“Land to the people!” Vogler cried. “The government is not a good landlord.” Yet he was a tertium quid: neither a leftist anti-colonialist nor a lackey of the developers. Vogler demanded that all land in Alaska be privatized, even the parks, but he wanted a substantial allotment to native tribes and a prohibition on the ownership of land by corporations. He criticized corporate personhood and its legal immortality, sounding rather like one of the more radical greens, and in the next breath he denounced environmentalist bureaucrats who “couldn’t design and build a path to an outhouse.” He dug gold but he was not a gold-digger.
Believers in authoritarian power had prophesied a globalized world of corporate nation-states (and indeed, the 2012 Olympics featured teams identified by branding rather than nation, such as the Dasani and Nokia track teams and the Ikea Decathaletes); but even as the polar bears survived, a different kind of change in the global climate doomed most of the large corporations. The outlawing of corporate personhood was launched in Porter Township, Pennsylvania, in December 2002 and gradually became the law of the land. By 2015, the “human rights” US courts had given to corporations in the 1880s had been globally stripped away from them again.
Incidentally, Volger died on the cusp of presenting his case for Alaskan Independence to the United Nations. Perhaps regionalism, decentralization and internationalism really do go hand in hand?