01/03/2015

The pathological search for benefit and power

One hundred and fifty years ago, the corporation was a relatively insignificant entity. Now it is a vivid and pervasive presence in all our lives. Like the Church, the Monarchy or the Communist Party in other times and places, it is today’s dominant institution. But History humbles dominant institutions; all have been crushed or absorbed into some new order, and the corporation is unlikely to be the first institution to defy History.

Based on Joel Bakan’s book The corporation: the pathological pursuit of profit and power, the documentary The corporation is a timely, critical inquiry that examines the very nature of this kind of companies: its inner workings, curious history, controversial impacts and possible futures.

We begin by learning that, under the law, corporations have all the rights and yet few of the responsibilities of people. Later, by viewing the behavior of the corporation through the prism DSM —Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the gold standard of psychiatric evaluation— the authors discover that if the corporation were indeed a person, the person would be considered a psychopath.

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array(4) { [0]=> object(WP_Post)#1759 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(5593) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2046" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2014-02-03 00:01:00" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2014-02-02 23:01:00" ["post_content"]=> string(1677) "Los medios actuales de comunicación en las redes sociales nos permiten moldear una identidad personal a medida, con la que relacionarnos con el mundo. Fotografías, mensajes, referencias, comentarios, vídeos y canciones, estratégicamente seleccionados, responden a un deseo general de mostrarnos y ser aceptados como nos gustaría ser. Sin quererlo, se ha generado un gap entre quiénes somos, con nuestras flaquezas y alegrías, y cómo nos mostramos al mundo en diferido. En la entretela de estas dos bandas separadas por la técnica digital se hacina mucha soledad, de esa que es triste. Estamos conectados con cientos de personas y tal vez más solitarios que nunca. De esto trata 'The innovation of loneliness' —La innovación de la soledad—, una pieza de animación de Shimi Cohen basada en un libro de Sherry Turkle titulado 'Alone together' —Juntos a solas—.The current social networks allow us to mold a personal identity with which we relate to the world. Photos, messages, references, comments, videos and songs, strategically selected, reflect a general desire to show us and be accepted as we would like to be. Unwittingly, it has been created a gap between who we are, with our foibles and joys, and how we show deferred to the world. In the interlining of these two bands separated by digital technology there are much loneliness, that kind of loneliness which is sad. We are connected with hundreds of people and perhaps more lonely than ever. All this is dealt in 'The innovation of loneliness', a piece of animation made by Shimi Cohen, based on a book by Sherry Turkle titled 'Alone together'." ["post_title"]=> string(124) "Juntos a solas, la innovación de la soledadAlone together, the innovation of loneliness" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(43) "alone-together-the-innovation-of-loneliness" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-02-19 00:15:54" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-02-18 23:15:54" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=5593" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [1]=> object(WP_Post)#1755 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(3396) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2012-11-05 00:01:35" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2012-11-04 23:01:35" ["post_content"]=> string(7474) "En su ensayo 'Las posibilidades económicas de nuestros nietos', de 1930, el economista británico John Maynard Keynes predijo que al cabo de un siglo las sociedades industrializadas habrían progresado tanto que sus avances tecnológicos permitirían a las personas vivir con desahogo, sin apenas necesidad de trabajar, y que eso proporcionaría la felicidad. W_keynes
El bueno de Keynes predijo que la industrialización traería como consecuencia la felicidad humana —Foto Unknown Author
Casi ese siglo después y tomando como punto de partida ese ensayo, Robert Skidelsky, historiador económico y reputado biógrafo del creador del keynesianismo, ha publicado junto a su hijo y filósofo Edward el libro '¿Cuánto es suficiente?', en el que reflexionan sobre el sistema económico actual y el alejamiento de la sociedad del concepto de 'buena vida', algo que los seres humanos han intentado perfilar a lo largo de los tiempos, desde la Grecia clásica hasta el cristianismo o el marxismo. Según el libro, el progreso y la fuerte mejora en las condiciones de vida que siguieron a la Segunda Guerra Mundial se torcieron en los años 80, cuando Ronald Reagan y Margaret Tatcher establecieron el crecimiento de la economía como fin en sí mismo y no como un medio para la consecución de la buena vida de las personas. Ese indicador de crecimiento, que no tiene en cuenta otras preocupaciones del ciudadano como la salud, el ocio o el Medio Ambiente, tuvo un triunfo rápido y contundente sobre el resto de fines de la economía debido al espectacular aumento en el nivel de vida de las décadas de los 60 y 70 y a la cercanía al pleno empleo en las sociedades occidentales. 'En tales circunstancias, el pensamiento económico quedaba libre para concentrarse en la eficiencia de la eficiencia de la producción'. W_dinero
Unos cuantos miles de dólares americanos —Foto Unknown Author
La buena vida, a diferencia de la felicidad —algo privado y psicológico, no siempre conectado con las condiciones de vida— se basa para los Skidelsky en una serie de elementos básicos que el Estado debería promover, aunque corresponde a los ciudadanos disfrutar y desarrollar por completo: salud, seguridad —física o económica—, respeto, personalidad —libertad para actuar con autonomía—, armonía con la naturaleza, amistad —lazos afectivos con los demás— y ocio —lo que se hace porque sí, no por obligación o con un fin—. Los autores son optimistas sobre el futuro. Frente a la confusión entre necesidad y deseo que parece imperar, proponen una renovación ética, más políticas sociales y la reducción de la presión por consumir o la publicidad que altera la libre elección del ciudadano. Creen que hoy nos encontramos mejor preparados que nunca para esa buena vida: materialmente estamos mucho mejor que en los años 30 y el conocimiento es accesible a mucha más gente, dos factores que combinados con el despertar ético que puede suponer esta crisis económica podrían dejar a las sociedades avanzadas en una mejor posición de partida que la de Keynes en 1930.In his essay 'Economic possibilities for our grandchildren', in 1930, the British economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that within a century industrialized societies have progressed so far that its technological advances allow people to live comfortably, with little need for work, and that provide happiness. W_keynes
A quite enthusiastic Keynes predicted that industrialization would result in human happiness —Photo Unknown Author
Almost a century later and taking that essay as a starting point, Robert Skidelsky, economic historian and biographer reputed creator of Keynesianism, published with his son and philosopher Edward the book 'How much is enough?', which reflect on the current economic system and society away from the concept of 'good life', something that humans have tried profiling over time, from classical Greece to Christianity or Marxism. According to the book, strong progress and improvement in living conditions that followed World War II were twisted in the 80's, when Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher set economic growth as an end in itself and not as a means of achieving the good life of the people. That growth indicator, which does not take into account other citizen concerns such as health, leisure or the environment, had a quick and decisive victory over the other end of the economy due to the dramatic increase in the standard of living of the decades of 60 and 70 and proximity to full employment in Western societies. 'In these circumstances, the economic thought was free to concentrate on the efficiency of the production efficiency.' W_dinero
A few thousand US dollars —Photo Unknown Author
The good life, as opposed to happiness —something private and psychological, not always connected to the living conditions—, for Skidelsky is based on a number of basic elements that the state should promote, while it is for citizens to enjoy and develop full: health, security —physical or economic—, respect, personality —freedom to act autonomously—, harmony with nature, friendship —bond with others— and leisure —what is done for its own sake, not out of obligation or an end—. The authors are optimistic about the future. Faced with the confusion between need and desire that seems to dominate, proposed ethical renewal, more social policies and reducing the pressure to consume or altering advertising freedom to choose. They believe that we are now better prepared than ever for the good life: we are materially better than in the 30s and knowledge is accessible to many more people, two factors that combined with the ethical awakening can make this economic crisis could leave advanced societies in a better starting position than Keynes in 1930." ["post_title"]=> string(79) "¿Cuánto es suficiente?How much is enough?" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(18) "how-much-is-enough" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-03-03 02:08:07" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-03-03 01:08:07" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=3396" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "1" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#1761 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(5216) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2013-09-09 00:01:57" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-09-08 22:01:57" ["post_content"]=> string(1703) "'La vida, y no solo la humana, será la protagonista del futuro'. Fundador de Ideas for Change, un think-tank estratégico para clientes como Telefónica, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, el Gobierno Vasco o el Ayuntamiento de Barcelona, Javier está considerado uno de los principales estrategas y pensadores sobre economía colaborativa, modelos de negocio P2P e innovación ciudadana en España. Ha sido planificador estratégico freelance para la mayoría de las mejores agencias de publicidad del país y profesor de marketing en ESADE, además de co-fundador de Digital Mood y del espacio multidisciplinar @kubik. Co-autor del libro 'No somos hormigas', publica regularmente en la revista Yorokubu y es miembro activo de Open Knowledge Foundation, Ouishare, The School of Commons y MLove.'Life, and not only human life, will be the protagonist of the future'. Founder of Ideas for Change, a strategic think-tank for clients such as Telefónica, Open University of Catalonia, the Bask Goverment or the City Council of Barcelona, Javier is considered to be one of the primary strategists and thought leaders in collaborative economy, open and P2P business models, citizen innovation and the networked society in Spain. He has been a freelance strategic planner for many of the most creative agencies in Spain, co founder of Digital Mood incubator and @kubik multidisciplinary space, and services marketing professor at ESADE. Co-author of 'No somos hormigas' (We are not ants), publishes regularily at Yorokobu magazine and is an active member of the Open Knowledge Foundation, Ouishare, The School of Commons and MLove." ["post_title"]=> string(112) "WHAT ABOUT: El futuro por Javier CreusWHAT ABOUT: The future by Javier Creus" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(37) "what-about-the-future-by-javier-creus" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2021-05-05 15:01:28" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-05-05 13:01:28" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=5216" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [3]=> object(WP_Post)#1868 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(4687) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2013-04-29 00:01:44" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-04-28 22:01:44" ["post_content"]=> string(3706) "'El futuro es una vuelta al feudalismo'. Doctor en sociología, está especializado en etnografía urbana. Con más de 15 años de experiencia en investigación cualitativa tanto en Nueva York como internacionalmente, es autor y coautor de de numerosos artículos y estudios. Su tesis doctoral consistió en un estudio comparativo titulado 'Sobreviviendo a la educación secundaria: explorando el impacto de la violencia y el crimen en la experiencia académica de inmigrantes y americanos'. En el Vera Institute of Justice, con el doctor Mercer Sullivan como mentor y una beca de Instituto Nacional de Justicia de Estados Unidos, investigó sobre la relación de las razas con la violencia adolescente, las bandas y la inmigración. En colaboración con el el criminólogo Rob Davis exploró la relación entre la policía y la comunidad y sus efectos en las denuncias civiles. En 2000 entró en el NDRI —National Disease Research Interchange— como investigador asociado en dos proyectos del NIH —National Institutes of Health— liderados por el Dr Samuel R. Friedman: 'Redes, normas y riesgo de SIDA en la juventud' y 'Factores sociales y riesgo de SIDA'. Ambos proyectos exploran las relaciones entre adictos, distribuidores, policía y otros actores de la comunidad, y cómo estas afectan a los resultados sobre salud y crimen. También ha sido investigador en un proyecto del NIDA —National Institute on Drug Abuse— cuyo objetivo es ayudar a los adictos a establecer estrategias para mantenerse alejados del SIDA y la hepatitis C; el proyecto contó además con una red de colaboradores en Londres, Sydney, Valencia y Vancouver. Actualmente, Pedro es investigador principal en un proyecto del NIDA que analiza el riesgo de SIDA y hepatitis C asociado al uso sin prescripción médica de opioides.'The future is a return to feudalism'. PhD in sociology, specialized in urban ethnography. With over 15 years experience in qualitative research both in New York City and internationally, he is first author and co-author of numerous peer reviewed publications and reports. His doctoral dissertation was a comparative study titled 'Street ethos: surviving High School that explored the impact of violence and crime on the academic experience of immigrants and American-born students'. At the Vera Institute of Justice, mentored by Dr Mercer Sullivan, he was the principal investigator of a National Institute of Justice grant that focused on race theory as it relates to adolescent violence, gangs and immigration. In collaboration with criminologist Rob Davis he explored the relationship between police and the community and its effect on civilian complaints. In 2000, he joined NDRI —National Disease Research Interchange— as a principal research associate for two NIH —National Institutes of Health— projects led by Samuel R. Friedman, PhD: 'Networks, norms and HIV risk among youth' and 'Social factors and HIV risk'. Both projects explored interactions among drug users, dealers, police and other community actors and how they relate to various health and crime outcomes. He was also principal investigator on a NIDA —National Institute on Drug Abuse— developmental project aimed at training injector drug users in strategies to avoid HIV and HCV infections, 'Staying safe: training IDUs in strategies to avoid HIV and HCV'. A consortium of researchers in London, Sydney, Valencia, and Vancouver collaborated in parallel 'Staying safe' studies. He is currently principal investigator on an NIDA funded R01 that explores HIV, HCV and STI risk associated with nonmedical use of prescription opioids." 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