Thursday, February 23, 2012

Corporations: virus or cancer?

Along with many others (see Finance Addict’s recent post Apple, Foxconn and the rise of the supranationals), I have  come to the conclusion (witness Europe, the banks, the pathetic sovereigns) that it is the corporation that is the dominant social institution on the face of the Earth today.

For a while, I thought corporations were like a virus, because their inanimate, inhuman virus-like structure made the metaphor appealing.

But upon reflection, I think that the modern supranational corporation is more like a cancer.  A cancer is a form of hypertrophied growth that spreads across and throughout the host organism, promoting its own essentially inanimate ends, while killing the host.

Isn’t that what the modern supranationals are doing?  Not that their looting managements are suffering, but many in the host countries are being left behind.

Of course, I am exaggerating.  Real living standards have been raised by supranationals in their host countries.  The problem today is that the looting by the management teams has become rabid, hollowing out the host societies’ democratic institutions, leaving a husk of historically extreme inequality that is possibly the most corrosive, ultimately destructive legacy possible, as it is a breeding ground for the most base forms of human society:  fascism, and revolutionary totalitarianism.

The message of the deeper thinkers and researchers in behavioral matters (not economists) is that social justice in the form of more equal distributions promotes many other very material goods.  See Wilkinson’s absolutely mind-blowing talk for the amazing empirical results.  “Economic growth” does not answer all human needs.

Can you legislate social justice?  Probably not.  It has to come from a widely held value system.  And, in America as elsewhere, the false god of Econ has inculcated some very bad values into this primate species, especially in the out-of-control ruling castes of the supranationals, who more and more bow to only the false god of Econ, aka Greed.


  1. You may not be able to legislate for social justice (although i'm sure there are plenty of ideas that could help), but just implementing the laws we have already wouldn't hurt. Right now supranational corps have more rights than citizens of any country. The laws that apply to us do not apply to them, and even when they are held to account for their lawbreaking, it is little more than a slap on the wrist paid for by the public.

    Patents, copyrights (being extended for ever) - these are the types of laws made specifically to benefit these big companies at the cost of society: so laws do make a difference.

  2. You might want to look at some of the stuff I'm writing about: