Originally posted by Skyfloating
For every example of corruption, mismanagement and psychopaths you give, I could probably give 100 examples of ethics and integrity within the business world.
Wanna start a new thead and see who runs out first?
I have to say, I seriously doubt you could do it. Take a look at this quote from a wonderful and seriously undervalued guy, Brigadier-General Smedley D. Butler:
"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."[
That's roughly 600 examples you owe me. And I haven't even got into my stride.
To put it simply: Leftists ramble on about how "power corrupts". But it is equally true that powerlessness corrupts (poverty being a major cause of crime).
And corporations are one of the main causes of poverty. They strip countires of their assets, they persuade already impoverished countries to open "free economic zones" where even the most basic protections for employees don't apply, and they're currently responsible for, now, impoverishing most of the citizens of the country from which they've had the most support - the US - by outsourcing jobs while holding firmly to the taxpayer teat of corporate welfare.
Does the power of some corporations get totally out of hand and produce psychopaths and control-freaks? Yes. You've provided sufficient evidence for that. Does that change anything about the basic fundamentals of "free economy"? No. "Free economy" does not entail going maniac.
What I'm saying - and it's a point you've so far failed to address, and yet the film makes it quite potently - is that corporations are structured in such a way as to encourage, and even require, psychopathic behaviour. No-one in a corporation is personally responsible for the actions of that corporation except in quite rare circumstances. For example, Coca-Cola have hired paramilitaries to kill union organisers in Colombia and yet lawsuits pressed by Colombians against CC have received no redress in either Colombia or the US. Likewise, CC are able to take groundwater for an entire region in India and pollute the environment with impunity.
That has nothing to do with a "free economy".
One thing that I did notice in my discussions with a Libertarian that I knew was that he had this touching faith in a "free market" which, to me, is up there with the Baby Jesus and the Flying Spaghetti Monster as objects to put your faith in. At least the FSM's worshippers have fun and so far, have not killed anyone, unlike people who have faith in Jesus and the Free Market.
See, I'm really not a proper leftist. Leftists have ideologies and "isms". I try to go from what's actually happening in the real world, and work from there. There are only two "ism"s that I'd put my hand in the air for: Taoism and pragmatism.
I kind of wanted to be a libertarian for a while, but then it seemed as if it was for people who wanted to live in a capitalist society but didn't want the loss of freedom it would inevitably entail. That seemed like wishful thinking to me. So far I haven't seen anything to change my mind.
Don't forget those 600 examples now. 100 to 1, them's my kind of numbers.
And I have to say that the woman who was gloating about marketing to children (I watched the film again myself, I hadn't seen it for a while) really moved me to want to commit violence.
Didn't the guy who said "we want everything to be privately owned" scare you at all? I mean, one of the things that I have noticed about the US is that compared to Europe, public spaces - parks, specifically - are few and far between. Paradoxically, the parks we have in the UK are partly due to the work of capitalists who understood that they benefited workers, and also to the Royal Family who have retained large parks for public use.
But the parks we have were given to our towns and cities by those capitalists, who no longer own them: and the days when the Royal Family thought they could kick the public out of those spaces are long gone. Will you be happy when you're charged entrance to McCentral Park, and when advertising hoardings take up every spare inch of space there?
Will you be happy when the Internet Commons is annexed by the corporations, and your choice of website will be severely restricted? When you're chipped and all your details are held in a database, and your ability to modify or even see those details is heavily curtailed?
Those are the endpoints of the captialist arc. Economic serfdom. Coming soon to a country near you.