Saturday, May 25, 2013

On magic and artificial scarcity (also politics)

Came across two interesting articles today. The first is about the world's oldest clove tree, and how the first multinational company (the East India Company) deliberately limited the market.
"All clove trees not controlled by the Voc were uprooted and burned.
Anyone caught growing, stealing or possessing clove plants without authorisation faced the death penalty."
And then I came across how "according to the Canadian federal Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, 75 percent of the world’s mining companies are headquartered in Canada", and how said companies have sued publishers out of existence for trying to print books on the subject. On this, the internet becomes quite awesome.

It did get me to wondering about how one regulates and controls multinational corporations and at what point their existence clashes with ideas of democracy (though arguably not capitalism, if one defines it as profits before people). And also how interesting such situations can be in fantasy and alternate history/sci fi novels. Trade is important and making such things the cornerstone of a novel could prove interesting, if handled right.

Makes me consider a fantasy world were magic is a minable/renewable resource, corporations and artificial scarcity ....

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