In 2004, shortly after watching the brilliant documentary The Corporation by Mark Achbar, Joel Bakan and Jennifer Abbott I decided to write a review about it. At the time, and still now, I felt that it was a very important piece of work. And I wanted other people to get a chance to see the darker side of the free market, that I had become all to aware of during my time working in the commercial IT sector. At that stage I had only been a few years out of that world, and the cruelty and inhumanity of that day to day existence was still weighing heavily on my mind.
Among other things, The Corporation is prompted by the research of Dr Paul Babiak and Dr Robert D. Hare into psychopathy, and specifically how that complex pattern of behaviour can play out in the corporate world. The argument being, that the primary motivation of a corporation is to prioritise shareholder remuneration over and above all social, environmental and human costs. The day to day reality therefore, is one where a very small minority of people accumulate wealth and power by exploiting everyone and everything else. The Corporation puts forward a very strong case.
In those early days of the burgeoning world wide web, and what now feels like a bygone era, the struggle between the private interests of the 1% commodifying the internet to further their own power, and the 99% creating a common space where we could cooperate and progress together was still in the minds of many people. This was very much on my mind and I wanted to talk to one of the film’s makers about some of the ideas that their work had prompted in me. So I emailed Mark Achbar through his website and he kindly agreed to let me interview him by email.
The article was picked up by the Morning Star and Indymedia. I believed both have now consigned it to their archives. However to read it in full or to download a text version of the article please click through to the page.