Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Corporation

2003, 144m
This is a disturbing film. It describes the the power of corporations in the modern world. In legal terms a corporation is a "person". If so, it is a greedy person with no conscience. Being responsible only to the investors, corporations are driven by the single motive of earning profits, irrespective of the social and ecological damage they might cause. Specific examples like gene technology, privatization of natural resources as basic as water, pernicious effect of advertising are put forth in series of episodes, punctuated with the opinions of corporate representatives as well as critics of the system. The film is quite enlightening about these monsterss in whose vice we are obviously gripped.

To quote what Chomsky says in the documentary:

"It's a fair assumption that every human being...real human beings flesh and blood ones not corporations but every flesh and blood human a moral person. You know we've got the same genes the same but our nature the nature of humans allows all kinds of  behavior. I mean everyone of us under some circumstances could be a gas chamber attendant and a saint. But it is the consequence of modern capitalism.....When you look at a corporation just like when you look at a slave owner you want to distinguish between the institution and the individual. So slavery for example or other forms of tyranny are inherently monstrous but the individuals participating in them may be the nicest guys you could imagine: benevolent, friendly, nice to their children, even nice to their slaves..... I mean as individuals they may be anything. They're monsters because the institution is monstrous. 

Then the same is true of corporations. The goal for the corporation is to maximize profit and market share. And they also have a goal for their target namely the population. They have to be turned into completely mindless consumers of goods that they do not want. You have to develop what are called created wants. So you have to create wants. You have to impose on people what's called a philosophy of futility...the insignificant things of life like fashionable consumption. I’m just basically quoting business literature. And it makes perfect sense. The ideal is to have individuals who are totally disassociated from one another. Who’s conception of themselves the sense of value is just how many created wants can I satisfy? These people are customers because they are willing to trade money for widgets. And all the customers take the widgets home to all parts of the country. Look at all the money the widget builder has taken in from the sale of his widgets......public relations industry, monstrous industry advertising, and so on which are designed from infancy to try to mould people into this desired pattern."