What is a Corporation? Due to the financial crisis that has been emerging, the nature of the Corporation has been the subject of considerable debate. While this is a complex subject, two points of view has been emerging. At one end is the view that the Corporation is an organization of individuals designed to provide goods and services to consumers, institutions, and companies. It also generates benefits to society in a variety of ways, including the many services and goods these corporations efficiently produce and the many jobs that they create.
On the other end, there is the view of the corporation as an organization that will use all lawful means for its single-minded objective of generating profit and wealth. That single-minded focus on wealth can degenerate into a behavior dominated by greed, where a relatively number of people will do whatever they can to earn large sums of money without worrying about the impact of their actions on the larger society. This second view is what the film “The Corporation” main argument is about.
The Corporation has emerged to be today’s dominant institution, one that creates great wealth but also great harms. This documentary examines the history of the corporation and the role it plays in society and our everyday lives. Body What we find is that corporations become monstrosities. They become self-feeding entities with one purpose in life, and that is to grow and survive. Every corporation has one purpose, and that is to provide value and profits to its shareholders while continuing to grow.
In fact, as you’ll see in The Corporation, that is by law the growth strategy that every corporation must follow. By law, corporations must put the profits of shareholders first and, in doing so, will necessarily export its problems to the public at large. In the video, these are called “externalities,” and corporations are machines that will externalize the costs of their activities to society and to the planet. Case histories can be used to diagnose the kind of personality that makes the corporation an externality-creating machine.
Externalities such as harm to employees through the use of sweatshops: the exploitation of Third World countries’ employees resulting in a huge discrepancy of price versus cost. Other externalities such as pollution and adverse health effects emerge. These include the genesis of the petrochemical industry and links to cancer, birth defects and other toxic effects. Another externality is harm to the biosphere or the environmental costs resulting from the way corporations operate costs that will be passed off to future generations.
The point is not that individual companies pollute the environment, hurt animals, and exploit workers, but that such outrages are a result of the essential personality traits of the corporate life form. We used to regard many areas as too essential to the public good to be commercialized for opportunity, and they were protected by tradition and regulation. Now, everything is becoming fair game in the private taking of the commons – land, oceans, air, water, education, health, energy and social assistance.
For example, the film gives an example where when Bolivia saw to refinance the public water from their third largest city, the World Bank require that all water be privatize. This privatization of Bolivia water lead to Bechtel Corporation to gain control of all Cuchivanda water, even the one that fell from the sky. Also, the film illustrates that Corporations would take advantage of every moment they can. For example, a trader describes the tragedy of 9/11 as a blessing in disguise because for some people, it translated into great riches.
Also, the rise of fascism has links to corporate power. American corporations played a role in Nazi Germany and the holocaust, such as IBM’s punch card machines that tabulated the victims’ data. Corporate allegiance to profit trumps their allegiance to nationalism. These examples demonstrate that Corporations have no limits. They are willing to do anything in order to achieve their goal, profits. Furthermore, many people in the Corporations have morals, but those morals go out the window if you want to succeed and keep your job.
Conclusion The film “The Corporation” illustrates that a corporation is simply an artificial structure, but the people in it (Stockholder), investors has a moral responsibility. Unfortunately, those Stockholders don’t care about the harm that they are causing. Their Profits are the mindset of the corporations, therefore is up to us the consumers. Don’t get me wrong, now there are many Corporations who are trying to change their way of working or maybe trying to excuse themselves for the harm they have or are still causing.
For example, many corporations are now adopting sustainability, which can be defined as “improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting eco-systems. “This means that they are doing/producing things with less harmful to the biosphere and environment. Also, on many states governments has made laws that regulate Corporations actions. For example, there are now laws that prohibit child labor, laws that prohibit infectious food, laws that prohibit Corporations controlling too much (monopolize), etc.
With these regulations/ actions, it is shown that we are in the right path, but there is still plenty of action to be done. We as the people should start realizing that Corporations does produce good and services that produce benefits to consumer and society, but we should start realizing those benefits don’t outweigh the problems/ harm. That harm is so severe that it would also affect people in the long run. We, as the consumers, should demand for governmental action and we should demand those Corporations for better operations because after all, we are the ones that generate them profits.
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