I don't understand why the left hates privatization so much.
I cannot claim to speak for the entirety of the “left”, but being of a slightly “leftist persuasion” I will say this…In my opinion,
privatization, on its own, is not bad…but, like most things in the world, it is the circumstance in which privatization is used that can become a
bad thing. We can use hypotheticals to illustrate both what is
dangerous in a privatized society and what could
be dangerous if too
of that society is left to privatization.
For instance, when you privatize the military, or a police force, they become, essentially, mercenaries, or a “private security agency.” In doing
so, they become an organization that is not obligated to uphold the social contract between the citizens and the government. To this extent, it can
be easily verified by incidents in both recent and not so recent history that said organizations can, or at least will more than likely attempt, to
operate in a manner to maximize profits for its shareholders. In addition, private organizations are also more likely to violate domestic and
international law, as was seen with the standoffs between the US Army and Blackwater Security Forces in Iraq, as well as the plethora of, often
difficult to prosecute because of their nature, cases that the “private security” forces in Iraq have been involved in, relatively recently….In
essence, the problem with the privatization of military or law enforcement agencies is that their allegiances lies not with a nation, its citizens, or
the rule of law, but with profit…if left on its own, essentially, as Smedley Butler once said, “war is a racket”, or further more, the degree to
which war is a racket extends from simply the infrastructure and weapons development to the act of fighting as well…the prevention of violence
becomes something to be profited from
But it is perhaps unfair to simply use THAT as a sole example… Let us look at another.
The privatization of resources…this is one that I find to be a bit unsettling, and perhaps it is one of the most rife with abuse in America. Again,
companies that control resources, IE Water, Electric, Gas, etc., are not privy to adhere to a social contract…instead, they create their own
contract with those who (often) have not choice but to buy the resources (that are essential to life) from a company which has the monopoly of that
resource in a given region. Call me a bleeding heart, but it makes me sick when I read about families that have to make the choice in the summer or
in the winter, to have electricity or to have food…and further, the stories of pensioners who freeze or, essentially, suffocate to death because
they cannot afford to pay their heating bill in the winter or summer…Forgive me, but I, for one, simply believe that one of the foundations of this
nation, “the pursuit of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” is inhibited when people die because they had to make the choice between
eating or being warm…and they made the wrong choice…
This is not to say that I think private companies can’t
operate in a fair and honest manner, or even simply that profits shouldn’t
be made by these companies…but there is a certain level of humanity that is lacking in society when the “free market” is allowed to reign
supreme...studies have illustrated that the model by which corporations operate is, essentially, sociopathic…and I think that enough
recent history, think Enron and the energy situation in California. People died, people die every year, because their heat/energy is turned off.
why not deregulate things a bit?
I think that those on the left are more in favor of creating a more mixed-economic system than going fully to socialism or
communism…partial-government ownership(but certainly not full ownership, hardly any “left-wing” liberal is in favor of a fully
Communist-stylized system), or stiffer government regulation are in favor because, if the political system worked how it is supposed to work, the
individuals in charge of regulating the private industry would be doing so in favor of the public good…instead, and the major gripe against
capitalism is that what all too often seems to happen is that, because our political system is corrupt and, some would say, too entrenched in
capitalistic ideals(which have for too long gone too unregulated) the public good has dissolved into a liberal(yes, liberal) individualized
notion…or, in other words, the super-capitalist state that we exist in, and that we fall further and further into, is responsible for the
dissolution of the core values of our society that we constantly bemoan for their absence…IE the “right” often wants a value driven society, and
yet adheres pretty strictly to a social Darwinist, dog-eat-dog, survival of the fittest, the strong prosper, mentality.