While I was in Belize, I found time to read Fast Food Nation and Culture Jam, both of which got me thinking (or kept me thinking) about how out of control corporations have become and how complicit we all are in this situation.
The issue that Culture Jam raises–which is still pretty much limited to the left–is that it’s a big problem that corporations are regarded in US law as having the same rights as human beings. That leads to the perverse idea that they should be allowed to participate (spend money) in the political process, for example.
I’ve always believed that the US corporations should not be allowed to violate our constitutional rights any more than the government can–especially the first and fourth amendments. In any event, it occurred to me that corporations were humanlike, but not quite human, and that something like Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics ought to apply to them.
Today I found this article on Nike’s claim that it has the right to lie, and the author’s suggestion that Asimov might have already thought this problem through. Some ideas are just in the air. (Thanks, WebWord!)
The chapters of Fast Food Nation on worker safety in the meatpacking industry broke my heart. I don’t know why, but I’m still stunned by the cruelty and indifference with which some people are able to treat others. But I am ashamed that as a nation we’re incapable of electing a Congress willing to do something about this.