Saturday, November 12, 2011

Should Politics Be Kept out of Business

Do politics and business ever meet? Of course they do, because there is a reciprocal need between the two in every democracy. Politics equals power, but it is nothing without the money it needs to realize it; any business is mainly about money, but it also demands a secure presence, which actually means consorting with power, and thus with politics. Another similarity between the two is that they both require the presence of the citizen, either as customer or as voter. Theoretically, the citizen's freedom of choice is nearly perfect. But in practice, both business and politics resort to all sorts of techniques to draw their voters or customers, such as the media, celebrity endorsements, movie starts, appeals to passion, sentiment and psychology, and so on, and so forth. Whether we are talking about marketing, or about electioneering, we can refer to both of them in terms of campaigns. In both business and politics, the battle exceeds any metaphorical level, and the amount of money spent in either of them is rising every year. And all that, just to convince us, voters and customers, that they are worth our attention. When a business tries to promote a product or a model at a national level, it encounters the same problems and difficulties that a party comes against when attempting to capture several regions. Scale is extremely important, by definition, but that naturally comes with a demand for standardization. A business that needs security cannot separate itself from politics, because that's where the power is. Some businesses find it in their own interest to sustain rather close working relationships with politics, because separating the two is almost impossible when you are faced with a reactive situation. Many countries have both public and private traders, which means that keeping your business away from politics is virtually impossible if you want to keep doing business with that country. And the economical prospects and financial benefits are so appealing that the connection between politics and business just doesn't seem to have any importance. In the sensitive political regions, the marketplace is subjected to change daily. In fact, the entire international marketplace can change very quickly, from year to year, or even from week to week, which is why companies have to learn how to stay alert to change and have flexible attitudes and approaches. But above that, they have to ensure security for themselves, and what better way to that than to become involved with politics, which ultimately is about power?On the international marketplace, relationship between politics and business is critically important, and its importance increases as time goes by. As much as any business would like to be poisoned away from politics, this is simply impossible, because behind each government there are political drivers, and the 'mines' that appear in front of a certain company or organization are far more numerous and powerful, should it try to detach itself completely from political affairs. Business and politics interact, whether we like it or not, and they can influence each other in many ways, not all of them bad. For instance, a bad political climate can seriously influence economic growth, but fortunately the process can go the other way, too.