In a simple word: Corporations
Corporations are, by necessity of what they are, power structures. They also respond only to certain types of stimuli. Money is one of these stimuli, but the others include social pressure, the law, and the political climate.
All of this to say that corporations, by their very structure — what they are made of, are not moral actors. They’re simple machines acting on complex forces.
If a group of people, no matter how small, advocate for something from a business, and make themselves seem like they represent a majority or even large minority of people, power structures, so long as the goal of the power structure does not expressly conflict with the intent of the organization advocating for their own goal, will tend to appear sympathetic to their ideas, and even implement them. Therein lies the problem, and the solution.
If you have advocacy for tyranny, aka restrictions on freedom, speech, or people of any stripe, a corporation will respond to it, eventually, as though what they were doing was a moral good, not because it is one, but because a corporation has no other goal than power, and they will give in and even celebrate outwardly.
"Bellingham Rolling Rebellion Advocates for Net Neutrality and Takes on TPP & Fast Track" by Backbone Campaign is licensed with CC BY 2.0.
Earth 2 Earth2.io ("E2") is in its opening stages, and the forces at work are generally internet culture. The staff are part of gaming culture, and the community itself is largely gaming/investment minded individuals. Scammers, spammers, children, teenagers, adults, geeks, sharks, and every other person under the rainbow all exist under the big tent that is E2. That means there are huge amounts of wonderfully creative people and helpful people; this also means that there are abusers of all variety, including dishonest actors, advocates for the modern social in-vogues, and even some good people who just like to have a laugh. As owners in Earth 2, we have a responsibility, not just to our money, but to advocate that we remain free, in spite of these abusers. Another characteristic of power structures is that they tend towards anti-liberalism. Some people don’t fit their mold, some people like to cause problems, and while healthy in a society, a corporation, will rarely see it that way, and even if it does from its inception, it never lasts.
For that reason, we need advocates.
"Humanity" by kevin dooley is licensed with CC BY 2.0.
An advocate can be anybody at any time, from the person who speaks out against someone being abused by the community, to the person who joins in and asks with the rest of the community that a problem be solved — an advocate can even be someone who wishes to convince others of the value of an idea. What an advocate can never be, however, is a selfish person.
Bad actors are present in any community, and they will always attempt to control it. Most people who seek a position of power are intent more on expressing themselves than expressing the will of others, and they will rarely understand the forces that make them who they are well enough to be self-reflective.
We need a broad coalition of people who are willing to step up and advocate for the only universal good in the world, and that is the rights of man—not to not be offended, not to not see things they don’t want to see, or always get their way, but to say what they need to honestly, interact with each other organically, and to always have a say in the community— and that means we need advocates.
We need people in positions of power, and we need regular everyday people challenging them and themselves. The next time you find yourself in a position of power, ask yourself:
“Am I being an advocate?”
"Buddha said he wanted to have a word with me" by Trey Ratcliff is licensed with CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.
A not so brief note on power structures: It is beyond dispute that power structures seek more power, and they are also aggressively concerned with maintaining that power. When presented with a problem, they will attempt to cure it with force or money.
Occasionally, if it is beneficial, a power structure will raise an upstart voice in the community to the level of a champion of some cause or another. This is done to quiet people, and while it may result in actual change, it would be wise to remember that power structures are only concerned with power, and never relinquish it without heavy consideration, or sometimes bad leadership.
Some may challenge the idea the corporations are purely power structures, and insinuate that the human element which developed them is still the primary force behind them. This is a keen insight, however a more developed understanding of the problem faced by all advocates is that the reason a well meaning body of people can lend itself to tyranny is as simple as the bureaucracy that controls it. It can take as much time to open one door in front of you than the twelve that preceded it.