28 Mayıs 2012 Pazartesi

CORPORATE INDIVIDUALS


       As it is stated in the film, the most problematic consequence of accepting corporations as individuals by the institution is that we should apply an understanding of ethics to them like we did for individual human beings. What is weird in this picture is that, we attach the concept of ethics to individuals because we assume that they are making some choices which are conscious and free. So, as a result of these choices we attach them some ethical values. These ethical values, I think, mostly come from the understanding of truth. So, we first shape an understanding of truth and then accordingly define our actions as good or bad, right or wrong on the basis of these truths. As individual beings, what we care most is these truths on some ideas or facts so that we can choose ethically right or wrong acts on the basis of these truths.

 
       On the other hand, in ordinary life we assume that politics and economy is a little bit different from us as individuals. They are much more concerned with some concepts like profit, dominance, power so and so forth rather than the truth itself. So, in a sense their truth is shaped on the basis of these concepts. For a liberal economist, for example, the true thing to do may be the one which is more profitable. So, there is a difference between what we as individuals adopt as ethics and what they adopt. Of course, there is a thing called as the ethics of economy or even politics (in terms of governments). But this ethics is defined in terms of the general rules of economics which become their truth. We see in the history that some domains like politics and economics changes in accordance with the circumstances. So, accordingly, the truth values are changing. Depending on these truth values, the ethics of these domains change too.
          Then, the main difference in our ethics as individuals and their ethics as institutions, we can say, is that we shaped our actions on the basis of some moral codes which are decided in terms of truths. And these truths, most of the time, do not change rapidly. On the other hand, the so called ethics of these domains like economy and politics shaped by the moral codes which are created by them in terms of their momentary interests. So, today they may choose something right to do but then 2 years later it becomes wrong just because a policy changes. Moreover, at the same time one of these domains may accept something as right to do and the other may not. Of course, this may happen to individuals too since we have no general moral codes which are universally accepted. But still, most of the people have more or less a consensus about these things so the changes are much more on the details.
         As in the film, at first glance, corporations may be seen just as big companies which are related to economics. But they are so big and powerful that they start to govern the governments, meaning the politics. So, what is right for the corporations in a specific time becomes necessarily right for the governments. This means that the so-called ethics of politics and corporations should overlap. The main purpose of the corporation which keeps their wheel turning is keeping the profit at the highest level and keeping it continuous. This becomes the moral code according to which corporations define their actions as right or wrong. Since the ethics of politics and corporations should overlap for the reasons mentioned above, the right thing to do for the government is keeping the profit of the corporations at the highest level and keeping it continuous.
          What is so advantageous in accepting the corporations legally as individuals for corporations and accordingly governments? I think the main reason is making the ethics of individuals overlap the so-called ethics of corporations. If the government accepts them as individuals, keeping the power and effectiveness of them in mind, they will eventually affect the understanding of truth of the people. The truth starts to change in accordance with them so the truth values. Correspondingly, the ethical values start to change. So the ethical codes of people get nearer to the corporations’. Of course, this will bring more profit to them. So, they will achieve their main goal. What is called immoral beforehand becomes moral in accordance with this process. Even though the corporations’ characteristics are the reminder of a psychopath’s, nobody would notice this. In a sense, the ethics and the politics (in terms of government) overlap. That is how the system works. They make people think what they want them think so that nobody acts against their interests. So, the corporations that are once upon a time supported by the governments overwhelm the governments like the relationship between Dr. Frankenstein and his monster. The same corporations exploit the whole thinking and belief system of the people who think that they are beneficial in providing their needs through using government.

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