Re: [sixties-l] Re: Horowitz corporations

From: William Mandel (
Date: Mon Jul 17 2000 - 03:32:02 CUT

  • Next message: Ted Morgan: "[sixties-l] Re: corporations"

        I agree. The immense damages found against the tobacco
    industry the other day points the way, and the lawyers and state
    officials who developed the notion of suing on the basis of the
    costs to states of hospitalization and other health needs caused
    by tobacco are to be credited with finding a way out within the
    framework of the existing system.
        Ultimately corporations will have to be stripped of the
    preposterous recognition as "persons" the Supreme Court gave them
    under an amendment designed to protect ex-slaves.
                                    William Mandel

    Richard Waddell wrote:
    > William Mandel wrote:
    > >Certainly global mega-corporations not only reflect but
    > >effectuate economies of scale. And certainly they do all the
    > >terrible things you list. By every measure of human welfare --
    > >life expectancy, health, education, whatever -- people are better
    > >off in the "developed" capitalist countries than anywhere else.
    > >It is also true that, in the United States, the living standard
    > >of the majority has declined in the past thirty years, but it
    > >remains one that Haitian peasants and Israeli Ph.D.s fight like
    > >hell to come here to enjoy.
    > >There are no easy answers and no formulaic solutions.
    > There probably aren't any easy answers, but a good start might be to get
    > some agreement about what is the question? In response to the initial
    > statement from Horowitz, the list seems to have accepted the question as
    > Conservatives have consistently forced discussion into this meaningless
    > dichotomy. We don't have to accept it. If we criticize some aspect of
    > capitalism, the reaction from the right has always been: It's better than
    > communism (or socialism). If we are not 100% for unrestricted capitalism,
    > does it mean we support socialism? If I had to answer this question, someone
    > would have to define socialism for me, and I doubt I could maintain interest
    > in such a discussion.
    > I would prefer to formulate the question with out regard to 'isms'. For me,
    > the question should be the degree of control to apply to corporations. This
    > is at the heart of what a corporation is about.
    > Corporations are different from other organizations because they are a
    > shield against personal responsibility. The LTD in British corporations
    > stands for LIMITED, which advertises to the world that the organization with
    > such an appendix has LIMITED LIABILITY. These organizations have rights that
    > individuals don't enjoy.
    > Consider a loose analogy. If I had corresponding privileges while driving my
    > car, my liability would be limited to the cost of my vehicle - even if I
    > caused a death.
    > We may soon see these limitations and distinctions in the coming tobacco
    > legal battles. Even though their investments caused many deaths, those who
    > invested in these tainted enterprises will not have any liability beyond
    > their loss in stock value.
    > The significant question is how do we control these organizations of limited
    > responsibility. How do we apply controls to protect the larger society and
    > Mother Earth from tobacco companies and the likes of Exxon?
    > Richard Waddell
    > Bartlesville, OK

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