Writing 06: Corporate Conscience

I think corporations should be expected to have the same ethical and moral obligations and responsibilities as a person. However, the reason is one that may not be expected. I believe that much progress is done by those who defy the rules, and are fortunate enough to not get punished for doing so. Their actions show the world that the rules are wrong or need to be updated. How will we ever evolve if no one challenges the current state of the world? Fortunately or unfortunately, we need people who challenge the norms in order for us to adapt. I still think we need rules in place for “damage control.” If we had no standards for corporations, they would all do crazy things for profit (crazy = uncontrollable), and we wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. However, with some rules, we have the power to either let them advance (change our rules) or stop them (enforce our rules). So from that perspective, the corporation is serving to advance our rules by showing us how limiting/broken they are. My overall perspective, I think, is the belief that things resolve themselves in the long run. Either a corporation is allowed to continue what it is doing and we update our rules, or we stop them and they update their tactics. Kind of like biology, where bacteria makes the immune system stronger, corporations that break the rules make the rules stronger. However, what we cannot do is allow the bacteria to overpower the immune system, so we need some rules. Some of the readings mention the extent of Facebook’s and Google’s reach in society. These are very valid points, and as I see it, these are companies that are running on not entirely ethical means… by our standard of ethics. However, they operate under different circumstances than we can see, and maybe what they are doing is ethical in their eyes. The only true way that we can debate on something is on its overall outcome, because we may be better to better quantify it, rather than talking about abstract concepts. So, these companies are in the state of either updating themselves or updating our rules. The very nature of rules is a hindrance to innovation. Rules can be viewed as a structure that must not be touched or disturbed in any way. It is completely inconsiderate of the outside world. It will not move… until it has to. It will only move when the outside world keeps banging on it, which is a sign that something is off about the structure and we have to review it. The very nature of rules is to not move. The nature of innovation is to mix and match things in ways that were never done before. At some point, one idea will come along that does many great things but is at odds with the law in one way or another. At this point, one of the two has to move. This is how society advances.