I’m going to share with you something that I found to be true. As an Occupy supporter and a firm believer in the horribleness of the Military/Industrial/Congressional Complex it will come as a surprise that the following statement I am putting on the record.
Corporations are NOT evil!
I typed those words because I think it is important to state thing as you truly see them. Also because name calling is much less effective way to sway people to your side than with reason.
Allow me first to define a corporation as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. (Wikipedia) In general they have limited liability, are owned by shareholders, and controlled by a board of directors. For the sake of this conversation I am not including non-profit “Coops” and governing corporations and limiting it to for-profit business ventures.
Corporations are designed to make money for their shareholders. In the modern stock market it’s about making money now, instant gratification. A corporation’s worth, its reason to exist, is to raise its value. If you think of a corporation as a living creature its purpose is grow value and create profits rather than survival and procreation. If it doesn’t do these things, a corporation will die by bankruptcy or be taken over by a better corporation. There is no evil in this, just survival of the fittest, corporate nature.
The things we perceive as evil are nothing more than a system working the way it was designed to work. Profits over people. Short term gains over long term stability. The things we as a society do to try to bend corporations to a more humane nature are small and ineffective. Like housebreaking a grizzly bear, you may be able to get it to work against it’s instincts for a time but you will never be able to tame the beast. Even a house cat will go feral if not raised with humans.
Just calling corporations evil (Or any of the variety of slang that describes a blood sucking leach bent on sucking life out of society) does not convey to a person of the opposite opinion why you think that. Calling McDonald’s bad is not going to convince anybody. Explaining how a large fry has more calories as half a loaf of bread may work better.
Over the next few blog post I will share how Corporations have been designed to make crappy products, have corrupt practices, lack humanity, and other lovely traits are part of corporate nature. They will be available at tshirttoby.blogspot.com