesn't own the media, corporations own the media. Corporations control government (and farmers and universities, and so on), not the other way around."
At best, this is a semantic argument. More accurately, it is a classic... manipulative sophistry. It is promulgated vigorously like a religious catechism, by the very entities that most benefit from the conflation. And otherwise intelligent people repeat it uncritically, feeding the problem by misdirecting their perfectly understandable anger at the wrong target.
Look, what is the definition of a corporation? It is an entity that is recognized by law (law which is created, interpreted and enforced by the same state), entitled to certain specific favors from the state. What most irritates most of us about powerful corporations is that they use their influence to curry additional favors from the state: to stifle their competition in a way that would not be possible in a free market, to give themselves competitive advantage through the gerrymandering of regulations, to protect themselves from their customers, etc.
The state could shut down any corporation it wanted to, tomorrow, because it is the state to which any corporation owes its existence and its continuing influence. Seems to me the alpha dog is pretty clear, on that basis--even if they are in collusion with each other.
Am I then defending the corporate part of this corporate mercantilist arrangement (that is: fascism lite) that we have here? Oh HELL no. By aggressing against others, using the state as a hired thug, such corporate entities contribute to the evil and are just as culpable. But if one wants to "strike the root", one must recognize who wields the actual power to harm real people. Without a state, corporations would have no "legitimate" means of exerting their influence. The state, on the other hand, has declared itself the sole monopoly on "legitimate" coercion and aggression--even with respect to the mechanics of buying its influence!
The huge blind spot of most of those who rail on against corporations is that they almost invariably propose to solve the problem by handing over the (rest of the) reins to the single biggest, most corrupt and murderous "corporation" in the history of mankind--the state.
What on earth do they think is going to happen, with that dynamic going on?