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The Corporation (2-Disc Special Edition) (2004)

Mikela Jay , Rob Beckwermert , Jennifer Abbott , Mark Achbar  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (290 customer reviews)

Price: $25.00 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Mikela Jay, Rob Beckwermert, Christopher Gora, Nina Jones, Richard Kopycinski
  • Directors: Jennifer Abbott, Mark Achbar
  • Writers: Mark Achbar, Harold Crooks, Joel Bakan, Thomas Shandel
  • Producers: Bart Simpson, Cari Green
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Run Time: 145 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (290 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007LEMQA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #351,749 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Corporation (2-Disc Special Edition)" on IMDb

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
399 of 439 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Exposé of Legal Tyranny February 13, 2005
This is an extraordinary film about the creation of the American corporation, its legal organizational model, its global economic dominance and its psychopathic tendencies, and its incredible ambition to influence every aspect of culture in its unrelenting pursuit of profit.

The Corporation was spawned from Joel Balkan's in depth book, "The Corporation: A Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power". (Due to be released in March this year) The film and book begins in the 18th century, in the establishment of the 14th Amendment. Initially the 14th Amendment was designed after the Civil War to give ex slaves' legal rights, like any other citizen of the United States, but through a maze of legal precedents, the business corporation organization model was now deemed a "legal person" with all the civil rights accorded to a citizen. This highly absurd precedent has paved the way for corporations to literarily get away with murder, because a "corporation" is not an individual that you can put in jail. In effect, a corporation has no moral or social obligations; their only obligation is the pursuit of profit. This film offers numerous examples of unethical practices resulting in death for many people, and because of their status under the 14th Amendment, and endless legal loopholes, have gotten away with terrible crimes against humanity and the environment with no more than a fine, a mere slap on the wrist.

As the law treats corporations as "persons", Balkan thought it appropriate to put the various behaviours of these companies under psychological examination. What this psychological study illustrated is that corporations, as "persons" behave and display the symptoms of the clinical psychopath.
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72 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The corporation as psychopath March 2, 2006
This extraordinary documentary is based on the book The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power (2004) by law professor Joel Bakan (see my review at Amazon). Bakan's thesis is that the corporation is a psychopathic entity.

In his book he notes that the modern corporation is "singularly self-interested and unable to feel genuine concern for others in any context." (p. 56) He adds that the corporation's sole reason for being is to enhance the profits and power of the corporation. He shows by citing court cases that it is the duty of management to make money and that any compromise with that duty is dereliction of duty.

Directors Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott bring these points and a slew of others to cinematic life through interviews, archival footage, and a fine narrative written by Achbar and Harold Crooks. The interviews cover a wide spectrum of opinion, from Michael Moore and Norm Chomsky on the left, to Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman on the right. Friedman is heard to agree with Bakan that the corporation's duty is to its stockholders and that anything that deviates from that duty is irresponsible.

What emerges is a view of the corporation as an entity working both for and against human welfare. Designed to turn labor and raw materials efficiently into goods and services and to thereby raise our standard of living, it has been a very effective tool for humans to use. On the other hand, because it is blind to anything but its own welfare, the corporation uses humans and the resources of the planet in ways that can be and often are detrimental to people and the environment. Corporations, to put it bluntly, foul the environment with their wastes and will not clean up unless forced to.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Corporation Is A Sociopath April 3, 2006
As a small business owner, I am attuned to the impositions of governmental intrusions. I decided to read the book - and then subsequently saw this documentary - in order to get a more balanced view. Although this author definitely has a bias (addressed at the end of this review), he does not come across as overtly fanatical, and has plenty of examples to document his position.

The corporation is compared to a sociopath. The sociopathic personality is irresponsible, manipulating, grandiose, lacking in empathy, has antisocial tendencies, refuses to accept responsibility for its actions, and cannot feel remorse....Many of the attitudes people adopt and the actions they execute when acting as corporate operatives can be characterized as sociopathic.

Moreover, by the legal way a corporation is set up, its only motive is profit. Every action taken, no matter how altruistic it looks, has to ultimately be a search for profits. Otherwise, the corporation is subject to litigation by the shareholders. The corporation is deliberately programmed and legally compelled to externalize (dump) costs (pollution, for example) without regard for the harm it may cause. Every cost it can unload onto the general public is a benefit to stockholders - a direct route to profit.

Many major corporations habitually engage in criminal behavior with records worse than even the most prolific human criminals. GE collected 42 heavy fines over 11 years - akin to a hardened repeat criminal receiving occasional hand slaps while on perpetual parole. Corporations don't mind chalking these fines up as a cost of doing business - then delegating a committee to figure out how to cover their tracks better in the future. Sounds a lot like a sociopath.
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