corporate management game
"The consequences to the average citizen from
business crimes are staggering: The combined burglary, mugging and other
property losses induced by the country's street punks come to about $4 billion
a year. However, the seemingly upstanding citizens in our corporate board rooms
and the humble clerks in our retail stores bilk us out of between $40 and $200
billion a year." - Georgette Bennett
"My boss seemed intent on retraining me according
to a certain cognitive style - that of the corporate world, from which he had
recently come. This style demanded that I project
an image of
rationality but not indulge too much
in actual reasoning." - Matthew B. Crawford
Corporations Will Eat Your
You may know the story of the
frog and the
scorpion wanted to cross a swift
river, and asked
a frog to carry him.
frog asked "How do I know that you
won't sting and kill me?"
"Well," answered the
scorpion, who was good with words when
he wanted something, "then I wouldn't be able to get across the
"Well," said the
frog, "then how do I know that you
won't sting and kill me as soon as we're across the
"Oh," said the
scorpion, "because I'll be so grateful
for the ride, why would I want to kill you then?"
This con-vinced the
frog asfrogs are easy to fool - so he let
the scorpion on his back, and began
swimming across the river. They were about 2/3 of the way across the raging
great surprise, the frog felt a
painful sting and looked around to see the scorpion pulling his stinger out of
the frog's back.
the frog felt himself
Just before he was completely paralyzed, the frog
had the breath to ask "Why?"
"It's just who
I am," said the
scorpion, as they both sank into the
river and drowned. "It's just who I am."
Of course, the story was never really
It was meant
as a warning against certain rare but
dangerous kinds of people who
are like scorpions intent on destroying others even if it destroys them too.
I think the reason this is such a frightening
story is because a person like the
scorpion, a person who lacked
even basic compassion, isn't
quite human. (soulless)
One of the
scariest things we can imagine is
a machine-like thing with a will, that
seeks to harm us, and feels nothing when we
suffer, cry, or die.
those android-type men in the "Matrix" movies, for instance. Or the Orcs and
Sauron in "Lord of the Rings," or the governor of California as the
"Terminator," that robot programmed only to destroy until it was destroyed.
I suppose the most famous story like
this is still Mary Shelly's 1818 tale of Dr. Frankenstein and the
monster he created from dead human body
For nearly two centuries, the Frankenstein
monster has been a
symbol of creating
giving it life and immense power without a
soul, then living to see it turn on us, as the
monster even killed Frankenstein in the
There have been a lot of movies on this theme in the past few
years. The "Terminator," "Total Recall," Darth Vader in "Star Wars," the
casual indifference to
life in "Pulp Fiction," the powerful forces of
greed and destruction in "Lord of the
Rings" - you can probably think of another half dozen.
When I was
growing up, the most powerful movie like this was the original 1956 version of
"Invasion of the Body Snatchers."
For me, it was a movie about
the difference between real people and
You probably know the story.
A mindless life force from outer space drifted from a desolate, dead
planet and wound up on this one.
It operated under a simple program.
When a human fell asleep
near it, it produced a giant pod that duplicated the sleeping person, taking
their body, looks, even their memory, and
draining their life, then destroying the original and taking their place.
You could hardly tell the difference. They looked the same, had all the
same memories. But
they had no soul.
had no compassion,
no feeling for anyone.
The squeals of a dog getting hit and killed by a car in the road twenty
feet away didn't even make them care to look.
Life didn't matter to them.
Only reproducing their kind, to no other end than reproducing their
Eventually, like the frog
and the scorpion, they kill
Then if the cosmic winds are right, they may blow across the
galaxy and suck the life out of yet
I've met a half
dozen people who grew up when I did, saw that movie, and were similarly moved
to think of real versus unreal people, the way kids 150 years ago probably
thought in terms of real people versus Frankenstein
In both cases, they were
persons lacking humanity, lacking
the concern for others that makes them frightening and dangerous persons.
When humans act like this, we feel there's something fundamentally
wrong with them.
Theologians call them
evil, novelists call them
monsters or body snatchers, and
psychologists call them psychopaths.
Since psyche means soul, the word
really means people with sick souls.
Here's a list of psychopathic traits I recently read.
Psychopaths are unable
to feel remorse.
accept responsibility for their destructive
They're finally quite
superficial: all power, no depth; all manipulation, no conection I can see you
making a mental list of some of your ex-friends
. Now what is this about?
Why am I talking about persons who are not real persons, psychopaths
and scorpions who have been programmed
to destroy, even if it also destroys them?
Earth does this have to do
with a respectable church sermon? It's a way of introducing the business of
trying to understand the powers that have largely taken over our
American society and are on
the verge of taking over the world.
That sounds so dramatic it almost needs a
science fiction movie with special effects
to make it scary enough.
But I am talking about a fictious
person that we have created, a person that is not a real person, that has
immense power, more money than God, and which, like the invasion of the body
snatchers, is seeking to, and succeeding in, destroying the compassionate
qualities of some societies and real people.
You'll think I've badly overstated the
case when I say that this dangerous person who is not a real person is the
So let me try and persuade you.
Only a very
few of these insights are mine. I got the rest from a remarkable book by a
Canadian law professor named Joel
Bakan. The title of the book is "The Corporation: The Pathological
Pursuit of Profit and Power."
Joel Bakan explains the character and
the danger of large
corporations in a few pages, and I'll try to reduce it to a few minutes.
But make no mistake: this is like a
Even though there is
some hope at the end, I want to scare you.
formed in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, to pool the money of a large
number of people in order to give the
power than any single business could have.
Very early, laws were
passed saying investors had no liability for whatever dastardly deeds the
committed. All investors could lose was their investment.
This gave the
limited liability, but unlimited ability to make
It's something you
can't imagine ever wanting to do with a
person, isn't it?
And from the start, as a matter of structure and law,
the only purpose of a corporation was to make as much
money as possible for its
By the late 19th century, the courts had transformed the
corporation into "a person",
a "legal person", and even spoke of it in that way.
And in 1866, lawyers
representing this newly-created "person" won a ruling from the Supreme Court
saying that, as a "legal person", corporations were
entitled to be protected by the
14th amendment for "due process of
law" and "equal protection of the law."
These provisions of the
14th amendment, as you may
remember, were written for the protection of freed
slaves after the War Between the
But since 1866, it has been used almost never by freed
slaves, and almost exclusively to
protect corporations - even when they make
workers all over the third
world and, some would argue, within our own country.
I am betting
that not many of you knew that.
Until a few years ago, I didn't know it
either. Isn't that odd, that we didn't know that?
christened as "persons", corporations have done what any person would do: they
have fought for both survival and dominance, lobbying for laws that favor their
aims, and buying influence, lawyers, judges, politicians and presidents (Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover,
Franklin Delano Roosevelt,
Harry Truman, Lyndon Baines
Johnson, Ronald Reagan, George H.W.
Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush)
when they can - and, looking back, it seems they can quite often.
isn't seen as evil. Its just business as
usual. And what are their aims?
You might say that it depends on the
corporations, that they are free to do whatever they want.
sells stock, its sole legal
purpose, under international and American laws, is to make as much money as
possible for its stockholders.
can pretend to care about society or the environment, as long as the
money they spend makes more people
want to buy their products and
so increases profits for
Corporations may not, legally, spend money for
social good.Milton Friedman, who had
been regarded as a third-rate economist until he was adopted as the
official economist of the
greediest kind of
making money the corporation's only moral aim.
compares little acts of apparent social conscience to car manufacturers using
pretty girls to sell cars.
Corporations really aren't interested in social good, only
"That's never really about the girls,"
Milton Friedman points
out, "it's just a trick to sell cars."
corporation can donate to the
special Olympics or civic projects, but only if it will sell more of their
They can't do social good for the sake of doing
Peter Drucker, perhaps
the oldest living guru of corporate character, says if you have a
CEO who wants to do social good, fire him fast!
are laws supporting this perspective.
years ago, when Henry Ford was becoming
astoundingly rich from selling his Model T Fords, he decided that he was making
too much money.
So in 1916, Henry Ford "cancelled the
stock dividends to give customers
price reductions because he felt it was wrong to make obscene profits."
Two of Henry Ford's major investors, the Dodge brothers, took him to
court, arguing that profits belonged to the
not the corporation,
and the court agreed with them, establishing a
precedent that still rules.
Corporations exist as persons only to do
whatever is necessary to maximize profits for their
Even if it harms
The Dodge brothers start their own
1933 Supreme Court judgement,
Louis Brandeis finally made the
conection. He stated that corporations were "Frankenstein monsters" capable of
doing great evil.
Joel Bakan cites another famous case
from 1994, in which General Motors was sued because on Christmas Day 1993 a
mother with her four children in the car was hit from behind while stopped at a
stop light, causing her gas tank of her 1979 Chevy Malibu to explode, burning
and badly disfiguring all five of them.
During the trial, a report was
introduced showing that GM knew the gas tank was set so far back that it could
explode on impact, killing the car's occupants. In fact, about five hundred
people had been killed this way at the time of the report in 1973 when the new
Malibu style cars were being planned.
A statistician figured that each
fatality could cost the corporation $200,000 in legal damages, then divided the
figure by 41 million, the number of cars GM had on the road.
statistician concluded that each death cost GM only $2.40 per
The cost of ensuring that fuel tanks did not explode in
crashes was estimated to be $8.59 per car.
That meant the corporation
could save $6.19 per car if it let people die in fuel-fed fires rather than
alter the design of vehicles to avoid
The huge jury award was later reduced by 3/4, and General
Motors appealed the case.
In support of
General Motors, the United States Chamber of Commerce filed a brief defending
the practice of using this kind of "cost-benefit analysis in
corporate decision making."
The jury's decision, the United States
Chamber of Commerce said, was deeply troubling, because manufacturers should
use cost-benefit analysis
to make the most profitable decisions.
The corporation's legal
structure requires executives to make only those decisions that create greater
benefits than costs for their shareholders. Executives have no authority to
consider what harmful effects a
decision might have on other people or upon the
those effects might have negative
consequences for the corporation.
Do you see
what has happened here?
This "person" we created through our own
laws, by following its legal nature,
can and does endanger and kill
human beings in the pursuit of profit on purpose.
Now let's jump to
a very different area of society, one you might not think is even related to
It's the subject of our armed
forces, what they are really serving, and what our
soldiers are really dying for.
Joel Bakan's book tells of a chapter in American history I was
never taught in school.
It involves a Marine Corps Major General named
Smedley Darlington Butler, one of World War I's most highly decorated
On August 21, 1931, Major General Smedley
Darlington Butler stunned an audience at an American Legion convention in
Connecticut when he had said:"I spent
thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of
this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all
commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major General. And during that
period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business,
for Wall Street and for the
I was a racketeer, a gangster for
I helped purify Nicaragua for the
house of Brown Brothers in
1909-1912. I helped make
Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for
interests in 1914. I
brought light to the Dominican Republic for
American sugar interests in
make Haiti and Cuba a
decent place for the National City Bank
boys to collect revenues in.
I helped in the rape of half a dozen
Central American republics for the benefits of Wall
Street. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that
Standard Oil went
its way unmolested. The record of racketeering is long.
I was rewarded with
honors, medals, promotions.
During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell
racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few
hints. The best he could do was to operate a racket in three districts.
The Marines operated on three
Given that speech, and Smedley Darlington Butler's
disgust with the role the military played, not in serving
democracy but in serving the
large corporations, what
happened three years later is truly stunning.
Roosevelt took office in the midst of a banking crisis.
upon a socialist scheme of massive proportions with centralized government
planning and control very similar in many respects to the Soviets.
many of these socialist projects an utter disaster
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
embarked upon an industrial building project -
World War II.
of these attempts to increase industrial productivity took lives: on the
construction site and in the battlefield.
And both fed the maw of the
disastrous greed of
the wealthiest corporations and
Small business hated the
price, wage and
labor controls along with the army of "inspectors" which socialism brought.
The actual controlling interests,
large corporations and
their owners, were then able to skim the cream off the entire output of the
corporations have always supported fascism =
socialism as wealth flows to the center.
In 1934, Fortune magazine had a cover
story extolling the virtues of fascism and the
economic miracles Mussolini had achieved in lowering wages, crushing worker
unions, and creating greater profits for the corporations.
22nd of 1934, Major General Smedley
Darlington Butler's was approached in a hotel room in Philadelphia by a
messenger of a group of wealthy
businessmen, who opened a large suitcase of $1000 bills and dumped it on
the bed, explaining that this was only a down payment.
interests" wanted Major General Smedley Darlington Butler to assemble
a volunteer army, take over the White House, and install himself as
the fascist dictator of the United
States, with the financial support of major corporations [see so-called
Business Plot also known as the White House Putsch].
believe that if they had picked a different general, it may well have worked.
Smedley Darlington Butler
refused, and told the story.
In 1934, the business interests believed
they would have to use military force to take over the government, dismantle
democracy, and install a form of fascist government doing the will of the
richest corporations and individuals in America, to the degradation or
destruction of everyone else.
This was the invasion of the body
snatchers, coming closer than we can know to succeeding.
seventy years after the failed coup, a well-organized minority again threatens
America's long and patient campaign to gain
control of government over the last few decades, much quieter and ultimately
more effective than the plotters' clumsy attempts, is now succeeding. Without
bloodshed, armies, or fascist strongmen, and using dollars rather than bullets,
corporations are now poised to win what the plotters so desperately wanted:
democratic control." -
Their reach is
now worldwide. The World Trade Organization has already sued nations,
including ours, for safety or environmental laws that cut into corporate
When the full power of the World Trade Organization
comes into effect corporations will be able to prevent governments from
or health regulations that would unduly impede corporate profits.
was an investor protection plan enabling corporations to
use cheap wage labor to force American
wages down, break unions, and steal jobs from Americans by the hundreds of thousands, "out-sourcing" them to
cheap wage labor markets around the
world in order to let rich
corporations and individuals get
richer by destroying the lives of American
and other workers, gutting
entire societies, then leaving their husk and moving on to drain the life from
another society, exactly like the invasion of the body snatchers.
are many more details, and the picture is considerably worse, than I've had
time to sketch for you.
I don't think there are many books that all
Americans should read, but I think this is one of them.
Is there hope? Can anything be done?
Yes, but only if we remember that we created
this Frankenstein monster, and it is only a "person" because we said so, and we
can change our opinions and change our laws and change the way in which
corporations are allowed to do business in this country and in the world.
You can find lists of cities and counties that have revoked the
charters of corporations, and refused to let them operate unless they are
reconstituted to serve the good of society, the common good, rather than just
the greed of a few men and women.
New York Attorney General Eliot
Spitzer recently said that if "a corporation is convicted of repeated felonies
that harm or endanger the lives of human beings or destroy our environment, the
corporation should be put to death, its corporate existence ended, and its
assets taken and sold at public auction."
Eliot Spitzer isn't
anti-government. He works for the government. The government isn't bad, it's a
neutral but powerful tool that can be used to reclaim our nation and redefine
the acceptable role of corporations in our world.
corporations, we defined them, and we have the authority to redefine them, to
insist that they may only operate in our society if they are organized to serve
the greater good of the majority in our society, rather than simply the
arrogant greed of a tiny percentage of us.
Corporations need to be
taxed again, and taxed to pay a fair share of our economy's expenses, just as
the tax rates on rich individuals needs to be raised (after all they do use
government provided facilities for business purposes -ie. roads for
transportation, ocean and river ports, airports, ad infinitum. In 1960, the tax
rate was 91% for the richest Americans, and corporations paid fair taxes.
That is why our middle class was empowered after World War II, because
the money was being distributed fairly.
Today, we have socialism for
the rich, and a brutal kind of corporatism for everyone else.
stop it. And now we're at war again, a war Major General
Smedley Darlington Butler would
Halliburton, Dick Cheney's former corporation,
has made billions of dollars from contracts they haven't even had to bid on.
Other large American corporations that contributed to the presidential campaign
have also made hundreds of millions of dollars.
Some of their civilian
truck drivers are being paid $80,000 a year to risk getting killed making
profits for the stockholders.
many of our American soldiers, as you may have read, are getting paid $16,000 a
year, a pay so low that they are being given
food stamps with their pay, and
many of their families back home are on welfare. The soldiers are not fighting
and dying for democracy, freedom, or anything noble at all.
dying, like Smedley Darlington
Butler's soldiers died eighty years ago, as inconsequential drones whose
only purpose in life is to help Halliburton, other major American corporations
and rich individuals make a lot of money.
If they get killed, at least
they're cheap to replace. There's
This is the story of the Frankenstein monster come full
circle, to the point where it is succeeding in forcing its human creators to
serve it, even if they become beggars or corpses by doing so.
It is ungodly.
It is inhuman and it is disgusting.
And it is continuing.
Only the American people are likely to
stop it, and then only if they wake up, get informed, get angry, get organized
and get going.
I can't write an ending for this sermon.
would have to be written in the real world, in real time, by real people.
But there is something riding on our backs that doesn't belong there,
and that does not have looking after our best interests.
It will, if it
is allowed to remain there, eat our soul and our society.
Nor can it
really stop itself.
It has been programmed with a very simple program:
justified by man's law.
Sermon by Davidson Loehr, November 7,
2004[We should be
aware that under every
scorpion may be lodged! The crow
seizing on a scorpion thought he had
got a delicate morsel only to be stung to death. The adage is applicable to
persons, who, meditating mischief to others, find the
evil recoil upon themselves with redoubled
"What is the elephant in all our
the global triumph of corporatism
The global triumph of corporatism.
Democracy is fiercely
Freedom is under threat, even in old democracies like
Western supremacy is on the skids.
But everyone does
Does the lack of a clear ideological alternative mean that
corporatism's triumph is secure?
Far from it.
For a start,
the history of
corporatism hardly supports the opinion that corporatism is an
automatically self-correcting system.
Global markets are now more than ever constantly out
of equilibrium - and teetering on
the edge of a larger disequilibrium.
again, corporatism has needed the visible hands of political, fiscal and legal
correction to complement the
invisible hand of the market.
Marx thought corporatism would have a problem finding consumers for the
goods that improving techniques of production
enabled it to churn out.
Instead, corporatism has become expert in a
new branch of manufacturing: the manufacture of desires.
It's that core
logic of ever-expanding desires that is unsustainable on a global scale." -
Timothy Garton Ash
"Much of modern industrial culture has been built
upon the premise of perpetual material growth. The human world is beyond its
limits. The present way of doing things is unsustainable. The future, to be
viable at all, must be one of drawing back, easing down, healing.
Sustainability, not better weapons or struggles for power or material
accumulation, is the ultimate challenge to the energy and creativity of the
The deepest difference between optimists and pessimists is
their position in the debate about whether human beings are able to
operate collectively from a basis of
compassion. In a society that systematically develops in people their
individualism, their competitiveness, and their cynicism, the pessimists are
the vast majority. That pessimism is the single greatest problem of the current
social system and the deepest cause of unsustainability.
A culture that
cannot believe in, discuss, and develop the best human qualities is one that
suffers from a tragic
distortion of information. " - Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, and
As long as legal constructs, in
the institutionalized form of corporations, have more say in governing American
social culture than living American people, then it is guaranteed that American
social culture will continue to degrade.
propaganda claims that
people are inherently evil; that
survival-of-the-fittest is defined as
winning no matter what; that
the only monetary system that can work must be based on fractional reserve
banking debt, fiat money and centralized private control;
that bankers perform "magic" and need to
be compensated adequately for their wizardly works; that
centralized banking with an elite
controlling the entire edifice is desirable as only those with
banking powers know how complex financial instruments
based on intangible fungible assets function in the real world of
financial system is
soulless and not having a soul it can not decide what is good for humanity
and what is bad for humanity - all it can do is serve the purpose it was
designed to serve - increase shareholder value.
Throughout history we
have been warned of the time when money, though lacking a soul, develops a
That time is once more upon us as the financial wizards, agents
of syndicate of the soulless, have risen their god - Mammon - which now
enslaves us in debt bondage.
Life, based on debt bondage, sacrifices
one's own flesh and blood through work to pay off debt -personal and cultural.
This is not freedom.
There is no liberty in debt
Life is granted by God.
Life, includes humanity -
the children of God.
God does not
want his children bound, especially not in debt bondage to the false god
"No man can serve
two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he
will hold to one, and despise the other. A man cannot serve God and mammon." -
attributed to Jesus, Matthew 6:24
Humanity still can chose the path it wants to
follow - now Mammon reigns supreme!
Will no one answer the call to put
social justice - Jesus dharma - on the throne?
This web site is not a
commercial web site
and is presented for educational purposes
This website defines a new
perspective with which to engage reality to which its author adheres. The
author feels that the falsification of reality outside personal experience has
created a populace unable to discern
propaganda from reality
and that this has been done purposefully by an international corporate cartel
through their agents who wish to foist a corrupt version of reality on the
human race. Religious intolerance occurs when any group refuses to tolerate
religious practices, religious beliefs or persons due to their religious
ideology. This web site marks the founding of a system of philosophy named The
Truth of the Way of Life - a rational gnostic mystery religion based on reason
which requires no leap of faith, accepts no tithes, has no supreme leader, no
church buildings and in which each and every individual is encouraged to
develop a personal relation with the Creator and Sustainer through the pursuit
of the knowledge of reality in the hope of curing the spiritual corruption that
has enveloped the human spirit. The tenets of The Truth of the Way of Life are
spelled out in detail on this web site by the author. Violent acts against
individuals due to their religious beliefs in America is considered a
This web site in no way condones violence. To the
contrary the intent here is to reduce the violence that is already occurring
due to the international corporate cartels desire to control the human race.
The international corporate cartel already controls the world central banking
system, mass media worldwide, the global industrial military entertainment
complex and is responsible for the collapse of morals, the elevation of
self-centered behavior and the destruction of global ecosystems. Civilization
is based on cooperation. Cooperation does not occur at the point of a
American social mores and values have declined precipitously over
the last century as the corrupt international cartel has garnered more and more
power. This power rests in the ability to deceive the populace in general
through mass media by pressing emotional buttons which have been preprogrammed
into the population through prior mass media psychological operations. The
results have been the destruction of the family and the destruction of social
structures that do not adhere to the corrupt international elites vision of a
perfect world. Through distraction and coercion the direction of thought of the
bulk of the population has been directed toward solutions proposed by the
corrupt international elite that further consolidates their power and which
further their purposes.
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