Week 4: Essay

>>Thoughts on last week
I learned quite a bit about corporate philosophy this week from the readings, but I really didn’t like the movie. It seemed to be one of those “ahh! scary corporations sucking the life out of us!” It seemed that some fundamental ideas of capitalism and market-level libertarianism are treated as sinful. For example, the research on children’s nagging was under a pale light already, and then when the focus went to the marketing team who applied that to advertising it was as if that should be illegal. Honestly, it’s entirely up to the parent what they buy, and if they’re weak enough to cave into marketing like that without research on their own part there’s no argument there. Of course, the frequent outsourcing of labor to countries where employee rights are terrible IS absolutely wrong; however, this sort of practice seemed to put every corporation in that light, which is entirely untrue and poorly directed. Also, big credibility loss to most of the people interviewed. Among the people I least wanted to see there: the “Philosopher,” who could very well just be some guy who likes to talk and vomit opinions all over everything to make himself seem important; Michael Moore, who I’m very tired of seeing around not because of his audacity and documentary direction skills (which I do definitely respect) but of the huge generalities he makes regarding the subjects he covers. If well-learned people were to watch his works, they would benefit from seeing how different ideas are connected and who the big guys are that are making things suck (head of NRA, Bush administration officials, etc.); however, when people are simply ignorant of the issue (or worse, one of those people who hate something violently without even knowing all the facts), then they either get the wrong impression or they just pick out the generalities he makes and assumes the entirety of the issue he just covered is as evil as the movie can make it out to be.

Anyway, enough ranting. Some thoughts on corporate philosophy now, entirely research-based and not necessarily my opinion..

Corporations made up of individuals and could be granted rights and responsibilities thereof. Whereas the constitution specified rights to “individuals” but did not specify what an “individual” is, if a corporation is an individual then it should be treated as an individual both legally and in the spirit of the fundamental laws (sort of a loophole, merits more investigation). Furthermore, the constitution protects rights of assemblies as long as they are legal, and a corporation could also be considered an assembly of individuals.

Furthermore, corporations make up the great majority of business activity and economic function of the U.S. economy – employment, investment, liabilities, sheer monetary volume from its interaction with consumers and other businesses – so they have a huge responsibility to other individuals. Not regarding the corporation as an individual could be poor practice and may benefit from having laws guaranteeing that ability to provide for the nation.

Regarding limited liability: stakeholders, when they enter that company by investment or holding some value in the corporation whether it be their money in common stock or a job, they are affiliating themselves with the corporation. They are identifying themselves as having value in the corporation, but nobody is obligated to invest. Analogously, once a person enlists in the military, they fall under the structure of a highly regimented system and must accept the values, responsibilities, and rights of that system.

>>Thoughts for next week
I’m really just working on my essay, but now a few thoughts on “All That Is Solid…” I take from this book that modernism is inherently contradictory at this point. That is, the people who do their best to preserve their environment and cultures must use resources that do just the opposite in order to survive and continue modernizing/improving their culture and standard of living. Basically, the last few centuries got us all pretty far, but the balance of what we want to what we’re doing is still a little crazy and we need to level it off eventually. That’s a rather dumbed-down-sounding thought on such a book, but that’s what happens when I have an exam to study for and an (at this point very unrelated to this book) essay to write.

Meanwhile, in OpenOffice, my rudimentary thesis:

Productivity historically correlates positively with market economies, especially capitalistic systems. However, not all governments involved heavily in the enlightenment invested in capitalistic economies (though they have historically been mercantilistic economies). Therefore, the individuals as well as the collective (that is, sociocultural climate and the government) must consent to economic growth via capitalism for either to work.

Considering my writing methods are erratic, I won’t bother posting more because I’ll be going in an entirely different direction every 10 minutes and spend the last day on this making it all coherent and related.

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