The other day, someone was telling me about their troubles getting fraudulent charges removed from their credit card. It started with a $499 charge for some sort of AT&T service. He called his bank and was told he needed to call the merchant that put through the charge. After a number of phone calls, he was put in touch with someone that tried to talk him out of a refund. After some angry words, he got the the charges reversed and a credit to his account.
Somewhere in the process, he spotted some more fraud charges, so he was back hassling with the bank and vendors getting those off his card. Those charges were for shoes and clothes he did not buy. Talking to the merchants, he discovered that the items were being shipped to an address in another state so he asked if he should notify the police. The merchant laughed and said they don’t do that. They just try to notify the shipper to have the items returned. Otherwise, it is just a loss.
I would imagine everyone reading this has had a similar hassle with this type of theft. I once had a bunch of weird charges show up on my Verizon bill. It was a cramming deal and it took weeks to get the things off my bill. Verizon was in on it somehow and they eventually got hit with a civil suit. I called the attorney general, but I quickly learned they had no interest. They only take on small fries they can push a around. A big company like Verizon operates outside the law.
Now, I did get my money back from Verizon and my acquaintance got his money back on his credit card. I’m guessing he had half a day of time in hassling with the bank. I had a few hours yelling at the dirt bags in Verizon customer service. In my case, I had gone to a paperless bill. I had to jump through hoops to get an actual paper bill sent to me again so I could begin watching the bills for this sort of scam. Verizon works very hard to conceal the details from their customers and this is why.
This sort of theft is just a fact of life everyone accepts. The police no longer investigate most property crimes and they rarely go after the organized scammers, like the crammers working the telephone bills. The on-line merchants that get hit by credit card scammers just accept a certain amount of loss and bake it into the cost of doing business. Even the banks assume losses due to electronic theft. All of these losses are socialized, spread around to all of us in the form of interest and fees.
It’s not just that they are socialized. Increasingly, government is handing the responsibility of policing society over to corporations. That’s what happened when the government had Yahoo monitor their e-mail system without a warrant. They basically deputized the corporation so they could do the policing. Cities and counties all over America have outsourced traffic enforcement to private enterprise. These companies get the right to tax speeders and red light runners by using cameras to catch them.
This happens with other types of crime too. If my vehicle is stolen, the cops do not look for it. Instead, the insurance companies now organize the hunt for car theft rings. In many parts of the country, the cops no longer investigate home robberies until the insurance companies step in with evidence of a pattern. Since filing a claim with your insurer is mostly likely going to result in a rate hike, many people don’t bother calling the cops at all. There’s little benefit and lots of hassle.
This is another facet of anarcho-tyranny. It’s not just that the state has stopped doing the basic duties of government. They have subtly outsourced them to cartels with the power to tax all of us in order to socialize the cost of crime. As we saw with the Yahoo case, the logical next step is to give corporations the power to police. You may never be arrested by Google or Apple, but they will be the ones that report you to those with the power to arrest you, most likely a contractor, too.
Sam Francis imagined a more Orwellian end result than we are seeing. The end game appears to be a corporate state that is legitimized by the law, but fully de-legitimized in practice. On the one hand you have management that wears the synthetic mask of enthusiasm, as they go from meeting to meeting, figuring out how to obliquely enforce policy. On the other hand you have the lower ranks, grimly going through the motions in order to avoid interaction with management.