I wonder what percentage of corporations are making the world a better place, especially with regard to social equity and environmental sustainability... I'd guess it's a vanishingly small percentage. And, given that the worst corporations have the most $ to employ people, an even larger percentage of people are feeding their families by working to make the world worse. It's a pretty bleak picture.

@lightweight by number of people I'd say it was: (corp-gov-char)/2 +/- 5%

The reason is because corporations fall on a bell curve, and as a system it will self limit to neither doing too much or too little evil. Too much and they won't get away with it for long, too little and there are opotunities.

Even now, the problem isn't corps polluting. It's the people deciding to put up with it.

@doctormo I'm not sure if I agree with that (I describe the impact that the largest corps have on the environments they inhabit here: I'm pretty convinced that the biggest corporations are doing the greatest damage & their ability to do more damage more efficiently grow rapidly with their ever-increasing advantages in the societies whose policies they increasingly influence & control (i.e. the US). I think very few people working for corporates are improving the world.

@lightweight my concern is that there's a long tail, and if these smaller corps self identify as corps then we push them towards accepting their neglegent role while teaching how there's no such thing as good business. A more effective way to let big corps off the hook, I can not imagine.

@doctormo I think that the problem is the publicly owned corporate model. Small, privately owned businesses can either be better or even worse, but it's my strong impression that public corporations are always in a race to the ethical bottom. We need to kill the corporate model.

@lightweight I presume strongly that you know the difference between s-corps b-corps and c-corps and coops. So the problem isn't corporations, it's the 1980 extractive self-blind corp.

@doctormo I'm aware of the other, newer structures (as yet not reflected in many of the big corps which are of the 80s extractive model you mention)... I'm hopeful that the S,b, &c-corps & co-ops will offer a better pattern, but I fear it's too little, too late, and there's too little social/political incentive to prioritise them over the traditional exploitative psychotic monopoly-seeking model.

@doctormo I'm not sure I understand that comment... the status quo corporations have a colossal concentration of power and unprecedented influence on global policy... they're not going to give in without a very very dirty fight.

@lightweight perhaps. Though systems of power usually fail in the diagonal.

@doctormo I hope you're right. Failure in the diagonal requires a sheer force in addition to an opposing force... when overthrowing societal models, it seem usually that sheer's provided by society... sadly, in my experience, society is a-ok with the current corporate model because a large proportion of people fail to understand their current dependence on it (in the case of corporate tech, which I'd argue is the main exposure), or they believe they have no realistic alternative.

@lightweight @doctormo
I think the main barrier to implementing a better corporate model is publicly traded corporations are guided by the premis - often incoded in law - that their one duty is to return value in $ to the shareholders. Any other objective a corporation may have is not significant. The big lie beneath this is "if it is profitable, it must be good"
This needs to change. A quadruple bottom line approach does not stand a chance.Rent seeking return on investment leads to distopia

@ByronCinNZ indeed. It also leads to a small number of massive wealth & power concentrations which can be used to sweep aside all opposition by manipulating gov't policy and other market distortions. See the as a great example (not sure what I mean, see: as well as the link it contains to my previous select committee presentation) @doctormo

@doctormo I agree, though, in them meantime it's a major dilemma. The biggest problem, though, is good people going to corporations, thinking that they can make them 'better' from within. The likely outcome is that they'll instead change their definition of 'better'.

@lightweight _The Corporation_ documentary makes a good case that corporations are set up to be psychopathic: I remember interviews with Noam Chomsky, Susan Linn, Peter Drucker and a finance guy how excited he and his peers were to profit from NYC's 9/11 (I don't think they mentioned Santiago's 9/11...) I should watch it again, and look into the ("unfortunately necessary") sequel.

@lightweight if you haven’t watched the good place I would recommend it as this is one of the themes. Life is moral landmine for many people.

@kiwiguy yes, haven't seen it, but will look for it. I've seen quite a few former idealists sell out their ideals and rationalise making very dubious employment decisions due to, for example, substantial mortgage debt, educational expenses, and things like precarious healthcare in the US. The system is generally broken. It feels like we're just accelerating our digging rather than reversing direction and filling the hole back in as is obviously required.


Nice discussion in and under this post 👍 Very thoughtful, very interesting

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Mastodon - NZOSS

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!