The Rules Just “Happen” to be Different?

Crash test dummyWant to see a good example of the pro-corporate bias in the media?

Then consider this story from — of all places — National Public Radio, on different manufacturing and safety standards for automobiles, in different nations.

While I’m not advocating for nation-states or their naturalness, what is curious is that the story adopts the point of view of what were once nationally-based car manufacturers — meaning that they formerly only aimed to meet national standards — but which are now international. The story thereby shares in their lament about multiple, even conflicting, national standards that…, wait for it…, undermine the profit motive of these now globalized private corporations.

There’s something to be gained by minimizing these differences among national standards, by portraying them as happenstance, as arbitrary and confusing…

The plot thickens, though, when you read one of the comments on the site:

This article largely misses the point. Many of the regulatory differences between the US and Europe are a direct result of industry lobbying. For industry, this is a way to place an invisible tariff on their overseas competitors. To uncritically accept industry’s public claim that they would like a uniform standard between the US and Europe is woefully off base.

For those who wonder what the future of the nation-state is, articles like this from reputable news sources — articles that naturalize corporate interests — prompt one to consider how the corporation may one day be our main social organizing unit…, a consideration that may not just have traction in scifi movies.

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