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I asked a question asking how Amazon's "punitive" policies "silenced" and repressed the free right speech guarantees in the first amendment and this was not considered a political question by the moderator @Phillip. He stated that policies enacted by private companies cannot be political.

Yet this is a question of both labor law, labor rights and citizen rights. In my eyes this makes it a political question. Corporations over many decades have been shown to be deeply entangled in the "political processes" of government with, for example, an army of lobbyists in Washington.

Another example of the matrix of entanglement, is the Citizen's United case which gave private corporations free speech rights.

Given all this, I would like my question to be reinstated.

How does Amazon "impose a rigid and punitive system of management" on its workers?

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How a private company operates has nothing to do with governments and politics as defined on this site which is why it was closed. And that was explained in the comments of your question.

Every company has the ability to manage its own polices and that isn't unique to Amazon.

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    Surely it is about what powers the state grants or withholds from private corporations? Otherwise workers could just sanction the company in question, without fear of intervention by the police or army.
    – Steve
    Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 9:02
  • @Steve What powers? The right to free speech only applies to the government and doesn't apply to a private company. There are no powers being granted here.
    – Joe W
    Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 14:12
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    Indeed, and that scope of application is a political decision.
    – Steve
    Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 16:03
  • @Steve If you want to know why that was worded that way about 250 years ago it might be on topic. But I don't see how a company operating under the same rules as every other company in the country is a political topic.
    – Joe W
    Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 16:30
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The reasons which you mention

Yet this is a question of both labor law, labor rights and citizen rights. In my eyes this makes it a political question. Corporations over many decades have been shown to be deeply entangled in the "political processes" of government with, for example, an army of lobbyists in Washington.

Another example of the matrix of entanglement, is the Citizen's United case which gave private corporations free speech rights.

deal with how Amazon acts as a legal entity in the United States. Which is separate from how it acts as an employer. As every employer, Amazon has a right to impose any restrictions which are not illegal to impose.

The workers have a right to refuse and voluntarily employment, which (while it can be punitive by its nature) is not considered a punishment because it's not coerced under duress. It's considered a reaction to the existing market conditions. And while you can argue that the market conditions create a form of duress, it's not the same as the primary beneficiary of this action creating duress.

If Amazon locked people in rooms and didn't let them out (physically restricting their movement) until they agreed to certain terms, that would be different. But there is no indication of anything like that, or anything even remote like that, happening.

Which makes this a question about actions of employers with respect to employees. Since the employer is not a government, this is off topic on this site.

If you want to know more about how employers can restrict employees actions, you may ask a question about it on law.SE.

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  • "it's not coerced under duress" - of course it is coerced, under threat of starvation and exposure.
    – Steve
    Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 9:03
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I do not think the question was very well formulated, but feel it could have been edited to clarify that it is really about why Amazon is able to treat its workers in such a way. One could argue that this is more a question for Law.se, but the same is true for many other questions here that haven't been closed: there seems to be an understanding that there is a significant overlap between law and politics and that some questions are difficult to definitively place on either site.

I disagree with the idea that the actions of a private company can never be on topic for this site. Companies exist within a society, and that society is overseen by the government. It seems obvious that there will be occasions when a company's actions are of political importance and interest.

I don't understand why the question was unilaterally closed by a moderator. This seems an overreaction for what was, at worst, an off-topic question that could have been closed by the usual community vote.

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    The moderator explained exactly why it was off topic and closed in the comments of that question.
    – Joe W
    Commented Aug 11, 2023 at 21:09
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    @JoeW Yes, and while I partly agree, I mostly reject their argument. They also do not explain why they felt the need to close the question unilaterally. Commented Aug 11, 2023 at 22:14
  • It was perfectly explained in those comments, I am not sure what else to say.
    – Joe W
    Commented Aug 12, 2023 at 1:03
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    @JoeW You seem to be under the misapprehension that I don't understand Philipp's argument. I do understand, I don't agree. Above I lay out my reasons for disagreeing. Commented Aug 12, 2023 at 2:50
  • @CharlieEvans, the answer seems to be that they don't want to let the community vote, as the site is designed. They want to police the community.
    – Steve
    Commented Aug 20, 2023 at 15:39

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