The CEOs who made up two White House advisory councils have fled like rats on a sinking ship. Their exodus — a dramatic rebuke of Donald Trump — came within 48 hours of the incendiary August 15 press conference where the President praised some of the participants of last week’s white supremacist rampage in Charlottesville, Virginia.
I applaud the gallant efforts of so many activists to pressure these corporatists to distance themselves from Trump. But to a man, these Titans resisted. Exposure of their support for Trump’s anti-American policies did not shame them. The pain and suffering of their American victims did not move them. Soiling of their corporate America image did not worry them. But the moment Trump is seen to coddle Neo-Nazis, they all rushed for the door. You might say that they under-value their American identity, while taking great care not to alienate former victims of Nazism.
One could dance around this all day long, but in the final analysis, ‘know thyself, know thy enemy’, or our side will lose.
It’s fine that some activists were able to pressure these corporation heads to dissociate from the Toxic Orange Dumpster Fire. And to note that even what should have been an easy decision for these CEOs was only made under pressure.
But what’s wrong with this is that these companies—and many others—have a long record of civil destruction and malfeasance, from these very same companies coddling racists to others creating environmental ghettos of minorities, among other crimes. (https://thinkprogress.org/ceos-white-supremacy-bottom-line-c1a08f53e363/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tp-letters)
That fact that it took the President—the goddam President!—coddling Nazis for some of them to act is nothing to celebrate.
And, the real reason they did it is not out of any deep sense of moral obligation, but because this particular manifestation of Trumpian suckage was so bad and obvious that being associated with it might affect their profits. It’s the same reason they joined his lameass council in the first place—the potential to make more money. As Milton Friedman noted, the social responsibility of business is profit. It’s fundamentally misguided to look to corporations for moral guidance. or example.
Celebrating these seeming victories around the edges is hacking at the branches of the problem while leaving the root alone. The mere existence of these monopoly corporations, the agency of corporate personhood that enables them, and the corruption political system which allows them to not only participate in politics, but to subvert it to their own ends are the real problem.
In the early years of the country, corporations did not exist. Original chartering legislation was highly restrictive, requiring corporations to demonstrate a clear public benefit. There were severe sanctions, up to dissolution of their existence for any infractions. They were prohibited from any participation in politics.
It’s indicative of how far we’ve come (fallen) that these kinds of restrictions and sanctions are no longer even imaginable, even for people who call themselves “progressives” while pretending to be fighting abusive corporate power and influence.
CEOs have the simplest job description of any job classification…protect and enhance shareholder value. Every business law 1A student learns that US law requires this fiduciary duty.
It was only when shareholder value became threatened that the CEOs exited Trump’s theatric groups.
As is so much of the core of addressing the corruption, ethical vacuum, predatory practices and extinction level ‘harvesting’ of what is required for sustainable healthy society, WE NEED MORE REPORTING ON THE CONNECTIONS TO FINANCIAL POLICY and the normalization of abuses.
The days of taunting by predatory elite of people, groups and alliances that hold firm to ethical sustainable documentation and framing of policy are numbered and the countdown MUST be STRENGTHENED. The irony that failed policy is laid bare in POLICING and militarization along with calls for austerity at the same time taxes are increased amid nauseating claims of elite “qualities” rationalizing abuses of technocracy. Are you listening Ms DeVos?
MT 16:26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?