Is there such as thing as “corporate mascupathy?” Let’s start with the Citizen’s United Supreme Court decision that states that corporations are people. Let’s then take the next step and see that corporations exhibit human qualities, and let’s recognize that companies frequently manifest the worst of human qualities, acting like bullies, thugs and, to use our word, mascupaths.
On the most recent edition of his HBO program, Last Week Tonight, John Oliver took aim at a phenomenally egregious form of corporate bullying, using Philip Morris as an example. Here’s how the LA Times summed up Oliver’s program. “The HBO host spent about 20 minutes ripping into the tobacco company’s threats of lawsuits — especially in poorer nations such as Togo — in what Oliver called an attempt to ward off more stringent regulations on cigarettes, such as laws that require cigarette boxes to feature pictures of diseased body parts and warnings of the health consequences of smoking.”
Let’s not get diverted into thinking about the rights of corporations to protect their branding or the issue of smoking itself. What’s important here is that Philip Morris is bullying, manipulating, and lying to small countries with limited budgets with threats of bankrupting lawsuits in international court. It’s big guys throwing their weight around; it’s verbal assault and blackmail. It’s the epitome of corporate mascupathy. Let’s make this an even bigger story. Post on twitter: #jeffwecan.