Manufacturing Dissent

'The Corporation' creates a market for itself

Psycho seller, qu'est-ce que c'est?: 'The Corporation'
Zeitgeist Films
Psycho seller, qu'est-ce que c'est?: 'The Corporation'

Still, The Corporation would be stronger, and perhaps more stirring, if it allowed for a more rigorous debate. While the film's anticorporate interviewees tend to be influential intellectuals, the pro-business talking heads are often rather dim preachers of their gospel. And so we have Noam Chomsky indirectly squaring off with articulate but not especially intellectual marketers and corporate lobbyists. The filmmakers managed to get time with Milton Friedman, the hugely influential conservative economist (19th-century liberal, he would say), a guy who could issue a thorough and thoughtful defense of free markets and small government. But they only give him a minute or less of screen time. I happen to disagree with most of what Friedman stands for, but I'm not afraid to hear what the old coot has to say, and I don't see why The Corporation should feel differently. If nothing else, Achbar and Abbott might have thrown Friedman's words back at him. Consider, for example, this quote from Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom, written with excessive governmental power in mind, but equally applicable to today's corporate economy: "Freedom is a rare and delicate plant. Our minds tell us, and history confirms, that the great threat to freedom is the concentration of power."

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