I just watched the documentary "The Corporation" based on the book "The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Power and Profit" by law professor Joel Bakan. I'm so glad they made a movie version! I'm not sure that's a book I would've picked up, even given my devotion to non-fiction. And yet it presents a truly mind-shifting thesis: that we have afforded corporations the status of a person with all the comensurate rights, yet if you evaluated the corporation through the lens of a person, it would be diagnosed as a psychopath.
"The Corporation" is a must-see now that it's out on DVD. You will learn a lot while being entertained. Check out the website: www.the corporation.com.
It's a pretty balanced film too. The co-director said she approached every scene with the question "What would my Dad think?" (who's a businessman) -and her effort to have the movie speak to a broad audience shows.
I'm going to host a house party to show the movie sometime this summer - it's that important. If you live in the Seattle area, stay tuned for date and time.
Here's a brief summary of the movie (and book, if you're so inclined):
"One hundred and fifty years ago, the corporation was a relatively insignificant entity. Today, it is a vivid, dramatic and pervasive presence in all our lives. Like the Church, the Monarchy and the Communist Party in other times and places, the corporation is today’s dominant institution. But history humbles dominant institutions. All have been crushed, belittled or absorbed into some new order. The corporation is unlikely to be the first to defy history.
In this complex and highly entertaining documentary, Mark Achbar, co-director of the influential and inventive "Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media," teams up with co-director Jennifer Abbott and writer Joel Bakan to examine the far-reaching repercussions of the corporation’s increasing preeminence.
Based on Bakan’s book The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power, the film is a timely, critical inquiry that invites CEOs, whistle-blowers, brokers, gurus, spies, players, pawns and pundits on a graphic and engaging quest to reveal the corporation’s inner workings, curious history, controversial impacts and possible futures. Featuring illuminating interviews with Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, Howard Zinn and many others, "The Corporation" charts the spectacular rise of an institution aimed at achieving specific economic goals as it also recounts victories against this apparently invincible force."