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"And the stars are projectors, yeah, projecting our lives down to this planet Earth." - Modest Mouse


6.11.2004

The Corporation 

A new documentary is out called The Corporation which has been highly regarded and recommended. The corporation has become the dominant entity on the planet, wielding more power than the monarchy, the church, and governments. Indeed, they arguably control most world governments. Here are some bits from the film's website:
- In the mid-1800s the corporation emerged as a legal “person.“ Imbued with a “personality“ of pure self-interest, the next 100 years saw the corporation’s rise to dominance.

- To more precisely assess the “personality“ of the corporate “person,“ a checklist is employed, using actual diagnostic criteria of the World Health Organization and the DSM-IV, the standard diagnostic tool of psychiatrists and psychologists. The operational principles of the corporation give it a highly anti-social “personality”: It is self-interested, inherently amoral, callous and deceitful; it breaches social and legal standards to get its way; it does not suffer from guilt, yet it can mimic the human qualities of empathy, caring and altruism.

- The Corporation exists to create wealth, and even world disasters can be profit centers. Carlton Brown, a commodities trader, recounts with unabashed honesty the mindset of gold traders while the twin towers crushed their occupants. The first thing that came to their minds, he tells us, was: “How much is gold up?“

- You’d think that things like disasters, or the purity of childhood, or even milk, let alone water or air, would be sacred. But no. Corporations have no built-in limits on what, who or how much they can exploit for profit. In the fifteenth century, the enclosure movement began to put fences around public grazing lands so that they might be privately owned and exploited. 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.

- The Initiative Corporation spends $22 billion worldwide placing its clients’ advertising in every imaginable—and some unimaginable—media. One new medium: very young children. Their “Nag Factor“ study dropped jaws in the world of child psychiatry. It was designed not to help parents cope with their children’s nagging, but to help corporations design their ads and promotions so that children would nag for their products more effectively. Initiative Vice President Lucy Hughes elaborates: “You can manipulate consumers into wanting, and therefore buying your products. It’s a game.“

- As global individuals take back local power, a growing re-invigoration of the concept of citizenship is taking root. It has the power to not only strip the corporation of its seeming omnipotence, but to create a feeling and an ideology of democracy that is much more than its mere institutional version.


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