Excellent interview with Henry Mintzberg on The Sunday Edition this morning in case anyone missed it. You can listen to it here.
Mintzberg is an interesting professor of Management at McGill and you can get some great information on his web sight here. Read his material, it is worth it.
He focuses on the neo-con fantasy concerning lower corporate taxes and the way that the political agenda has tilted toward corporate power in the last 20 years or so.
One of the most interesting things he said in this morning's interview was when he talked about the Conservative effort to get people to see corporations like people, with the same kinds of rights. He points out that if corporations really want to be treated like people then they should be treated like people when it comes to criminal activity. If Pfizer, for example, is convicted of breaking the law then, like an individual they should be stopped from functioning in society for a time, like a prison sentence. He suggested that he would be very surprised if any corporation would, under these circumstances, want such rights status. Indeed!
He went on to say that he wasn't against corporations but that he was against corporations being involved in his government. Through their influence, corporations have framed the tax code and successfully lobbied to change many regulations in their interests. Mintzberg roughly divides society into three parts, political, private, and social (something like civil society in modern parlance). His work suggests that balance has tipped way too far toward the private and it needs to tip back toward the social, in which the political system acts in the interests of the social body at large and not in the interests of faceless corporations that have colonized our political body.
Good stuff Mr. Mintzberg!