A Movie MUST!! The Corporation. Get the DVD And Share It.
IBM-USA produces punchcards for Hitler giving us origin of those numbers on concentration camp Jews, homosexuals, etc. Corporations as “persons” privatizing the world, “feeling” no guilt. Patenting “life” giving us dangerous GMO’s, terminator seeds. Corporate world, corporate town Celebration, Fla….
I finally saw “The Corporation,” a terrific documentary movie that puts together many stories and faces that
we’ve all heard, but perhaps not seen yet. Jeremy Rifkin, visionary and author of books like “Entropy” and
“The Hydrogen Economy” tells us how patenting LIFE was rejected by the patent office back in 1980, but the corporations took it to court and got what they wanted. The patent office appealed the decision! But lost. This has led to genetically altered and patented seeds, genomes, and you won’t believe how far some proponents want to go, patenting all life forms, and privatizing every square inch of the Earth.
Naomi Klein, who is much younger than I expected, and whom I adore for the great writings she has put together about disaster capitalism and the illegal plunder and orderation of Iraq, talked about “branding.” That is when corporations put together a plan to help sell their brand of product, carrying it so far as to build a theme town called
“Celebration” in, of course, Florida that is an extension of the Disneyization of America and the world. That town
and its creation remind me of that movie starring Jim Carrey about the main character whose life is followed every moment in this artificial geetchy la-la town, which seemed so unreal as to be ridiculous [and inconsistent], yet now we have this actual place right here in our country’s southern entrails.
The basic history of the corporation, and how it was chartered to exist for certain periods of time, and then desisted; and then came to be legally regarded as a “person” is the essence of the tale. And how CEO’s may be human, but the corporation does not allow them to act as compassionate bosses and humans would, is brought out by letting us see the heads of Shell and Interface and Goodyear tires, and the wine drinking WTO trade proponents in Quebec at the Summit of the Americas trying to push the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas [FTAA] while passionate protesters are teargased in the streets outside beyond the Berlin-type walls erected to protect them.
What made the 145 minute film easy to watch were all the inserts of cartons and footage of Bolivian chaos and murder, and delineating of how a corporation has the six main characteristics of a psychopath, one by one, as just some examples.
Did you know that when Bechtel took over, “privatized,” the water system in Cochabamba, Bolivia’s third largest city, locals were not even allowed to collect RAINWATER!!!?????? without having to pay for it! I did not realize how massive the protests were in the town, and how “hundreds” of especially young people lost arms and legs from the police and military shooting them. Six people died because a corporation wanted to gouge very very poor people to make as much profit as possible by controlling and merchandizing their WATER! This story is not over yet, as Bechtel is still suing Bolivia for the profits it COULD have made, this San Francisco-based corporation meanwhile having greater wealth than the entire country of Bolivia – which is a land-locked nation in South America. And now has an indigenous new leader named Evo Morales who is trying to take back other industries other corporations from outside Bolivia took away because corporations do what corporations do: plunder without humanity, because, of course, they are not really “persons.”
The media that denies us this sort of perspective on our world, and we DO OWN the airwaves – – the corporations like CBS and NBC and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation DO NOT – – did not show us any of the horrendous goings on in Cochabamba. Because they are just as evil as any corporation can be. Because they are the corporations that are the problem. Unfortunately, this is why our country and our world is at the point of suffering it is undergoing today. Never forget what Ralph Nader said about George Bush the Second: “He is a corporation disguised as a human being.” He behaves just like the psychopath a corporation is: he lies, does not have compassion for his neighbors, does not feel guilt, etc. Robert Hare, psychologist for the FBI, told us that “a corporation is the prototypical psychopath.” We saw the examples for each of six symptoms of a psychopath, displayed very cinematically.
Then there was the amazing-looking Marc Barry, with his ultra-sprayed spike hair, who was an intelligence agent for corporations and now has a book out that I guess I have to read because he is SO out there. He tells how he was hired by corporations, and would call people from competing corporations, offering them a job, would meet them in a phony office, and dig out information that the corporation that hired him could use to advance itself in the corporate business world.
I believe one of the most fantastic facts bridged to the audience in the movie was the section entitled “Democracy, Ltd.” Did you know that while FDR was trying to save America with the New Deal back in the 1930’s, captains of industry, big corporations like Dupont, hired Smedley Darlington Butler to put together a 500,000 man force to pull off a coup and put a new individual in the White House!!!?????!!!!!! I missed that one in my American History courses through college and high school. Did you? This fellow had pulled off coups and conquerings in other countries around the world, as the military man he was. We see the footage showing what he had done, and also him speaking in his smoker’s dry voice telling the world that he could not go through with this plot for which he would have been quite amply paid by the various corporations that felt threatened by FDR’s actions.
Also, IBM’s connection to the holocaust was denied by a present-day IBM bigwig offhandedly. Naturally. But we see an individual who wrote a book about this heinous complicit undertaking, including the photo of the head of IBM actually seated at a table with Adolf Hitler, setting up the punchcard system that explains why people had numbers and letters tattooed onto their arms. I never quite wondered enough why those numbers existed. But this author shows us, through documents he found and presents for the camera, how IBM, the IBM based in New York, did its monstrous duty to the bottom line of profit without morality or guilt. Certain numbers were for certain people: 8 was for Judens or Jews, 3 was for homosexuals, other numbers were for communists and mentally retarded people. Then there were numbers for where these people would be sent: Auschwitz was 1, Dachau was 3. Then there were more numbers for the fates of these people. It is unbelievable to me how the Germans, with the full-blooded assistance of IBM, obsessively went the full nine yards to document so many people in so many countries. And they could not have done it without that great corporation, IBM. And don’t think that is not still going on today with all the mining of information by identity-thieves and our own NSA, listening to our phone calls and seizing our credit card data.
Then there is ChoicePoint, corrupting our voting process, spreading out from the USA even to El Salvador! Why? Because corporations want to know people’s buying habits, and our politicians have dropped to the level that they want to steal elections and are planning to do so in 2008 – check Greg Palast’s website on that, and his new book “Armed Madhouse.” It is all connected.
Make sure you see this movie ASAP. Buy the DVD. Buy copies for your friends as gifts. It will go much further than some flowers, or a new widget. Achbar, Abbott and Bakan have done a terrific job putting this movie together, from the book by Joel Bakan. And you can help them maintain their website to further share the information they have put on your screens already. That website is: http://www.thecorporation.com/index.php?page_id=2
Which is the synopsis page. You can also see sections of the movie there.
Oh yes, Michael Moore is great in this movie, as is Noam Chomsky, CEO of billion-dollar-plus-making-rug company Interface, Mr. Ray Anderson, Dr. Samuel Epstein, Vandana Shiva, and many others.
One afterthought: some of the footage the producers gathered is precious, especially the happy feeling spraying of DDT directly onto people, down their backs while clothed, into their hair. Ouch.