The Villains Of The World: Corporations

2430 words - 10 pages

The rise of corporations is one of the utmost wicked stories in modern history, a reality the youth of today must live in. Growing up in an era of Disney tales allows the youth of today to see the world in two separate parts, the good and evil. We age with the belief that there are villains and then there are the heroes, who save us from harm’s way. Regardless of what happened, we knew that the heroes would always win at the end of the story, and the villains would always fail. ‘The Corporation’ by Joel Bakan, can be presented, idealistically, as an incredible story of heroes and villains. However, in Bakan’s version of the story the villains are conquering. It is evident that corporations have become a component in the everyday lives of the current generation. Bakan views corporations as evil entities that have manipulated and succeeded to such a degree that they dictate the majority of the decisions we make in our lives. The author argues that corporations are on a ‘pathological pursuit of profit and power.’ He views corporations as narcissistic, entitled, and selfish. Based on the definition that Bakan has provided, it is clear that corporations have no moral consciousness, because moral judgment and consciousness are what makes us human. Accordingly, while corporations are ‘persons’ under the law, in reality they are not living entities that can make decisions about the amount of profit they want, or ways in which they can gain more control; living entities dictate these decisions. The corporations are just instruments that ‘villains’ use to mask their evil greed, selfishness, and narcissism. Bakan’s argument that corporations are on a ‘pathological pursuit of profit and power’ is a somewhat legitimate argument. Some corporate leaders are trying to take on a heroic role within society; however, it is not accepted due to Bakan’s theory. Corporation are pawns and depending on their governance, they can be ethical heroic institutions or evil pathological organizations; however, in this generation, corporations are dictated by greedy ‘villains’ making immoral decisions, scheming, and manipulating the structure of the blameless system. These villains are the shareholders, the government, and corporate executives. It is clear that it is not a fragmentation of the corporate structure on a ‘pathological pursuit of profit and power’ rather a flaw in the management. The ‘villains’ have power over the system, thus pressuring corporations to do immoral deeds to increase profit and power by using limited liabilities and changing presidencies, deregulation, and corporate social responsibility.
Some villains take the stage while the others watch the show. This is a similar scenario to corporate executives and shareholders. Although, shareholders have little to no influence on corporations (Bakan, 2004), the legal precedence set with limited liabilities has echoed their influence within the system. In 1720, the South Sea Company collapsed and lives were...

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