Corporations and Government
In high school I wrote a novel Donovan One about a computer company that grew so large and powerful it became a nation transcending nations, having its own security, health care, education, and housing for employees. Led by Mark Donovan, a genius of a new order due to a genetic accident involving a solar flare shorly after his conception. Donovan discovered a new physics based on a new paradigm that emphasized pattern relationships more than structure relations. He stayed out of the academic community and instead went into business. Using this technology, the international Donovan Enterprises grew so powerful it started leveraging its relationship with nations on its own terms.
When the United States tried to reel Donovan in, it was too late. Always ahead of everyone, by this time, Donovan Security Forces possessed secret weapons far beyond the US military. The novel ends with the entire world coming to Donovan pleading to solve the world's problems. World hunger? Unrest in Africa? Clashes between Isreal and its neighbors? Poverty? Crime? Education? Donovan turns to Security Director Tom Ratajack, "Why are they turning to us? These matters belong to the UN and governments."
Ratajack replies, "You're the one who can."
The novel is not dark, written in the context of Ayn Rand where competence and benevolence are linked. Donovan, the competent hero, prevails over the inept bickering idiots. I was right wing as hell when I wrote that book.
Keep in mind it was 1978 with a seventeen-year-old author influenced by Atlas Shrugged. I fully foresaw the GUI and nested windows with icons, but not the mouse. My foresight navigated icons entirely by keyboard. I still question whether the properly engineered keyboard would surpass the productivity of a mouse.
The relationship between government and corporations forms yet one more challenge we face. Government can relax in a certain respect. There is no Mark Donovan, and corporations can be counted on to operate with complete selfishness and tactics alarming the population to call for governmental oversight. If we let companies run the world, Democracy is doomed.
What the novel does introduce is the notion of a brilliant and benevolent corporation operating with the full systemic awareness of the whole with managerial precision and efficiency, growing to serve millions of employees exponentially and across the globe. At some point, such an entity becomes what we have not seen before.
At its peak, General Motors presented the kindergarten of the concept. Toyota might be first grade, and Microsoft, possessing its own knowledge, might be second grade. I doubt any company will leave elementary school.
The PhD of Mark Donovan's Empire will remain unread fiction, but it points to issues that are anything but fiction.