[FoRK] The Corporation...

James Tauber jtauber at jtauber.com
Sat Aug 7 14:24:02 PDT 2004


Oh, I agree. I'm not denying at all that members of an institution will
act differently because of that institution.

My concern was somehow excusing people's actions just because they
happened to be members of an institution that, because it was a
corporation, was incapable of acting in any way other than as as a
psychopath.

The official website of the film says:

"The people who work for corporations may be good people, upstanding
citizens in their communities—but none of that matters when they enter
the corporation’s world."

which I still maintain is a ridiculous generalization.

Strangely, the very next paragraph says:

"Ray Anderson, CEO of Interface, the world’s largest commercial carpet
manufacturer, had an environmental epiphany and re-organized his $1.4
billion company on sustainable principles. His company may be a beacon
of corporate hope, but is it an exception to the rule?"

Even if it is an exception to the rule, doesn't it just invalidate the
sentence previously quoted?

Don't get me wrong: I think a lot of corporations do terrible, terrible
things. But some corporations don't. The difference is the decisions of
certain people in those organizations. My point is that the ethics and
actions of the executives of a corporation matter.

Exactly the same is true in government, a religious organization, a
political party, etc.


I've wanted to see the film for a while - I enjoyed Manufacturing
Consent a lot.

James

On Sat, 7 Aug 2004 09:49:47 -0400, "Mark Day" <mark_s_day at yahoo.com>
said:
>  > at the end of the day the actions of the corporation are the results of
> decisions made by *people*.
> 
> True, but the people make those decisions in accord with the
> rules/environment they are in.  I can't tell you how many times I've been
> in
> a meeting where people distinguish between what they would choose to do
> and
> what they consider to be in the best interests of the organization.
> 
> I haven't seen the movie, but I think it's legitimate to observe that the
> rules of corporate behavior are not immutable laws of the universe, and
> to
> ask whether those rules are producing the right overall effects.  I am
> skeptical that radical change is a good idea, but I think it's healthy to
> be
> aware of the artificial nature of the constraints.
-- 
  James Tauber               http://jtauber.com/
  journeyman of some    http://jtauber.com/blog/



More information about the FoRK mailing list