Associating corporations with the idea of “sociopath” is fairly common, but it’s always worth re-examining and squeezing into current global reality.
A sociopath commits violence or abuse with no sense of wrong or remorse. According to Merriam-Webster: “Of, relating to, or characterized by asocial or antisocial behavior or exhibiting antisocial personality disorder.” Other definitions also mention “lack of conscience.”
Corporations claim they are “persons” and enjoy particular “rights” – such as freedom of movement and freedom of expression. But they have no heart and soul, and questions of right and wrong are most often determined by economic considerations, rather than morality. Perhaps they don’t specifically set out to cause harm and corruption – except “defense contractors” – but the consequences of corporate, profit-driven activities can produce great social aggravation and mass murder. Also, corporations definitely lack a “conscience” precisely because they are not “persons.”
Corporations are centralized hierarchies with all power concentrated at the top. Some giant corporations control more resources and wealth than most countries and wield considerable political power.
A corporation is a closed entity and creates a general culture focused entirely on company activities and profits, which is common to all corporations: The sacred imperative of survival and growth. Following this imperative, corporations abandon their home country, shut down jobs, investments and tax revenue, and roam the world in search of the cheapest labor and most relaxed regulations. They are sociopaths.
(Mark Twain once remarked that the two institutions that inflicted the most harm on humanity were West Point and Harvard. This observation came eighty years before Dwight Eisenhower warned about the growing “military/industrial complex.”)
Recent investigations of supermarket giant Whole Foods illustrates perfectly the truly sociopathic character of corporate culture. In this case, the bald-faced audacity is breathless. Apparently, Whole Foods, over a long period of time, systematically and deliberately cheated, lied and stole money from millions of consumers. They consistently lied on weights of prepackaged goods and grossly overcharged shoppers by up to three or four times the fair price!
There’s no sense of morality in this activity, no social responsibility or “conscience.” Whole Foods is a sociopath and ought to be locked up.
Corporate policy flows from the top down. Certain decisions are taken and communicated, either written or implied, and the effects ripple through the organization, creating a particular mindset. As long as these powerful “persons” are guided by sociopathic impulses, human life and the Earth’s resources will continue to be ravished and abused.