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Re: <nettime> draft article on WTO
david teh on 13 Sep 2000 08:08:51 -0000


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Re: <nettime> draft article on WTO


the idea of making it costly for corporations to 
pollute/offend human rights etc is indeed one that 
deserves more directed thought by the forces of 
dissent.  but i do not believe it is a comprehensive 
solution.  

remember that every time you institute such a policy, 
(a) you spawn a new economy devoted to legislating, 
policing and reporting this activity, and thus raise 
the issues you wish to patrol to a higher level of 
mediated abstraction; 

and (b) you also arguably bolster the biggest 
corporations, which are the ones best cut out to handle 
the new burden of 'compliance'.  the corporate sector 
already spends whopping amounts of cashola on making 
representations to the public sphere about how much 
green samaritanism and 'community-building' it does, 
witness the farcical expansion of the 'PR' and 
marketing sectors in late capitalism (and its attendant 
plague of Psych. graduates). 

and if all these hacks need to be paid $40 000 p.a. + 
dental plan, you see that you've created a new arm of 
high-corporate activity - 'services' to be bought and 
sold like any other, an army of consultants and PR-
types requiring more bleached A4 copy-paper, buying 
more Nike runners fresh from the sweat-shops, buying 
more neutralised mass-media content from NewsCorp, etc 
etc... this is the way capital naturally recycles 
itself, and in making the corporate sphere 'more 
accountable' or 'attendant', you could just be greasing 
up the auto-erotic machines of capital for more growth.

however, i do agree that some form of legally imposed 
penalty should become the norm for transgression of our 
most basic societal values.

David Teh


Quoting scotartt <scot {AT} systemx.autonomous.org>:

> > corporations will simply never behave like humans, in
> > the interests of humankind, or on the basis of human
> > values.  from their very inception, they are created
> > with the specific goal of defying/manipulating these
> > values for profit.
>
> Just a point of order here David. Corporations are created with the
> specific goal of "profit" -- its illegal to run a public company for any
> other (primary) motive. Human values don't enter into the equation. They
> are just a set of factors that affect profitability.  So if defying these
> values (I have to point out, legally defying, because corps must obey the
> relevant laws as much as we as indivisuals do) produces better profit .. so
> be it, the corporations act that way.
 <...>

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