Are corporations psychopaths?
Just read this review of the book The Corporation at The Economic Times.Â While I find theseÂ books very thought provoking – they doÂ ask some very pertinent questions – especially about the role of people like me who work and give life to these corporations – what I find to an extent irresponsible is the high moral ground theseÂ authors take. WhileÂ it is true that the system is not perfect -Â and in fact has lots of imperfections – just accusing Corporations and thus people like me is not very helpful. I have read quite a fewÂ books in this directionÂ like No Logo, and books Noam Chomsky for example.
IsÂ their job to ask questions? WHile it is important to ask the right questions, you should also acknowledge the fact thatÂ many things are actually being done to overcome theseÂ anamolies in the system. AfterÂ all its an organic system – our world it lives and evolves. AndÂ just like a pendulum would go from one extreme to another before finally coming to a rest place. Many of the systems in place today areÂ a result of such evolution.Â Of course this compromising evolution will leave almost no one satisfied – as as the word suggest its a compromise. But we need to accept that and move on. Otherwise we will just be living in utter chaos today.
Now another issue thats been used quite a lot these days is the example of Monsanto. Monsanto produced some products which some claim is harmful to humans and animals. A broadcaster (interesting isnt it that Balkan doesn’t name this broadcaster while naming Monsanto!) was planning to broadcast a story accusing Monsanto ofÂ this – and Monsanto threatened to pull out their ads. Now theÂ broadcasterÂ for whatever reasons decidedÂ notÂ toÂ show this programme and this led to them firing the two journalists who did this story and they went to court and so on and on. I find it amazing that Monsanto is beingÂ blackmarked for something theyÂ have not much control of. If the issue was squarely about theirÂ product – then yes it makes sense. But hereÂ its only natural that Monsanto would not want to advertise with someone whoÂ shows negative programs about it. I dont see anythign sinister about it. The broadcasterÂ – if they live forÂ the ads and not for the news – its their problem.Â Whats amazing is thatÂ whenever this story is talked about – itsÂ Monsanto and the broadcaster – notÂ ABC and a company!
I certainly plan to read thisÂ book -Â and I might even recommend the same – but would also suggest that we take a much more balanced view of the world – after trying to understand as much as possible about the various factors affecting the society as a whole.
Ah one final thing -Â Balkan talks about share market, anonymous shareholders and the effect they have on the corporation. Yes this does haveÂ disadvantages, but on the other hand it also hasÂ advantages.Â Can I everÂ dream of being able to invest in lets say GM – with a meagre CHFÂ 5000 without the share market? No IÂ wouldn’t be. So lets not justÂ attack for attacking sake -Â look at why do we have such systems – and accept thatÂ there will always beÂ problems – there is no utopia anywhere.Â