The going mantra for corporations is: grow or die. Expand or disintegrate. It is true of most corporations. If it is not getting bigger in the most bloated sense of the word, then most likely that corporation is a failure. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Sounds a lot like civilization. Something that has to expand or else people will die. Something that keeps expanding, regardless of the cost to the world around it. Or what’s left of the world around it. Most corporations follow the standard civilization doctrine: exploit those below them, expand indiscriminately, buy out competitors, and always keep the consumers in the dark about what really goes on. It’s very similar. Civilization has always exploited the poor people in their lower class, expanded due to its growing population, “bought out” competitors by either killing them or having them join you under threat of death, and keeping the public in the dark about the inner workings of the civilization.
I would say then that most of these corporations are evil because their very foundation is one of evil. In the world that we live in, it is impossible to “get ahead” except when you do the cutthroat things that everyone else does. I know that is a generalization, but that is the way most people do feel. It’s always about being better than your competitors. “Better” being a subjective term here. Better may mean exploiting your third world workers better so that you can afford to charge lower prices. Just ask Walmart about that. Or it could mean providing a better value than other companies that do similar work. The latter is grounds for an enlightened company, while the former is standard practice in the business world. Instead of increasing value, these companies cut down the overhead by belittling those low on the totem pole to increase profits while not really providing any more value.
A business’s main motive today is profit. That is what guides nearly every corporation on the face of this Earth. It is not their service that guides them. Sure, they have good service, but that’s only because it increases their net worth over time. They don’t really care about their customer base, except to the degree that it will increase their net profits. It is not about anyone, not even the CEO. It is about their stock price. It is about their balance sheet. It is about their expansion. It is a group of people working for the expansion of this entity that is almost imaginary, because it exists only on paper. But all these people devote themselves to serving this “master,” as if it will give meaning to their lives, or simply allow them a place to live and food to eat in this unforgiving society.
It’s really hard to think of many corporations that don’t operate this way. I’m sure there are some, but they are few and far between. Where are the companies that have a primary motive or service and profit is simply a byproduct of the exceptional service they provide? I’m sure we’ve not heard of many of these corporations because they remained small and thrived that way because it is likely it is run by a small amount of people who truly believe in their service first principle. A large corporation gets too muddled to maintain that value system across the board. Once it reaches a certain size, it can no longer be one of the “good guys.” At that point, it needs to keep expanding or crash and burn. See Starbucks as a prime example. It just had to close a ton of stores due to its over-expansion. It used to be one of the “good guys,” but it became too big for its own good and look what happened.
I would liken most corporations to that of a cult. It is always looking for new followers and uses underhanded tactics to get them. For example, some of the supermarkets around here are now selling gasoline at a lower price if you spend so much money inside the store. Like I said before, it is a way to beat out the competition, or to be exactly like the competition, so that the corporation doesn’t miss out on any missed opportunities that other corporations have taken up. When you take out your supermarket club card, it is further proof in brand loyalty. They actually call these cards “loyalty cards.” They take down all your information and start tracking your spending habits. They give you coupons in exchange for your “loyalty.” The little reward for being a part of this particular cult.
It is rather amusing in its own little way, how corporations have perpetually conditioned us to like them. We even feel we need them to provide for us. In Walmart we trust. This reminds me of Project Mayhem. In case you are unfamiliar, it is a group from the movie Fight Club that basically tried to destroy the corporate culture in very unconventional ways. And the funny thing is that they had almost everyone on their side. All the people in the bottom rungs of all corporations were secretly a part of Project Mayhem, so there was no stopping them. Sure, they may have gone too far in blowing up all the credit card companies, but who in this world would benefit from them staying functional? Besides, all the buildings were empty.
Now, I’m not advocating for any violence towards any corporation, but it seems like that would be the only thing that these bloated beasts would understand, other than a total bankruptcy, which is something we can also work to create. For example, we are the lifeblood of these corporations. Without us, they crumble to the ground. We support them, feed them, and even work for them. Some of them are better than others, but most of them are pretty much the same. What if we only supported local businesses that were smaller, autonomous, and were more concerned with service than profits? One of two things would happen. The first is that the local businesses would become larger and larger to support the demand, thus becoming yet another large, bloated corporation. Or they would only accept as much business as they need, thus staying the same size, yet still being able to thrive. The odds are going for the expansion because most of these small businesses yearn to be bigger and make more profits. But those that have the courage to stay small and still thrive are the companies I would support because at least they are setting up a model that doesn’t lead to Walmart or Target. They are not evil corporations, but self-sufficient cells that serve the larger body of the economy.
That is what we need in this world. A ton of small, diverse corporations that provide unique and valuable service, not cookie-cutter corporations that essentially give the same service for essentially the same value. I say we boycott the big boys in the corporate world and start looking for smaller, more independent companies that provide value and service in the ways we wish the faceless, bloated monsters would. A company that connects with the consumer one on one is much better than a company with no connection other than their giant logo out front and on every sales flyer. I just feel it is a much better model and it is definitely a step in the right direction. Whether humanity as a whole will wake up to this new way of doing business is yet to be seen, but I believe the tides are shifting in this way of consuming and it would certainly be a breath of fresh air in a world where brand names and logos are now the most recognizable symbols in this society. Service first, profits second. Just some food for thought…
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