The King, The Capitalist, and The Act Of War

In light of all the hubub about Amazon and the location of their head quarters, I decided to update analoly I made up years ago. This is going to be opening chapter should it ever come to fruition. From it comes a lot of understanding I believe. 
“The King, The Capitalist, and An Act Of War”
The Capitalist: A lucrative US fish supplier has its eyes on an area that is very well known for a specific type of fish that the company has a small but growing demand for. A representative comes to a small South Pacific island community to petition the King for the authorization to set up a commercial fishing business for the fish supply company. The “business head” of this representative all flush with the magnificence of capitalist views could only see his proposal as a “win-win” and expects his trip to be a quick success and that he may even get a few days to take in the sights and a break in the warmth the Island has to offer. There was King in “their right mind” that would turn this deal down for his people.
The Island nation had traceable roots dating back 12,000 yrs. Though far from “modern” they had one of the most successful education systems, sanitary advancements, a working economy, and the shear small size and distance had shielded them from invaders throughout the millennium. They are self-sustaining, and yet connected people. Like most third world countries, most everything they own is “biodegradable “ and “non-durable goods”. This meant that “wage and wealth gaps” were relatively low as savings were generally impossible. The charging of interest was specifically banned in the country. One had to be a member of the tribe in order to own land. By all scientific measures, they rate very high on the various “happiness” scales for various studies. In the quote from one of my favorite movies, Avatar, “What are we going to do, offer them Budweiser and blue jeans? We have nothing they need.” They have been ruled by a tribal monarchy throughout their history, and they trust the wisdom of their king. Unlike some modern “free” societies, where leadership suffers less than 1/3rd of the population’s approval rating, the King has always been above the 90%. The notion of “revolution” is so far from the possibility that is seems silly. (This is not to say that abroad, some view their society in different negative lights. Those few that do not like the order of things speak out as the only voices the world beyond their border hears about.) They live and function as a community or a “tribe”, and not individuals. Roles are embraced and honored. The king has the final say in all major changes to the economic structure of the country. If you are to start a new business, he and his staff consider all of the ramification not only to the person opening the business, but the other businesses, the ecology, and the effect on the spiritual philosophy of the community. Family and population growth are mildly controlled through maintaining social traditions on sex and family. Bureaucracy is limited as one source allowing for quick and pointed decisions. 
The Act of War
   The Fishing supplier representative presents the basic structure of his proposal. The king, of course, asks what the benefits of letting him set up business will bring to his people. “I offer to pay taxes on the catch. I will offer to pay his fishermen more than double of what they make in a day already.” The rep explains with his advanced techniques, he will be able to offer the fish at local market for less than the current price. The new jobs could bring prosperity and many advances to the people his company employs. He said they were willing to make other concessions with supplies and technology that he could bring from the “main land”. This could bring an economic boon to their island. What happened next is something his Ivy League education could never have prepared him for. To have his lifelong notions about capitalism uprooted. 

The Explanation
The king thought for a moment, without counsel of his aids, and said. “I will give you 2 hours to get off my island or I will have you arrested for an act of war against my people. Please take this proposal and we shall forget you delivered it.” The business rep was confused. “An act of war! Wise king, With all due respect, I do not understand what you are saying?! I bring nothing but offerings of good fortune to your people as I just explained.” The king scoffed at the reps shortsightedness and then explained, “Many of my fishermen have fished these waters for more than 15 generations, since the “great storm” almost wiped us out. They are free to catch what they need to feed their family and sell at market to get their other needs met. The choice and decisions are driven by their personal wants, needs, and individual constitution. There is no reason to believe that will change if things remain the same. Now you want to come in and reduce the price they will get at market by selling your lower priced fish. My traditional fishermen will have to work harder, compete against your technology, and spend less time with their family to get the same results. Unable to compete with your technology and marketing tactics, many may feel the pressure to join your operation where they are now subservient to you. I will have failed in my duty to make policies that promote their self-sustainability and thus, “freedom “. No longer will they have the freedom to choose their hours, command their own will, and teach their children the trade that was passed on to them. You will require them to work longer hours for you to have a product to sell half way around the world. You will tax my natural resources that have had a symbiotic relationship with my people for as long as we have counted time. For how long will it last? What happens when the fish are gone or the demand for them goes down? Nothing in an economic system happens without affecting something else, which affects something else. The fishermen that join your organization will earn a better wage, that I believe. However, it will cause their purchasing power to go up and create a disparity between the company fishermen and the other members of the community. The price the company fishermen are willing and able to pay for all other goods will rise and thus cause the inflation of common goods. Seeing the lucky few who are able to afford better huts and amenities, all of the other citizens will feel a negative impact. A gap in their work to reward (wage gap) will grow. As my community grows dependent upon your company, you will use this to leverage lower taxes and leave my people with reduced schools and medical access that they now enjoy equally. The lower price of fish will cause fish to be more affordable than the chicken, pork, or lamb that are also available to my people by my people who are farmers. Those that raise that livestock will find it harder to compete in the market. They too will have to work harder and go without. While fish, and the men who catch them, lives are valuable, by elevating their stature, you will devalue the teachers, shop keepers, and general laborers. How long before you make further class divides by establishing a few administrative and more highly paid members? Then what if you decide to pull out leaving these people who were used to making these high wages, jobless and never having learned the traditional ways of fishing from their fathers? This will eventually and progressively cause a separation. That disparity will surely cause a rift among my people. That rift will cause unrest and most possible civil war among my people.

The Expulsion 
As King, it is my job to maintain the overall happiness of my people. If they choose not to be happy, that is their doings, but I must maintain equal access for them to pursue it. If a new change causes more people to feel sorrow than those that feel happiness, then it is a policy I must deny. I must look at advancements not only as extending life, but enriching those lives. Technological “Progress” in exchange for liberty and happiness is no bargain. Short term comfort in exchange for foreseeable sustainability, is the sign of advanced philosophy. I am keeper of our tribe’s moral, ethical, and traditional purity. We are not simply DNA seeding short term pleasure. You would soon pit brother against brother in quest for your employment. So, as I said, your offer is an act of war and you have now only 1 hour and 50 min to leave my kingdom.


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