Corporations Are Not People…
… yet they are comprised of people,
… and do business with people,
… and have acquired the special ability to live longer than people,
so there is a certain obligation to the mutual good of people.
In addition to an obligation to financial shareholders, company LEADERS… people… are ethically bound to factor in the social implications of their business actions, to as FAIR an extent as possible. Balanced, not leaning too far either direction.
IF corporate leaders do not act appropriately, the integrity of our modified-capitalistic system… already tenuous… is degraded further and leads to a real RISK to the life of the business itself. It IS possible public opinion COULD incite action to revoke the “right” of a company to live longer than people. The threat could be fatal; self-inflicted.
Patents and copyrights don’t live forever. Products don’t last forever.
There are sound reasons for corporations to survive “forever”… but only insofar as that unique power does not become a velvet sledgehammer pounding on the people.
I trust MOST business leaders have long held similar beliefs but, in an increasingly competitive and ETHICALLY-CHALLENGED world, may begin to waver. Please don’t. I write this at a time when the almost inexplicable is actually happening around us, so I don’t believe my concern is misplaced.
NOW is the time for real business leaders* to step up.
And speak out.
*I would say the same for government leaders but, pessimist that I am at the moment, they are so institutionally entrenched in pure political party solidarity that no amount of reason or rationale will break through until THEY are broken. So, like a powerful but wild horse, you “break” them with the facts of life. Sometimes, all it takes is a whisper from the right people, though.