Wednesday, 3 September 2008
3 WHITE COLLAR GLOBAL CRIME SYNDICATE: KORTEN, KLEIN AND OTHER ANTI-CORPORATISTS
on to a new chapter folks, I am slow blogging here cos I have two other blogs and a life! Corporations and fascism are a good starting point....
IBM, primarily through its German subsidiary, made Hitler’s program of Jewish destruction a technological mission the company pursued with chilling success. IBM Germany, using its own staff and equipment, designed, executed, and supplied the indispensable technologic assistance Hitler’s Third Reich needed to accomplish what had never been done before - the automation of human destruction. More than 2,000 such multi-machine sets were dispatched throughout German-dominated Europe. Card sorting operations were established in every major concentration camp. People were moved from place to place, systematically worked to death, and their remains catalogued with icy automation. (Black 2001: 8-9)
To the anti-globalisers, the corporation is a devilish instrument of environmental destruction, class oppression and imperial conquest. But is it also pathologically insane?
That is the provocative conclusion of an award-winning documentary, called ‘The Corporation’, coming soon to a cinema near you. People on both sides of the globalisation debate should pay attention. Unlike much of the soggy thinking peddled by many anti-globalises, ‘The Corporation’ is a surprisingly rational and coherent attack on capitalism’s most important institution.
Like all psychopaths, the firm is singularly self-interested: its purpose is to create wealth for its shareholders. And, like all psychopaths, the firm is irresponsible, because it puts others at risk to satisfy its profit-maximising goal, harming employees and customers, and damaging the environment. The corporation manipulates everything. It is grandiose, always insisting that it is the best, or number one. It has no empathy, refuses to accept responsibility for its actions and feels no remorse. It relates to others only superficially, via make-believe versions of itself manufactured by public-relations consultants and marketing men. In short, if the metaphor of the firm is a valid one, then the corporation is clinically insane. (Economist, 6 May 2004)
An unseasonable day. I have cycled for hours through streets empty of everybody but the police and knots of rather timed protesters, its like a city under siege. May Day 2002, McDonalds, Kings Cross, London. Five thousand anti-capitalists are on the street, bringing traffic to a halt. Home made veggie burgers are handed out to those about to enter the fast food unit. McDonalds is targeted for promoting animal abuse, hostility to unions and a war on high quality food. In the late 1990s the Mclibel trial, the longest libel action in British legal history, took place when the corporation sued a tiny anti-capitalist group for distributing a leaflet entitled ‘What’s wrong with McDonalds’ (Vidal 1997). Jo Bove, in an episode of Roquefort rebellion, demolished a McDonalds in the south of France in protest at US protectionist measures against French cheese (Herman and Kuper 2002: 57). McDonalds, along with Coca Cola and Bill Gates’ Microsoft, has become a convenient hate symbol.