Discussing the “Charming” Psychopathy of Corporations with Filmmaker Joel Bakan
What do you think of when you hear the word “psychopath?” Is it Norman Bates dressed in his darling mother’s clothes? Perhaps it’s Christian Bale’s handsome face spattered with blood in American Psycho. I’m sure the logo of a large corporation like Nike or Apple wasn’t the first image to pop into your head.
Joel Bakan, the world-famous filmmaker, lawyer, author and esteemed jazz guitarist, has made it his mission to reveal the true psychopathy and dangers of large corporations fed by capitalist pursuits in his latest film The New Corporation.
“We were learning about corporations and we were learning that they were persons, that the law sort of created them, constituted them, recognized them as these artificial beings,” says Bakan in a recent Zoom interview with Skaana podcast host Mark Leiren-Young. “We create this person. And then we imbue it with a personality that says it can only act in its own self-interest. It can’t act in ways that care for others, or for the environment, or for nature, or nonhuman animals, or any of that. It always has to act in its own self-interest. And what is that self-interest, basically? The collective financial interests of the shareholders that constitute the corporation.”