I came across a discipline called “Big Body Heuristics” which suggests that corporations have gotten large enough that they can be considered life forms, and in some cases intelligent life forms. I can fuzz my thinking enough to see their point: it’s much like the Gaia Hypothesis “from a certain point of view…”
Well, “from this point of view” Corporations seem to me to be simple organisms (imagine that they have 10-100 cells for every human being employed by them) with only a vague awareness of their environment, programmed to eat money (and some might say “and crap goods and services” but that’s not quite right). Some of them are complex enough to begin to be aware of their own existence, the “flash point” of consciousness.
But…they do not have morality. The people WITHIN them can have morality, but not the corporations themselves. So they are not “good” or “evil.” They can certainly be in businesses that select for one or the other. They can have stated principles (created by human beings) which, if adhered to, can create a sort of corporate morality.
But they have no awareness of individual human lives. These “Big Bodies” are aware of each other, and other similarly sized “pseudo organisms) like governments. Remember: neither good nor evil, just creatures programmed to eat and reproduce.
There have been only one group of people I come close to hating: Tobacco executives. These people have choices for what they do in their lives, and have chosen to deal death. And most of my life, they actively collaborated in lying about the devastating effects of their product, up to and including claiming that cigarettes were actually healthy for you (“soothes the `Y-Zone’!). I have less respect for them than I do for Crack dealers or meth cookers.
Another group is creeping in there. The for-profit prison industry is a nightmare, and it ain’t “waiting to happen.” It is here. Children are sold to them. They rent out slaves. They actively lobby for harsher penalties for victimless crimes. We don’t even need to go as deep as the obvious fact that the pain will be differentially distributed. They are simple organisms that eat money and shit broken human beings. Without very specific strictures, they MUST select for high recidivism rates. That people cannot see that is tragic.
“Tom Six”, the maniac behind “Human Centipede” (actually pretty decent “body horror”) and “Human Centipede 2” (a bad, ugly, useless film) made “Human Centipede 3” which was playing on Netflix for free. I resisted for months, but finally watched it. It was one of the worst, ugliest, most incompetent, genuinely sick (largely by implication) films I’ve ever seen, about a prison warden who believes the future of penal institutions is sewing the prisoners mouth-to-anus, thereby saving all kindas money on guards and food. The sickening thing is that this horrible film (I definitely needed mental floss after viewing) actually has some kind of a thematic core, a kind of social commentary under the corrupt, inept, and sickening surface. I’ll be damned if when it comes to the spectre of for-profit prisons, Tom Six and I are in agreement.
That’s the most sobering thought I’ve had in quite a while.