Companies Over Countries

In this article on Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, a former Facebook speechwriter reveals how the company regards itself:

“Companies over countries,” Zuckerberg often said in meetings. “If you want to change the world, the best thing to do is start a company.” Thinking about it, I could see how this could work out: companies have potentially more money and fewer structuring rules than countries, while countries remain a respected model of social organization to which citizens feel loyalty. This latter connotation accounts for why Facebook often describes itself in national terms with phrasing like “Facebook nation” and user figures announced in relation to countries’ populations. In some ways, Facebook wants to be a company and a country, commanding the best powers of both.


A lot of books have been how globalization is eliminating national borders. This comment, however, points to a different, albeit related phenomenon. The super-rich and the corporations they run are seceding from the nation state. Hong Kong's affluence was attributed to its long period under British administration and the rule of law that came with in. Now the state is irrelevant, which is even more audacious than regarding it as an obstacle to be overcome. 

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