Futuristic Fiction: #Research for #Writers, Part 12, Business.

Photo by Marko Milivojevic on Pixnio

You’ll find the introduction to this series here.

This post looks at Business.

What do we understand by the term ‘business’? In fact, it encompasses a wide range of activities and philosophies. Some people are in business to make improvements to life, some to help others, but most business is focussed on one thing: profit. Is profit good, bad, inevitable, unnecessary, morally justifiable?
The world as it is at present is largely run by Big Business. This isn’t generally at the forefront of consciousness, but even basic analysis reveals the media is owned and run by a small group of individuals/companies with their own vested interests. Money is power (a cliché, but no less true for that). And when multinational corporations own more wealth than the assets of some countries, perhaps we need to ask the question; ‘Is business actually good for the world?’

Many people are employed by businesses of all sizes, types, and philosophies. But has business itself become more important than the world’s people? Is profit the prime focus of too many companies, making the already rich even more wealthy?
There is no doubt the future will bring huge changes to the way business is conducted. But will it also make the current business landscape ever more amenable to huge corporations, or will people and governments come to understand placing power in the hands of such organisations/individuals is a major cause of pollution, inequality, climate change, environmental damage, injustice, population growth, modern slavery, and many other social problems and injustices?

In short, is business good for humanity in its present form? If not, what might the future bring to improve/change the situation? Is it possible the world will become overtly run by business instead of the covert role it currently holds?

There is a basic mismatch between those who create business and those who are required, by the system it has created, to work for it. Business is mostly about making money. Employment is a social contract exchanging skills, time, energy, and brainpower of individuals for the means to live and raise a family in the false world created by that behemoth. Will the future increase the wealth gap created by this one-sided system, or is it possible the entire structure will collapse, and a new, morally superior, and equitable system develop in its wake? 

These are just some suggestions I make for consideration if you’re including business in your story. I’m sure you can think of many more. Please feel free to let us know your ideas, using the comment space below the post.

Part 1, Introduction and Accommodation. Part 2, Activism. Part 3, Advertising. Part 4, Agriculture. Part 5, Artificial Intelligence. Part 6, Animals, as Pets. Part 7, Art. Part 8, Authority. Part 9, Banking. Part 10, Beauty. Part 11, Blasphemy.

Research examples:
Shaping Tomorrow
Future Learn

13 thoughts on “Futuristic Fiction: #Research for #Writers, Part 12, Business.

  1. Interesting, especially in light of the pandemic. Lots of politicians seem to think that business should come before public health safety. In a couple of provinces, the premiers kept opening up and shutting down, something that is worse for business than just shutting and recovering once. But the actions that really astonished me were firstly, how ready these twits were to put stocking stuffers ahead of health safety, and secondly, how they allowed big box stores to stay open while requiring independents to close. Incredible. I don’t think that bodes well for the future.

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    1. Thanks, Lynette. I’m not sure how it works in Canada, but the UK’s political system allows politicians to hold posts in all tytpes of business. This results in skewed decisions being made, always in favour of business rather than the public. Our new set of incompetents is even more blatently pro-business and, like yours, has put profit ahead of public health. The only way to a better future, as far as I can see, is to oust these profit-hungry people and replace them with some who care about the world and ordinary people. But our political opposition is almost non-existent; infighting and factionism prevents any coherent resistence to the powers that be!

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      1. They have to resign from any other posts or positions (many of them keep their affiliations, though). They always have an eye on the “afterlife.” I understand (up to a point) the need to protect business through this pandemic, but these incompetents, as you say, have a one-track mind and both hands in other people’s pockets.

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        1. Yes, one has to wonder how ‘real’ those resignations are, Lynette. Company directorships can so easily be transferred to spouses, children and other reliable ‘friends’ to keep them safe for when the job in politics is done with.
          Here, in the UK, the driving force behind the disastrous decision to leave the EU was created and led by mostly Tory politicians scared of a new proposal the EU was putting in place that would make offshore tax accounts almost impossible. And so many of our voters bought the lies, false promises, and racist attitudes that they decided to vote to leave. History will reveal the reality, but it’ll be too late to save many people from a great deal of grief.

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          1. From where I sit, it was disheartening to see the UK decide to leave; it was obvious to many outside the UK that it wasn’t a good decision and that people had swallowed a whole lot of horse manure. Johnson is now casting about for a place to do business and keeps nagging the US about the so-called “special relationship.” Seeing as how he was willing to pander to Trump, and how Biden has so much on his plate, especially domestically (I don’t think for a second that Trump has gone away; he’s just making the next plan), Johnson appears to be coming up empty. Is this going to get worse before it gets better? Or is it a case of needing to get Johnson out of office?

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            1. I’m pleased you saw through the lies and bullshit, Lynette. It’ a shame so many of the British public were less perceptive. Getting rid of Johnson, whilst a great idea in itself, would have little effect on the Brexit situation, unfortunately, He has a gang of similarly idiotic and incompetent Ministers behind him, and one of those would inevitably become our new PM. The whole Tory gang of Brexiteers care only about their offshore tax accounts and they’ve duped 17 Million voters into believing they were acting for these voter’s interests, which they clearly were not. It will get worse before it gets better. In a few years, with an economy seriously damaged, there will be a renewed attempt to rejoin the EU. If that happens and they accept us back into the fold, it will be under the condition that we join the Euro and ditch the Pound. That doesn’t bother me, but it will seriously concern the large minority who are ‘Little Britons’ who feel we still have an empire, or should have one, and who remain selectively ignorant of the appalling things that happened when we were an empire. It’s the youngsters I feel for. They have now to deal with a declining economy as well as the coming climate emergency and extinction of masses of plants and animals. At the very time when the world desparately needs unity, the UK has decided to become a minor player with little influence instead of remaining a strong voice within the EU. Very sad.

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              1. Yes, it’s very sad and so short-sighted. It’s interesting that UK may try to rejoin in a few years. Might that be one of the ways to prevent Scotland from breaking off? Is it possible that they will leave and join EU on their own?

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                1. There’s already a well-established movement to rejoin, Lynette. Only time will tell whether that happens, of course. As for the Scottish question, that’s a complex issue. Scotland was once a proud and separate nation, of course. Whether it will become one again is dependent on many things. But if it does, it’ll definitely apply for EU membership. At present, there seems to be a strong threat of break-up of UK into it’s separate nations, including Wales. And the Irish question remains a lurking threat. Of course, all this reaction could have been foreseen by the Govt, as it was by many of us writers. But it seems those particular politicians don’t care about the damage to the country, aslong as their own pockets continue to fill.

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  2. Interesting! In my YA series set on a new world, I have explored the difference between big business and cooperation between several species and humans. It was fun creating the world and the conflict between the new and the old.

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    1. An intersting contrast, Brenda. Cooperation generally results in a better system of exchange, and better service for the customer, than the bullying tactics so often employed by big business.
      I agree, creating new worlds can be great fun. It’s something I enjoy doing, too.


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