The Canadian feature The Corporationis one of the most acclaimed and electrifying documentaries in recent memory, which examines corporations as one of the most dangerous institutions on the planet.
Beginning with the legal principle in the United States and Canada that corporations are “persons,” the documentary then asks the question, “If they are persons, what kind of persons are they?”
According to the fourth Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association, corporations as persons meet the definition of psychopaths, that is, people unable to experience remorse.
Such a psychological defect turns such individuals into parasites and predators. A smaller number of them become killers. While the word psychopath and its one-time synonym sociopath have been replaced by the wordy phrase “Anti-Social Personality Disorder,”the meaning remains the same, and as the documentary explores, a potent and revealing way to explain and predict corporate behaviour, and perhaps to curtail and punish it.
In March 2004, Jennifer Abbott, one of The Corporation documentary’s directors, came to Edmonton to unveil her film which features interviews with major figures such as political analyst Noam Chomsky, documentarian Michael Moore, economist Milton Friedman, CEO Ray Anderson, journalist Naomi Klein, labour crusader Charlie Kernaghan, and commodities trader Carlton Brown, each of whom defends or attacks corporations.
During our conversation, we spoke of many of the film’s most dramatic moments, including the sequence depicting the attempt by the transnational corporation Bechtel to privatize the water supply of an entire country—including by making illegal the collection of rain water—and the inspiring revolt against that attack on national sovereignty and natural rights.
One aspect of the conversation you may find jarring is our eleven-year-old perspective on some events such as the illegal US invasion of Iraq, or political figures such as then-Prime Minister of Britain Tony Blair, then-President of the United States George W. Bush, and then-Prime Minister of Canada Paul Martin.
Throughout the show, you’ll hear clips from the documentary. Go to MFGalaxy.org to see some clips. Visit The Corporation.com to purchase a DVD of the film, and to contribute to the film-makers’ crowdfunding effort to give the film for free to one thousand schools.
To hear the special extended edition of this episode of MF GALAXY with 20 extra minutes of my conversation with Jennifer Abbott, become a patron of MF GALAXY. The more you pledge, the larger your rewards, but as little as 25 cents per week gets you access to all the extended editions of the show. Remember: You can power this podcast. So do it.