Corporate Psychopaths


Corporate Psychopaths

The Corporation
Diagnosis of its specific Personality Disorder:

"The question that comes up periodically is to what extent could a corporation considered to be psychopathic. If we look at a corporation as a legal person it may not be that difficult to actually draw the transition between the psychosis in an individual to the psychosis in a corporation.

We could go through the characteristics at the finest for this personality disorder one by one and see how they might apply to corporations:

Personality Diagnostics Checklist
World Health Organization ICD-10
  • Callous unconcern for the feelings of others
  • Incapacity to maintain enduring relationships
  • Reckless disregard for the safety of others
  • Deceitfulness: Repeated lying and conning others for profit
  • Incapacity to experience guilt
  • Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviours

The corporations would have all the characteristics, and in fact in many respects corporational behaviour shows that they are the prototypical psychopath."

Dr. Robert Hare, Ph.D.
Consultant to the FBI on psychopaths

Against the pathological pursuit of profit and power!

A corporation is a legal person, which has to always look after its own interests. The creation of this artifical person can be traced back to Roman Law, but in order to lay off responsibility, manifested in England in the 17th century.

As the dominant institution of our time has been created in the image of the psychopath -
Who bears the moral responsibility for it's actions?

"The people, who are engaged in the corporation, weather as stockholders or as executives, weather as employees or as consumers of their production - they all have the moral responsibilities!"

Milton Friedman, Nobel prize-winning economist

Being a CEO of a Corporation you might as individual be the nicest person in the world, a gentle husband and a loving father, but in your institutional role you are a monster, because the institution you serve is a tyrannical monster.

"There is not a single scientific peer reviewed paper published in the last 25 years, that would contradict the present scenario:

Every living system of earth is in decline, every live support system of earth is in decline and these together constitute the biosphere. The biosphere that supports and nurtures all of life and not only our life, but also the life of 30 million other species that share this planet with us.
We are living a terrible legacy of poisoning and diminishment of the environment for our grandchildren's grandchildren.
Generations not yet born. Some people have called that intergenerational tyrrany - a form of taxation without representation levied by us to some generations yet to be. Its the wrong thing to do."

Ray Anderson, exCEO of the world's largest carpet corporation

There are women and men who belong to this unique sub-species, which otherwise is not existing on terra as a life-form, and they are specified by their habits as: THE PLUNDERERS AND SPOILERS. For them in devastation there is business opportunity. Money makes that possible for these corporate fascists.

"Social responsibility" isn't a deep shift, because it is a mere voluntary tactic - a tactic, a reaction to a certain market at this point. And as the corporation reads the market differently it can go back. One day you see Bambi - next day you see Godzilla."

Elain Bernhard, Executive Director, Trade Union Pro

The top corporations went global in order to escape as transnationals the scrutiny of the people in a country and it is common knowledge what happened along that path: Environmental destruction, slavery, child-labour, health hazards and thousands of people dying due to corporate irresponsibilities.

GAP Inc. became the first trans-national corporation, which under pressure from the public, finally allowed independent monitoring of their factories anywhere.

But elsewhere the ugly face shows up under a new hat an, in green smokescreen camouflage and even more bolt:

None of the companies who joint in the "Corporate Club", which is masterminded by the World Wide Fund for Nature e.g. in Kenya, has opened its doors for independent scrutiny. Members are Safaricom limited (Vodaphone & Government), Bamburi Cement, Coca Cola, Unilever, Nestle,, Brooke Bond, Basecamp Explorer, Express Travel Group, Club Sun n' Sand, Sher Agencies, Hotel Inter Continental and O&M Worldwide.

What can be done? All these Corporations are not untouchable. They need to be dismantled. Actually, most states have laws, which do demand that they are dismantled, if they don't serve any longer for the public good. The corporations themselves are not qualified to determine what defines social responsibility - this only can be done by the people themselves. The present process, where the transnationals dictate to local states their rules, is highly undemocratic.

This applies to McDonalds, Monsanto, Pioneer-Seeds, DOW Agrosciences, Aventis, BAYER, DuPont, Syngenta, Procter & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark,  Enron, Exxon, Microsoft, Disney, Kmart, Walmart, Worldcom, Reuters, Tyco, Andersen, Kodak, Canon, Exxon, Samsung, IBM, XEROX, as well as to CARE Inc., WWF Inc. and especially to the water transnationals like (Rumsfeld's) Bechtel, Vittel or Vivendi and many others of the "FORTUNE" 500, who not rarely have been called "bad apples".

The rights to nature and the commons never must ever again be wrenched from the hands of the people!


"It is illegal for a Director or a Manager of a Corporation to be genuinely socially responsible. We hear a lot of PR about social responsiblity, but it is really just "PR".

In the institution of a corporation we have allowed that an amoral and dangerous entity could be created!"



- learn more by reading his book Against the pathological pursuit of profit and power!
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The Deadly Game of Deceit - UNEP re-discovers green economics

(see the UNEP press release below) 10 Oct. 2005

COMMENT: Some have discovered a new ankle to the deadly game of deceit.

While the basic idea to include what nature provides into the economic calculus is good and has as such been lived by indigenous peoples, taken into consideration by responsible governments, who have regulations to enforce sustainability, and pushed for worldwide by many profound thinkers since long, the role of the UN and the sudden turn of certain schools of though is rather dubious. They will have to prove that it is not just another tax deduction gimmick for the hyper-corporations, what they try to promote in London as from today.

Actually Das Gupta himself seems to give away what they really have in mind when he said:
“Poverty will only be made history when nature enters economic calculations
in the same way as do buildings, machines, roads and for example software.
It is a particular catastrophe for the very poor,” said Professor Das Gupta.

This school of thought still has not understood that nature isn't just simply a machine or a building. Das Gubta et al. thereby only give way to another deviation. He might have just seen - but not really understood - the film The Corporation ( - highly recommended!) or might be now hired by the corporate world together with UNEP to only diffuse these issues.

That UNEP's Toepfer is not far away from such exercises does not wonder: Since years the head of the United Nations Environment Programme tries to rather be in bed with the WTO and the big corporations than to support work by his own staff, to not only show clearly the destruction of the biosphere but also the misdeeds by the corporate world against nature and what need to be done to stop it. Demands for tough cuts and thorough regulations on what is done so irresponsibly by the transnationals and their governments against nature and the people are buried by UNEP regularly in tonnes of papers containing conventions of pseudo-regulations, as the recent prolongation of loopholes (not the required 100% and worldwide stop!) of the use of methyl bromide shows.

Instead of wasting taxpayers money in London, Toepfer should work e.g. towards stopping the exorbitant and blatant over-exploitation of marine resources right in front of his doorsteps in Kenya or abstain from being a mere stirrup-holder for the water-corporations, whose interests through the proxy-governance of the actual government of Kenya only create misery for the poor, as seen by the recent evictions of indigenous peoples from their ancient forest homeland, which is earmarked to be the water catchment to the growing demand of the city dwellers. These tribal forest peoples live since long, what now apparently shall be re-invented by certain economists. People who still manage to live close to Nature, like the Ogiek or the San are part of nature - not apart from it, like the corporate profit maximizers or the UN as example of corporate governance.

To state the intent to uplift "the poor" out of "poverty" needs further explanations, as to what they actually mean, since Toepfer even does not manage to achieve a positive chance for the poor right in front of his nose and in his present country of residence. The former city-planner Klaus Toepfer certainly should not be allowed to hinder the proactive moves made by countries like India against the corporations by misusing the London School of Economics as a mere fig-leave institution for the interests of the just-for-profit and governance corporations. The corporate irresponsibility needs radical surgery rather than talk-shops, which only could serve to deliver the wording for further PR campaigns, paid for to mislead the public.

Enough of UNEP sentences like: "Studies from Algeria, Italy, Portugal, Syria and Tunisia also point to the value of intact forests." Mr. Toepfer do you need such to gasp the value of forests? No? Well, then maybe the economists could tell you or your writers during your London days at least that the creation of "pro-poor markets" is a contradictio in se - par excellance.

Otherwise the prize question might be just reduced to: "What is the economic value of the Executive Director of UNEP?"

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- below the original UNEP mailing:


Poverty to Rise Unless Economies Factor ‘Nature’s Capital’ into National Accounts

Economists and Environmentalists Gather in London to Bring Environment into Centre of Wealth Creation

London, 10 October 2005 - Poverty will only be made history when nature’s capital is factored into national profit and loss books, one of the world’s leading economists will assert today.

Key to this is creating markets that give real and long lasting value to the goods and services nature provides.

Traditional measures such as gross domestic product (GDP) are short changing current and future generations says Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta of Cambridge University.

This is because they fail to value the goods and services generated by the natural world and instead treat them as free to use and limitless in their abundance and ability to withstand damage and decay.

Such services include the carbon soaking power of forests, the fisheries and coastal defense activities of coral reefs, the pollution filtering-potential of wetlands and the nutrient recycling processes of the
earth’s soils.

Currently countries who fell their forests for timber exports, dynamite reefs for fish, pollute their land for intensive agriculture and contaminate their waterways with farm and factory run off can appear to be getting richer in the short term.

In reality, they are likely to be sliding into poverty or, at the very best, treading water, because they are plundering their natural capital - a key pillar of medium and long term wealth.

“Take the Indian sub-continent as an example. On the basis of traditional measures, like GDP, the region has been getting richer since the 1970s but in reality wealth per capita has actually declined. This is because, relative to population growth, investments in manufactured capital, knowledge, skills and health, and improvements in institutions were not sufficient to compensate for the depreciation of natural capital,” said Professor Das Gupta.

This has alarming consequences for not only this but the next generation who stand to inherit a planet with insufficient clean and functioning ecosystems’ to sustain their basic needs let lone their hopes and aspirations.

“Poverty will only be made history when nature enters economic calculations in the same way as do buildings, machines, roads and for example software. It is a particular catastrophe for the very poor,” said Professor Das Gupta.

“As countries mine their natural wealth to fuel economic activity, the poorest of the poor lose their very life support systems. If fish disappears from a rich country’s supermarket shelves shoppers can
substitute this loss of protein by buying another form for example pork, beef or soya. Poor people, depending on the natural resources around them, do not have this luxury, do not have this kind of choice,” said Professor Das Gupta.

Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) which is running  a  two  day  brainstorming  at  the  London  School  of Economics on how to mainstream environment in pro poor development strategies, said: “In the end we are all facing poverty if we fail to address environmental decline, if we fail to reinvest in nature’s capital. You cannot continue to drive a car if all you do is put petrol in the tank. It needs servicing, parts require replacing and we must pay for the roads and infrastructure on which it runs”.

“In reality, nature is even more complicated. By continually depleting and damaging it and without investment in the running, maintenance and management costs, the Earth’s life support can suddenly and abruptly fade or switch to become less productive and unpredictable. I believe we are slowly winning this political and economic argument but not fast enough. So we must hurry up otherwise all six billion of us will eventually be scratching around trying to survive,” he added.

Mr Toepfer said this was given fresh urgency by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, the work of over 1,300 experts. According to the assessment, some 60 per cent of the planet's ecosystem services are currently being degraded by human activities.

This week’s two day brainstorming, running from 10 to 12 October, has brought together some of the finest minds in environmental economics as well as senior figures from the environmental and intergovernmental fields.

It is hoped to engage the so called Multilateral Environmental Agreements, covering areas like biological diversity, migratory species and climate.

These treaties could go a long way towards helping refine ecosystem valuations and to improve cost benefit analysis of targeted investments in degraded ecosystems to boost political and financial support for this nature-based approach.

One of the primary aims is to see how pro-poor markets can be created that generate income for those in desperate need while conserving the life support systems upon which they and the rest of the world depend.

Currently, most of the goods and services provided by ecosystems have little or no market value despite their importance in the economic lives of communities, nations and the globe.

It has been calculated that tropical forests are worth some $60 billion a year as a result of their carbon removal activities alone which are helping in the fight against global warming.

But these forests, found in countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo or Indonesia, are only valued as timber resources rather than for their even more valuable carbon sequestration services.

Thus governments and local people have less incentive to conserve them and more incentive to cut them down.

Mr Toepfer said the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and other reports released during the year have made compelling economic cases for conserving ecosystems and for carrying out targeted investments in restoring degraded ones.

Valuing Natural Capital and Ecosystems

New figures show that an intact wetland in Canada is worth $6,000 a hectare versus $2,000 a hectare for one cleared for intensive agriculture. Intact tropical mangroves, coastal ecosystems that are nurseries for fish, natural pollution filters and coastal defenses, are worth around $1,000 a hectare. Cleared for shrimp farms, the value falls to around $200 a hectare.

The Assessment also puts a value on peat bogs and marshlands. It estimates that the Muthurajawela Marsh, a more than 3,000 hectare coastal bog in Sri Lanka, is worth an estimated $5 million a year as a result of services such as local flood control.

Losses as a result of damage by alien invasive species in the Cape Floral region of South Africa is calculated at around $2,000 a hectare.

The annual recreational value of coral reefs in the six Marine Management Areas of the Hawaiian islands ranges from $300,000 to tens of millions of dollars a year.

Studies from Algeria, Italy, Portugal, Syria and Tunisia also point to the value of intact forests.

These estimate that the value of the timber and fuel-wood from a forest is worth less than a third when compared with the value of their services such as water-shed protection and recreation to the absorption of pollutants like greenhouse gases.

The burning of 10 million hectares of Indonesia's forests in the late 1990s cost an estimated $9 billion as a result of factors including increased health care and tourism losses.

There are also new findings on the link between the spread of disease and environmental destruction. The provision of treated bed nets, the better availability of low cost anti-malarial drugs and the development of vaccines are crucial but so are healthy ecosystems.

Studies in the Amazon by researchers at Johns Hopkins University in the United States have concluded that for every one per cent increase in deforestation, there is an eight per cent increase in the number of malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

This has implications for human health but also to economic development. It is calculated that Africa's Gross National Product (GNP) in 2000 could have been 25 per cent or $100 billion higher if malaria had been eradicated 35 years ago.

Investing in Ecosystems to Meet the Millennium Development Goals on Poverty, Health, Women and Water Research indicates that investing in nature can provide an excellent rate of return and help meet the internationally agreed development goals.

Every dollar invested in fighting land degradation and desertification may conservatively generate over three dollars in economic benefits helping to fight poverty among the millions living on fragile lands.

Money could be spent on such traditional and soil conserving features like terracing.

Meanwhile every dollar spent on delivering clean water and sanitation is likely to give impressive rates of return of up to $14. It indicates that in some cases the income of the very poor could be boosted fourteen fold. Here the economic benefits arise from areas including reduced health care costs, increased productivity because of workers spending less time searching for water and improved school attendance.

Conservation of habitats and ecosystems are also cost effective when compared with the short term profits from environmentally damaging activities such as dynamite fishing, mining and sedimentation as a result of deforestation in the interior.

A study of coral reefs in the Caribbean indicates that sustainable harvesting of coral fish for food and industries such as the pet and aquaria trade may be worth $300 million a year, coral-based tourism just over $2 billion annually and shoreline protection from reefs up to $2.2 billion a year.

However, these economic benefits are threatened by damage and degradation amounting to between $350 million and $870 million a year. Overall for every dollar invested in coral reef conservation economic returns will total up to $5.

Meanwhile the carbon storage or “sequestration” potential of forests ranges between $360 and $2,200 per hectare which makes them worth far more than if they are converted to grazing or cropland.

Indeed once carbon reaches over $30 a ton it becomes far more cost effective to conserve forests than to clear them.

Natural capital also serves as back up against calamities such as droughts or crop failures. Studies from Brazil show that farmers in the Amazon’s Tapajos National Park turn to forests products such as nuts and berries when crop yields tumble.

In other words, the forest acts as a kind of nature-based insurance policy for those denied access to formal insurance and financial markets.

Notes to Editors

Creating Pro-Poor Markets for Ecosystem Services

A High-Level Brainstorming Workshop 10 – 12 October 2005, London School of Economics, United Kingdom

Organized by UNEP through its Division of Environmental Conventions and Division of Policy Development and Law, UNEP in conjunction with the LSE.