01/03/2015

General Electric is not a kindly old man

One hundred and fifty years ago, the corporation was a relatively insignificant entity. Now it is a vivid and pervasive presence in all our lives. Like the Church, the Monarchy or the Communist Party in other times and places, it is today’s dominant institution. But History humbles dominant institutions; all have been crushed or absorbed into some new order, and the corporation is unlikely to be the first institution to defy History.

Based on Joel Bakan’s book ‘The corporation: the pathological pursuit of profit and power’, the documentary ‘The corporation’ is a timely, critical inquiry that examines the very nature of this kind of companies: its inner workings, curious history, controversial impacts and possible futures.

We begin by learning that, under the law, corporations have all the rights and yet few of the responsibilities of people. Later, by viewing the behavior of the corporation through the prism DSM —Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the gold standard of psychiatric evaluation— the authors discover that if the corporation were indeed a person, the person would be considered a psychopath.