Except for those human beings we have come to call "sociopaths." This type of personality never seems to ask what they can do for others but only what can they get others to do for them. Instead of "All for one and One for all" it's more like...
"All for me, and screw you."
Psychologists estimate that there are one or two sociopaths in every 200 or so people. We have all dealt with them whether we realize it or not. The legal system deals with them a lot, but there are very successful sociopaths who never get in legal trouble. They are called Chief Executive Officers and get paid lots of money to make lots of money for large corporations. like Disney, GE, and the Gambino Crime family.
I was thinking about sociopaths because they cause a great amount of long term damage to human society and the world in which we must live. They tend to think in short term gain and don't realize that things they do today can come back to bite them later on. I was actually thinking about sociopaths because of reading, not about President Bush this time, but about National Coal company. I decided that we humans have created an entity that has the basic purpose of avoiding personal responsibility. We call this evil thing a "Corporation."
Corporations have no morals. They feel no responsibility to human beings as a whole, only their stock holders, and in reality, only their majority stockholders, as anyone who ever tries to back a stockholder initiated action at The shareholder's annual meeting will find out.
For a Corporation, it is just like I said, "All for me and screw you." Only there is actually no "ME" as far as a corporation is concerned. In legal parlance, it is called a "legal fiction".
Now there are other facets to this fiction that we should think about. For instance, since Corporations have no inherent conscience, It is up to legislation to provide one. Labor laws are one attempt to provide corporations with a functioning conscience, and corporations don't like labor laws one bit. No sociopath would, actually. The very idea of treating other people fairly doesn't make one bit of sense to an "All for Me" mindset.
Here's an example of a corporation making it a good thing to screw people. It is from the Mountaintop removal people, National Coal:
An excerpt from National Coal's Securities Exchange Commission filing:
“We are not burdened by below market long term pricing contracts and because our
workforce is not unionized we do not have the extensive union pension and health
care liabilities, including black lung liabilities and post-retirement medical
benefits, that impact many of our competitors.”
Want me to translate that for you? Ok...
"Screw people...We have big machines! And so what if we leave a huge
mess that lasts for generations...we make lots of money!"
The SEC is the US government agency responsible for the Corporate Conscience but only as it relates to rich people's money, particularly rich people who are majority stockholders. You can boil the SEC philosophy down to a few simple phrases...
"It might be really bad unless it makes us money and then it's good."
"Destroy the environment? Well, if it makes us a lot of money..."
"Poison people's water wells? Well, if it makes us a lot of money..."
"Destroy entire mountain ranges, ecosystems, and the livelihoods of people who live there?..."
"Well, if it makes us a lot of money..."
"Destroy entire communities, poisoning them for generations, in order to get to high sulfur coal that we aren't allowed to burn in the United States because it poisons the very air we have to breathe, but we can ship it to China and let them burn it even though the sulfur just goes up into the air and blows right back over the USA and drops right back down on us as acid rain and poisons our water and kills fish and everything else and makes folks sick, but only those who have lungs..."
"Well, If it makes National Coal money..."
I think it is time to ask governor Bredesen to give some thought to surgically implanting a conscience into the coal industry.