Re: [ba-unrev-talk] Re: Corporate Morality
I did intend 'corporate morality'.
Certainly the herd instinct theory does seem to explain matters in that area,
but then it fails to explain why 'democracies' have failed to bring into being
stricter employment laws to prevent such practices - assuming the majority do
really prevail in such societies. Does this mean that the majority actually
enjoy inflicting this sort of psychological torture?
That it is some sort of mass habit?
For those wondering about the background to this discussion, we were discussing
the content of www.faceintel.com (02)
----- Original Message -----
From: "Eric Armstrong" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "ba-unrev-talk" <email@example.com>
Sent: Thursday, September 19, 2002 10:36 PM
Subject: [ba-unrev-talk] Re: Corporate Morality (04)
> Peter Jones wrote (offlist):
> > I just can't understand how it is that so much immorality
> > has been sanctioned by society.
> I think you mean "corporate immorality", as opposed to "that
> infernal music" and such, which is always the next generation's
> music. (I've been on both sides of that one, now. Never thought
> it would happen, either.)
> As for corporate immorality, I think it has a lot to do with
> why people *will* push a button that causes someone else
> pain, when there is someone standing there in a lab coat
> telling them to do it.
> Then there is the "stanford jail", where they did an experiment
> that was supposed to last a month, but ended it after less
> than a week because all of participants (including the
> experimenters) were shocked at how quickly they fell into
> their roles, and how they were doing things they *never*
> would have deemed justifiable, had they not been immersed in
> the experience.
> In other words, we are looking at the herd instinct at work.
> Oddly enough, it is the very denial of the herd instinct in
> our children that I suspect leads to the compelling power of
> the herd instinct in later life.
> I favor lifestyle choices that reflect our needs as primates
> -- especially when it comes to raising kids. So I love the
> books that are coming out these days about letting your kids
> sleep in the same bed with you, about holding kids close a
> lot of the time, and taking your baby home immediately after
> delivery, instead of having them lying around in those stupid
> hospital cribs.
> One of things I like about it, in addition to the short term
> happiness it provides infants (with no long term cost, as far
> as anyone can tell), is a story I heard from someone who knew
> a south sea islander. I was told that the person was as totally
> confident and secure as anyone *could* be.
> Much later, I met a Maori "ski warrior", and I felt the same
> thing from him -- confident and at home, anywhere, under any
> In the meantime, I had read a bit about south sea islands
> culture -- a strong sense of community, to the point that a
> child who needed anything walked up to the nearest door, and
> whoever was inside took care of them.
> That kind of upbringing builds a sense of belonging.
> Sydney Poitier had that kind of upbringing, and he mentioned
> on a talk show (the source of modern wisdom) that he carried
> firewood as a child. Without that wood, there would be no
> cooking, and no supper. So from early childhood, his life had
> *meaning*. He did important work that was part of making a
> life in their village.
> My personal belief is that this kind of background builds the
> strength to stand up and walk out of such experiments. I know
> I have that strength, because I've participated in greater
> Oddly enough, I developed it the hard way -- in completely
> opposite fashion from the way I would *like* to see kids raised.
> I had little closeness in my life, little opportunity to spend
> time with other kids (with a couple of exceptions), and zero
> discretionary capital for fashionable clothing or anything with
> which to make an impression -- so I learned to be a totally
> independent thinker. It holds me back in a lot of ways. Learning
> to be diplomatic has been difficult, and being a "team player" in
> a business sense has been close to impossible. When things are
> stupid I tend to say so -- repeatedly.
> So I can tell you that "making waves" is in general no
> path to corporate advancement! For all the world celebrates
> loners, the world is simply not structured to reward them.
> In a business setting, then, folks willing to conform rise to
> the top, and make decisions. Independent thinkers, creative as
> we may be, don't. So the herd instinct may very well be
> responsible for the worst we see in corporations.
> The two ways to attack that problem, as far as I can see, are
> to devalue the corporation, making it incindental to one's life,
> rather than a requirement for it, and to nurture children in a
> way creates the inner security necessary to think and act
> independently, while at the same creating the capacity to live
> and work with others closely.