Form is Content


The most important aspect of these eleven rules is the degree to which they are inherent in corporate structure. Corporations are inherently bold, aggressive, and competitive. Though they exist in a society that claims to operate by moral principals, they are structurally amoral. It is inevitable that they will dehumanize people who work for them and dehumanize the overall society as well. They are disloyal to workers, including their own managers. If community goals conflict with corporate goals, then corporations are similarly disloyal to communities they may have been part of for years. It is inherent in corporate activity that they seek to drive all consciousness into one-dimensional channels. They must attempt to dominate alternative cultures and to effectively clone the world population into a form more to their liking. Corporations do not care about nations; they live beyond boundries. They are intrinsically committed to destroying nature. And they have an inexorable, unabatable, voracious need to grow and expand. In dominating other culutres, in digging up the earth, corporations blindly follow the codes that have been built into their genes.

Would our society have been better off if we had been told, fromthe beginning, that corporations would behave as they do? As with every other new piece of machinery, large or small, we were only presented with the pros, never the cons, of this creature called the corporation. There was never a vote, whether on balance corporations destroy more than they contribute. Nor was there ever any effort to articulate the principals by which they operate and in the manner in which they would ineveitably behave. Articulating these principals ives us a picture of we should have been given a long time ago.

Now that we see the inherent direction of corporate activitiy, we must abandon the idea that corporations can reform themselves, or a new generation of executive managers can be re-educated. We must also abandon the assumption that the form of the structure is "neutral". To ask corporate executives to behave in a morally defensable manner is absurd. Corporations and the people within them are not subject to moral behavior. They are following a system of logic that leads inexorbly toward dominant behaviors. To ask corporations to behave otherwise is like asking an army to adopt pacifism. Form is Content.

[From: In Absent of the Sacred, by Jerry Mander, Sierra Club Books, 1991 p. 136]