The New York Times recently reminded me of the infamous Baghdad shootings by Blackwater mercenaries. These shootings were symbolic of the broader violent aggression which Iraqis had been subjected to. Blackwater has rebranded itself as Academi, but its legacy as participant in imperial aggression lives on. It’s a perfect illustration of the faux corporate capitalist “privatization” that passes for a free market in the U.S.
These corporate capitalist military companies resemble states in their internal hierarchical organization and partner with governments to help wage wars paid for with coerced taxpayer money. As a largely Western phenmomen, they tend to be participants in the imperialist wars of Western powers against third world nations. No true friend of liberty can reasonably view these organizations as representing freedom.
They are instead representative of murderous corporate capitalist aggression. Not a surprise, because the corporate entity itself tends to rely on the aggression of the state or government to survive. The primary sufferers of said aggression are soldiers/civilians in both the third world and the West. One will preferably not forget that the employees of these companies bear responsibility for their actions, but they also suffer from the folly of corporate management. The corporate executives of the corporations can involve them in foolish wars of aggression and imperial intrigue. They may be duped into believing they are serving the goals of freedom and equality.
Of course, one will also preferably not forget the lives lost in the third world due to the actions of criminal private military corporations. Many Iraqis and Afghanis have lost their lives on the receiving end of the violence of these companies. Not to mention the participation of the official Western government militarties in meting out this violence. There are many nominally public officials who deserve war crimes trials as much as the private executives of these corporations.
A world without these companies would not be a world without defense, but a world shorn from aggression. There would arguably be greater levels of peace rather than the opposite. A completely peaceful world may never be achieved, but we can do our part in furthering the goal. The abolition of private military corporations is a first step in that direction. One approach is to focus on abolishing the states which they are in bed with, but that isn’t enough. Their power rests on more than just the state or government and protest movements directed against them specifically are necessary. Let us left-libertarian market anarchists get this movement started!