I interviewed Alan Grayson on my radio show on March 18th. The link to the podcast is here.
This segment of the transcript of the interview covers our discussion of the psychopathic traits of corporations.
R.K.: And welcome to the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show WNJC 1360 AM out of Washington Township reaching Metro Philly and South Jersey. Also available on iTunes under my name, Rob Kall, K-A-L-L and at opednews.com/podcasts.
My guest tonight is Congressman Alan Grayson. He represents Florida's Ninth District. He has been singled out as an enemy by Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and George Will, something I am sure he's proud of and he's received more votes for Progressive Hero from Democracy for America than any other candidate in the country. Welcome to the show, it's good to have you back.
R.K.: Have you seen the book or the movie, The Corporation by Joel Bakan?
R.K.: It basically takes the Hare checklist of characteristics of psychopaths and looks at corporations in those terms and it basically concludes that a corporation is, by law psychopathic in its behavior and characteristics.
A.G.: You know I might have seen it or parts of it, that does sound familiar but I, yes go ahead. I know what you're referring to, it's a very well done documentary.
R.K.: Thank you. I just interviewed the creator of it, Joel Bakan last week and he did it about eleven years ago and I said what have you learned and he said I failed. It's getting worse. And one of the ways he said, and I asked him, how corporations effected people on culture just as language and the written word and the Gutenberg Press and the internet have, and he says people are taking and embracing the principles of corporations, which are psychopathic.
And I bring it up because corporations don't have to act that way and you're, from what I understand, one of the few, if not the only member of Congress who has actually made a living as an economist. So it's kind of a big picture question, but is it possible for corporations to operate without being set up to be psychopathic?
A.G.: Yes. I think that we had responsible corporations who didn't try to undermine the common good through many decades. I think things started to go off the rails in the late 70's and in the early 80's and I think if you look in other countries you realize that people recognize that corporations are simply devices for generating goods and services in competition with other corporations and not in any sense supposed to (inaudible) over on their employees and their consumers. Or on the political process and the electorate. That's well understood in other countries- v irtually everywhere through Western Europe and now through East Asia. I don't know why we've fallen down this rabbit hole in the United States to the point where we let corporations take their wealth and try to use it to buy and sell elected officials, to hire flunkies that do their biding and to get rid of the ones that do the public's bidding. So I certainly think it's possible.
I do think that the memes that corporations try to implant in people's minds have become very powerful through the right wing media here, especially through talk radio. I think anybody who listens to talk radio more than an hour a day is generally a lost soul and also through their bought-and-paid-for right wing media-- it used to be that the Manchester Union Leader represented this kind of bizarre right wing nonsensical point world view and we would only deal with it once every four years when there was a primary in New Hampshire, now that whole point of view, that Bircher, bigoted point of view has spread through large parts of the media and large parts of the population.
There are many, many people now who think there is nothing wrong with child labor as we're seeing right now in legislation, there are many many people who think there's nothing wrong with discrimination against blacks, against gays, against Spanish speaking people-- that there's absolutely nothing wrong with discriminating against them. There's many people who have twisted, bizarre, right wing values that exalt guns above life and hear more for the unborn than the born.
There are many, many people out there now in the United States who fit those descriptions and it really doesn't have to be that way but it's a corporatized culture to the point where what you really realize underneath it all is just this relentless desire for corporations to produce monopolies, expensive goods and services, and prey upon cheap labor and ultimately induce both wage slavery and debt slavery.
R.K.: Yeah I just read today about a place in Alabama where there are debtors prisons all over the place. Hundreds of people in jail because they got a ticket and they couldn't pay it so they ended up in jail. It's terrible. I want to move on though.