Sunday, June 25, 2006
The Corporation Is a Must See Documentary
Winner of twenty-four international awards, The Corporation, written by Joel Bakan and directed by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott, is truly an eye-opener with regard to how corporations actually work and is shocking because of the damage some corporations can thrust upon the general public. Obviously not all corporations display the clinical disorders this documentary points out, but the viewer will definitely see corporations in a different light.
Using the Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV, the documentary illustrates how certain corporations display behaviors that would be classified as psychopathic if they were "human beings." These behaviors include: 1) callous unconcern for the feelings of others, 2) incapacity to maintain enduring relationships, 3) reckless disregard for the safety of others, 4) deceitfulness and repeated lying and conning of others for profit, 5) incapacity to experience guilt, 6) failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors.
The documentary traces the history of corporations from 1712 in UK to the USA and specifically points out how the 14th Amendment was used to declare that a corporation is a person and why a corporation needs to be protected. The irony here is that the 14th Amendment originally was written to protect "freed" black slaves.
For those who hold stock in corporations, it is perhaps a relief to know that the loyalty of a corporation is to its stockholders; however, of late many stockholders have begun to question the high salaries going to corporate officers and board members instead of profits going to the actual stockholders.
With regard to psychopathic behaviors, corporations are focused on the bottom line and this short sightedness "permits" them to not worry about any residual effects their policies or actions might have on the general public. Of course, if the general public eventually becomes ill or dies as a result of the residual effects, the corporation may no longer have customers for its products or services, but this does not seem to phase the most psychopathic corporations.
In today's terms, this is similar to corporations changing laws and policies via Congress to suit themselves at the cost of diminishing the middle class or their base customers. Eventually some corporations might find themselves out of business but not before they will have made their substantial profits.
This highly recommended documentary contains interesting findings with regard to effects as a result of 9/11 as well as examples of how communities have been able to confront injustices such as the Bolivian victory to control water rights in Bolivia.
Also visit the following for related information:
The Public Citizen
The Centre for Food Safety