There all all sorts of corporations and corporate personalities just as there are in individuals. But, an overweening characteristic of big corporations is what appears to be greed (it really isn’t exactly that) and often an antagonistic relationship with their employees, especially those on the lower levels. I believe this is a direct result of corporate necessity to MAKE AS BIG A PROFIT AS POSSIBLE AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE - thus the appearance of greed. Everything else is subordinated to those goals, and I do mean EVERYTHING.
This is the so-called ‘Capitalistic’ system which we still so avidly subscribe to in this country, but which has now actually morphed into “CORPORATISM” and is in reality a very muscular and burly second cousin only to a far weaker ‘capitalism’. In our country this fact is not yet widely perceived and the corporatists prefer to continue to fly under the radar using the capitalist label.
Corporations are also the largest beneficiaries by far of public welfare - in the form of tax advantages if not outright cash benefits which are also very common. Corporatists do not wish for the public to understand that corporatism now rules, for if we did there very well might be a strong public rejection and a move towards more socialism and perhaps even communistic type systems.
That is exactly what happened when Marx, Engels and Lenin motivated the masses against the piratical capitalist plunderers of their times.
One big difference is that instead of individuals or very small groups of people controlling corporations, there are today interlocking Boards of Directors, sometimes involved with many other corporations, who employ ‘hired guns’ in the form of highly trained CEO’s and CFO’s, etc., to do their bidding, thus moving themselves one or more levels away from the actual corporate piracy and antisocial corporate conduct. Another major difference is corporatists are clever enough today to spread the largesse around among more people near the top in order to keep everyone doing their bidding, or at least quiet and complacent.
Thus you have the spectacle of all the CEO’s of all the major tobacco corporations together in one group, blatantly and cynically lying before Congress - and getting completely away with it!
Today in our country money controls our political system in a way not seen in a century. Corporatism has seen to this, and has worked assiduously to remove obstacles preventing money from influencing laws and regulation. “Corporate Campaign Contributions” are now widely expected and accepted - and cynically defined as ‘Freedom of Speech’ instead of the vote buying bribes they in reality are.
Corporatists have also moved aggressively to control media and public organs of expression, and to suppress those they perceive as antagonistic to their interests. There are minutely planned and organized campaigns against anyone or anything perceived as populist, a la Karl Rove et al. The word “Liberal” has very nearly been defined as a swear word today and the word ‘progressive’ is rapidly being redefined as well. In other words, ‘black’ has become ‘white’ and vice versa.
I am amazed at the success Neo-Cons have in redefining something to be exactly the opposite of what it really is; “Bringing Freedom and Democracy to Iraq” while unilaterally invading and subjugating Iraq, or ‘Protecting Our Freedoms” while energetically taking them away being two prime examples. Unfortunately for us there are too many more.
Of course not all corporations are evil. There are still examples of corporations who ‘do good’ and treat their people - all of them - well. But, all corporations must survive in the competitive marketplace. Because of our now perverted system, larger corporations in particular are very susceptible to being subordinated to or becoming controlled by corporatists with strictly monetary interests above all else. Remember the old adage about nice guys finishing last? Ours is a decidedly unfriendly landscape for ‘good’ corporations.
Many large corporations are guilty of ‘buying’ public good will by contributing large sums of money to worthy causes, but which sums are very small mini-fractions of their bottom lines. Exxon Mobil contributes relative pittances to worthy causes while cynically and simultaneously working (and funding) behind the scenes efforts to undermine global warming mitigation and avoid court ordered fines for example.
Cynically, many large corporations mount egregiously false campaigns to polish their public images. BP touts their ‘environmentally friendly’ behavior for example when nothing could be further from the truth. In fact this practice is so pervasive I am surprised we haven’t seen laws passed against such barefaced corporate lying - but they remain blithely free to do so with impunity. No one in politics or the major media ever calls them on it. Not ever.
Such is life under corporatism!
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power."
- - - - Benito Mussolini.