Thursday, July 16, 2009

Life, Inc.

It's hard to tell who's the comedian here, Rushkoff or Colbert. Both are over-the-top stereotypes. One of them isn't acting.

Douglas Rushkoff, author of the book Life, Inc., thinks corporations run the world and treat "the planet itself as a bunch of regions to be exploited and conquered rather than to be taken care of." This statement is absurd. If he wasn't so earnest, he'd be funnier than Colbert.

Rushkoff conflates government and corporations. This is a common mistake, especially among those people who want to believe in the goodness of government, but who don't want to trust business. To put it bluntly, these people are blaming the victim for the crime.

Government, not corporations, has always led the way in exploiting and conquering. In those cases where business got involved, it acted as an agent for government, often as a government-mandated monopoly. Such is the case of the early trading companies Rushkoff mentions in this interview.

No Mr. Rushkoff, corporations don't rule the world, but that ambition lurks in the breast of every politician where it is far more dangerous to the human race than any business expansion plan at Starbucks or Wal-mart. For, as H. L. Mencken said, "A good politician is as quite unthinkable as an honest burglar."

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Douglas Rushkoff
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorJeff Goldblum

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