Transcript: Joel Bakan on The Corporation | May 08, 2004

A clip from the film “The Corporation” plays.

A fast clip shows the interiors of an office building. On a conference room, three executives sit at a large chair, watching President George W. Bush speak on a large screen.

The TVO logo appears on the lower right corner of the screen.

Bush says LISTEN, 95 percent OR
SOME HUGE PERCENTAGE OF THE
BUSINESS COMMUNITY ARE HONEST
AND REVEAL ALL THEIR ASSETS, AND
HAVE COMPENSATION PROGRAMS THAT
ARE BALANCED, BUT THERE ARE SOME
BAD APPLES.

A female narrator says THE MEDIA
DEBATE ABOUT THE BASIC OPERATING
PRINCIPLES OF THE CORPORATE
WORLD WAS QUICKLY REDUCED TO A
GAME OF FOLLOW THE LEADER.

A fast clip shows an apple falling from a tree.

A man in his fifties says I STILL HAPPEN TO THINK
THE UNITED STATES IS THE
GREATEST PLACE IN THE WORLD TO
INVEST.
WE HAVE SOME SHAKEUPS THAT ARE
GOING ON BECAUSE OF A FEW BAD
APPLES...

Music plays. The song goes SOME PEOPLE CALL ME
A BAD APPLE.
BUT I MAY BE BRUISED,
BUT I STILL TASTE SWEET.
SOME PEOPLE CALL ME
A BAD APPLE,
BUT I MAY BE THE SWEETEST
APPLE ON THE TREE.

Several fast clips from TV news and interview shows appear on screen.

Images of men being arrested appear on screen.

A man in his sixties says THESE ARE NOT JUST
A BUNCH OF BAD APPLES.

A man in his fifties says THIS IS JUST
A FEW BAD APPLES.

Another man in his sixties says THIS IS NOT JUST
A FEW BAD APPLES.

Representative Scott McInnis is in his early fifties, clean-shaven and with short straight blond hair. He wears a dark gray suit, white shirt and green tie.

He says YOU'VE GOTTA GET RID
OF THE BAD APPLES...
YOU CAN START WITH TYCO.

Lou Dobbs says BAD APPLES.

McInnis says WE KNOW ALL ABOUT WORLDCOM.
BAD APPLES.

A female news anchor says BAD APPLES.

McInnis says XEROX CORPORATION.
ARTHUS ANDERSON.

Another man in his fifties says BAD APPLES.

McInnis says ENRON, OBVIOUSLY

Ari Fleischer is in his mid-forties, clean-shaven with receding brown hair. He wears a gray suit, blue shirt and patterned tie.

Ari Fleischer says BAD APPLES.

McInnis says K-MART CORPORATION.

A man in his forties says THE FRUIT CART IS
GETTING A LITTLE MORE FULL.

Another man in his forties says I DON'T THINK IT'S JUST A
FEW APPLES, UNFORTUNATELY.
I THINK THIS IS THE WORST
CRISIS OF CONFIDENCE
IN BUSINESS.

A fast clip shows a robot collecting apples from a tree.

The narrator says WHAT'S WRONG WITH
THIS PICTURE?
CAN'T WE PICK A BETTER METAPHOR
TO DESCRIBE THE DOMINANT
INSTITUTION OF OUR TIME?
THROUGH THE VOICES OF CEOs,
WHISTLE BLOWERS, BROKERS, GURUS
AND SPIES, INSIDERS AND
OUTSIDERS, WE PRESENT THE
CORPORATION AS A PARADOX, AN
INSTITUTION THAT CREATES GREAT
WEALTH, BUT CAUSES ENORMOUS AND
OFTEN HIDDEN HARMS.

(music plays)

The interviewer sits in a studio with live audience and Joel Bakan, author of the book “The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power.”

Mark Lastman is in his mid-fifties, completely bald and clean-shaven. He wears glasses, brown trousers, a black jacket and a black T-shirt.

Joel Bakan is in his mid-forties, clean-shaven, with short curly brown hair and sideburns. He wears jeans, a black jacket and a white shirt.

Mark says I THOUGHT WE
COULD START, JOEL, WITH THE
ORIGIN STORY.
HOW DID “THE CORPORATION” START
OUT?

Joel says WELL IT WAS BACK
IN 1997, I GUESS, AND I HAD JUST
PUBLISHED WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF
TORONTO PRESS, A BOOK ABOUT THE
CANADIAN CHARTER AND ABOUT
RIGHTS.
AND THE BASIC
CONCLUSION I REACHED IN THAT
BOOK WAS, THE REASON WHY
CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, AND WHY
OUR CHARTER WASN'T HAVING A
MAJOR IMPACT ON ADVANCING SOCIAL
JUSTICE IN THE COUNTRY, HAD A
LOT TO DO WITH THE FACT THAT
RIGHTS ONLY APPLY TO
GOVERNMENTS, AND THAT SO MUCH
POWER NOW WAS RESIDING IN NON-
GOVERNMENTAL INSTITUTIONS,
NAMELY FOR PROFIT CORPORATIONS.
AND SO THAT LED ME TO THINK THAT
WE'VE UNDERGONE A KIND OF
TRANSFORMATION OVER THE
PRECEDING 20 YEARS OR SO, WHERE
CORPORATIONS, WHICH, GRANTED
WERE VERY POWERFUL BEFORE, NOW
WITH ECONOMIC GLOBALIZATION,
THEY SEEM TO BE OPERATING ALMOST
AS GOVERNING INSTITUTIONS IN THE
WORLD, IN THE SENSE THAT THEY
WEREN'T JUST MANUFACTURING GOODS
OR SERVICES OR MAKING THINGS,
BUT THAT THEY WERE ACTUALLY
PLAYING A VERY SUBSTANTIAL ROLE
IN DICTATING THE POLITICAL AND
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL CONDITIONS
OF OUR LIFE, AND THAT THAT WAS A
BIT OF A CHANGE.
AND WHAT IT MEANT IS THAT WE
PERHAPS HAD TO START THINKING
ABOUT THE CORPORATION LIKE WE
THINK ABOUT OUR GOVERNING
INSTITUTIONS, TO ACTUALLY
UNDERSTAND HOW IT WORKS, HOW
IT'S COMPOSED INSTITUTIONALLY.
SO I THOUGHT WELL, IT WOULD BE
GOOD TO WRITE A BOOK, AND AT
THAT POINT I WAS THINKING OF
WRITING AN ACADEMIC BOOK, YOU
KNOW, WHICH MEANS THAT MAYBE
FIVE OR SIX PEOPLE WOULD READ
IT, WHO WERE SPECIALISTS IN THE
AREA, AND THEN AFTER IT ENDED UP
IN THE USED BOOKSTORES, A COUPLE
OF HUNDRED.
UM, BECAUSE YOU KNOW, ACADEMIC
BOOKS TEND TO BE ORIENTED TO
OTHER ACADEMICS, AND I ALWAYS
THOUGHT THERE WAS A BIT OF A
CONTRADICTION THAT I'M AN
ACTIVIST INTELLECTUAL, BUT MY
WORK IS PUBLISHED IN PLACES THAT
ARE COMPLETELY INACCESSIBLE TO
MOST PEOPLE.
THAT SEEMED LIKE A PROBLEM.
BUT ANYWAY, I SORT OF JUST
SHOVED THAT ASIDE, AND I WAS
THINKING ABOUT WRITING THIS BOOK
ABOUT THE CORPORATION, AND
ACADEMIC BOOK, AND I THEN
TOTALLY COINCIDENTALLY, AT A...
WELL ACTUALLY, AT THE FUNERAL OF
A MUTUAL FRIEND, MET MARK
ACHBAR, AND I'D NEVER MET HIM
BEFORE.
WE STARTED CHATTING AND HE TOLD
ME THAT HE HAD MADE THE FILM,
“MANUFACTURING CONSENT,” ABOUT
NOAM CHOMSKY, AND I--
IT WAS A FILM THAT I FOUND VERY
INSPIRING WHEN I WATCHED IT.
AND SO WE STARTED TALKING AND I
SAID, “SO WHAT'S YOUR NEXT
PROJECT?”
“WELL I'M THINKING OF DOING A
FILM ON GLOBALIZATION.”
I SAID, “OH, WELL THAT'S
INTERESTING, I'M YOU KNOW, DOING
THIS BOOK ON THE CORPORATION,”
AND WE TALKED A BIT MORE AND HE
SAID, “WELL WHY DON'T I MAKE A
FILM OF THE BOOK?”
I SAID, “THAT'S A GREAT IDEA,
BUT THE BOOK DOESN'T EXIST,
THERE IS NO BOOK, JUST AN IDEA.”

The audience laughs.

Joel continues AND HE SAID, “WELL, WHY DON'T WE
DO THE TWO TOGETHER?
IN OTHER WORDS, YOU WRITE THE
BOOK, AND WRITE THE FILM AT THE
SAME TIME?”
AND THAT WAS SEVEN YEARS AGO,
AND YOU KNOW, IT'S ONE OF THOSE
WEIRD THINGS IN LIFE, I MEAN,
USUALLY YOU PLAN THINGS, AND
THEY DON'T WORK OUT, BUT THIS
ACTUALLY DID.
I MEAN, WE PLANNED TO WRITE THE
BOOK, AND I WRITE THE BOOK, AND
WE MADE THE FILM, AND SEVEN
YEARS LATER, IT'S DONE.
DURING MOST OF THOSE SEVEN
YEARS, IT DIDN'T SEEM LIKE
EITHER PROJECT WOULD EVER BE
DONE, I HAVE TO SAY.
I MEAN, TRYING TO GET FUNDING
FOR THE FILM, IT TOOK 3 AND A HALF
YEARS TO GET FUNDING FOR THE
FILM, SO THAT WAS A LARGE PART
OF THE WORK.

Mark says I WAS WONDERING
IF YOU COULD TALK ABOUT THAT,
BECAUSE OF COURSE, AN OBVIOUS
SET OF QUESTIONS THAT PEOPLE
HAVE BEEN ASKING YOU AND MARK
AND JENNIFER ABBOTT, HAS BEEN
ABOUT THE NOTION THAT YOU HAVE
TO BE OF THE WORLD TO MAKE A
COMMENT ABOUT THE WORLD, AND SO
FOR YOU TO BE ABLE TO MAKE THIS
FILM, EVEN TO DO THE BOOK, YOU
HAVE TO DO A PITCH, SO HOW DID
THE PITCHING WORK FOR MAKING
“THE CORPORATION”?

Joel says WELL WE DID A LOT
OF PITCHES, AND FORTUNATELY I'M
TRAINED AS A LAWYER, SO I'M
TRAINED IN THE ART OF PERSUADING
PEOPLE, EVEN WHEN YOU DON'T
NECESSARILY BELIEVE WHAT YOU'RE
DOING YOURSELF.

The audience laughs.

Joel says YOU JUST-- YOU KNOW, YOU MAY
LACK--
BUT YOU'RE GOOD AT PERSUADING,
YOU LEARN HOW TO DO THAT.
AND SO I ACTUALLY FOUND PITCHING
IN THE WORLD OF TELEVISION TO BE
NOT DISSIMILAR TO WHAT YOU DO
WHEN YOU MAKE ARGUMENTS IN COURT
OR BEFORE A TRIBUNAL, OR
WHATEVER, YOU'RE TRYING TO
PERSUADE PEOPLE, IN THIS CASE TO
GIVE YOU MONEY.
AND UM, AND WE DID A LOT OF
PITCHING, AND A LOT OF IT WAS
UNSUCCESSFUL, WHICH IS WHY IT
TOOK 3 AND A HALF YEARS.
NEEDLESS TO SAY, WE COULDN'T
SORT OF WALK INTO, YOU KNOW,
SONY OR MIRAMAX, OR ANY OF THESE
COMPANIES AND SAY, “HEY, WE'VE
GOT THIS GREAT IDEA.
[Audience laughter]
WE WANT TO MAKE A FILM THAT UM,
YOU KNOW, TAKES APART, DISSECTS,
CRITICISES AND SUGGESTS IS
PSYCHOPATHIC, YOUR INSTITUTION.”
[laughing]
SO, YOU KNOW, THAT--
SO WE HAD TO TALK TO PUBLIC
AGENCIES, WE THOUGHT, TO BEGIN
WITH.
SO CBC TURNED US DOWN, AND
VARIOUS OTHER PUBLIC ENTITIES.
WE WENT OVER TO ENGLAND, AND BBC
AND THE PROBLEM WAS--
I WAS NEVER QUITE SURE WHAT
EXACTLY THE--
I HAD TWO THEORIES AS TO WHY
PEOPLE TURNED US DOWN, AND I
ACTUALLY THINK IT WAS ELEMENTS
OF BOTH AT PLAY.
ONE THEORY WAS THAT THE FILM
WOULD BE TOO CONTROVERSIAL AND
EDGY, AND THE OTHER ONE WAS THAT
IT WOULDN'T BE EDGY ENOUGH.
BECAUSE THE PROBLEM, IF YOU GO
IN AND YOU SAY, “YOU KNOW, I'M
GOING TO MAKE A FILM ABOUT AN
ECONOMIC INSTITUTION, ISN'T THAT
INTERESTING?
YOU KNOW, WE'RE GOING TO LOOK AT
THE CORPORATION AS AN
INSTITUTIONS.
NO, WE DON'T WANT
TO LOOK AT THE PEOPLE WITHIN IT,
OR CHARACTERS, OR STORIES, WE
WANT TO LOOK AT THIS
INSTITUTION.
AND THEY SORT OF
LOOK AT YOU AND SAY, “WELL WHAT
ARE WE GOING TO SEE?
WHAT ARE WE GOING TO ACTUALLY
SEE ON THE SCREEN?”
AND, AT THE BEGINNING, WHEN WE
WERE FIRST FORMULATING THE
PROJECT, WE DIDN'T REALLY KNOW.
WE HAD WHAT WAS BASICALLY A SET
OF IDEAS AND POINTS OF VIEW, AND
ARGUMENTS AND POINTS WE WANTED
TO MAKE, BUT WE DIDN'T REALLY--
WE HADN'T FLESHED OUT THE
ILLUSTRATIVE STORIES, THE
METAPHORS AND ALL OF THAT.
SO THAT WAS ALL--
AND SOME PEOPLE WOULD JUS SAY,
“WE CAN'T--
THIS MIGHT MAKE A GREAT BOOK OR
ARTICLE, BUT WE DON'T SEE IT AS
A TV SHOW OR AS A FILM.”
AND THEN THE OTHER KIND OF
RESPONSE, WAS YOU KNOW, “WELL
THIS IS TOO CONTROVERSIAL.
YOU'RE GOING TO CALL THE
CORPORATIONS PSYCHOPATHS?
I MEAN, YOU'RE GOING TO BE
CRITICAL OF CORPORATIONS,” AND
SO IT'S LIKE TOO EDGY.
AND SO WE KEPT FALLING BETWEEN
THESE TWO SCHOOLS OF BEING TOO
BORING AND TOO CONTROVERSIAL.
AND IT WASN'T UNTIL WE UM...
UNTIL VISION TV WAS ACTUALLY THE
FIRST BROADCASTER TO COME ON,
BUT THEY'RE A SMALL BROADCASTER,
AND THERE ISN'T ENOUGH MONEY TO
ACTUALLY GET ROLLING, AND THEN
THANKFULLY, RUDY BOUDRIGAL AT TV
ONTARIO WAS ABLE TO SEE WHAT WE
WERE UP TO, AND WE'RE VERY
GRATEFUL TO TV ONTARIO, THEY
WERE THE FIRST UM...
THE FIRST BROADCASTER WHO GAVE
US A LARGE CHUNK OF MONEY THAT
THEN ENABLED US TO GO TO
TELEFILM CANADA AND OTHER
AGENCIES.
THE WAY THE SYSTEM WORKS IN
CANADA IS YOU HAVE TO GET YOUR
BROADCAST LICENSE FIRST, AND
THEN YOU CAN LEVERAGE THAT WITH
VARIOUS AGENCIES LIKE TELEFILM
CANADA.
SO, ULTIMATELY WE RAISED ABOUT
1.4 MILLION DOLLARS TO SHOOT THE FILM.
THIS FILM WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN
MADE IN THE UNITED STATES FOR
EXAMPLE, WHERE WE DON'T HAVE THE
SAME...
WE DON'T HAVE GOVERNMENT FUNDED,
TAX FUNDED PUBLIC BROADCASTING.
IT'S ALL DONE BY, YOU KNOW,
DONATION AND TELETHONS AND
CORPORATE SPONSORSHIPS.
SO I THINK THAT THE FACT THAT
THE FILM GOT MADE IS TESTIMONY
TO, IN MY VIEW, THE IMPORTANCE
OF PUBLIC BROADCASTING, WHICH IN
TURN IS TESTIMONY TO THE GENERAL
IMPORTANCE OF THE PUBLIC SPHERE,
WHICH IS ABLE TO DEAL WITH
VALUES THAT AREN'T PURELY
COMMERCIAL ONES.

Mark says WELL LET'S TALK
A BIT ABOUT METAPHORS, I MEAN
THEY SAW THE CLIP EARLIER, THE
BAD APPLES CLIP.
WHEN DID THAT COME TO YOU OR
MARK OR JENNIFER, THE IDEA OF
THAT THIS METAPHOR WAS EXTANT IN
THE MEDIA OVER AND OVER AND OVER
AGAIN?

Joel says WELL ONE OF THE
CORE THEMES OF THE BOOK IS THAT
IT ISN'T JUST ABOUT SORT OF BAD
EXECUTIVES.
I MEAN WE REALLY TRIED TO GET
AWAY FROM THAT AND LOOK AT THE
ACTUAL STRUCTURE OF THE
INSTITUTION.
AND I GUESS IT WAS UM, PROBABLY
2 THIRDS OF THE WAY THROUGH, THAT WE
WERE SORT OF TALKING ABOUT YOU
KNOW, THIS ISN'T JUST SOME BAD
APPLES.
AND THEN, I THINK MARK IS VERY
GOOD AT THIS, MARK ACHBAR, AT
TAKING THINGS AND SORT OF
RUNNING WITH THEM IN A QUITE
LITERAL WAY.
AND SO WHAT HE DID, IS, HE GOT
ONE OF THOSE SATELLITE DISHES
AND JUST RECORDED EVERYTHING
THAT WAS HAPPENING IN THE WAKE
OF ENRON AND WORLDCOM, BECAUSE
IT WAS PRETTY CLEAR THERE WAS A
PATTERN THERE THEN.
THE WORD, BAD APPLES, THE PHRASE
WAS BEING USED A LOT, AND A LOT
MORE -- THIS WAS ONLY THE TIP OF
A VERY LARGE ICEBERG OF FOOTAGE
OF PEOPLE USING THIS METAPHOR.
MOST OF THEM, I WOULD SAY, 80 percent
OF THEM SAYING, THIS IS JUST A
BUNCH OF BAD APPLES, AND THEN
20 percent SAYING IT ISN'T, WHICH IS
THE POINT OF THE FILM.

Mark says THE DRAMATIC
STRUCTURE OF THE FILM, I WAS
WONDERING IF YOU COULD TALK A
LITTLE BIT ABOUT THAT, BECAUSE
FOR YOU, THIS WAS NEW, AND FOR
YOU, THE IDEA OF WRITING, AS YOU
SAY, MOVING FROM AN ACADEMIC
BOOK TO JUST SIMPLY WRITING A
BOOK THAT WOULD HAVE A WIDER
AUDIENCE, WAS A BIG STEP, BUT
HERE YOU WENT EVEN BEYOND THAT,
TO HELPING TO CREATE SOMETHING
THAT OBVIOUSLY HAS AN AUDIENCE.

Joel says YEAH, IT WAS A
STEEP LEARNING CURVE ON BOTH --
IN BOTH DIMENSIONS, PRINT AND
THE FILM.
A LOT OF THE... I MEAN THE
OVERALL STRUCTURE IS--
AND IDEAS AND POINTS OF VIEW AND
PERSPECTIVES ARE--
AND STORIES AND INTERVIEWS AND
WHATNOT, ARE DRAWN FROM THE
IDEAS THAT ARE IN THE BOOK, BUT
JENNIFER ABBOTT DID AN
ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT JOB IN
EDITING THIS FILM, AND IN GIVING
IT A KIND OF EMOTIONAL RESONANCE
IN A GRAPHIC AND ALSO THE MUSIC,
AND JUST THE WAY IT WAS PUT
TOGETHER.
SHE HAS TO BE GIVEN A LOT OF
CREDIT IN TERMS OF THE EDITING,
AND MARK AS WELL.
I MEAN, THESE ARE TWO BRILLIANT
FILMMAKERS.
I'M NOT A BRILLIANT FILMMAKER.
I'M SORT OF THE CONTENT PERSON
ON THIS PROJECT, BUT THE
AESTHETIC SENSIBILITY OF THE
FILM, THE RHYTHM OF IT, ALL OF
THOSE THINGS THAT MAKE IT SO
COMPELLING, ARE VERY MUCH -- I
REALLY HAVE TO CREDIT THEM.
NOW, WHAT I'VE TRIED TO DO IN
THE BOOK, IS WRITE A NONFICTION
BOOK ABOUT, ABOUT ECONOMIC
ISSUES THAT IS DRIVEN LESS BY
SORT OF DRY ANALYSIS, AND MORE
BY METAPHORICAL STORIES.
SO WHAT I DID IS I RELIED UPON
THE INTERVIEW THAT WE DID FOR
THE FILM AND THE BOOK.
SO IT'S
ANECDOTAL, IT'S STORY DRIVEN,
AND WHAT I TRIED TO DO IS DRAW
THE ANALYSES, AND DRAW THE
POINTS OUT OF THESE STORIES
WHICH SERVE REALLY AS METAPHOR.
AND SOME OF THE STORIES IN THE
BOOK ARE THE SAME STORIES YOU
SEE IN THE FILM, BUT SOME ARE
DIFFERENT, BECAUSE THE TWO MEDIA
HAVE VERY DIFFERENT DEMANDS IN
TERMS OF WHAT WORKS.

Mark says YEAH, I WAS
WONDERING ABOUT THAT, ABOUT THE
SORT OF CAST OF CHARACTERS.
FOR EXAMPLE, RAY ANDERSON, WHO
IS A MAJOR CHARACTER IN THE
FILM, AND HE DOESN'T APPEAR TO
BE QUITE SO STRONG IN THE BOOK,
WHY WOULD THAT BE?

Joel says RAY ANDERSON IS
THE CARPET GUY WHO SAYS THAT
PEOPLE -- HE'S THE CEO OF THE
WORLD'S LARGEST CARPET TILE,
COMMERCIAL CARPET TILE
MANUFACTURER, AND HE HAD THIS
EPIPHANY IN 1993, AND SORT OF
WANTED TO BECOME AN
ENVIRONMENTAL, SUSTAINABLE KIND
OF BUSINESS PERSON AND RUN HIS
BUSINESS THAT WAY, AND HE, WHEN
YOU SEE HIM ON SCREEN, YOU
JUST--
PEOPLE JUST FALL IN LOVE WITH
HIM.
HE'S JUST VERY COMPELLING ON
CAMERA, AND SO IT'S A GOOD
EXAMPLE OF HOW THE TWO MEDIUMS
ARE DIFFERENT.
I WAS ABLE TO SORT OF MAKE THE
POINT IN THE BOOK, ABOUT RAY
ANDERSON, IN TWO OR THREE PAGES.
THERE'S NOT THAT MUCH TO SAY.
HERE'S A GUY, HE HAD AN
EPIPHANY, IT WAS LIKE A SPEAR
GOING THROUGH HIS CHEST, HE
THOUGHT THAT YOU KNOW, PEOPLE
LIKE HIM WOULD BE PUT IN JAIL IN
THE FUTURE, AND YOU KNOW, IT'S
TWO OR THREE PAGES.
IN THE FILM, HE COMES IN AND
OUT.
HE'S JUST INCREDIBLY COMPELLING,
AND FILM IS FUNDAMENTALLY AN
EMOTIONAL MEDIUM, AND HE'S A
VERY EMOTIONALLY COMPELLING
PERSON.
I MEAN, HIS STORY JUST WORKS
BEAUTIFULLY ON FILM.
YOU CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF HIM,
AUDIENCES LOVE HIM.
IN THE BOOK, TO HAVE USED HIM AS
MUCH PROPORTIONATELY AS IN THE
FILM, WOULD HAVE SEEMED STRANGE,
AND YOU KNOW, I WENT THROUGH
MANY, MANY DRAFTS, AND IN FACT
REBECCA HELPED ME A GREAT DEAL
IN EDITING THIS BOOK, BECAUSE
IT'S A BOOK THAT I REALLY WANTED
TO READ WELL, TO BE LIKE--
TO BE INTERESTING TO READ, AND
FUN TO READ, NOT JUST
INFORMATIVE.
AND TRYING TO TREAT RAY ANDERSON
IN A MORE SUBSTANTIAL WAY JUST
DIDN'T WORK.
I MEAN IT JUST DIDN'T WORK
INTUITIVELY AND IT HAS TO DO
WITH THE WAY THE DIFFERENT
MEDIUMS ARE.
I MEAN HE SOUNDS LIKE UH...
HE SOUNDS LIKE JIMMY CARTER.
I MEAN, HE'S FROM GEORGIA, AND I
MEAN, YOU JUST CAN'T HELP BUT
LOVE HIM, HE'S JUST... HE'S
WONDERFUL.
YOU CAN GET, I KNOW, YOU CAN GET
THOSE LITTLE PUSH BUTTON BOOKS
WHERE YOU CAN HEAR FARM ANIMAL
VOICES FOR YOUR KIDS...
[Audience laughter]
AND I DON'T KNOW, MAYBE WE COULD
HAVE TRIED THAT, A RAY ANDERSON
BUTTON, BUT...

Mark says THAT'S AN IDEA,
JOEL.

Joel says THE PUBLISHER
WOULDN'T PAY FOR IT, YOU KNOW?

Mark says WELL, YOU KNOW,
MAYBE YOU CAN PUT IT ON THE DVD.
I WANT TO GET INTO SOME
QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE BAD
APPLES, BUT BEFORE THAT, JUST
FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T ACTUALLY
READ THE BOOK, OR SEEN THE FILM,
THE CORE BIT FOR ME, AND I
IMAGINE WHAT ACTUALLY ENDED UP
MAKING IT SUCH A STRONG PITCH,
EVENTUALLY, WAS THE IDEA OF THE
PSYCHOPATHOLOGY OF THE
CORPORATION.
I WONDER IF YOU COULD SORT OF
RE-PITCH IT TO US AND EXPLAIN TO
US HOW YOU GOT TO THAT, BECAUSE
THAT, TO ME, IS THE ESSENCE OF
THE FILM, THE ESSENCE OF THE
BOOK.

Joel says YEAH, I DID
PSYCHOLOGY AS AN UNDERGRADUATE,
AND BOTH MY PARENTS ARE
PSYCHOLOGISTS, AND MY UNCLE
DAVID WHO LIVES IN TORONTO IS A
PSYCHOLOGIST, SO I COME FROM A
SORT OF PSYCHOLOGISED FAMILY.
AND, BUT NOT NECESSARILY A
PSYCHOPATHIC FAMILY.
BUT ANYWAY—

The audience laughs.

Joel says IN-- YEAH.
IN PSYCH 101, YOU LEARN ABOUT
THE NATURE OF PSYCHOPATHS.
I MEAN, YOU LEARN THAT A
PSYCHOPATH IS, OR I THINK IT IS
CALLED ANTI-SOCIAL PERSONALITY
DISORDER, IS THE TECHNICAL TERM
THAT'S USED.
AND YOU LEARN THAT THIS TYPE OF
PERSON IS A PERSON WHO IS
PATHOLOGICALLY SELF-INTERESTED.
THIS IS A PERSON WHO IS UNABLE,
INCAPABLE OF FEELING CONCERN FOR
OTHERS, A PERSON WHO IS UNABLE
TO FEEL GUILT OR REMORSE, A
PERSON WHOSE RELATIONSHIPS WITH
OTHER PEOPLE ARE RELATIONSHIPS
OF USING OTHER PEOPLE, RATHER
THAN HAVING GENUINE CLOSE AND
DEEP RELATIONSHIPS WITH THEM, A
PERSON WHO FEELS NO MORAL
OBLIGATION TO OBEY LAWS OR TO
OBEY SOCIAL NORMS.
SO THAT'S WHAT YOU LEARN ABOUT
THIS PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDER THAT
WE REFER TO AS PSYCHOPATH.
WHEN I WENT TO LAW SCHOOL, I
LEARNED THAT A CORPORATION --
THE FUNDAMENTAL OPERATING
PRINCIPLE OF THE CORPORATION,
WAS THAT IT ALWAYS HAD TO SERVE
ITS OWN SELF INTEREST, WAS THAT
EVERY DECISION THAT A MANAGER OR
DIRECTOR MADE, HAD TO BE
JUSTIFIED AS MAXIMISING THE
WEALTH OF THE OWNERS OF THE
CORPORATION, WHO CONSTITUTE THE
CORPORATION, NAMELY THE
SHAREHOLDERS, SO THAT'S THE
FUNDAMENTAL OPERATING PRINCIPLE.
THE OTHER THING I LEARNED, IN
LAW SCHOOL ABOUT CORPORATIONS,
WAS THAT CORPORATIONS WERE
PERSONS, THAT THE LAW ACTUALLY
DEEMS THEM TO BE PERSONS AND
GIVES THEM THE RIGHTS THAT
PEOPLE HAVE.
SO IT'S KIND OF AN OBVIOUS THING
TO SAY, “OKAY, IF A CORPORATION
IS A PERSON, WHAT KIND OF PERSON
IS IT?”
WELL, IT'S BEEN PROGRAMMED TO BE
RADICALLY, PROFOUNDLY,
PATHOLOGICALLY SELF-INTERESTED,
AND THAT MAKES IT PSYCHOPATHIC,
AS A PERSON.
WE'VE IMBUED IN OUR DOMINANT
ECONOMIC INSTITUTION, A
PSYCHOPATHIC PERSONALITY.
SO I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE GET
CONFUSED ABOUT THIS, AND THINK
IT'S SOME KIND OF A RHETORICAL
GESTURE, AH, CORPORATIONS ARE
PSYCHOPATHS, LIKE TERRENCE
CORCORAN FOR EXAMPLE, IN THE
NATIONAL POST.
BUT IT'S ACTUALLY NOT.
I MEAN IT'S ACTUALLY AN
ANALYTICAL POINT THAT WE'VE
CREATED THIS ARTIFICIAL PERSON
AND WE'VE REQUIRED THAT IT
ALWAYS AND ONLY BE SELF-
INTERESTED.
AND SO THE COMPARISON TO A HUMAN
PSYCHOPATH IS REALLY A WAY OF
ILLUSTRATING THAT STRUCTURAL
IMPERATIVE OF ALL PUBLICLY
TRADED FOR PROFIT CORPORATIONS.

Mark says WELL TAKE AN
EXAMPLE NOW OF SOMEBODY LIKE SAY
TOM KLEIN OF PFIZER WHICH IS A
MAJOR PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY.
HE SEEMS LIKE A REALLY GOOD GUY.
HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY SAY THAT
HE'S A PSYCHOPATH?

Joel says WELL I'M NOT
SAYING--
I'M NOT SAYING THAT HE'S A
PSYCHOPATH, AND YOU KNOW THAT,
BUT STILL, IT'S A GOOD QUESTION.
I'M NOT SAYING
HE'S A PSYCHOPATH, I'M SAYING
THE INSTITUTION IS PSYCHOPATHIC.
IT'S LIKE, I DON'T KNOW, THIS
HAS BEEN ON MY MIND A LOT.
I COME FROM
VANCOUVER, AND I DON'T KNOW, I
MEAN MY KID PLAYS HOCKEY, I
COACH HIS TEAM.
THE TODD BERTUZZI THING, DOES
THAT RING ANY BELLS?
[Audience laughter]
YEAH, OKAY.
WELL ANYWAY, TODD BERTUZZI, THIS
PLAYER FOR THE VANCOUVER
CANUCKS, DID SOME REALLY NASTY
STUFF ON THE ICE, AND ENDED UP
BREAKING SOMEBODY'S NECK.
AND PEOPLE SAY -- I'M GOING TO
ANSWER YOUR QUESTION.
AND PEOPLE SAY--

Mark says TAKE YOUR TIME.

Joel says ANY EXCUSE TO
TALK ABOUT HOCKEY.
PEOPLE SAY, YOU KNOW--

Mark says IT SHOWS YOU'RE
CANADIAN.

Joel says A LOT OF PEOPLE
DEFEND IT, YOU KNOW, THEY TAKE
THE SORT OF DON CHERRY SORT OF
APPROACH, YOU KNOW, WHAT HAPPENS
ON THE ICE, HAPPENS ON THE ICE,
AND THEN WHEN PEOPLE GET OFF THE
ICE, THEY'RE JUST YOU KNOW,
THEY'RE NORMAL PEOPLE.
BUT WHEN YOU GO ON THE ICE, THE
RULES OF THE ICE RULE.
SO YOU CAN KNOCK PEOPLE DOWN,
YOU CAN KNOCK THEM INTO THE
BOARDS, YOU CAN DO THE KIND OF
STUFF THAT IF YOU DID OFF THE
ICE, YOU WOULD BE ARRESTED AND
CHARGED FOR ASSAULT.
AND THIS ISN'T JUST WHAT TODD
BERTUZZI DID, THIS IS JUST YOUR
GENERAL SORT OF GAME, WHERE
PEOPLE ARE CHECKED INTO THE
BOARDS AND TRIPPED AND KNOCKED
OVER.
I MEAN, THEY GET TWO MINUTES.
IN THE REAL WORLD YOU'D GET TWO
YEARS, RIGHT?
SO THERE'S THIS DISTINCTION THAT
WE DRAW -- ON THE ICE, OFF THE
ICE.
AS A PERSON, AS A HOCKEY PLAYER,
YOU'RE KIND OF DIVIDED INTO TWO
DIFFERENT SELVES, YOUR ON THE
ICE PERSON, WHERE YOU'RE THIS
BRUTE THAT YOU KNOW, TAKES
PEOPLE INTO THE BOARDS AND
ACCEPTS ALL KINDS OF PUNISHMENT,
AND METES IT OUT, AND OFF THE
ICE, YOU'RE NORMAL AND YOU DON'T
DO THOSE KINDS OF THINGS.
AND I THINK IT'S VERY MUCH THE
SAME WITH THE CORPORATION, AND
WITH PEOPLE LIKE TOM KLEIN, AN
EXECUTIVE.
OUT OF THE CORPORATION, YOU'RE A
NORMAL CITIZEN.
YOU HAVE MORAL VALUES AND MORAL
VIEWS, AND THERE'S MORE ABOUT
LIFE THAN SIMPLY MEETING BOTTOM
LINES AND EXPLOITING AS MUCH AS
YOU CAN OUT OF PEOPLE AND OUT OF
THE EARTH IN ORDER TO GET
PROFIT.
BUT WHEN YOU'RE ON THE ICE, WHEN
YOU'RE IN THE CORPORATION, WHEN
YOU'RE IN YOUR CAPACITY AS AN
EXECUTIVE, IT'S OKAY TO CONTRACT
WITH SWEATSHOP LABOUR, EVEN
SLAVE LABOUR.
IT'S OKAY TO SPEW GARBAGE INTO
THE ENVIRONMENT, IT'S OKAY TO
CONSCIOUSLY BREAK LAWS BECAUSE
YOU KNOW THAT THE FINES THAT
WILL BE ASSESSED AGAINST YOU ARE
LESS THAN THE PROFITS YOU CAN
MAKE BY NOT COMPLYING WITH SOME
ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARD.
SOMEHOW IT'S ALL OKAY, WHEN
YOU'RE ON THE CORPORATE ICE.
STUFF THAT, OFF THE ICE, AT
HOME, WITH YOUR FRIENDS, WITH
YOUR FAMILY, WITH THE PEOPLE
THAT YOU LOVE, IS WRONG.
AND SO WE HAVE THIS SORT OF
BIFURCATED WORLD, MORALLY, OF
THE CORPORATE WORLD, WHICH IS
AMORAL, AND THE REGULAR WORLD
WHERE YOU'RE A CITIZEN AND
YOU'RE MORAL, AND IN THE BOOK, I
GO INTO MORE DETAIL ON SOME
STORIES WHERE WE LOOK AT THAT.
IN THE FILM, WE LOOK AT THE
EXECUTIVE FROM SHELL, WHO SEEMS
LIKE A REALLY NICE GUY, AND YOU
WANT TO BELIEVE HIM, AND HE'S
SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE, BUT YEAH,
UNDER HIS WATCH AS CEO, A BUNCH
OF PEOPLE WERE HUNG BY THE
GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA BECAUSE
THEY WERE ACTIVISTS AGAINST
SHELL OIL, AND SO WE DEAL WITH
THIS KIND OF CONFLICT, THIS KIND
OF MORAL BIFURCATION BETWEEN
PEOPLE AS PEOPLE, AND PEOPLE AS
CORPORATE OPERATIVES.
NOW ONE OF THE INTERESTING
THINGS IN THE LAST 10 YEARS OR
SO, IS THAT THE DISTINCTION
BETWEEN ON THE ICE AND OFF THE
ICE IS BEING BLURRED.
THERE'S A SENSE THAT
CORPORATIONS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE
MORE RESPONSIBLE.
AND I KIND OF SEE THIS AS THE
HOWIE MEEKER APPROACH TO HOCKEY
RATHER THAN THE DON CHERRY
APPROACH TO HOCKEY.
[Audience laughter]
AND FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DON'T--
HOWIE MEEKER IS THE SORT OF NICE
GUY.
HE USED TO DO WHAT DON CHERRY
DOES.
YOU KNOW, THAT KIDS SHOULD WEAR
VISORS, EVERYBODY SHOULD HAVE
HELMETS, THEY SHOULDN'T CHECK
EACH OTHER TOO HARD.
UM, AND SO YOU STILL HAVE HOCKEY
BUT YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE
QUITE AS VIOLENT, AS OPPOSED TO
DON CHERRY, WHO I THINK IS
SIMILAR TO THE SORT OF SLASH AND
BURN CEOs OF THE 1980s, YOU
KNOW, LIKE WE WANT TO DOWNSIZE,
WE'RE HAPPY ABOUT THIS, IT'S
JUST LIKE YOU KNOW, WE'RE GOING
TO GO OUT THERE, AND WE'RE
TURNING THIS COMPANY AROUND AND
WE'VE GOT NO PROBLEM WITH THIS.
THAT'S NOT HAPPENING ANY MORE.
THIS IS THE ERA OF THE MORE
COMPASSIONATE CEO.
TODAY'S CEOs AND OTHER EXECUTIVE
OFFICERS ARE SAYING, YOU KNOW,
WE'RE TRYING TO BE GOOD TO THE
ENVIRONMENT, WE'RE TRYING TO BE
GOOD TO OUR WORKERS, AND WE HAVE
AN EXAMPLE IN THE BOOK AND IN
THE FILM, OF TIME KLEIN WHO'S AN
EXECUTIVE AT PFIZER, WHO HAS
REALLY MADE AN EFFORT TO
REFURBISH A NEIGHBOURHOOD IN
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK THAT HAD COME
ON HARD TIMES, AND IT'S THE
NEIGHBOURHOOD OF PFIZER'S
ORIGINAL PLANT.
THERE'S AN EXAMPLE IN THE BOOK
OF JOHN BROWN, THE CHIEF
EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF BRITISH
PETROLEUM, WHO'S A REALLY--
REALLY COMMITTED TO THE
ENVIRONMENT, WHO, UNLIKE ALL OF
HIS OTHER SORT OF OIL COMPANY
BRETHREN, HAS SAID, “WE SHOULD
SUPPORT THE KYOTO ACCORD.
I BELIEVE IN THE PRECAUTIONARY
PRINCIPLE.”
HIS COMPANY BUILDS GAS STATIONS
THAT ARE POWERED BY SOLAR
ENERGY.
IT'S A LITTLE BIT OF AN IRONY, I
THINK...

The audience laughs.

Joel says TO BUILD A GAS STATION, I MEAN
THE THING IS, THE LIGHTS ARE RUN
BY SOLAR ENERGY, AND THE COFFEE
MACHINES AND STUFF, BUT THEY'RE
DISPENSING GAS.
BUT ANYWAYS, YOU
KNOW, HIS INTENTIONS, I THINK
ARE GOOD, AND YOU KNOW, ALL
KINDS OF CLEAN AIR PROGRAMS IN
CITIES, I MEAN THIS GUY IS
REALLY COMMITTED TO THE
ENVIRONMENT.
BUT THE PROBLEM WITH SOCIAL
RESPONSIBILITY, IS THAT
ULTIMATELY IT COMES UP AGAINST
THE MANDATE, THE LEGAL MANDATE
OF THE CORPORATION TO SERVE ITS
SELF INTEREST.
NO CHIEF
EXECUTIVE, AND IN THE BOOK, WE
PURSUE THIS IN THE INTERVIEWS,
WE ASK, “WELL HOW FAR CAN YOU GO
WITH THIS.”
HOW DO YOU JUSTIFY THIS?
HOW CAN YOU JUSTIFY SAVING THIS
NEIGHBOURHOOD IN BROOKLYN, TO
YOUR SHAREHOLDERS?”
AND INEVITABLY, WHAT THE CEO OF
PFIZER SAYS, AND ALL THE OTHER
CEOs, “IT'S GOOD FOR OUR
COMPANY, BECAUSE OUR PLANT IS IN
THIS NEIGHBOURHOOD, AND WE WANT
OUR--
WE WANT TO GET GOOD EMPLOYEES,
WE WANT TO GET THE TOP
EMPLOYEES, IT'S A COMPETITIVE
MARKET, SO WE NEED TO MAKE IT
ATTRACTIVE, AND WE DON'T WANT TO
HAVE A NEIGHBOURHOOD THAT'S YOU
KNOW, MESSED UP.
SO WE WANT TO MAKE THE SUBWAY
SAFE SO THAT WHEN PEOPLE COME TO
WORK, THEY DON'T GET MUGGED, AND
ALL THIS -- ULTIMATELY IS
JUSTIFIED IN TERMS OF SELF-
INTEREST, AND IT HAS TO BE, THE
LAW DEMANDS THAT.
THE LAW DEMANDS THAT WHEN
COMPANIES ARE DOING GOOD, THEY
MUST JUSTIFY IT AS A MEANS FOR
THEM TO DO WELL.
AND THAT'S NOT BAD IN ITSELF.
THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT WE, YOU
KNOW, THAT--
I MEAN, IT'S GOOD THAT THEY MADE
THIS NEIGHBOURHOOD BETTER, AND
IT'S GOOD THAT THEY GIVE AWAY
FREE DRUGS, AND IT'S GOOD THAT
YOU KNOW, BRITISH PETROLEUM IS
MAKING SOLAR POWERED GAS
STATIONS.
BUT HOW FAR CAN YOU GO WITH
THAT?
I MEAN, LET'S LOOK AT THE
BRITISH PETROLEUM EXAMPLE.
BRITISH PETROLEUM HAS ITS EYES
SET ON THE COASTAL PLAIN OF
ALASKA, WHERE THE ARCTIC
NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE IS.
THEY WANT TO DRILL ON THE
COASTAL PLAIN, AND THEY'VE BEEN
LOBBYING THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT
TO OPEN UP THE COASTAL PLAIN TO
DRILLING.
CURRENTLY IT'S CLOSED TO
DRILLING BECAUSE OF
ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS, IT'S A
VERY SENSITIVE AREA.
AND THE PROBLEM IS THAT THERE'S
A CARIBOU HERD UP THERE CALLED
THE PORCUPINE CARIBOU HERD, AND
IT'S ALMOST CERTAIN, ACCORDING
TO MANY SCIENTISTS WHO HAVE BEEN
VERY ACTIVE IN LOBBYING AGAINST
OPENING UP THIS AREA, THAT THE
PORCUPINE CARIBOU HERD WILL BE
DESTROYED IF DRILLING GOES ON
THERE.
IT'S ALSO VERY OBVIOUS THAT THE
GWICH'IN PEOPLE, WHO STRADDLE
THE U.S. CANADIAN BORDER BETWEEN
THE YUKON AND ALASKA, THAT THE
GWICH'IN PEOPLE, WHOSE ENTIRE
LIVES AND SPIRITUAL AND ECONOMIC
AND SUSTENANCE DEPEND UPON THAT
CARIBOU HERD, THAT THEIR WAY OF
LIFE WILL BE DESTROYED IF
DRILLING PROCEEDS.
NOW THERE'S NO PROOF THAT THAT
WILL HAPPEN, NO ABSOLUTELY
SCIENTIFIC PROOF, BUT WHAT
PEOPLE ARE SAYING IS, LET'S
EXERCISE THE PRECAUTIONARY
PRINCIPLE HERE.
LET'S SAY THAT THERE'S A
REASONABLE APPREHENSION THIS
WILL HAPPEN, SO LET'S NOT GO
AHEAD WITH THE DRILLING.
JOHN BROWN, THE CEO OF BRITISH
PETROLEUM, IS ONE OF THE WORLD'S
LEADING ADVOCATES OF THE
PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE.
HE SAID, “WE CAN'T PROVE THAT
GLOBAL WARMING IS HAPPENING AS A
RESULT OF GREENHOUSE GAS
EMISSIONS, BUT WE HAVE TO TAKE
PRECAUTION, LET'S APPLY THE
PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE HERE.”
WELL WHY DOESN'T HE APPLY THE
PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE TO
DRILLING ON THE COASTAL PLAIN OF
ALASKA IN THE ARCTIC?
IT'S BECAUSE THERE'S A LOT OF
MONEY THAT CAN BE MADE THERE.
IN OTHER WORDS, HE SAYS, HE
ACKNOWLEDGES THAT COMPLYING WITH
KYOTO AND SUPPORTING KYOTO HAS
COST HIS COMPANY NOTHING.
HE ACTUALLY SAYS THAT.
THEY'VE MANAGED TO FIND
EFFICIENCIES AND IT HASN'T COST
THEM ANYTHING.
FOREGOING AN OPPORTUNITY AN
OPPORTUNITY TO DRILL ON THE
COASTAL PLAIN, WOULD COST THEIR
COMPANY A LOT.
AND IF HE, JOHN BROWN, SAID,
“I'M GOING TO FOREGO THAT
OPPORTUNITY, I KNOW IT'S GOING
TO COST MY SHAREHOLDERS, I KNOW
IT'S GOING TO COST MY
CORPORATION, BUT BECAUSE I'M AN
ENVIRONMENTALIST, I BELIEVE IN
PROTECTING THE PORCUPINE CARIBOU
HERD AND THE GWICH'IN PEOPLE, IF
HE SAID THAT, AND HE DID THAT,
HE'D BE ACTING ILLEGALLY, SO--

Mark says NOW WHEN YOU
SAY ILLEGALLY, WHAT DO YOU MEAN?
WHY IS IT ILLEGAL FOR HIM TO ACT
THAT WAY?

Joel says HE WOULD BE
BREACHING A PRINCIPLE IN
CORPORATE LAW, CALLED THE BEST
INTEREST PRINCIPLE, WHICH SAYS
THAT A CORPORATE EXECUTIVE
ALWAYS HAS TO ACT IN THE BEST
INTEREST OF THE COMPANY, AND THE
COURTS HAVE INTERPRETED THAT AS
MEANING MAXIMISING THE WEALTH OF
THE OWNERS OF THE COMPANY, THE
SHAREHOLDERS.
SO HE WOULD PUT HIMSELF IN A
POSITION WHERE HE COULD BE SUED
BY THE SHAREHOLDERS, IN EFFECT.
AND THAT'S, I MEAN THAT'S THE
LIMIT OF CORPORATE SOCIAL
RESPONSIBILITY, AND IT'S A VERY
SUBSTANTIAL LIMIT.

Mark says IF YOU PLAY
THAT OUT IN OTHER WAYS, IF YOU
PLAY THAT OUT, SAY, THROUGH
CORPORATIONS THAT ALSO HAVE
INTERESTS IN MEDIA, DOES THAT
AFFECT WHAT WE END UP SEEING AND
HEARING IN THE MASS MEDIA?
IS THERE IN FACT A PROBLEM
BETWEEN PROFIT AND TRUTH,
SOMETIMES?

Joel says WELL YEAH, AND
ANYBODY WHO'S SEEN THE FILM
UH...
HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE SEEN THE
FILM, JUST SO I DON'T...
OKAY, WELL THEN I CAN JUST SORT
OF SAY, YOU KNOW, IT'S THE
STEPHEN JAMES STORY, RIGHT?
AND THEN WE CAN MOVE ON.

Mark says THAT'S TRUE,
ACTUALLY.

Joel says NO, JUST FOR THE
PEOPLE WHO HAVEN'T, JUST VERY
BRIEFLY, IT'S THE STORY ABOUT
TWO REPORTERS, YOU SAW A BIT OF
IT, WHO WANTED TO BREAK A STORY
BASICALLY, ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF
HORMONES THAT CAUSED, THAT
ENHANCED MILK PRODUCTION IN
COWS, ON THE COWS, AND ALSO,
POTENTIALLY ON CONSUMERS.
AND SO THEY PUT TOGETHER A STORY
FOR FOX NEWS.
FOX KILLED THE STORY.
THEY KILLED THE STORY BECAUSE
MONSANTO THE PRODUCER OF THE
PRODUCT, PUT PRESSURE ON FOX
NEWS NOT TO RUN THE STORY,
STEPHEN JANE PUSHED AND PUSHED,
AND INSISTED THEY WANTED THE
STORY RUN.
ULTIMATELY THEY WERE FIRED.
AND MONSANTO CAME DOWN VERY,
VERY HEAVY ON FOX, AND BASICALLY
THREATENED TO PULL AD CAMPAIGNS
FOR PRODUCTS LIKE NUTRASWEET AND
WHATNOT THAT THEY ADVERTISED ON
FOX.
SO I MEAN, IT'S A VERY NICE
EXAMPLE OF EXACTLY THAT PROBLEM.

Mark says WELL, WE ALSO
HAVE ANOTHER EXAMPLE HERE, WHICH
IS, A LOT OF PEOPLE HERE HAVE
SEEN THIS FILM.
WHY DO YOU THINK THAT THIS FILM
IS SO SUCCESSFUL?
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE
TAPPED INTO WITH THE FILM AND
WITH THE BOOK?

Joel says WELL I THINK
THERE'S A LOT OF ANGST OUT
THERE, AND LEGITIMATELY.
I THINK PEOPLE ARE LOOKING AT
THEIR WORLD.
THEY'RE SEEING
THAT THERE'S THIS ENCROACHMENT
OF COMMERCIAL VALUES IN THE
SCHOOLS THAT THEIR CHILDREN GO
TO.
THEY'RE SEEING THAT THE
ENVIRONMENT IS UNDER ASSAULT.
THEY'RE SEEING
THAT THEIR JOBS ARE BECOMING
LESS SECURE, THAT THERE SEEMS TO
BE FEWER PROTECTIONS FOR THEIR
HEALTH AND SAFETY AT WORK, FOR
THEIR SECURITY IN THEIR JOBS, AS
AGENCIES ARE GUTTED AND SOCIAL
AND PROTECTIVE STANDARDS ARE
DEREGULATED.
THEY'RE SEEING THAT THE WORLD IS
BECOMING A MORE DANGEROUS AND
INSECURE PLACE.
AND IT'S BECOMING A MORE
DANGEROUS AND INSECURE PLACE NOT
BECAUSE IT HAS TO BE THAT WAY,
BUT BECAUSE OUR GOVERNMENTS ARE
PURSUING POLICIES THAT ARE
GIVING GREATER AND GREATER
LATITUDE TO INSTITUTIONS WHOSE
SOLE MANDATE IS TO EXPLOIT TO
GENERATE PROFIT FOR
SHAREHOLDERS.
AND I DON'T THINK--
I THINK PEOPLE ARE VERY SMART
ABOUT WHAT THEY SEE IN THE
WORLD.
AND DESPITE THE ATTEMPTS OF
MEDIA TO TRY TO YOU KNOW, SORT
OF DIVERT ATTENTION FROM THESE
ISSUES, I THINK PEOPLE FEEL THEM
IN A VERY REAL WAY.
AND I THINK WHAT WE'VE DONE WITH
THE BOOK AND THE FILM, IS WE'VE
ADDRESSED IN A SORT OF HEAD ON
WAY, ONE PART OF THIS PROBLEM.
AND WE HAVE, I BELIEVE, GIVEN
PEOPLE A SENSE, NOT ONLY OF
UNDERSTANDING, ABOUT WHAT'S
GOING ON IN THEIR WORLD, BUT A
SENSE OF HOPE THAT THEY CAN
CHANGE IT.
BECAUSE ONE OF OUR FUNDAMENTAL
MESSAGES IS THAT WHAT WE'RE
EXPERIENCING NOW, THE SORT OF
HORRORS THAT WE'RE EXPERIENCING,
AND THAT ARE BEING EXPERIENCED
IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD, AND THE
ENVIRONMENTAL DECAY AND WHATNOT,
ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE NOT
INEVITABLE.
THIS IS NOT PART OF NATURAL LAW,
DESPITE THE FACT THAT MANY
ECONOMISTS WOULD LIKE US TO
BELIEVE THAT.
THAT WE, AS PEOPLE HAVE CREATED
THIS INSTITUTIONS, THE
CORPORATION.
WE, AS CITIZENS, HAVE SOMEHOW
ALLOWED OUR GOVERNMENTS TO GRANT
MORE AND MORE POWER TO THESE
INSTITUTIONS, BUT THAT WE CAN
ACTUALLY CHANGE THIS.
AND THAT'S A FUNDAMENTAL MESSAGE
IN THE FILM AND THE BOOK.
AND SO I THINK THAT THE REASON
WHY THE BOOK AND THE FILM ARE
FINDING A WIDE AUDIENCE, IS
BECAUSE THEY PROVIDE A SENSE OF
UNDERSTANDING AND THEY PROVIDE A
SENSE OF HOPE.
AT LEAST THAT'S WHAT I HOPE FOR
THE PROJECT.

[Applause]

Mark says ONE THING THAT
ONE THING THAT
SURPRISED ME, LOOKING AT THE
FILM BACK IN SEPTEMBER, AND
SEEING IT AGAIN SUBSEQUENTLY,
WAS THE FACT THAT YOU WERE ABLE
TO GET A NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO
OUGHT TO HAVE KNOWN BETTER, TO
PARTICIPATE IN THE FILM.
[Audience laughter]
WHY DO YOU THINK THAT THEY
WANTED TO APPEAR ON THE SCREEN?

Joel says WELL I THINK THE
BEST--
OR AN EXAMPLE OF THAT, THAT WE
JUST SAW, WAS LUCY HUGHES, THE
WOMAN WHO--

Mark says SHE DOESN'T
KNOW ABOUT ETHICS, BUT SHE KNOWS
HOW TO NAG.

Joel says YEAH, WELL SHE
HELPED CREATE THE--
SHE WAS BASICALLY THE CREATIVE
ENERGY BEHIND THE NAG FACTOR,
WHICH SHE EXPLAINS IS BASICALLY
A WAY TO--
I MEAN ONE OF THE REAL PROBLEMS
FOR MARKETERS DEALING WITH
CHILDREN, IS, CHILDREN DON'T
SORT OF YOU KNOW, GO OUT AND GET
IN THE CAR AND GO TO THE STORE
AND BUY THINGS, RIGHT?
THEY DON'T BUY THINGS, THEIR
PARENTS BUY THINGS.
AND THEY DON'T HAVE THEIR OWN
MONEY, SO SOMEHOW -- AND THIS
WAS YOU KNOW, THE PROBLEM THAT
SHE SOLVED, OR HELPED SOLVE.
SOMEHOW YOU HAVE TO FIND A WAY
TO GET CHILDREN'S CONSUMER
DEMAND TO MANIFEST ITSELF IN
ACTUAL PURCHASES.
AND THE OBVIOUS PERSON THAT YOU
HAVE TO GET THE WORK DONE ON, IS
THE PARENT.
SO WHAT LUCY HUGHES SAYS, AND I
MEAN, YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU'RE
SITTING AND LISTENING TO THESE
PEOPLE, I HAVE TO SAY, YOU KIND
OF ADMIRE THE BRILLIANCE.
I MEAN, IT'S DIABOLICAL, BUT
IT'S REALLY KIND OF SMART, YOU
KNOW, AND YOU SORT OF RESPECT
THAT.
SO WHAT SHE REALISED IS THAT
THERE ARE SORT OF TWO LEVELS OF
VULNERABILITY HERE, THE CHILDREN
ARE VULNERABLE TO HAVE THEIR
MINDS MANIPULATED BY THE
TELEVISION SET.
THE PARENTS ARE VULNERABLE TO BE
MANIPULATED BY THE CHILDREN.
BECAUSE THERE'S PROBABLY NO
BETTER SALES PERSON IN YOUR LIFE
AS A PARENT, THAN YOUR OWN
CHILD.
I MEAN, IN TERMS OF PITCHING
SOMETHING AND NAGGING AND
WHATNOT.
SO I MEAN THIS IS KIND OF COMMON
SENSE, BUT WHAT LUCY HUGHES DID,
WAS TURN IT INTO A SCIENCE.
AND WENT RIGHT INTO IT AND HIRED
PSYCHOLOGISTS AND FIGURED OUT
EXACTLY WHAT KIND OF A NAG WORKS
IN WHAT KIND OF A SITUATION.
BECAUSE THERE ARE DIFFERENT
KINDS OF NAGS.
SOMETIMES YOUR KID JUST, “I WANT
IT! I WANT IT! I WANT IT!”
SHUT UP.
SO UM, YOU KNOW, JUST CONSTANT
NAGGING LIKE THAT.
“I WANT THE BARBIE DREAM HOUSE,”
AND THEN OTHER TIMES, YOUR KID
IS, “WELL, DADDY, I'D LIKE TO
GET THE BARBIE DREAM HOUSE, SO
THAT KEN AND BARBIE CAN HAVE A
FAMILY.”
SO I SAY, “OH, THAT'S REALLY
SMART.
MY CHILD IS REALLY SMART.
I'M GOING TO BUY THAT BARBIE
DREAM HOUSE.”
SO YOU KNOW, THERE ARE DIFFERENT
WAYS TO NAG A PARENT, AND THERE
ARE DIFFERENT KINDS OF PARENTS.
LUCY HUGHES DIVIDED PARENTS INTO
FOUR TYPES, AND I CHALLENGE YOU
TO THINK ABOUT WHAT KIND YOU
MIGHT BE.
I KNOW WHAT KIND I AM.

Mark chuckles.

Joel says THERE ARE THE
SORT OF-- THERE ARE THE DENIERS,
AND THESE ARE PEOPLE, THEY TEND
TO BE SORT OF UPPER MIDDLE
CLASS, AND THEY DON'T, YOU KNOW,
THEY DON'T GIVE THEIR KID VERY
MUCH, THEY'RE SORT OF TIGHT.
AND WITH THESE
KIND OF PARENTS, THE KID REALLY
HAS TO MAKE A GOOD ARGUMENT.
IT'S NOT ENOUGH TO JUST NAG IN A
KIND OF WHINEY AND PERSISTENT
WAY.
BUT THEN THERE'S A GROUP CALLED,
“KIDS' PALS.”
AND KIDS' PALS TEND TO BE
YOUNGER PARENTS WHO ACTUALLY
WANT TO BUY THE STUFF.
THEY WANT THE REMOTE CONTROL
TRUCK, BECAUSE THEY WANT TO USE
IT.
[Audience laughter]
THEY WANT THE NINTENDO THING, SO
THEY ACTUALLY RESPOND.
I MEAN ANY EXCUSE TO BUY THE
THING, RIGHT?
SO IF THE KID STARTS WHINING IN
THE STORE, BOOM, IT'S IN THE
CART.
AND THEN THERE ARE INDULGERS.
AND INDULGERS ARE GENERALLY
PARENTS, OFTEN SINGLE PARENTS
WHO FEEL GUILTY AND FEEL BAD
THAT THEY DON'T SPEND ENOUGH
TIME WITH THEIR KIDS.
SO AGAIN, THE NAGGING WITH
PERSISTENCE WORKS WELL ON THEM,
BECAUSE THEY'RE ALREADY KIND OF
VULNERABLE.
AND THEN THERE ARE THE
CONFLICTED PARENTS, AND THIS IS
ACTUALLY WHAT I THINK I AM.
CONFLICTED PARENTS REALLY RESENT
THEIR CHILDREN BEING TARGETS OF
COMMERCIAL ADVERTISING.
THEY REALLY BELIEVE THAT THEIR
CHILDREN SHOULDN'T BE PLAYING
WITH ALL THESE CRAPPY TOYS AND
WATCHING ALL THIS CRAPPY
TELEVISION.
BUT THEY BUY THE TOYS ANYWAY,
AND THE KIDS WATCH TV.
SO--

The audience laughs.

Joel says SO THEY'RE YOU KNOW, AND
CONFLICTED PARENTS ARE MORE
COMPLICATED.
YOU KNOW, THE IDEAL SCENARIO IS
FOR THE CHILD TO USE BOTH KINDS
OF NAGS.
YOU KNOW, SORT OF LIKE A ONE-TWO
PUNCH.

Joel throws punches in the air.

The audience laughs.

Joel says YOU KNOW, YOU DO THE NAGGING AND
THEN YOU COME UP WITH SOME
INTELLIGENT REASON TO BUY THE
TOY, AND THEN YOU--

Mark says IT'S KIND OF
GOOD COP, BAD COP.

Joel says YEAH, EXACTLY,
BUT WITHIN THE SAME KID.
SO UM, WHAT LUCY HUGHES DID,
IS, I MEAN, THIS IS ALL LUCY
HUGHES' WORK.
YOU KNOW, DIVIDING UP THE KIND
OF NAGGING, DIVIDING UP THE KIND
OF PARENTS, AND THEN, OF COURSE,
THE NEXT ELEMENT OF THE STUDY
WAS, LET'S LOOK AT THE EFFECT
THAT NAGGING HAS, AND WHAT SHE
REALISED, IS THAT 20--
WHAT SHE FOUND IN HER EMPIRICAL
STUDY, WAS THE 20 TO 40 percent OF
PURCHASES, OF EVERYTHING FROM
MACDONALD'S TO CHUCKY CHEESE, TO
TOYS, TO THEME PARK VISITS, 20
TO 40 percent OF PURCHASES WERE THE
RESULT OF SUCCESSFUL NAGGING ON
THE PART OF THE CHILD.
NOW WHAT THAT MEANS IS THAT
ENTIRE CORPORATE EMPIRES DEPEND
UPON CHILDREN NAGGING.
AND SO SHE'S TAPPED INTO
SOMETHING THAT'S VERY POWERFUL.
AND SO HER JOB IS TO CONSULT
WITH ADVERTISERS, AND TO REALLY
ANALYSE WHAT'S THE DEMOGRAPHIC,
WHAT'S THE NATURE OF THE
PRODUCT, WHO ARE THE PARENTS,
WHAT KIND OF NAG, AND HOW YOU
CREATE THE AD THAT GETS THE
RIGHT KIND OF NAG.
OKAY, HOW DID WE GET HER TO SAY
ALL THAT?
SHE'S PROUD OF IT.
SHE THINKS SHE'S DONE A REALLY
GOOD JOB, AND THAT'S TRUE OF ALL
THE PEOPLE THAT WE TALKED TO.
THEY'RE PROUD OF WHAT THEY DO.
YOU KNOW, THEY DON'T SORT OF
QUESTION IT.
I MEAN, HOW DID WE GET MILTON
FREIDMAN TO BE IN THE FILM?
I WROTE HIM A LETTER.
I SAID, “DO YOU WANT TO BE IN A
DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE
CORPORATION?
YOU KNOW, YOU'RE A GUY THAT'S
DONE A LOT OF WORK ON CORPORATE
ECONOMICS AND STUFF.”
AND HE WROTE ME BACK AND HE
SAID, “I HAVEN'T DONE A LOT OF
WORK ON CORPORATE ECONOMICS,
I'VE DONE A LOT OF WORK ON SUCH
AND SUCH ECONOMICS,” YOU KNOW,
YOU IDIOT, KIND OF THING.
AND I WROTE HIM BACK AND SAID,
“WELL YOU'VE WRITTEN A FEW
THINGS, AND I THOUGHT THEY WERE
REALLY INTERESTING,” WHICH I
DID, “AND SO DO YOU WANT TO DO
AN INTERVIEW?”
AND HE WROTE BACK AND SAID,
“FINE, PHONE MY ASSISTANT.”
I PHONED THE ASSISTANT, SHE
SAID, “IF HE'S BORED WITH YOUR
QUESTIONS, HE'LL WALK OUT OF THE
ROOM, AND THAT WILL BE THE END
OF THE INTERVIEW.”
SO I WAS REALLY NERVOUS WHEN I
WENT TO INTERVIEW HIM.
IT WAS LIKE, PLEASE, DON'T WALK.
BUT SO YOU KNOW, YOU WRITE
LETTERS TO PEOPLE.
WE DID WRITE TO A LOT OF CEOs,
THEY SAID, NO.
MAYBE BECAUSE THEY WERE BUSY,
AND WHO WERE WE?
YOU KNOW, WE WERE LIKE, MAKING
THIS DOCUMENTARY FILM FOR TV
ONTARIO, YOU KNOW, WE WERE--
BUT THEN A NUMBER OF THEM SAID
YES.
AND I THINK THE ONES THAT SAID
YES, I MEAN, WHEN YOU HEAR THE QUOTE
FROM STAN GIBARRA FROM
GOODYEAR, OR HANK McKENNEL, THE
ONES THAT SAID YES, TENDED TO BE
INTRIGUED BY THE PROJECT, AND
THEY'RE SORT OF INTELLIGENT AND
THOUGHTFUL PEOPLE, WHO WANTED TO
ENGAGE IN THE DISCUSSION THAT WE
WERE HAVING, AND DID, IN A VERY
THOUGHTFUL WAY.

Mark says THE ONE THAT
MOST STUNNED ME WAS MARK BARRY.
I MEAN HOW CAN YOU BE A
CORPORATE SPY AND THEN SHOW UP
ON A BIG SCREEN, AND ANNOUNCE
YOU'RE A CORPORATE SPY?

Joel says IT'S EASY, HE'S
UM--
I MEAN THIS WAS A QUESTION THAT
WE OBVIOUSLY HAD WHEN WE TALKED
TO HIM, AND HE'S A MASTER OF
DISGUISE.
[Audience laughter]
I MEAN THAT'S WHAT HE DOES.
AND IN THE TVO VERSION, FOR
THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE SEEN IT,
THERE'S MORE OF HIM IN IT, AND
YOU'LL SEE SOME OF HIS OUTFITS.
BUT YEAH, HE JUST IS VERY GOOD
AT DOING DISGUISE WORK.
AND OBVIOUSLY FOR HIS NEXT GIG,
HE'S NOT GOING TO APPEAR IN SORT
OF SPIKED HAIR AND A BLUE SUIT
AS HE DID IN THE FILM.

Mark says CAN WE TALK A
BIT ABOUT THE ANTI-GLOBALIZATION
MOVEMENT?
I MEAN OBVIOUSLY THAT'S
SOMETHING THAT'S BEEN HAPPENING
IN THE LAST FEW YEARS.
IT'S SOMETHING THAT'S VERY
STRONG, AND IT'S A CRITIQUE OF
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE WORLD.
UM, IT'S SOMETHING THAT YOU TAP
INTO A LOT TOWARDS THE END OF
THE FILM AND IN THE BOOK.
WHAT IS YOUR REACTION NOW?
HOW DO YOU FEEL NOW IF, LET'S
SAY THAT THERE'S BEEN A BIT OF
AN EDUCATION PROCESS, WHERE DO
YOU THINK THAT THIS WHOLE
MOVEMENT AGAINST GLOBALIZATION
IS GOING TO GO IN THE NEXT FEW
YEARS?

A caption reads “Joel Bakan. Author of The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power.”

Joel says I MEAN, I THINK
THE ANTI-GLOBALIZATION MOVEMENT,
IN A WAY, IT'S AN IMPRECISE TERM
TO SAY ANTI-GLOBALIZATION.
I MEAN THERE ARE A LOT OF
DIFFERENT MOVEMENTS THAT ARE
INVOLVED IN THAT MOVEMENT, AND
IT'S ANTI A PARTICULAR KIND OF
ECONOMIC GLOBALIZATION.
I MEAN, I THINK
THERE ARE MANY SOCIALISTS,
ANARCHISTS IN THE WORLD WHO ARE
INTERNATIONALIST IN THEIR
PERSPECTIVE.
AND SO I THINK WE HAVE TO BE
QUITE CAREFUL.
ANTI-GLOBALIZATION IS ANTI THE
KIND OF NEO-LIBERAL
GLOBALIZATION THAT WE'VE BEEN
EXPERIENCING.
AND I GUESS WHEN WE FIRST
STARTED THIS PROJECT, IT WAS
THAT EMERGING MOVEMENT, IN PART
THAT SUGGESTED TO ME, THAT THERE
WAS--
THIS WAS AN ISSUE.
I MEAN THAT PEOPLE--
IT SEEMED THE FIRST TIME, AT
LEAST IN NORTH AMERICA, THAT WE
WERE GETTING THESE KIND OF MASS
MOVEMENTS, AND I GO BACK TO
1997, THE APEC MEETING AT THE
CAMPUS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF
BRITISH COLUMBIA, AND WE HAD
ALREADY STARTED MAKING THE FILM,
ACTUALLY, AND WE WERE THERE
SHOOTING IT.
AND IT WAS REALLY THE FIRST
MAJOR SORT OF MASS DEMONSTRATION
IN NORTH AMERICA, THAT HAD, AT
THE CORE, A CONCERN ABOUT THE
COMPLICITY BETWEEN NATION-STATES
AND CORPORATIONS AND THE EFFECT
THAT THAT WAS HAVING ON THE
WORLD.
I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS I TALK
ABOUT IN THE BOOK IN RELATION TO
THE ANTI-GLOBALIZATION MOVEMENT
IS, I KIND OF TAKE ON SOME OF
THE IDEAS IN THAT MOVEMENT.
UM, AMONG SOME OF THE PEOPLE IN
THAT MOVEMENT.
AND THE CENTRAL IDEA THAT I TAKE
ON, IS THAT SOMEHOW WE CAN--
THAT WE SHOULD GIVE UP ON
GOVERNMENT, AS A SOURCE, AS A
PLACE FOR ACTIVISM.
AND MY FUNDAMENTAL ARGUMENT IS
THAT THE CORPORATION IS REALLY A
CREATION OF GOVERNMENT, THE
MARKET IS A CREATION OF
GOVERNMENT, WHEN WE TALK ABOUT
DEREGULATION, THAT'S REALLY A
MISNOMER.
WHAT'S REALLY HAPPENING, IS THAT
THE NATURE OF REGULATION IS
SHIFTING AWAY FROM PROTECTION OF
THE PUBLIC INTEREST AND MORE
TOWARD THE NEEDS OF CAPITAL.
YOU CAN'T HAVE A MARKET, YOU
CAN'T HAVE PROPERTY RIGHTS
WITHOUT THE STATE.
YOU CAN'T HAVE CONTRACT RIGHTS,
YOU CAN'T HAVE FREE TRADE DEALS
WITHOUT NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS.
YOU CAN'T HAVE CORPORATIONS,
THEY'RE CREATED BY NATIONAL
GOVERNMENTS.
SO THE STATE REMAINS A VERY
IMPORTANT SITE FOR PROGRESSIVE
STRUGGLE AND FOR STRUGGLE FOR
SOCIAL JUSTICE.
AND IN SOME STREAMS OF THE ANTI-
GLOBALIZATION MOVEMENT, I GET
THE SENSE THAT THE SOLUTION NOW
IS, THE GOVERNMENTS ARE SO
CORRUPT, WE SHOULDN'T EVEN
BOTHER WITH THEM ANY MORE, AND
IT'S REALLY JUST A CASE OF
HITTING THE STREETS AND
CONFRONTING CORPORATIONS
DIRECTLY, THROUGH DIRECT ACTION.
AND WHILE I THINK THAT'S
ESSENTIAL, AND IT'S IMPORTANT,
AND WHILE I THINK THAT THE SORT
OF NEW CIVIL SOCIETY OF NON-
GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS, AND
THE SORT OF THE GROWTH OF THOSE
KINDS OF ORGANISATIONS THAT
MONITOR AND TRY TO HOLD
CORPORATIONS ACCOUNTABLE, IS
ESSENTIAL.
WHILE AN ACTIVATED CIVIL SOCIETY
IS ESSENTIAL FOR MOVING FORWARD,
AND FOR PROGRESSIVE SOCIAL
CHANGE, I DON'T THINK IT'S
SUFFICIENT.
I THINK WE STILL HAVE TO WORK
WITH GOVERNMENTS, AND YOU KNOW,
EVEN WITH POLITICAL PARTIES LIKE
THE NDP.
I THINK IT'S VERY IMPORTANT NOT
TO GIVE UP ON THE PROJECT OF
TRYING TO MAKE MORE DEMOCRATIC,
TRYING TO DEEPEN THE DEMOCRATIC
NATURE, TRYING TO BUILD MORE
DEMOCRACY AROUND THE SHELL OF
DEMOCRACY THAT WE CURRENTLY
HAVE.
AND I GUESS THAT'S MY QUIBBLE
WITH AT LEAST SOME ELEMENTS OF
THE ANTI-GLOBALIZATION
MOVEMENTS, BUT CERTAINLY NOT
ALL, BECAUSE NOT ALL TAKE THAT
VIEW.
AND I TALK ABOUT THAT IN SOME
DETAIL IN THE BOOK.
I MEAN MY BASIC ARGUMENT IN THE
BOOK IS THAT THIS IDEA AT THE
END OF THE BOOK, THAT WE CAN
SOMEHOW RELY UPON RESPONSIBLE --
SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE CONSUMERS,
BENEVOLENT CEOs, SOCIALLY
RESPONSIBLE SHAREHOLDERS, TO
CONSTRAIN CORPORATE ACTIVITIES
THAT HARM THE PUBLIC INTEREST --
I THINK IT'S A MYTH.
I DON'T THINK WE CAN.
I THINK WE STILL NEED SOME OTHER
MECHANISM, AND THE ONLY OTHER
ONES WE'VE GOT RIGHT NOW, ARE
OUR GOVERNMENTAL INSTITUTIONS,
TO WORK TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC
INTEREST FROM CORPORATIONS.
AND WHEN YOU TALK, THERE'S A
SORT OF COMMON VIEW AMONG SOME
ACTIVISTS AND MANY PEOPLE IN THE
CORPORATE SECTOR, FORGET ABOUT
GOVERNMENTS, WE'RE GOING TO RELY
UPON MARKETS NOW.
CORPORATIONS CAN BE SOCIALLY
RESPONSIBLE, AND THEY CAN
CONTROL THEMSELVES, THEY CAN
SELF REGULATE, AND YOU KNOW,
WE'LL LEAVE IT AT THAT.
AND I THINK THAT'S A VERY, VERY
DANGEROUS MYTH.

Mark says WHAT ABOUT THE
RISE OF DOCUMENTARY NOW?
IT SEEMS, WELL FOR EXAMPLE, MARK
ACHBAR WAS INVITED TO THE VANITY
FAIR PARTY, THE VANITY FAIR
OSCAR PARTY, AND GOT TO COMMENT
ON IT IN THE GLOBE AND MAIL ON
THE WEEKEND, AND YOU GET ERROL
MORRIS WINNING ACADEMY AWARDS,
AND A QUICK ANECDOTE, “SUPERSIZE
ME,” WHICH WAS A FILM THAT WAS
AT SUNDANCE ALONG WITH “THE
CORPORATION” A COUPLE OF MONTHS
AGO, SORT OF ALMOST A
PERFORMANCE PIECE IN WHICH A
FELLOW DECIDES HE WILL ONLY EAT
AT MACDONALD'S FOR 30 DAYS, AND
WILL ALWAYS ORDER THE SUPER IF
ASKED, WHICH OF COURSE--

Joel says YOU'RE ALWAYS
ASKED.

Mark says YOU'RE ALWAYS
ASKED, SO I DON'T KNOW IF YOU
READ IN THE PAPER A COUPLE OF
DAYS AGO, BUT MACDONALD'S HAS
NOW ANNOUNCED THAT THEY NO
LONGER WILL DO THAT, AND THEY
ARE IN FACT GOING TO REMOVE THE
SUPERS FROM THE--
SUPPOSEDLY IN AN EFFORT TO
SIMPLIFY THEIR MENU.
I DIDN'T FIND THE MENU ALL THAT
DIFFICULT BEFOREHAND.
[Audience laughter]
OF COURSE I DON'T EAT MEAT, SO
THAT'S EVEN EASIER.

Joel says AN EXAMPLE OF HOW
DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING CAN
CHANGE THE WORLD.
I MEAN--

The audience laughs and applauds.

Mark says ONE BURGER AT A
TIME, JOEL.

Joel says BUT THERE ARE
BILLIONS AND BILLIONS.
YOU KNOW...
I CAN'T REMEMBER HIS NAME NOW,
BECAUSE I CAN'T REMEMBER NAMES,
BUT WE MET HIM AT SUNDANCE,
REBECCA AND I MET HIM, AND HE
LOOKED REALLY HEALTHY AND FIT, I
JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW, AFTER
GOING A MONTH OF EATING ONLY
MACDONALD'S, BUT HE WAS-- HIS
LIVER STOPPED FUNCTIONING, HE
GOT INTO REAL PROBLEMS, REAL
HEALTH PROBLEMS AS A RESULT OF
THIS--

Joel says IT WAS A VERY
BRAVE DOCUMENTARY TO MAKE, HE
MAY HAVE LITERALLY PUT HIS LIFE
ON THE LINE, EATING ONLY
MACDONALD'S FOOD, AND
SUPERSIZING FOR A WHOLE MONTH.
UH, DOCUMENTARY FILM, IT HAS
BEEN THE STORY AT A NUMBER OF
FILM FESTIVALS THAT WE'VE BEEN
AT, TORONTO AND SUNDANCE, IN
AMSTERDAM, THAT, IS THIS THE
RENAISSANCE OF THE DOCUMENTARY?
AND I THINK THERE'S NO QUESTION
THAT, I MEAN YOU LOOK AT MICHAEL
MOORE'S WORK, YOU LOOK AT ERROL
MORRIS' WORK, I MEAN, LOOK AT
THE WORK OF NUMEROUS DOCUMENTARY
FILMMAKERS.
I MEAN DOCUMENTARY FILMS ARE
GETTING INTO THE THEATRES NOW,
PEOPLE WANT TO SEE THEM, THERE'S
AN APPETITE FOR THEM.
AND YOU KNOW, PEOPLE THEORISE
ABOUT IT, AND MY SENSE OF IT IS
THAT IT HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH
THIS ANGST THAT PEOPLE FEEL THAT
THE WORLD IS REALLY CAREERING
OFF ON A DANGEROUS PATH,
COMBINED WITH A SENSE THAT
THEY'RE NOT GETTING THE
INFORMATION THAT THEY NEED TO
UNDERSTAND WHY FROM THE MEDIA.
THAT THE NEWS IS JUST SORT OF
THESE RANDOM EVENTS, AND YOU
KNOW, BAD THINGS HAPPEN AND GOOD
THINGS HAPPEN, BUT THERE'S NO
SORT OF WAY OF UNDERSTANDING WHY
OR HOW WHAT'S HAPPENING IS
HAPPENING.
AND WHAT A DOCUMENTARY FILM
DOES, AND I SHOULD ADD, WHAT A
NONFICTION BOOK DOES, BECAUSE I
THINK THERE'S ALSO A BIT OF A
RENAISSANCE FOR THIS KIND OF
NONFICTION, SORT OF CRITICAL,
POLITICAL, SOCIAL ACTIVIST
ORIENTED NONFICTION.
I THINK WHAT DOCUMENTARY AND
SOME NONFICTION BOOKS DO, IS
THEY TRY TO RECKON WITH WHAT'S
GOING ON IN THE WORLD.
GRANTED THEY COME WITH THEIR OWN
POINT OF VIEW, BUT AT LEAST YOU
KNOW THAT IT'S A POINT OF VIEW,
YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS.
AND THERE'S AN ATTEMPT TO GO
VERY DEEP INTO A SUBJECT MATTER,
LIKE “THE CORPORATION,” AND
PROVIDE AN ANALYSIS OF WHAT'S
HAPPENING, BUT ALSO IN A FORMAT
THAT IS VERY ENTERTAINING,
THAT'S MOVING, THAT'S SOMETIMES
HUMOUROUS, WHICH I HOPE THAT
BOTH THE BOOK AND “THE
CORPORATION” FILM ARE.
I MEAN MICHAEL MOORE'S WORK IS
VASTLY ENTERTAINING, AND
INFORMATIVE AND INSPIRING.
ERROL MORRIS, I MEAN, “THE FOG
OF WAR,” IS A STUNNING FILM.
IT JUST BLEW ME AWAY.
SO YOU'RE GETTING IT ALL IN A
GOOD DOCUMENTARY FILM.
YOU'RE HAVING A WONDERFUL SORT
OF ENTERTAINMENT EXPERIENCE, AND
AT THE SAME TIME, YOU'RE REALLY
GETTING A GRASP ON SOME ISSUE.
I MEAN, PEOPLE WALK OUT OF “THE
CORPORATION,” FEELING VERY
HOPEFUL AND VERY INSPIRED,
BECAUSE THEY FEEL...
THEY FEEL EMPOWERED BY THE
KNOWLEDGE THAT THEY GAINED, THAT
THEY ACTUALLY HAVE A GRASP ON
SOME THINGS THAT THEY SORT OF
INTUITED BEFORE, BUT NOW THEY
REALLY HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING OF
HOW IT ALL FITS TOGETHER, AND
THAT'S WHAT A GOOD DOCUMENTARY
FILM OR A GOOD NONFICTION BOOK
CAN DO, AND I THINK THERE'S A
REAL THIRST FOR THAT NOW,
BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT GETTING IT
ANYWHERE ELSE.

Mark says WELL ONE PLACE
THEY MIGHT BE GETTING IT IS ON
THE INTERNET, AND I'M WONDERING
ABOUT WEBSITES AND WHETHER YOU
FEEL THAT THERE IS A WAY,
THROUGH THE INTERNET AND THROUGH
WEBSITES, AND CONNECTING LINKS
FOR PEOPLE TO BE ABLE TO HAVE
THEIR VOICES HEARD AROUND THE
WORLD.

Joel says ABSOLUTELY, I
MEAN THE INTERNET IS A FABULOUS
PHENOMENON FOR ORGANISING, FOR
DISSEMINATING INFORMATION.
IT'S KIND OF AN UNEVEN MEDIUM IN
THE SENSE THAT YOU DON'T
ALWAYS...
YOU DON'T ALWAYS KNOW WHERE
THINGS ARE COMING FROM OR HOW TO
ASSESS THEM, BUT DEFINITELY A
FONT OF INFORMATION.
AND I SHOULD SAY THAT “THE
CORPORATION” PROJECT, I MEAN, A
FILM IS A STATIC OBJECT, YOU
MAKE IT, IT'S DONE.
THE SAME WITH A BOOK, THE WEB
ALLOWS YOU TO CONTINUE A
DISCUSSION, AND WE'RE DOING THAT
WITH WHAT'S CALLED I-CORP, WHICH
WILL BE OUR SORT OF INTERNET
PLATFORM FOR CONTINUING THE
DISCUSSIONS AND THE ANALYSES IN
AN INTERACTIVE WAY, IN A
COLLECTIVE WAY, FOR PEOPLE TO BE
ABLE TO TALK TO EACH OTHER
AROUND THESE ISSUES.
Www.thecorporation.com, AND
WE'RE IN DEVELOPMENT, BUT THE
IDEA IS REALLY TO CREATE AN
ONGOING CORPORATION THAT WILL
COMPLEMENT AND CONTINUE THE
IDEAS FROM THE BOOK AND THE
FILM.

Mark says AND I GUESS A
FINAL QUESTION BEFORE WE THROW
IT OPEN TO THE AUDIENCE.
ON A GRASSROOTS POLITICAL LEVEL,
WHAT SHOULD WE BE DOING NOW?

Joel says YOU WANT ME TO
ANSWER THAT?
OH…

Joel laughs.

Mark says THIS IS A HARD
QUESTION.
DO YOU WANT ME TO ANSWER IT?

Joel says NO, THIS IS
REALLY THE MOST DIFFICULT
QUESTION.
AT A VERY GENERAL LEVEL, I THINK
IT'S--
AND I'LL JUST STATE IT AT A
GENERAL LEVEL, BECAUSE YOU CAN
FOLLOW UP WITH QUESTIONS LATER,
BUT AT A VERY GENERAL LEVEL, I
THINK THAT WE HAVE TO FIRST
REALISE THAT THE FACT THAT WE
CAN'T DO EVERYTHING DOESN'T MEAN
THAT WE SHOULDN'T DO SOMETHING.
ONE OFTEN FEELS OVERWHELMED BY
WHAT WE SEE IN THE WORLD, BY THE
AMOUNT OF POWER OF CORPORATIONS,
BUT THE SEEMING INACCESSIBILITY
TO GOVERNMENT.
IT SEEMS THAT WE'RE PARALYSED,
THERE'S NOTHING WE CAN DO.
AND I THINK THAT'S WRONG.
I THINK WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS
JUST START ACTING.
WHETHER IT'S JOINING YOUR KIDS'
SCHOOL COMMITTEE AND TRYING TO
GET COKE MACHINES OUT OF THE
HALLWAY, OR JOINING GREENPEACE,
OR JOINING A POLITICAL PARTY AND
WORKING TO TRY TO DEAL WITH SOME
OF THESE ISSUES WITHIN THAT
CONTEXT.
OR GOING OUT TO DEMONSTRATIONS,
OR DOING ALL OF THESE THINGS.
I THINK IT'S REALLY A QUESTION
OF TRYING TO REACTIVATE OUR
SENSE OF CITIZENSHIP AND
REACTIVATE OUR SENSE THAT WE IN
FACT ARE THE GOVERNORS OF
OURSELVES IN A DEMOCRACY.
WE HAVE TO BELIEVE THAT, AND WE
HAVE TO ACT ON THAT, AND WE HAVE
TO INSIST FROM OUR INSTITUTIONS,
THAT THEY DO WHAT IS RIGHT IN
TERMS OF PROTECTING THE PUBLIC
INTEREST.
IN THE BOOK, I
ACTUALLY PROPOSE IN SOME DETAIL,
SOME THINGS THAT CAN BE DONE IN
THE SORT OF IMMEDIATE FUTURE.
BUT THE GENERAL THEME IS, IT'S
LIKE AT THE END OF THE FILM,
MICHAEL MOORE SAYS, “JUST DO
SOMETHING.”
I MEAN, AND I
THINK WE'RE LOSING OUR SENSE
THAT WE'RE CITIZENS AND THAT WE
ACTUALLY HAVE A SAY IN HOW OUR
WORLD, AND HOW OUR SOCIETIES ARE
SHAPED.
AND I THINK IF WE LOSE OUR SENSE
OF BEING CITIZENS, THEN WE'VE
LOST THE POSSIBILITY OF
DEMOCRACY.
[Applause]
SO FOR ME, THAT'S WHAT WE NEED
TO DO -- THANKS.

The audience applauds.

A caption reads “Question and Answer Session.”

Mark says SO I WILL
ATTEMPT TO DO A QUICK REPEAT.
HOW DO YOU GET PEOPLE OFF THEIR
DUFFS, AS THEY USED TO SAY.

Joel says YOU KNOW, I THINK
IN ALL OF OUR RELATIONSHIPS OF
LOVE, OF FRIENDSHIP, OF WORK, IF
WE CARE ABOUT ISSUES, THEN WE
SHOULD TALK TO PEOPLE WE'RE IN
RELATIONSHIP ABOUT THOSE ISSUES,
AND WE SHOULD TRY TO INSPIRE
THEM TO TRY AND DO SOMETHING
ABOUT THE THINGS THAT WE CARE
ABOUT.
I MEAN IT'S--
THAT SEEMS TO ME TO BE WHAT IT
MEANS TO BE A MEMBER OF A
COMMUNITY, A MEMBER OF A FAMILY,
A WORKPLACE OR WHATEVER, THAT
YOU'RE HAVING THOSE EXCHANGES.
SO IN ADDITION TO TALKING ABOUT
HOW THE LEAFS DID LAST NIGHT,
YOU'RE TALKING MAYBE ABOUT THE
KIND OF WORK THAT YOU'RE DOING
TO DEAL WITH THESE ISSUES, AND
YOU'RE TRYING TO INSPIRE THE
PEOPLE THAT YOU'RE IN
RELATIONSHIPS WITH.

Mark says HE WANTS TO
KNOW WHY YOU DIDN'T ANALYSE THE
CORPORATION IN TERMS OF ITS
VARIETIES WITHIN VARIOUS NATIONS
AND VARIOUS LEGAL SYSTEMS.

Joel says YEAH, IN THE
BOOK, I'M A LITTLE BIT MORE
EXPLICIT ABOUT THAT THAN IN THE
FILM.
IN THE FILM, WE'RE LOOKING, AND
IN THE BOOK, WE'RE LOOKING
PRIMARILY AT THE AMERICAN BASED
TRANSNATIONAL FOR PROFIT,
PUBLICLY TRADED CORPORATION.
THAT'S WHAT WE'RE LOOKING AT
PRIMARILY.
THE REASON WE'RE LOOKING AT
THAT, INSTITUTION IS BECAUSE
THAT INSTITUTION TENDS TO, IN
TERMS OF THE DISTRIBUTION OF
WEALTH AND POWER WITHIN THE
CORPORATE WORLD, AND BETWEEN THE
CORPORATE WORLD AND THE REST OF
THE WORLD, THAT'S THE
INSTITUTION THAT I BELIEVE IS
HAVING THE GREATEST IMPACT ON
THE ISSUES THAT WE'RE
ADDRESSING.
WE ALSO WANTED TO--
I MEAN THERE SEEMS TO BE A LOT,
WHEN WE THINK ABOUT
CORPORATIONS, WE TEND TO THINK
ABOUT THEM IN TERMS OF
DIFFERENCE.
WE TEND TO THINK ABOUT THEM AS,
THIS CORPORATION IS GOOD, THIS
CORPORATION IS BAD, THIS
CORPORATION IS MAKING THIS KIND
OF PRODUCT, THIS CORPORATION IS
MAKING THIS KIND OF SERVICE,
WHATEVER.
AND I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS WE
REALLY WANTED TO DO IN THE
PROJECT, AND MAYBE WE LEANED A
LITTLE BIT TOO FAR IN THIS
DIRECTION FOR YOUR LIKING, BUT
WE REALLY WANTED TO CONVEY THE
SENSE THAT THE CORPORATION IS
NOT JUST THE SUM TOTAL OF ALL
OF THESE DIFFERENT CORPORATIONS,
BUT IN FACT ALL PUBLICLY TRADED
CORPORATIONS SHARE EXACTLY THE
SAME INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE.
I THINK THAT'S A POINT THAT MANY
PEOPLE AREN'T AWARE OF, OR
THEY'RE SURPRISED BY.
THAT THIS INSTITUTION IS CREATED
BY LAW IN A WAY THAT DOESN'T
HAVE A GREAT DEAL OF VARIATION.
THE WAY IT'S CREATED MAY HAVE
DIFFERENT IMPLICATIONS IN
DIFFERENT CONTEXTS, BUT THE
ACTUAL INSTITUTION DOESN'T VARY
THAT GREATLY ACROSS DIFFERENT
SYSTEMS.
YOU CAN LOOK AT JAPANESE
CORPORATIONS, AND JAPANESE
CORPORATE LAW.
SOME EUROPEAN CORPORATE LAWS
DIFFER FROM THE ANGLO-AMERICAN-
CANADIAN MODEL, BUT THIS NOTION
THAT THE FUNDAMENTAL MISSION OF
THE CORPORATION IS TO GENERATE
WEALTH FOR ITS OWNERS, IS A
RELATIVELY UNIVERSAL PRINCIPLE
ACROSS ALL CORPORATIONS, AND I
THINK WHAT MAKES THE PROJECT
UNIQUE IS THAT IT LOOKS AT THAT
OPERATING PRINCIPLE AS A COMMON
PRINCIPLE.
AND I THINK THAT WE DO LOOK AT
HOW WE DO, OBVIOUSLY HAVE TO
LOOK AT THAT THROUGH DIFFERENT
CASE STUDIES, AND IN LOOKING AT
THOSE CASE STUDIES, YOU DO SEE
DIFFERENCES, BUT WE DO FOCUS
PRIMARILY ON THE ANGLO-AMERICAN-
CANADIAN CORPORATION, THAT
MODEL.
THERE'S JUST THAT ONE THING,
THAT MODEL TENDS TO BE ONE OF
THE MAJOR EXPORTS OF THE UNITED
STATES RIGHT NOW.
THERE'S SOME REALLY GREAT
SCHOLARLY WORK BEING DONE
SHOWING HOW THE U.S. MODEL OF
THE CORPORATION IS NOW BEING
ADOPTED.
SO THAT'S ONE OF THE EFFECTS OF
GLOBALIZATION IS THAT THE
AMERICAN MODEL OF THE
CORPORATION TENDS TO BE MORE
PERVASIVE IN THE WORLD THAN IT
USED TO BE.

Mark says STILL THE
QUESTION IS ABOUT THE FACT THAT
IN SOME WAY, YOU HAVE TO PLAY
INTO THE CORPORATION TO GET
FILMS DISTRIBUTED OR ON
TELEVISION OR EVEN BOOKS
PUBLISHED, AT LEAST BY A LARGER
PUBLISHER.

Joel says YEAH, I MEAN, MY
AMERICAN PUBLISHER, SIMON AND
SCHUSTER, IS OWNED BY VIACOM.
PENGUIN CANADA IS PART OF THE
PEARSON GROUP.
WE SHOT ON PANASONIC CAMERAS, WE
ARE BEING DISTRIBUTED BY FOR
PROFIT CORPORATIONS IN THE
UNITED STATES, IN CANADA, IN
GREAT BRITAIN, IN ITALY.
WE SHOW THE FILM IN FOR PROFIT
CORPORATE OWNED THEATRES.
I MEAN, TO ME WHAT ALL OF THIS
SUGGESTS IS, IT'S ONE OF THE
THESES OF THE PROJECT IS THAT
THE CORPORATION IS THE DOMINANT
INSTITUTION.
I MEAN YOU CAN'T REALLY OPERATE,
IT'S LIKE SAYING YOU'RE GOING TO
OPERATE OUTSIDE THE FRAMEWORK OF
THE MONARCHY IN 13th CENTURY
ENGLAND.
IT'S NOT POSSIBLE.
THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT YOU
SHOULD SHUT UP AND NOT CRITICIZE
IT.
I MEAN WE CAN'T MAKE A FILM
WITHOUT RELYING ON THE PRODUCTS
AND SERVICES, OF YOU KNOW, A
SLOUGH OF MAJOR CORPORATIONS,
AND WE CAN'T DISTRIBUTE IT.
IF WE WANT PEOPLE TO SEE THIS
FILM, WE HAVE TO SEE IT.

Joel says YOU KNOW, MICHAEL
MOORE MAKES THE COMMENT AT THE
END OF THE FILM, THAT HE'S SHOWN
ON NETWORK TELEVISION AND HE
SAYS THERE'S THIS ADAGE THAT THE
RICH MAN WILL SELL YOU THE ROPE
TO HANG HIM WITH, IF HE CAN MAKE
A BUCK OFF IT.
AND MICHAEL MOORE
SEES THIS AS A POTENTIAL SORT OF
FLAW IN CAPITALISM AND IN
CORPORATE CAPITALISM THAT YOU
KNOW, YOU USE THE MASTER'S TOOLS
TO DISMANTLE THE HOUSE AND ALL
THAT SORT OF STUFF.
I MEAN, THAT MAY BE PART OF IT.
I SEE IT AS MORE JUST A
NECESSITY KIND OF THING, I MEAN
WE CAN'T GET THIS FILM OUT TO
PEOPLE UNLESS WE RELY ON
CORPORATE THEATRES, CORPORATE
DISTRIBUTORS.
WHAT YOU DO ABOUT THAT, YOU
KNOW, HOW YOU GET PROJECTS
MOUNTED IN THIS ENVIRONMENT, ONE
OF THE THINGS THAT HAPPENED AT
SUNDANCE IS THAT WHEN WE WON THE
AWARD THERE FOR BEST WORLD
DOCUMENTARY, WE GOT UP AND, YOU
KNOW, IT SEEMS SILLY, YOU MAKE A
FILM CALLED “THE CORPORATION,”
AND YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO, WHAT,
GET UP AND THANK YOUR CORPORATE
SPONSORS?
[Audience laughter]
YOU KNOW, IT JUST SEEMED--
IT SEEMED WE HAD TO SAY
SOMETHING, SO YOU KNOW, WE MADE
A FEW LIGHT JOKES ABOUT IT,
WHICH THE MEDIA, PRIMARILY IN
CANADA, MADE MORE OF THAN WAS
NECESSARY, AND--
BUT ONE OF THE RESPONSES FROM AN
AMERICAN FILMMAKER, WAS, “YEAH,
WELL THOSE GUYS CAN JOKE ABOUT
CORPORATE SPONSORSHIPS BECAUSE
THEY HAVE A WHOLE PUBLIC
INFRASTRUCTURE TO SUPPORT
DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING.”
AND YOU KNOW WHAT I SAY TO THAT?
IT'S HALLELUJAH.
I MEAN, THANKFULLY WE DO, AND IF
YOU'RE TRYING TO MAKE A PROJECT
THAT IS CRITICAL IN THE WAY THAT
THIS ONE IS, I THINK YOU REALLY
END UP HAVING TO RELY ON THE
PUBLIC BROADCASTERS AND ON THE
PUBLIC AGENCIES THAT WE HAVE IN
CANADA.
THE PROBLEM IS THAT THOSE
AGENCIES AND THOSE BROADCASTERS
ARE UNDER ATTACK, IN A CONTEXT
WHERE PRIVATISATION IS LIKE THE
HOLY GRAIL, AND EVERYTHING IS
SUPPOSED TO BE RUNNING ON MARKET
PRINCIPLES.
FAR FROM EXPANDING THOSE KINDS
OF INSTITUTIONS, WHETHER IT'S BC
FILM, TELEFILM CANADA, TV
ONTARIO, THE KNOWLEDGE NETWORK,
SCN IN SASKATCHEWAN, ACCESS IN
ALBERTA, WE ARE--
THOSE INSTITUTIONS ARE UNDER
ATTACK, AND YOU KNOW, I DON'T
KNOW WHAT TO DO ABOUT THAT OTHER
THAN TO SAY THAT'S ANOTHER AREA
THAT IS RIPE FOR ACTIVISM.
THAT WE SHOULD BE VERY CONCERNED
ABOUT THE DEMISE OF PUBLIC,
CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS IN THIS
COUNTRY, AND WE SHOULD BE VERY
ACTIVE IN TRYING TO PROTECT
THOSE INSTITUTIONS.
BECAUSE WITHOUT THOSE
INSTITUTIONS, A FILM LIKE THIS
CAN'T GET MADE.
AND I MEAN EVEN THE BOOK, IN
ORDER TO WRITE THE BOOK, I
NEEDED ACCESS TO--
I NEEDED THE MONEY TO GO AND
INTERVIEW ALL THESE PEOPLE.
WE BASICALLY RELIED ON THE FILM
BUDGET IN ORDER TO GET THE
INTERVIEWS.
THE FILM BUDGET CAME FROM PUBLIC
INSTITUTIONS.
I COULDN'T HAVE WRITTEN THE BOOK
WITHOUT, IN THE END, PUBLIC
INSTITUTIONS IN TERMS OF THE
FILM.
SO, IN ORDER TO DO THIS KIND OF
CRITICAL WORK, AND I THINK, YOU
KNOW, MICHAEL MOORE IS ALWAYS--
AND PEOPLE SAY, “LOOK, MICHAEL
MOORE CAN DO IT.”
AND I THINK MICHAEL MOORE IS A
BIT--
HE'S EXCEPTIONAL.
I MEAN HE'S MAKING FILMS THAT HE
PUTS HIMSELF IN THE CENTRE OF,
AND HE'S AN INCREDIBLY
COMPELLING ON CAMERA PRESENCE.
HE'S A STAR.
YOU KNOW, I MEAN YOU WANT TO
WATCH HIM.
SO YOU KNOW, MICHAEL MOORE'S
WORK, I THINK DOES HAVE A KIND
OF MARKET APPEAL, THAT HE CAN GO
TO NETWORKS, BECAUSE HE'S A
STAR.
HE CAN GO TO NETWORKS AND HE CAN
GO TO BROADCASTERS, AND TO FILM
FINANCERS AND THEY'LL WANT TO GO
WITH HIM.
BUT I THINK IF YOU'RE DOING WORK
THAT PERHAPS DOESN'T HAVE THAT
SORT OF CELEBRITY STAR APPEAL TO
IT, YOU'RE MAKING DOCUMENTARIES,
LIKE “THE CORPORATION,” OR LIKE
THE KINDS OF PROJECTS THAT YOU
WANT TO MAKE, WE ARE REALLY
DEPENDENT ON THE PUBLIC SYSTEM,
AND ALSO, YOU KNOW, FRIENDS AND
PARENTS WHO ARE WILLING TO THROW
IN A FEW BUCKS, AND BELIEVE ME,
THERE'S A LONG LIST OF THANK
YOUS AT THE END OF “THE
CORPORATION” OF FRIENDS AND
FAMILY WHO HELPED OUT.

The audience applauds.

Watch: Joel Bakan on The Corporation