Greed, Inc.: Why Corporations Rule Our World

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9781559707947: Greed, Inc.: Why Corporations Rule Our World
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A critical indictment of modern corporate practices argues that today's publicly traded companies enjoy the legal statuses of individuals but are not bound by the same legal and moral responsibilities, in a historical survey that traces the contributions and unethical activities of such companies as Enron, Exxon, and Pfizer. 15,000 first printing.

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About the Author:

Wade Rowland is the author of more than a dozen books. He is assistant professor of communication and culture at Atkinson College of York University in Toronto. He and his wife, Christine, live near Port Hope, Ontario.

From Publishers Weekly:

Surveying misdeeds from the explosion-prone Ford Pinto to Philip-Morris's alleged obstruction of anti-smoking campaigns, this provocative treatise concludes that corporations, were they people, would be legally insane. Working from a lively, lucid reading of moral philosophers and economists from Hobbes to Adam Smith, Rowland (Galileo's Mistakes) describes the corporation as the embodiment of "psychological egoism," which holds that selfishness is the primary human motive and the marketplace defines acceptable standards of morality. Though corporations are technically and legally the equivalent of a person, they are also required to put profit above human moral precept; it is therefore a "moral cretin," a "sociopathic entity spawned by a paranoid hallucination" and even "an alien life-form." There are gaps, however, in Rowlands's arguments: by judging corporations in terms of human ethics standards, the author never demonstrates that institutional, procedural morality is systemically inferior to personal morality; and one could argue that the crimes of amoral corporations pale beside those committed by the "moralistic" state. Still, by making explicit the ideological foundations of corporations, Rowland shows just how strange, unnerving and dangerous they can be, and mounts a stimulating challenge to conventional political economy.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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