Tag Archives | Ethics

The Mythology of Business Part 2: The Dark Side

MythThis is Part 2 of an excerpted series for Reality Sandwich from the anthology The Immanence of Myth published by Weaponized. Read Part 1 here.

Despite the exciting creative possibilities posed by new media in regard to myth, they do not come without a price. The danger presented by the presence of myth in modern media is paramount, and must be considered outside the mythic framework of industry, for instance, which reduces the material world to a matrix of profit and risk.

Though the propaganda of fascist mythologies such as those of Nazis or the USSR serve as the clearest example of these dangers, they exist in only slightly more subtle forms in the media produced by modern capitalist states. (Subtlety in this case not being an indicator of benevolence, necessarily.) After all, it was Mussolini who declared fascism to be the merger of state and corporate power.

Though media is ostensibly the watchdog of the government, both the government and media agencies of the capitalist state are beholden to international corporations and their interests.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

So Who Really Runs The World? A Network Analysis Reveals ‘Super Entity’ of Global Corporate Control …

Who Runs The World?An outline of the adversary emerges from Michael Ricciardi on PlanetSave:

In the first such analysis ever conducted, Swiss economic researchers have conducted a global network analysis of the most powerful transnational corporations (TNCs). Their results have revealed a core of 787 firms with control of 80% of this network, and a “super entity” comprised of 147 corporations that have a controlling interest in 40% of the network’s TNCs.

When we hear conspiracy theorist talk about this or that powerful group (or alliance of said groups) “pulling strings” behind the scenes, we tend to dismiss or minimize such claims, even though, deep down, we may suspect that there’s some degree of truth to it, however distorted by the theorists’ slightly paranoid perception of the world. But perhaps our tendency to dismiss such claims as exaggerations (at best) comes from our inability to get even a slight grip on the complexity of global corporate ownership; it’s all too vast and complicated to get any clear sense of the reality.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Economic Inequality Promotes Self-Aggrandizement

Richa and Poor

Rich and poor in São Paulo. Photo: Tuca Vieira (CC)

Via ScienceDaily:

Pretty much everybody thinks they’re better than average. But in some cultures, people are more self-aggrandizing than in others. Until now, national differences in “self-enhancement” have been chalked up to an East-West individualism-versus-collectivism divide. In the West, where people value independence, personal success, and uniqueness, psychologists have said, self-inflation is more rampant. In the East, where interdependence, harmony, and belonging are valued, modesty prevails.Now an analysis of data gathered from 1,625 people in 15 culturally diverse countries finds a stronger predictor of self-enhancement: economic inequality.

“We don’t know the precise mechanism, but it seems unlikely that it is primarily an East-West difference,” says University of Kent research associate Steve Loughnan. “It’s got to do with how your society distributes its resources.” The study — whose 19 collaborators represent 16 universities around the globe — will be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

U.S. Reviews Syphilis Experiment In Guatemala: Researchers Knew It Was Unethical

Tuskeegee_studyAll too often groups of people are unknowingly infected with disease as a means of isolated experimentation. Earlier this week the Commision for the Study of Bioethical Issues reviewed the 1940s incident  where the U.S. government infected Guatemalan prisoners and patients with syphilis. Via Reuters:

U.S. government researchers must have known they were violating ethical standards by deliberately infecting Guatemalan prison inmates and mental patients with syphilis for an experiment in the 1940s, according to a U.S. presidential commission.

The U.S.-funded research in Guatemala did not treat participants as human beings, failing to even inform them they were taking part in research, as was the case for a similar study in the United States, the commission said on Monday.

The United States apologized last year for the experiment, which was meant to test the drug penicillin, after it was uncovered decades later by a college professor.

President Barack Obama’s Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues investigated the syphilis experiment and discussed its key findings in Washington on Monday.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Mythology of Business Part 1: The Veil of Ignorance

shell.jpgThis is part 1 of an excerpted series for Reality Sandwich from the anthology The Immanence of Myth published by Weaponized.

Myth’s central importance does not end with our art or religions. It is not solely a dusty world of broken clay pots and tablets written in dead languages. Our myths determine how we engage with the world, how we enter into it. How we treat ourselves and one another. Far from being archaic relics of the past, myths will determine our future. Even if we are unaware of them, they will continue to affect us.

The advertising used to disseminate films, books and music shows the profound value that mythology has within modern markets. You just need to know what you’re looking for. However, it does not end with the entertainment industry. A brand, any brand in an increasingly interactive media environment, is myth.

This role is made all the more pervasive thanks to the proliferation of instantaneous and virtually limitless communication mediums.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Evidence of Murdoch’s Newspapers Distorting News to Fuel Racism

Media disinformation and negativity against non-Western cultures in Australia is a terminal disease spreading into the bloodstream of the mainstream media industry in Australia. The following incident demonstrated how easy it is to demonize a Chinese restaurant in Melbourne through the manipulation of news using the techniques of factual omission, misleading heading, misleading bullet-point-highlight, misleading bold-highlight and the editorializing of content using a series of subjective and strong wordings to sell the personal opinion of the journalist or editor as news.

How did Murdoch’s Newspapers demonise a Chinese Restaurant in Melbourne?

Can you tell the problem with the following report by the Herald Sun?

St Kilda Chinese restaurant food bill handed to man in ambulance

By Jessica Craven    From: Herald Sun April 26, 2011 7:21PM

  • Man suffered seizure while dining at Chinese restaurant
  • Man given bill as he was being loaded into ambulance
  • Restaurant manager said someone had to pay for meal

A CHINESE restaurant that slapped a customer with the bill as he was being loaded into an ambulance has defended its actions.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Major Corporations To Hide Income Disparity

Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

A group of 81 major corporations believe that public knowledge of what their CEOs make in respect to the average worker is “useless” information. The Washington Post reports that more than a year ago (H/T Alternet), some of America’s biggest corporate movers and shakers began lobbying Congress to force changes to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, so companies needn’t bother disclose the wage gulf between executives and workers. A House committee approved the bill 33–21.

Rep. Nan A.S. Hayworth (R-NY), who sponsored The Burdensome Data Collection Relief Act (HR1062), said comparing a CEO’s wage to the average worker could “mislead or confuse investors” and that such a comparison “creates heat but sheds no light.” Tim Bartl, senior vice president and general counsel for the Center on Executive Compensation asked “You can already tell where a CEO falls relative to his peers, you can already tell where he falls relative to the average worker in the industry.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Even If You Are an Atheist, You Worship Something …

From the late great David Foster Wallace:

Because here’s something else that’s true. In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshiping. Everybody worships.

The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual-type thing to worship — be it J.C. or Allah, be it Yahweh or the Wiccan mother-goddess or the Four Noble Truths or some in-frangible set of ethical principles — is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.

If you worship money and things — if they are where you tap real meaning in life — then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough. It’s the truth.

Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you.

Read the rest
Continue Reading