It astonishes me how seemingly rational people buy into ridiculous conspiracy theories. A popular fantasy that people sucker into regularly these days is the myth of the evil corporation run amok. Bloodthirsty with greed, shadowy corporate operatives conspire to topple governments, rig wars, and wreak havoc on the environment. Having no soul, they are devoid of morals and care only for their insatiable desire for power. They are the uber-villains of the 21st century Hollywood blockbuster and the fool-proof straw-man of the left-wing hack.
But why cant the innocent masses stop all these evil mega-corps? Well, shhh…, you see, …its all done in secret! Only a few, elite, powerful people are in the know. We the little, powerless people are at their mercy.
Conspiracy theorists love going after corporations because no particular person or set of circumstances need be relied upon to build up a good yarn. One can hurl the most awful slurs imaginable at a disembodied corporate entity and no business woman and her family will get hurt in the process. (Oh, yeah, I forgot, in the mythology, only grey-haired, white men are at the head of the cabal.)
Conspiracy theories are a common tool of the propagandist. Any set of facts can be twisted to suggest that some person or group is to blame for this or that. Truth is not important. Anti-Semitism and other racial prejudices thrive on contrived stories of the supposed secret plans and devices of hidden forces. One assumption leads to another and before you know it you have a mob calling for blood. In the old days, “communists” were assumed responsible for everything from bad weather (“they’re salting the clouds!”) to social unrest (“they’re stirring things up!”). Now its “multi-national corporations” that are poisoning our children (“GMOs to goodness knows”) and flat-out destroying the planet (“Global Warming”).
No one should suggest that corporations are incapable of crime, as it does in rare cases occur. That is why there exists a vast labyrinth of laws governing corporate behaviour. Often such regulations frustrate economic activity so much that they drag whole countries into poverty (eg. India, which is just now breaking free from “corpophobia” and prospering wonderfully because of it).
Heres a challenge to anyone who thinks big corporations are evil: tomorrow, try not to consume anything that has any input whatsoever from these corrupt organizations (that means no cars or phones or electricity, for example). If you fail, hang your head in shame because you may as well be paying the country club dues of that heartless, white-haired old white guy you love to hate (news flash: the world’s richest person is now from Mexico).