I just got back from seeing The Corporation. It should be opening in a theatre-near-you this summer and you *must* see it. OMG. It’s a complete unpacking of the current corporation culture in which we reside. Coupled with getting to hear Lakoff speak again today, i’m in land of deep thought about the corporate/political regime.
The opening segment of the movie explains how a corporation is treated as a person in legal statute. Yet, by applying the DSM-IV to the corporate individual, a clear diagnosis emerges: psychopath. Consider these symptoms of a psychopath:
– Glibness/superficial charm
– Grandiose sense of self-worth
– Need for stimulation, with a proneness to boredom
– Pathological lying
– Conning and manipulating behaviors
– No sense of remorse or guilt
– A very shallow emotional affect – they display emotions they don’t really feel
– A lack of empathy for others
– They are parasitic – they live off of others
– They are impulsive, and show poor control over their behaviors
– They tend to be promiscuous
– Their behavior problems start early in life
– They cannot form long-term plans that are realistic
– They are impulsive, and irresponsible
– They do not accept responsibility for their actions – another caused it
– Marital relationships are short, and many
– They display juvenile delinquency
– They violate probation often
– Their criminality is diverse
Inconsistency of behaviour is missing. The left hand often doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. 🙂
On the other hand: A corporation may legaly be treated as a person – but it isn’t! And everyone knows. Its just a legal thing. I don’t see any relevance. Ok, maybe i have to go and see the film.
The Corporation is indeed a great movie and, being Canadian, I had the benefit of seeing it last February. It is a worthwhile and thoughtful movie, despite its somewhat sensationalized premise of the modern corporation as psychopath. There is much, much more to the film, and what isn’t publicized about it is its most powerful aspects. In my view, it is NOT an anti-corporate movie at all, but one that gives us shreds of hope that corporations may well be the way out of the mess that we, collectively, have allowed to happen through our modern corporations.
Google exhibits most of those symptoms.
Best of luck at Google this summer, danah.
Thom – oh really? Please clarify because from my limited exposure, i feel as though Google has been one of the most conscientious companies that i’ve ever seen. That doesn’t mean that they don’t fuck up, but i do feel as though they are putting an effort into being responsible.
Oh, and Michael – you do need to see the movie. I don’t want to express the arguments here so as to not ruin it for those who want to see it.
i saw The Corporation last night at the castro thee-ate-er. it was great. GREAT. did i say it was great? half documentary, half agendamentary, and all fascinating. the best parts were interviews with well-meaning people who have dealt firsthand with…
Hmmm, writing as someone who has worked for both goliath McKinsey and little-guy youth center, I’d wonder who you’d characterize the personality of the average nonprofit organization. Though not exhibiting some of the evils of the corporation, I’d point out that there are quite a few which are just as crippling.
Funny, this administration meets most of those criteria…