Scaring Americans Off Corporations: Imagine "People Are Corporations"

(Watch This First)

One of the reasons I think Stephen Colbert is so brilliant is because he (and his writing staff to be sure) have an incredible way of repackaging conservative talking points in such a way as to rip the cover off to show how ugly their intent is underneath. Now he's done the same thing to our political process and, in that process has put into words a profound concept that's at the root of some American's willful ignorance regarding not just the way, but the reason corporate interests use their money and influence to strip our democracy bare.

Colbert uses one of the ultimate spinmiester in American politics today, Frank Luntz, to show the methodology behind taking reprehensible ideas that are against the best interest of the vast majority of Americans and making Americans want to vote for it. Early on as Luntz asks about the idea that "Corporations Are People" he got a nasty earful about the utter corruption that corporations represent in a lot of people's minds. But eventually, he whittled away at the negative to expose whatever guise he could sell it on.

Luntz gave a report on what he came up with and I'm not sure if Colbert recognized how profound the last idea was, but I couldn't miss it. It's not Corporations are people.... it's "People Are Corporations".

Think about that for a second. People.... are Corporations. I guess people would try to explore that idea further by asking "What is a corporation?". Thing is, that's the wrong question. The real question is "What is the Purpose of a corporation?" The idea that those same people who basically told Luntz earlier that corporations were corrupt and greedy told him you could still sell the idea of protecting the interests of corporations to the American people, not by saying that Corporations Are People, but that People are the same as Corporations.

No matter the answer we as people come up with we all know that at some point we've dedicated some time in our lives to trying to find a purpose behind it. So, if we're corporations, the question is what is the purpose of our Corporate Lives?

Well, Corporations exist for one reason, but only have one "Purpose". They exist in order to shield members from liability, but their Purpose is only one thing... Make money. That's it. That is their legal obligation, to make as much money as possible, always. And again, if "People Are Corporations" that's the purpose of your life. A single minded devotion to you and what benefits you regardless of the consequences it has on others.

In other words... Why put rules and constraints on corporations? You're a corporation, remember? One day, if you work really hard... it'll be your turn. And then won't you feel dumb if you put in place all these silly rules you now have to play by?

More than that, their seeming acceptance of this obvious repackaging of the old "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps" mentality of just plowing ahead and everything will work out may have been even more chillingly effective because of the way people like to see themselves. They see themselves as "Good" people.

When you ask most people about themselves they'll usually admit they have plenty of flaws, but believe they are "A good person". If most people are "good" and people are corporations doesn't that mean that most corporations are mostly good? Now if you're like me you can probably come up with 20 examples off the top of your head about how Corporations are not good. Not just not good, but down right Immoral.

And there's the trap.

When you have so many that so obviously follow the logic that the purpose (or at least a major one) of life is to get all you can for you and yours and you call that Immoral you may automatically run into people's defenses because they're "Good people". That desire is natural. People are Corporations. Commie.

That's why I think the argument has to change to stop trying to paint Corporations as Immoral, an idea that automatically puts people in this country on the defensive, and start calling them something that should be a helluva lot more scary. Corporations aren't immoral, they are AMORAL.

Now's a good time for a definition. What is Amoral?

Amoral- adjective

1. not involving questions of right or wrong; without moral quality; neither moral nor immoral.

2. having NO MORAL STANDARDS, RESTRAINTS, OR PRINCIPLES; unaware of or indifferent to questions of right or wrong: a completely amoral person.

It is not that they are Immoral, it is that questions of morality DO NOT CONCERN THEM. It is literally not part of their purpose to worry about such things. Again, their purpose is to make money. Always. There are no Standards for, Restraints on or Principles regarding how they do that. Not unless we as citizens/human beings require them to adhere to standards, place restraints and adopt principles. (Aka, Regulations). We as human beings have our own basic, universal social mores. They don't.

But the argument should be even more compelling. Just take the logic out to it's final degree, something Colbert is brilliant at... Imagine it. A nation of people who do not concern themselves with standards or principles and do not feel the need to restrain themselves in the way they get whatever is they're after. In other words... imagine a nation full of sociopaths.

Oh, too harsh?

Sociopath- noun Psychiatry

a person, as a psychopathic personality, whose behavior is antisocial and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.

We as people tend to instinctively have a very general sense of moral responsibility and social conscience. I mean pretty much everywhere we pass laws about how you can't kill, maim, murder, rape, etc., ect. each other. Why? In addition to the basic idea that human life is worth something there also is a general fear of repercussion. A base level instinct that says if you're free to do that to anyone else then someone else is free to do it to you. That's why we kinda agree on the whole, you're not allowed to crush others to get something from them, whatever that might be.

I wonder how little most human beings would trust some dude arguing for the right for people to kill, maim, murder, rape, etc., etc. each other to get what you want? Who thinks, yeah, I like that guy. He seems highly intelligent and altogether stable?

My guess? Not many.

Now, ask people if they think it would be a better country if we just decided to give every individual free reign to do whatever they want to pursue whatever purpose it is they have to make money. Ask them if they see potential for danger there. Then ask them why they feel any safer with legally empowered, wholly made up "people" in their society doing the same thing.

You do understand that when you hear corporations, generally through their privately owned political puppets, argue against having to obey regulations... they are essentially arguing I want free reign to do whatever I see fit to get what I want.

Oh, fun fact... you know what another word for Regulation is in the thesaurus? RULE. Regulation is another word for Rule. Look it up.

So, back to my point... If most people don't trust each other to roll like that... don't trust another actual human being to roll like that, would they really trust a "Person" that never passed through a womb, grew up with and learned to live with other human beings, but simply exists because a piece of paper says so?

My guess? I doubt it.

I'm not sure how many images of houses with white picket fences, steaming hot apple pies and cute puppies playing with even cuter babies it took flashing into our brains nonstop via whatever media device you spend way too much time in front of to dumb us down to the point that we actually started to believe that nonsense about corporations caring about us, but we'd better snap out of it. Quick.

Perhaps it's a sad commentary, but I base the validity of this strategy on a study I just saw recently that indicated there is very little trust amongst socioeconomic groups in societies where there is high income and wealth inequality. Since America has that in spades now I'm guessing the thought of every individual having the right to do what corporations do... the thought that "People Are Corporations" should be just creepy enough to provide the proper Snap into reality.

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Showing 3 reactions

commented 2011-11-02 19:59:00 -0400 · Flag
wow. promote to to of list.
commented 2011-10-28 17:25:27 -0400 · Flag
This post is way cool! Recommended reading for all!
published this page in Blog 2011-10-28 16:28:37 -0400

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