Saturday, December 06, 2008

Why are there no corporations in Ordinary?

Did you watch Annie Leonard's vid, The Story of Stuff? If you did, you understand why there are no corporations in the land of Ordinary.

Because the people of Ordinary and her world support themselves and each other fully on the land ...

Because they use only what they need and never more than the land can provide ...

Because each individual is encouraged to find and develop her/his unique talents and abilities and to share those with society ...

Because every individual contributes to the day-to-day upkeep of common buildings and spaces and to growing and gathering food ...

And because the people are indeed their brother's and sister's keepers ...

There is no place for greedy corporations in the land of Ordinary.

Oh, I know what you're thinking. Humankind has yet to evolve to live peacefully without coveting power, things and above-all currency. Yes? No. Remember the Ladakh! In my lifetime, before westerners so corrupted the Ladakhi society, her people lived just so. We humans can do it again.

On Sunday in Should you pay a little more for hormone-free milk?, I showed you a chapter from the three-hour documentary, The Corporation. Think of Leonard's vid as the outline and The Corporation as the full story.

For a motivating shot, watch the movie trailer right now.

I hope it will impel you to take time to watch the entire film. When you realize how deeply the multinational corporations manipulate us, despite our best efforts to resist, you may feel anger as I did, perhaps rage, but also an overwhelming sadness. As the film so poignantly shows again and again, the CEOs themselves do not want to live in the over-crowded, polluted, unhealthy world they are creating in their pursuit of short-term, rapid-gain profits.

On the other hand, there's the Wall Street guy who could think of only one thing on 9-11: "What is this doing to the price of gold?" He saw the tragedy and disaster of 9-11 as an opportunity to make money--a lot of money. Indeed, if news reports were correct, Osama Bin Laden himself planned to make a killing on Wall Street when United Airlines stock plummeted following the strikes.

Watch the film free in 23 segments on YouTube or purchase it from the or rent it on NetFlix iTunes.

I give gratitude for author Joel Bakan, who wrote the book of the same name, filmakers Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott and all the people who shared their vision, talent, time, skill and energy in bringing these messages to us. They show us where we went wrong, at least in part. We can change. On the way to building Ordinary, we've much to do.


  1. It's in my queue. Thanks for all you do to speak out for a better, healthier life and a more sustainable future for us all.

  2. Thank you for your thoughtful recommendation of the film and for your acknowledgement of the key creators. There does exist a 3 x 1 hr version that we made for TV, though it's not the 145 min theatrical version you get when you buy or rent it. It's available on bittorrent. We also just put The Corporation and Manufacturing Consent (a previous film) on iTunes, which at least shares revenue with us. Netflix doesn't.

    I'm trying not to feel pessimistic about the state of the world these days, and your post helped shine a little light..

  3. Thank you for stopping by, Wanda. Your encouragement always gives me a lovely boost.

    Thank you, too, Mark Achbar, for your kindly comments. I've edited the post to strikeout the Netflix reference and replaced with iTunes.

    Knowing too much, as researchers such as yourself must, becomes a tremendous burden. I wonder what would happen if someone made a movie about people who are doing amazingly good things in the world, beating the odds, creating peace from chaos, changing lives, helping the sick and hungry to heal and raise themselves from poverty.

    Would such a film inform, engage and lift our spirits as much as films like The Corporation inform, engage and appall us? Would it motivate us equally?


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