Corporations have no built-in limits on what, who, or how much they can exploit for profit. Today, every molecule on the planet is up for grabs -- corporations are patenting plants, animals, and human DNA. Governments are inviting corporations into areas from which they were previously barred. When will it stop?
If you haven’t yet done so, I highly suggest you set aside three hours to watch The Corporation documentary. It’s the winner of 26 international awards and 10 Audience Choice awards, and for good reason.What Type of People are Corporations?
It offers one of the most revealing takes on the corporate world, including their extreme and often disturbing power, that I’ve ever seen.
Ever since the mid-1800s, corporations have been given the status of a legal “person.” Their purpose? To create wealth for their owners while allowing them to escape responsibility for the corporation’s actions. Some say this fundamental design flaw threatens the sustainability of every living being -- because now corporations are attempting to control not only their products, but the very plants and animals we all depend on for survival.
As the film’s synopsis says:
“Today, every molecule on the planet is up for grabs. In a bid to own it all, corporations are patenting animals, plants, even your DNA.”
Given that corporations are a legal “person,” this is the question the film strives to answer. And as you might suspect, the answer is not pretty.The Fight is Underway
After carefully examining four case studies of corporations, the film concludes that they demonstrate harm to workers, human health, animals and the biosphere. And after a point-by-point analysis, it’s revealed that corporations meet the diagnostic criteria of a psychopath.
Concluding this point-by-point analysis, a disturbing diagnosis is delivered: “the institutional embodiment of laissez-faire capitalism fully meets the diagnostic criteria of a "psychopath."
Psychopaths, of course, are known for their selfish and ruthless behavior, pathological lying, and a grandiose sense of self-worth, along with a profound inability to feel guilt or remorse.
Keeping in line with this definition, The Corporation concludes that “corporations have no built-in limits on what, who, or how much they can exploit for profit.”
If you want to delve even deeper into the destructive nature of these greedy giants, you can read Joel Bakan’s book The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power, which formed the basis of the research and writing for the film. Among its many revelations are the following claims:
• Corporations are required by law to elevate their own interests above those of others, making them prone to prey upon and exploit others without regard for legal rules or moral limits.
• Corporate social responsibility, though sometimes yielding positive results, most often serves to mask the corporation's true character, not to change it.
• The corporation's unbridled self interest victimizes individuals, the environment, and even shareholders, and can cause corporations to self-destruct, as recent Wall Street scandals reveal.
• Despite its flawed character, governments have freed the corporation from legal constraints through deregulation, and granted it ever greater power over society through privatization.
There are small fights going on all around the world as more resist the advances of corporations and their attempts to control water, seeds, food, the media and our very ability to survive.
Perhaps the greatest way you can help on a personal level is to share this important video with anyone and everyone you know. Sharing knowledge is the first step to taking back control.
On a small scale you can also help by boycotting products from some of the most offensive corporations, like Bayer, Monsanto, and DuPont, just to name a few. And as much as possible, purchase food and goods from small, local suppliers to let your money act as your voice.
Ultimately, when enough people stand up against a morally corrupt corporation, either by boycotting their products or exposing their wrongdoings publicly, that is what will begin to prompt real change.