Basing a decision somehow on the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees former slaves equal rights, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled some years ago that by law a corporation is a person, and gave corporations the rights of people, even making them as free, or freer than, human beings.
If Monsanto, WorldCom, and Enron are people, what kind are they? Robert Hare, a profiling consultant for the FBI, says corporations by definition have personality disorders; they psychopathically, single-mindedly pursue their own desires without consideration for anyone else -- neither people nor other corporations, and without reference to conventional morals.
Yet people firmly identify with corporations they work for and buy from, acting on loyalty to "beings" that exist only to perpetuate themselves. Ken Lay was "only doing his job," operating under Enron's psychopathic standards.
Bovine Growth Hormone, Agent Orange, and research to get children to pester parents for products all result from corporations' ploys to sell their goods and services, and their interest in having their products labeled safe, desirable, even good for us. But anyone who knows about assembly-line production of chicken will only eat chicken raised by organic growth methods. Cows fed processed animal protein can pass Mad Cow Disease to us; farm-raised salmon has mercury in it; our list of grievances is long.
If corporations maximize profits by feeding strange compounds to animals intended as human food, how can the U.S. Supreme Court decide to allow patents on living organisms? Strains of lab mice, bacterial culture, and even bits of DNA can now be privately owned.
Stem-cell research opponents say the method violates the right to life, but we'd wait in vain for those people to challenge private ownership of or patents on living organisms. One thing seems more sacred than the Right to Life: the corporation's Right to Patent, Market, and Exploit Life.
Roy Anderson, CEO of Interface, the largest rug manufacturer in the world, tells his fellow executives they're "plundering" the globe, and tries to take his corporation toward sustainable production. Almost all living things on Earth are in decline, the film argues, mostly because corporations are stealing from the future to enrich themselves now. The film's message seems right, but at 145 minutes, it's a little too long.
Jennifer Abbot and Mark Achbar
Joel Bakan and Harold Crooks
Monsanto, Enron, WorldCom; Agent Orange; bovine growth hormo
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