The Liberal Agenda – DocEdge festival – The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel


17 years after the original Corporation, Jennifer Abbott and Joel Bakan return with a desperate attempt at hope.

It falls short.

Their original documentary The Corporation, was groundbreaking. It put the Corporation through a psychological test and concluded that they were actually psychopathic.

That their venal self interest and naked greed regardless of societal damage made them and all they touched corruptible.

Example after example highlighted Corporate malfeasance and immoral illegality on a scale and scope almost beyond imagination.

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Their 17 year follow up is unfortunately more grim, not just in the new facts of how corporations have green washed and woke washed their psychopathic power grab but in the confusion both film makers clearly felt the response identity politics could achieve in addressing the economic questions.

In the new documentary we see Corporations camouflage their true profit motives, many contrary to their stated communal values, with woke social media and deceitful environmental promises.

We see their grand strategy of starving taxation revenue from the State while simultaneously privatizing social services for their benefit.

The solutions require a class response based on the 1% richest plus their 9% enablers vs the 90% rest of us, the problem is tribal identity politics has replaced class solidarity and that’s an issue the documentary clearly struggles with as it attempts to highlight solutions to Corporate power and their climate apocalypse creating rampant free market capitalism.

In 2010, the 388 richest individuals owned more wealth than half of the entire human population on Earth

By 2015, this number was reduced to only 62 individuals

In 2018, it was 42

In 2019, it was down to only 26 individuals who own more wealth than 3.8 billion people.

And now in 2021, 20 people own more than 50% of the entire planet.

This isn’t democracy, this is a feudal plutocracy on a burning Earth

The Big Tech Tzars have manipulated our collective fear, ego, anger and insecurities through social media in a way that has led to the largest psychological civil war ever launched against one another.

We are but meat bags secreting hormones addicted to dopamine rewards for fat, sugar, salt and sex in a cultural landscape of individualism uber allas where we sing sweet secret lies to ourselves to make sense of a world around us that is frightening and in constant entropy.

Meanwhile, the planet burns and every aspect of our existence is monetarised for big data to sell us more stuff we can’t afford. We are alienated and anesthetized by a consumer culture that keeps us neurotic and disconnected. Our work, our existence, every move we make are all built to suck money to a minority class that sits above us while under neoliberalism, globalization, financialization, and automation, our existence as individuals has only become more disposable.

We need to be kinder to People and crueler to Corporates.



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  1. “We have to grasp, as Marx and Adam Smith did, that corporations are not concerned with the common good. They exploit, pollute, impoverish, repress, kill, and lie to make money. They throw poor people out of homes, let the uninsured die, wage useless wars for profit, poison and pollute the ecosystem, slash social assistance programs, gut public education, trash the global economy, plunder the U.S. Treasury and crush all popular movements that seek justice for working men and women. They worship money and power.”
    — Chris Hedges

  2. Firstly iretail as an Industry has the most billionaires (consumerism and over population pays) but tech is worth more. Fashion is another big industry for billionaires.

    There needs to be a global minimum tax on corporate turnover (aka minimum tax of 5% on turnover) NOT profit as current tax rates and ideas do not solve the issue of tax loopholes and loading up local companies with debt and intellectual charges to make them look less profitable to avoid local taxation.

    Biden is on the right track with a global minimum corporate tax but needs to have a turnover component as a minimum aka lowest tax is either 5% of turnover in a local country OR 15% corporate tax on profits whichever is lowest. AKA rich companies must pay tax on their consumer goods and services being sold in a country and not on their manipulated profits.

    Billionaires and Trillionaires will not even notice and it will even up the playing field and hopefully push the planet into worrying more about quality goods than quantity of rubbish goods piling up the planet!

    There should also be a tax on any plastic in any packaging with the companies producing the goods having to pay for the waste fees for any non recyclable components.

    At present for example you can buy groups of cans in packaging which is cheaper than individual cans on special. The only way to make corporations think about lowering their waste cost is to hit them with taxes and make them more expensive. Currently is seems the opposite, consumers pay more for recycled options than plastic ones destroying the planet.

    There was little outpouring when the government FINALLY banned single use bags for example, but you still are given so many plastic bags and components in food and other goods, which could easily be taxed out overnight. Plastic bags for fruit (instead of paper or bring your own), plastic to package or wrap up food (chips, biscuits, everything) and so forth. It is unbelievable how much packaging there is that is unnecessary in food.

    Remember 30 years ago we had plenty of food that was not wrapped in plastic!

  3. Neoliberalism in NZ is committed to selling assets that generate rents to the public who used to own them, to private practice – while blowing money on things like America’s cup and mall development that should be funded by the billionaires that love the industry not ratepayers trying to keep a roof over their heads!

    Recently Auckland Council has been on a firesafe selling spree to “to allow Auckland Council to have the cash it needs to balance the Mayors “spending and borrowing” budget. ie: property sales are needed to balance the books, rather than peeling back to core business to solve Council’s financial woes.”

    In Auckland a key strategic site/carpark building (beside the Tepid Baths), built by previous generations of Aucklanders, has been voted by Mayor Goff and the m͟a͟j͟o͟r͟i͟t͟y͟ of Councillors to be sold – and most likely it will be to a foreign investor.

    The carpark produce an income of around $ per year for Auckland Council.

    Previous Auckland Council asset sales….

    “Auckland Council’s fire sale of the Civic Administration Building (CAB), 22 levels, (19 floors and 3 basement levels), 14,000m2 of office space, and 5300m2 of land in the heart of the Auckland CBD for a paltry $3m, with (less than) $100,000 down, the balance upon sale of apartments, has got to be the worse example of public property value destruction in the history of Auckland local government.”

    There seems to be plenty of vacant buildings that could be used to home the poor but apparently has to be sold cheap in fire sales or to private practise to utilise instead of being retained by the council and government.

    More council firesales….

    Car park sold for $1 could cost council millions after failed build

  4. The corporation is there to make a profit for shareholders, full stop. In some jurisdictions, this is mandated by law and any attempts to dilute that goal in the name of social good can be met with the full force of the law. Within a country where the corporation operates, employment is a side effect of the running of the business, not the altruistic social endeavour that it is painted as. Taxation is seen by many as optional, at the same time they reduced their workforces, transferring jobs elsewhere and increasing the costs both social and economic to states where they operate. Import tarrifs have been removed at their behest, leading to further job losses and falls in income. Economies have been hollowed out. Goverments looking for places to invest their citizens sovereign wealth funds are in collusion, often unwilling to dilute corporate power lest their investment income be impacted. Much of this wealth is invested in companies developing infrastructure and services in other countries, while the citizens whose wealth it is watch their services and infrastructure decline. Those that can make this change happen, have no incentive to do so due to the revolving door between politics and the private sector. In short we are stuffed.

    • As that article shows, this year we have been importing coal to burn for electricity. That’s very very carbon-intensive electricity, when you include the cost of transporting it from Indonesia. Highlights the pointless virtue signalling of banning further oil and gas exploration in NZ. And for God’s sake, if we must burn coal, why can’t it be local NZ coal?


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