[FoRK] The Corporation...

Owen Byrne owen at permafrost.net
Sat Aug 7 16:37:48 PDT 2004

A corporation is just a mechanism. for raising capital. If a corporation 
is evil, then its likely because, , to quote a phrase "Money is the root
of all evil."
Specifically in the US, its probably the vast difference in wealth 
between the top and the bottom - essentially a recreation of the
European "nobility" but lacking the constraints on the behaviour of the 
nobility that has evolved over thousands of years in Europe.
For starters, the nobility in Europe at least have a concrete fear of 
getting their heads cut off as a result of a violent peasent uprising

Perhaps the US needs their own Robespierre and a good reign of terror. 
Start with the Bush family and go from there.


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
>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.
>On Sat, 7 Aug 2004 09:49:47 -0400, "Mark Day" <mark_s_day at yahoo.com>
>> > 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
>>a meeting where people distinguish between what they would choose to do
>>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
>>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
>>aware of the artificial nature of the constraints.

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