Wolf in Shepherd's Clothing - Civilization vs. Liberation
Is the notion of entrepreneurship being misused by institutions to manipulate people's efforts for their own end?
In the past two decades, entrepreneurship has been hailed as the savior of the masses, a way to escape from the constraints of corporations, as the ultimate form of self-expression and self-reilance, a solution to the problem of increasing domination by the evils of business.
Or is it?
Entrepreneurship seems to in fact heavily be inspired by the needs of big business. Rather than redfine the economic system of value and rewards, they seem to be playing the same game. The goal of "success" has been defined by profit, not creating value. The hallowed path of raising capital, selling stock and ultimately being purchased by a large company for a huge profit should make us suspicious. Is entrepreneurship then, an activity of producing value by people and for people, or the act of creating a product (the business itself) that can then be purchased and assimilated into a company to be used for its own ends?
At an alarming rate, small businesses are being bought out by larger competitiors, while the consumers remain blissfully unaware. Even business that were originally created to escape this form of exploitation seem to fall prey. From locally-made clothing, to organic vegetables, we're not aware that we're being sold products that seem and feel ethical, but are actually being sold to us by big business who are aware of the change in our value systems. They are able to do so by encouraging all forms of self-expression (using focus groups, surveys, inerviews and observations) to study the patterns of behavior that emerge.
Using that knowledge, they create products and services that appeal to the particular value system. Theoretically, it would even be possible to sell products to anarchist anti-consumerists as long as it fits their value system. This knowledge gives businesess a lot of power, and they can thus afford to allow entrepreneurs to emerge in large numbers to identify and find ways of generating profit, as long as they all stick to the same paradigm of economics.
How can we create a new model of entrepreneurship that breaks out of this exploitive model of "development" and rather allow people to solve actual problems that holds value for them?