A corporation is defined as an organization, containing a group of individuals working together to meet a number of objectives. These objectives can differ from company to company, but one main objective that all corporations have in common is making as much money as possible, which usually causes large or hidden harms. THE CORPORATION explores the nature and spectacular rise of the dominant institution of our time. Footage from pop culture, advertising, TV news, and corporate propaganda, illuminates the corporation's grip on our lives.
In the mid-1800s the corporation emerged as a legal "person" and was originally chartered by the government in order to perform certain jobs to the community. Imbued with a "personality" of pure self-interest, the next 100 years saw the corporation's rise to dominance. The corporation created unprecedented wealth, but at what cost? The remorseless rationale of "externalities"-as Milton Friedman explains: the unintended consequences of a transaction between two parties on a third-is responsible for countless cases of illness, death, poverty, pollution, exploitation and lies.
The operational principles of the corporation give it a highly anti-social "personality": It is self-interested, inherently amoral, callous and deceitful; it breaches social and legal standards to get its way; it does not suffer from guilt, yet it can mimic the human qualities of empathy, caring and altruism. Four case studies, drawn from a universe of corporate activity, clearly demonstrate harm to workers, human health, animals and the biosphere. Concluding this point-by-point analysis, a disturbing diagnosis is delivered: the institutional embodiment of laissez-faire capitalism fully meets the diagnostic criteria of a "psychopath."
Although Corporations initially were created to provide cheap products and services to the public, now the Corporation exists to create wealth, and even world disasters can be profit centers. Carlton Brown, a commodities trader, recounts with unabashed honesty the mindset...