Andrea Phillips: The Corporation As Tool

Im typically wont to say that plot is Soylent Green– its made of individuals. Significance, individuals make decisions, and thats what forms an overarching plot or story, not some external heros myth, not some skeletal structure of A to B to C. And thats in story, yes, but it also equates to the genuine world.


When Deepwater Horizon spilled hundreds of countless gallons into the Gulf of Mexico, we blamed BP. When scientists discovered diesel automobiles cheating their method through emissions testing, we blamed Volkswagen. When the 737 Max ended up to have gone into service with fatal defects, we blamed Boeing.

OK, fine. Sometimes, in the most outright of cases, well throw a couple of assholes in jail. In some cases, though, individuals who end up in hot water arent the ones who made the original decision; theyre simply water-carriers following orders for the individuals who sign their checks.

Producing sweeping change like that is slow and difficult. In the meantime, all of us have to operate within this corrupt system. Theres no leaving it. That does not mean we have to be corrupt ourselves.

Be the change. Its got to start someplace. And when you start, you just may find youre not as alone as you believed.

However each one of those incidents is the outcome of actions and choices taken by specific people– and not simply a couple of, however a cascade of individuals all selecting to do the wrong thing.

In the start, business personhood was an excellent idea. The entire point was to legally separate an organisation from its owners. That way they wouldnt be ruined if something went wrong and business went under– state a ship was lost at sea, or the shop burned down.

Me, Im simply a reclusive author. I cant push my company to, state, make Juneteenth a paid holiday due to the fact that I do not have one. For my part, Im contributing 15% of net earnings from sales of America Inc. to Common Cause, a nonprofit that works to protect ballot writes in the United States.

My name is Andrea Phillips, I think corporations get a bad rap that they do not totally deserve. I even wrote a book called America Inc. thats about a corporation running for president of the U.S.– and theyre the heros. See, I think the corporation is just a tool, and like every tool, it can be used for excellent or for evil.

Why do individuals hate corporations today? Theyve taken the legal and monetary shield and applied it to other areas of obligation.

This also uses to company practices. Its simple shorthand to discuss Amazons monopoly power or Wal-Marts choice to underpay their employees. However Amazon didnt decide anything. Wal-Mart didnt, either. In a really concrete method, neither Amazon nor Wal-Mart even exist. You cant touch them, and you definitely cant throw them in a jail cell. Every one of those actions is a choice that some asshole made– some asshole who handled the mantle of the corporation to protect him from the effects.

Every business that sent out an e-mail supporting Black Lives Matter did that because an individual at that company made an option– an ethical choice. We can all find ways to attempt to make our workplaces less racist, or less exploitative, even if its simply by example.

The corporation isnt the problem. The problem is a cultural and legal structure that absolves people of ethical and criminal fault for the options theyve made. The problem is letting those assholes run things without effects.

It doesnt have to resemble that.

Acknowledging the company as a different legal entity produced a guard that suggested individuals the business owed cash to couldnt come after the owners home, could not take all of their life cost savings, could not take the lollipops from the mouths of their children. That doesnt appear so bad, ideal?

We could be doing a lot more. We might be working out punishments for corporate impropriety with more bite than skimming a fraction of a percent of earnings in fines. We could and ought to produce a criminal framework that penalizes both services and decision makers for their antisocial, anti-environmental, anticompetitive choices.

People have far more power than they understand. Every day, we make choices, and our little choices can build up ripple by ripple to end up being an excellent wave of modification. Weve seen it in #MeToo, where each person calling out the instigator of their harassment pushes others to share their experiences and enforce a new cultural approval that type of shit isnt okay. Were seeing it right now with Black Lives Matter, where years of incredible work of Black activists has finally stirred even apathetic white individuals to protest and to support huge changes in cops use of force, disciplinary procedures, and financing.


Andrea Phillips is an acclaimed immersive experience designer and author. America, Inc. is its novel-length sequel. She also created the Serial Box LitRPG project Alternis, and co-authored Bookburners and ReMade.

Andrea Phillips: Website|Twitter

Im frequently wont to state that plot is Soylent Green– its made of individuals. Significance, individuals make choices, and thats what forms an overarching plot or story, not some external heros misconception, not some skeletal framework of A to B to C. And thats in story, yes, but it also translates to the genuine world. Science and history are both driven by individuals– their choices, their choices, their recordings and observations. Why do individuals hate corporations today? Often, though, the individuals who wind up in hot water arent the ones who made the original choice; theyre simply water-carriers following orders for the people who sign their checks.

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