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[greenyes] FW: Corporation as Psychopath




> Corporation as Psychopath
> By Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman
>
> People ask -- Rob, Russell, the world is going to hell in a handbasket.
> What can we do about it?
>
> We say -- read one book, see one movie.
>
> Unfortunately, the movie and the book are available now only in Canada.
>
> But wait -- before you head north of the border -- they will be
> available here in a month or so.
>
> And believe us, it is worth the wait. (Full disclosure -- our work --
> the Top 100 Corporate Criminals of the 1990s -- is featured in the movie.)
>
> The book is titled: The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit
> and Power. It is by Joel Bakan (Free Press, 2004).
>
> The movie is called: The Corporation. It is by Mark Achbar, Jennifer
> Abbott, and Joel Bakan.
>
> We've seen an advance copy of the movie.
>
> We're read an advance copy of the book.
>
> And here's our review:
>
> Scrap the civics curricula in your schools, if they exist.
>
> Cancel your cable TV subscriptions.
>
> Call your friends, your enemies and your family.
>
> Get your hands on a copy of this movie and a copy of this book.
>
> Read the book. Discuss it. Dissect it. Rip it apart.
>
> Watch the movie. Show it to your children. Show it to your right-wing
> relatives. Show it to everyone. Organize a party around it. Then
> organize another.
>
> For years, we've been reporting on critics of corporate power -- Robert
> Monks, Richard Grossman, Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky, Sam Epstein, Charles
> Kernaghan, Michael Moore, Jeremy Rifkin.
>
> For years, we've reported on the defenders of the corporate status quo
> like Milton Friedman, Peter Drucker and William Niskanen.
>
> But Bakan, a professor of law at British Columbia Law School, and Achbar
> and Abbott have pulled these leading lights together in a 145-minute
> documentary that grabs the viewer by the throat and refuses to let go.
>
> The movie is selling out major theaters across Canada. And if it
> detonates here -- which in our view is still a long shot -- the U.S.
> after all is not Canada -- it could have a profound impact on politics.
>
> The filmmakers juxtapose well-shot interviews of defenders and critics
> with the reality on the ground -- Charles Kernaghan in Central America
> showing how, for example, big apparel manufacturers pay workers pennies
> for products that sell for hundreds of dollars in the United States --
> with defenders of the regime -- Milton Friedman looking frumpy as he
> says with as straight a face as he can -- the only moral imperative for
> a corporate executive is to make as much money for the corporate owners
> as he or she can.
>
> Others agree with Friedman. Management guru Peter Drucker tells Bakan:
> "If you find an executive who wants to take on social responsibilities,
> fire him. Fast." And William Niskanen, chair of the libertarian Cato
> Institute, says that he would not invest in a company that pioneered in
> corporate responsibility.
>
> Of course, state corporation laws actually impose a legal duty on
> corporate executives to make money for shareholders. Engage in social
> responsibility -- pay more money to workers, stop legal pollution, lower
> the price to customers -- and you'll likely be sued by your
> shareholders. Robert Monks, the investment manager, puts it this way:
> "The corporation is an externalizing machine, in the same way that a
> shark is a killing machine (shark seeking young woman swimming on the
> screen). There isn't any question of malevolence or of will. The
> enterprise has within it, and the shark has within it, those
> characteristics that enable it to do that for which it was designed."
>
> Business insiders like Monks and Ray Anderson, CEO of Interface
> Corporation, the world's largest commercial carpet manufacturer, lend
> needed balance to a movie that otherwise would have been dominated by
> outside critics like Chomsky, Moore, Grossman and Rifkin. Anderson calls
> the corporation a "present day instrument of destruction" because of its
> compulsion to "externalize any cost that an unwary or uncaring public
> will allow it externalize."
>
> "The notion that we can take and take and take and take, waste and
> waste, without consequences, is driving the biosphere to destruction,"
> Anderson says, as pictures of biological and chemical wastes pouring
> into the atmosphere roll across the screen.
>
> Like Republican Kevin Phillips is doing as he criss-crosses the nation,
> pummeling Bush from the right, Anderson and Monks are opening a new
> front against corporate power from inside the belly of the beast. They
> are stars of this movie and book.
>
> The movie and the book drive home one fundamental point -- the
> corporation is a psychopath.
>
> Psychologist Dr. Robert Hare runs down a checklist of psychopathic
> traits and there is a close match.
>
> The corporation is irresponsible because in an attempt to satisfy the
> corporate goal, everybody else is put at risk.
>
> Corporations try to manipulate everything, including public opinion.
>
> Corporations are grandiose, always insisting that "we're number one,
> we're the best."
>
> Corporations refuse to accept responsibility for their own actions and
> are unable to feel remorse.
>
> And the key to reversing the control of this psychopathic institution is
> to understand the nature of the beast.
>
> No better place to start than right here.
>
> Read the book.
>
> Watch the movie (www.thecorporation.tv <http://www.thecorporation.tv/> ).
>
> Organize for resistance.
>
>
> Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime
> Reporter, http://www.corporatecrimereporter.com
> <http://www.corporatecrimereporter.com/> . Robert Weissman is
> editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Multinational Monitor,
> http://www.multinationalmonitor.org <http://www.multinationalmonitor.org/> .
> They are co-authors of Corporate
> Predators: The Hunt for MegaProfits and the Attack on Democracy (Monroe,
> Maine: Common Courage Press; http://www.corporatepredators.org
> <http://www.corporatepredators.org/> ).
>
> (c) Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman
>
> This article is posted at:
> <http://lists.essential.org/pipermail/corp-focus/2004/000174.html>
> _______________________________________________
>
> Focus on the Corporation is a weekly column written by Russell Mokhiber
> and Robert Weissman. Please feel free to forward the column to friends or
> repost the column on other lists. If you would like to post the column on
> a web site or publish it in print format, we ask that you first contact us
> (russell@no.address or rob@no.address).
>
> Focus on the Corporation is distributed to individuals on the listserve
> corp-focus@no.address To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your
> address to corp-focus, go to:
> <http://lists.essential.org/mailman/listinfo/corp-focus> or send an e-mail
> message to corp-focus-admin@no.address with your request.
>
> Focus on the Corporation columns are posted at
> <http://www.corporatepredators.org <http://www.corporatepredators.org/> >.
>
> Postings on corp-focus are limited to the columns. If you would like to
> comment on the columns, send a message to russell@no.address or
> rob@no.address
>





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