On Wall Street: Are Corporations Inherently Immoral?

by Jim Fetzer

Zbig, his daughter, Mika, and Joe
That Zbig Brzezinski is discussing the gross discrepancy between the rich and the poor, where he predicted some years ago that, because of the growing distance between the rich and powerful (who have become the “rich and shameless”) and the poor and powerless, the nation would confront a massive movement for more distributive justice, it occurred to me that what he has to say can only be adequately appreciated against a background of familiarity with moral theory and why there is a case to be made that corporations are inherently immoral. Brzezinski believes we are moving into a major era of social and political unrest, where the attitude of the multinational corporations, as the economist who discusses this with him explains, is that they don’t care about nations, morality, or anything apart from profit margins, which reflects their corruption to their very core.  As a former professor of philosophy who offered courses on the nature of morality, I want to explain how it affects our understanding of human relations and political developments.
The latest decision by the Supreme Court to open the floodgates of corporate funding for political advertising as a form of “free speech” represents one of the most contemptible decisions in the history of the court, which only matches — in the magnitude of its stupidity and inconsistency with the principles of the Constitution, which the justices are sworn to uphold — the decision to stop the recount of the vote in Florida, which gave the election of 2000 to George W. Bush. We have been reeling from the consequences of that decision — which not only subverted democratic procedures in the country but unleashed untold evils in the form of massive tax cuts for the rich, the loss of civil liberties, and wars of aggression involving violations of international law, the UN Charter, and even the Constitution itself. It was hard to image how the court could have done anything worse — until it gave us this decision.
The propensity of corporations, including our banks and mortgage institutions, to maximize benefits in the form of profits should lead us to expect that more corporate influence in political campaigns will not make matters better but almost certainly worse. Indeed, the thought has crossed more than one rational mind that, if corporations as prominent as AIG, Goldman-Sachs, and CitiBank, not to mention Halliburton, Raytheon, and other giants of the military-industrial complex, are now going to exert even more influence in political and economic affairs, then perhaps the only reason we haven’t heard of more cases of corruption of this kind in the past — apart from the occasional savings and loan scandal, for example — has been a function of ignorance, where we haven’t known because our nation’s press has failed to keep us informed.
What are Corporations?
The underlying reasons, however, may run deeper than that. One problem that has arisen within this context has been a matter of understanding what the word “corporation” should be understood to mean. The alternatives range from that of a nexus of contracts to a person, where the first reflects a function of corporations (to enter into contracts) and the second a legal fiction (since a business is not a person). One place to start to come to grips with this problem is the dictionary, which offers the following conception(s):
(D1) corporation = 1 a legal entity, consisting usually of a group of people who have a charter granting it perpetual life, that is invested with many of the legal powers given to individuals: a corporation may enter into contracts, by and sell property, etc. 2 a group of people, as the mayor and aldermen of an incorporated town, legally authorized to act as an individual. 3 any of the political and economic bodies forming a corporative state, each being composed of the employers and employees in a certain industry, profession, etc. 4 a large, prominent belly (Webster’s New World Dictionary, 3rd College Edition 1988).
Imagine my surprise to discover that, contrary to my sincere belief that corporations are not persons, there are definitions, such as 4 above, according to which a mere part of a person can qualify as a corporation, especially since I had never before thought of myself from that point of view! The evidence in my case may be indisputable, but the sense at stake here is not 4 but rather 1, which identifies corporations with a group of people who are organized for the conduct of business by entering into contracts, which assigns the function (entering into contracts) with those who exercise it (the owners).

Our disparity in wealth is staggering
The owners of corporations are not necessarily the same as their officers or employees, of course, except in cases in which the officers or employees own stock in the company. A rather important distinction must therefore be drawn between “stockholders”, who are the owners of the company in the strict sense, and “stakeholders”, who are persons or other entities having interests that may be affected by its conduct of business, for better or for worse. That includes employees, customers, creditors, and suppliers as well as stockholders, not to mention the community, the environment, and the world.
Just to sharpen our focus and avoid misunderstanding, the conception of corporation that appears to matter within this context can be captured by the following definition:
(D2) corporation = a legal entity consisting of an arrangement of people and property (roles and assets) interacting together for the purpose of conducting business by a nexus of contracts.
Although this definition may appear to be neutral with regard to the question before us, it fails to take into account the historical context of the times. As Marjorie Kelly, The Divine Right of Capital (2001), has astutely observed, the standard conception of corporations–the prevailing paradigm within American society–accepts the crucial principle that “the only social responsibility of the corporation is to make a profit”,which was initially enunciated by a Nobel Laureate in Economics, Milton Friedman, which might be encapsulated by the slogan that, when it comes to corporations, “Greed is good!”
Lest we not recognize the importance of this principle, Kelly elaborates its meaning:
In corporate society, good is what is in the interest of stockholders. That is the primary criterion of morality. It means the corporation has the right to do financial violence to its employees or the environment (conducting massive layoffs, clear-cutting forests), or to attack other corporations (brutal competition, hostile takeovers), if that increases the well-being of the ruling tribe, the stockholders.
Indeed, according to Kelly, prominent philosophers, including Karl R. Popper, have characterized (what he calls) “the totalitarian theory of morality” as maintaining that “good is what is in the interest of my group; or my tribe; or my state”. Thus, such states, for example, are permitted to attack other states, or to do violence to their own citizens, if it benefits the ruling tribe. Or, alternatively, such corporations are permitted to attack other corporations, or to do violence to their own employees, if it benefits the stockholders. These states and corporations are exploitative and corrupt.
What Makes Something Immoral?
If Popper is correct, then corporations certainly appear to be inherently immoral. But is he correct? The answer depends upon which theory of morality is correct. There are many claimants to that role, including subjective theories, family-value theories, religious-based theories, and culture-related theories, according to which actions are right when you (your family, your religion, or your culture) approve of it. So if you (your family, your religion, or your culture) approve of incest, cannibalism, or sacrificing virgins to appease the gods, such actions cannot be immoral. They are moral, necessarily.

Inequities in wealth produce inequities in power
All of these approaches make morality a matter of power, where right reduces to might. If someone approves of killing, robbing, or raping you, you have no basis to complain on the ground that those actions are immoral, if subjectivism is correct. Similarly for family, religion, and culture-based alternatives. Every person, every family, every religion, and very culture is equal, regardless of their practices, respectively, if such theories are true.
As James Rachels,The Elements of Moral Philosophy (1999), explains, on any of these accounts, the very ideas of criticism, reform, or progress in matters of morality no longer apply. If attitudes about right and wrong differ or change, that is all there is to it, even when they concern your life, liberty, or happiness. If some person, family, or group has the power to impose their will upon you, these theories afford you no basis to complain.
Philosophers have therefore sought to establish some less-relative and more-objective framework for understanding morality, including what are known as consequentialist and non-consequentialist theories. According to consequentialism, an action is right if it produces as much GOOD (usually taken to be happiness) as any available alternative. But the problem remains of deciding FOR WHOM that happiness ought to be produced.
According to Ethical Egoism, for example, an action is right if it brings about as much happiness for you personally as any available alternative. Consequences for others simply don’t count. So Ted Bundy, John Gacy, and Jeffrey Dahmer, for example, are home free–morally speaking–though few juries would be likely to be impressed by the argument that killing gave them more happiness than any available alternative.
According to Limited Utilitarianism, moreover, an action is right when it brings about as much happiness for your group as any available alternative. This is good news for The Third Reich, the Mafia, and General Motors. If no available alternative(s) would produce more happiness for Nazis than territorial acquisition, military domination, and racial extermination, then those qualify as moral actions if Limited Utilitarianism is true.
Classic Utilitarianism, among consequentialist theories, is the only one that dictates encompassing the effects actions have upon everyone rather than some special class. But this virtue does not guarantee the right results. If a social arrangement with a certain percentage of slaves, say, 15%, would bring about greater happiness for the population as a whole — because the increase in happiness of the masters outweighed the decrease in happiness of the slaves — then that arrangement would qualify as moral. Necessarily!
So if theories that qualify manifestly immoral behavior as “moral” ought to be rejected, perhaps a non-consequentialist approach can do better. According to what is known asDeontological Moral Theory, actions are moral when they involve treating other persons with respect. More formally expressed, it requires that other persons should always be treated as ends (as intrinsically valuable) and never merely as means (instrumentally).
This does not mean that persons can never treat other persons as means, which usually happens without thereby generating immorality. The relationship between employers and employees is clearly one in which employers use their employees as a means to conduct a business and make profits, while employees use their employment as a means to make a buck and earn a living. Within a context of mutual respect, this is moral conduct.
When employers subject their employees to unsafe working conditions, excessive hours, or poor wages, however, the relationship becomes exploitative and immoral, which can also occur when employees do not perform their duties, steal from their employers, or abuse the workplace. Similar considerations apply to doctors and patients, students and faculty, or ministers and congregations, which may explain our dismay at their betrayal.
Are Corporations Inherently Immoral?
If these considerations are correct, then it would appear to be the case that corporations qualify as limited utilitarian entities. When exemplified by states such as Germany during The Third Reich, they qualify as instances of what Popper calls “the totalitarian theory of morality”. Since corporations are not states, however, it would seem to be more appropriate and less prejudicial to classify the morality exemplified by these entities instead as limited utilitarianism. Since they satisfy the conditions that define an indefensible moral posture, it seems to follow that they also qualify as amoral, at least in the sense that their behavior does not have to satisfy conditions of morality.

Corporations are limited utilitarian entities
The conclusion that corporations are inherently immoral appears very plausible, but it might be a good idea to investigate the matter further to ascertain whether or not corporations can be moral, in which case they are not necessarily inherently corrupt. If we assume the prevailing paradigm of corporations as profit maximizing entities, then since profits are generated as the difference between net income (as a function of prices for products or for services) and net costs (of producing those products or services –schematically, where profits = ( prices-costs ) — the principle of profit maximization implies the obvious desirability of inflating prices and deflating costs.
Costs themselves tend to be a function of the cost of natural resources, the cost of human labor, and (local, state, and federal) taxes. To increase profits, therefore, at least three broad avenues of approach are available related to decreasing costs, namely: (a) decrease the cost of natural resources; (b) decrease the cost of human labor; and (c) decrease the cost of (local, state, and federal) taxes. Alternatively, increase prices to the optimal point where sales produce maximal profits, where the term “profits” should properly be construed broadly to include such forms of profit as retained earnings, stock options, reinvestments in companies, and such).
The modes of operation that tend to maximize profits thus include (a) decreasing the cost of natural resources by, for example, (i) exploiting the environment, (ii) converting public land to private use, and (iii) evading the expenses of pollution cleanup or costs of environmental restoration; (b) decreasing the cost of human labor by, for example, (i) paying minimal wages, (ii) offering minimal benefits (health coverage, dental plans, and such), and (iii) opposing the organization or diminishing the influence of labor unions that engage in collective bargaining.
Alternatively, (c) decrease the cost of taxes, for example, by (i) resisting paying corporation taxes, (ii) seeking to reduce income tax rates and (iii) attempting to abolish inheritance taxes; or (d) increase the price of your product, for example, by (i) reducing competition, (ii) promoting monopolies, and (iii) manipulating markets (by contriving shortages, disseminating misinformation, and the like). These techniques are morally acceptable to corporations because, as limited utilitarian entities, they are obligated to consider the consequences for no one but themselves. The consequences of their acts for others simply do not matter.
Indeed, the situation is so drastic that corporations operating as limited utilitarian entities can even resist supporting the social safety net that has been developed since the days of The New Deal, including unemployment insurance, workmen’s compensation, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and similar programs, which tend to defeat profit maximization for at least three reasons: (1) they increase the cost of (local, state, and federal) taxation; (2) they create alternatives to low-paying, menial jobs; and (3) they thereby empower the workforce with options.
The current trend toward globalization appears to extend the reach of American corporations around the world, where the potential benefits are enormous as a new form of (or a new name for) colonialism and imperialism, for example, by (1) reducing the cost of natural resources; (2) reducing the cost of labor; and (3) reducing the cost of (local, state, and federal) taxation. Thus, it should come as no surprise that the diminution of sweatshops in the United States should be taking place with a commensurate increase in sweatshops around the world!
What Can Be Done?
It should be apparent that, when their conduct is controlled by the principle of maximizing profits, corporations are inherently corrupt. The problem results from the operation of corporations on the basis of Friedman’s principle rather than from the definition of corporations themselves. Consequently, it may be said that corporations are inherently amoral, which means that they can, but are not obligated to, operate on the basis of principles of morality that involve treating other parties with respect. The situation can be changed, therefore, only by adopting a different paradigm than the prevailing corporate paradigm.

They tend to look after “their own”
Kelly, for example, suggests that corporate responsibilities should be redefined to maximize benefits, not merely to stockholders, but tostakeholders, where the responsibilities of corporations include taking into account the consequences of their actions for the parties that they affect by not violating their rights. From a moral point of view, this is analogous to abandoning limited utilitarianism and adopting deontological principles as binding on corporations in their relations with stakeholders and only seeking to maximize profits to an extent consistent with deontological morality. This represents a change in corporate paradigms.
The stakeholders, remember, include every party with interests that are affected by the actions of the corporation, that is, which is causally affected, for better or for worse, by its mode of operation, including employees, customers, suppliers, and stockholders, but also the community, the environment, and the world. This approach forsakes short term gains for long term planning, where decisions are made taking into account the answers to questions such as the following three:
*How do corporate actions affect the qualify of life of employees?
*How do corporate actions affect sustainability over the long run?
*How do corporate actions affect the survival of the human species?
Such a change represents a shift toward corporations that serve the public good and do not merely promote private greed, as we have seen in the case of AIG, Goldman-Sachs, CitiBank, Halliburton, Raytheon, and other monsters who seek to benefit themselves regardless of the consequences for individuals, society as a whole, or even the best interests of the world. It would be nice if we could count on our own Supreme Court to maintain a certain Constitutional balance in matters of this kind, but that, alas, appears to be asking for too much.
When the economist with whom Zbig is discussing the Wall Street movement and the social unrest and economic inequalities that underlie it, therefore, pay special attention to the point he makes about his conversations with the CEOs of transnational corporations, who could care less about the people and the nations where they reap their profits.  The core of morality is treating other persons with respect, but to limited utilitarian entities of this kind, the value of any individual is his net worth and how much money they may be able to extract from him as a consumer.  Nothing else matters–and we are going to be paying the price.
Jim Fetzer is a former Marine Corps officer, the founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth and McKnight Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota Duluth. This is an updated and revised piece previously published in OpEdNews (25 January 2010).
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19 thoughts on “On Wall Street: Are Corporations Inherently Immoral?”

  1. Pingback: Joseph Stiglitz, Can We Trust CEOs' Shock Conversion to Corporate Benevolence? - James Fetzer
  2. I'm not going to lie. I could use some links for SEO purposes. On the bright side, you'll be saving countless souls from months if not years of abuse and poverty. Thanks.

  3. Assterian, you are apparently LONG overdue for your psych meds. You fume and rant and sputter in the exact way a manic-depressive would when on a tear. If I were professor Fetzer, Not one syllable of your laughable and repulsive mania would make its way onto this page. You're always going to be an assklown, sparky, and will forever look like the ass your are to anyone unfortunate enough to chance upon one of your meaningless screeds. GTFO.

  4. Winfield, U'RE a Ph.d?–that's hard to believe, buddy. On the other hand, I guess these days they give out Ph.ds to just any fool, eh?–all u gotta do is just suck-along and repeat stupid crap they teach, little actual thinking required, hohoho ho

  5. There is an interesting story about Henry Ford. He and his right hand man Bennett were riding around Michigan and pulled into a Ford Dealership. Henry walked back to the shop and looked around. Those were the days when no signs “Keep out due to insurance regulations” were not present. He did not like what he saw. It was dingy, dark, dirty and a general unorganized mess, not representative of the policies dealerships were required to follow by him since he was the BOSS of the whole empire. He went up to the front office where a manager sat behind a clouded glass partition. No one would even talk to him. No one believed he was really Henry Ford. The BOSS received the silent treatment. As you can imagine, Henry was very very angry at all this.
    He had Bennett drive back to the office and here is basically what Henry Directed him to do: He was directed to hire a special executive to acquire properties as close as possible to every dealer, especially this one in particular. Then, across the street from this dealer, Henry had a brand new dealership constructed in order to put this existing one out of business. The new one would follow Henry’s dictates and requirements and have a shiny clean, efficient shop. Of course this created enormous problems for the company and son Edsel had to convince stubborn Henry to end it because it was driving good dealers out. But this illustrates what one very intelligent and powerful and genius level single owner of the largest industrial empire could and did do when people did not follow his demands of them. He could be very very tough. Henry also banned all clouded glass partitions. Henry Ford had almost no formal education. He grew up on a farm there and his father wanted him to remain on the farm with his many other brothers and sisters. Henry Ford was a genius. Only in America could he have accomplished so much for so few.
    Winfield J. Abbe, Ph.D., Physics

  6. The late great Henry Ford may have been the last single person owner and controller of the biggest industrial empire in the world. The automobile industry is notorious for bringing the best businessmen to their knees. The basic problem revolves around the enormous cash demands of this type of business vs the uncertain income. Once Henry was forced to raise a large amount of cash in a relatively short time; about $100 million which is a lot of money even today. He cut every corner and did it and saved his company from the banksters. He hated bankers and did everything in his power to become independent of them. The trouble is though, that without the enormous ability of a corporation to raise the enormous capital required to mass develop and mass produce everything we use daily from automobiles, television sets, food, gasoline, etc., everything would be enormously expensive and much would not be produced at all on the scale necessary to satisfy the world demands. Even with such power many things and projects are not carried out due to lack of profit potential or other considerations. Even after WWII at the time of Henry’s death, the company was in bad financial shape which the “Whiz Kids” were brought in to correct. It almost went under then. We will always have a love- hate relationship with the corporation vs the person.

  7. ———[HERE'S PART TWO TO ABOVE]———–

    Thus criminality and COUNTERFEITING of the nation's monetary system, the genuine money now turned into mere "currency," inflated at the (criminal) banker's expedience became the law of the land in 1913, as it had periodically earlier in the nation's history, under Sec. of Treasury, Alex. Hamilton, and then later, again, the second B. of the US killed by Andrew Jackson–Fetzer knows NOTHING about all this about organized, institutionalized criminality, and what it means in practical terms, to judge fm his moronic writings on ethics.

    Note then the CRUX of any ethical system–or any system whatsoever–is to be found in the metaphysics, the first, most basic principles. Fetzer thus seeks to take ethics OUT of the rational realm given by Aristotelian objectivity, AND to giving legitimacy to this irrationality and subjectivity, thus playing into hands of Jew psychopaths, criminals, and satanists–where we are and find ourselves in this day, awaiting the extermination of humanity under auspices of "Agenda-21," etc.

    Corp.s need merely be properly understood and defined in accord w. real system of law, law understood within proper objective, Aristotelian, hence Christian reality which doesn't tolerate subjective law, whence law is rendered nugatory and used in selective manner to prosecute enemies of the state and the criminal factions which rule at the top, as we see now.

    Tax-payer money should NEVER be spent for such monstrosity as "public edjumaction," as we get idiots like Fetzer who corrupt and confuse the young w. glorified ignorance and irrationality, now pretending to science, of all things, legitimizing Jews, satanism, and the horrific situation we have presently, the US sponsoring terrorism, funding, supplying, and arming terrorism, even here in USA itself, about to explode on unprecedented, massive scale.

  8. Fetzer: Charlatan, Hack, Gate-Keeper, Perfect Picture Of Horrific Cultural "Decline Of West"

    Corp.s are literally creatures of law. If the corp. commits criminal acts, which they obviously do, it's because the law allows it. And when we look, we see US Law is so miserably corrupt, the US Federal laws working now to tens of thousands of pages. Romans had a saying: "the more laws, the greater the corruption."

    Look at the US Federal Reserve Bank: it's literally a criminal enterprise (see RealityZone.com and Mises.org for expo on Fed), which is simply legalized COUNTERFEITING, totally un-Constitutional. But when u have IGNORANT people–led by ignorant, so-called "teachers" and "philosophicals," like Fetzer, thoroughly incompetent, u must not be surprised to have such "Decline of the West," by Oswald Spengler, as we have, the culture in the hands of psychopaths like Jews who rule. Observe all the presidential candidates falling over themselves exclaiming their love for Israeli terror-state.

    And the very mark of TREASON is such as Fetzer who teaches there are "good Jews"–like there are good psychopaths, good satanists, good Christ-killers. For that is precisely what Jew Talmud preaches and teaches–that Christ was heretic, blasphemer, and sorcerer, who corrupted the people and was righteously executed (ho ho–the Talmud ADMITS Jews had Christ killed). See Talmudical.blogspot.com and Come-and-hear.com for best Talmudic expo.

    Fetzer, the incompetent flack, teaches the establishment line on "ethics," as he's regularly presented here on this blog and others, and on many occasions, effectively pushing the subjectivist "good-evil" Pharisaism–against the obvious objectivistic (fm Aristotle) determinist principle (and founded in Christianity) that humans are egoists (hence "sinners," according to Christian tradition), by their very basic nature and that only reason can possibly temper such egoism, and the law must take due cognizance.

    This rational egoist ethical philosophy was that of Hobbes and Locke, to name just a couple, and is still well-understood ethical philosophy to this very day. But edjumacated fool and moron, like Fetzer, evidently never hrd of Hobbes and Locke.

    Worst of all for Fetzer's typical sort of treason and ignorance is his complete and total overlooking of Christian philosophy embedded within the (New Test.) literature and allegory, which this fool deliberately writes-off and refuses to acknowledge, pretending and insisting it's mere "religion," Fetzer refusing to face fact that religion often contains within it distinct, even explicit philosophy.

    ——————–[END OF PART ONE; SEE BELOW FOR PART TWO]———————–

  9. We could select several corporations that exhibit behavior that seems criminal: Goldman Sachs, Monsanto and GlaxoSmithKline. Each of these corporations has operated in such a way as to harm many individuals either financially or physically. Next we might take the Mafia in its hay day. Like the aforementioned corporations the main goal of the Mafia was profit (and power). While the corporations operated with government sanction, the Mafia was considered a criminal gang. When apprehended committing a crime Mafia members were arrested and tried. But not so when the corporations are caught in criminal activity. They either successfully defend themselves in lengthy court battles or pay a nugatory fine. Strictly speaking it is hard to see that much difference exists. However, Professor Fetzer is forced to ask if corporations are immoral but would have no trouble regarding the Mafia's moral status. If a gang commits a crime the members end up in the pokey. And no one bothers about whether the gang is immoral because the focus is on its members as moral agents. Thus becoming a corporation is a marvelous way to cloak one's behavior and generally avoid criminal prosecution. Probably the Mafia should have incorporated as a protection service! Maybe the fact of being Italian they were subject to prejudice by the Anglo majority.

  10. Corporations are machines where the moving parts so to speak are persons. Just as a power saw is designed to cut wood and the like, a corporation is designed to make money. Both are really non-moral. The persons who use them though may be immoral and in most cases are. Probably corporations need to be very carefully regulated and controlled rather than eliminated, just as we tend to regulate any dangerous item. I prefer not to think of the corporation as a conscious unified entity capable of moral decisions. Unfortunately the Supreme Court has added to the idea of a corporation as a Person.

  11. Who's The Shill?

    Ho ho ho–perhaps, Jewwy puke, but conclusions need premises, which premises u ain't got, sucka, ho ho ho ho

    How is it tax-payer money is spent on incompetent morons like Fetzer?–who actually wrote above,

    "According to Ethical Egoism, for example, an action is right if it brings about as much happiness for you personally as any available alternative. Consequences for others simply don’t count."

    Fetzer cannot figure-out the second sentence is literal non-sequitur?–that it was fully discussed by Hobbes over 400 yrs ago?

    Truth is u, "anon" at 10:16 am, have NOTHING to discuss, just another suck-along for Fetzer, academic hack and gate-keeper, maintaining pretense there's such thing as "good Jew," ho o ho ho ho

  12. Fetzer Makes Sure To Butcher/Under-Cut The Inquiry/Discussion, Just To Start

    Fetzer, the academic hack, professional flack, once again shows the world his great ability to butcher, corrupt, and subvert the rational inquiry upon a given subject, and it always begins with his basic confusion regarding fundamentals, called, "metaphysics." Fetzer then supplements his subversion(s) w. ample doses of question-begging.

    And after metaphysics, the basics, are confused, corrupted, and under-cut, the inquiry is destroyed, as in this case regarding (a) ethics, and then (b) more specifically, corporations.

    Thus the basic metaphysical issue regards beginning premise on nature of reality: is it objective (Aristotle) or not? For no progress can be made upon any other, non-objective premise, ONLY objectivity providing for logic and reason, A is A, etc.

    Ethics then, properly understood, answers or regards the issue of human action, humans being rational, creatures of will, having thus to CHOOSE among alternatives. Thus ethics is entirely within the objective nature (metaphysics).

    And as ethics has to do w. logic btwn ends and means, following necessary metaphysical premises, we see means must serve ends, ultimate end being survival and thriving of the rational creature, all this consistent w. objectivity, fundamental metaphysics.

    Observe then, above, Fetzer subverts and corrupts his analysis when he states,

    "According to Ethical Egoism, for example, an action is right if it brings about as much happiness for you personally as any available alternative. Consequences for others simply don’t count."

    For "EGOISM" is the metaphysical fact, in all objective reality, egoism being basic nature of the human being, creature of will. Thus human egoism (a redundancy) must merely be tempered w. reason, as taught by none other than Tom Hobbes and John Locke–rational egoism.

    WHY and HOW would Fetzer work to subvert the discussion by means of the added sentence, "Consequences for others simply don’t count"? For indeed, Hobbes' entire discussion is demonstration of the very opposite thesis, consequences absolutely do count, and Hobbes' brilliantly demonstrates why and how, his discussion being prelude to his great "SOCIAL CONTRACT" theorization, taken-up again by Locke, which Fetzer TOTALLY IGNORES and overlooks.

    So we see Fetzer so miserably undercuts and destroys the basic philosophic and ethical inquiry, and the further discussion about specific issue of corporations is actually irrelevant. For the only proper place of corporations then is consistent w. social contract, "right-reason," and rule-of-law, something which isn't difficult, for how can corporations properly be held above or aside fm the law as it regards humanity?–impossible in reason, BUT which is the case, presently, as we live in a dictatorship run by psychopaths and criminals ("central-bankers" at top) who push an irrational, subjectivistic view of reality–not un-like Fetzer's.

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