The development of the contemporary world is accompanied by the unparalleled growth of corporations which have already evolved from relatively small companies operating at the regional or national level into huge multinational corporations operating worldwide. In this respect, the evolution of corporation and the change of their role in the modern society contributed to the formation of the absolutely view on corporations, which perform extremely important social functions since the normal life and well-being of millions of people depend on corporations. In such a context, it is possible to speak about modern corporations as organizations which perform important public functions. On the other hand, it is necessary to understand how corporations actually functions and what they bring to the modern world since the understanding of these basic points will help to better understand the role of corporations in the modern world and their impact on the human society. In this respect, it is possible to refer to the Canadian documentary film “The Corporation”¯ (2003), which gives insights to modern corporations and, what is more, the film provides the audience with a profound analysis of modern corporations from a very unusual perspective.
First of all, it should be said that the film provides the audience with a detailed analysis of the evolution of corporations, which apparently helps to understand their essence and origin. Obviously, without the understanding of the origin and evolution of modern corporations the audience can hardly understand what corporations actually are. In this respect, it is important to underline the fact that the development of corporations was accompanied by a considerable shift of the role corporations played in the society. Originally, corporations were developed on the basis of private companies which could be small and insignificant at the beginning and they could operate on a local level.
However, in the course of time would-be small companies evolved into huge corporations. At the same time, the film reveals the fact that the growth and strengthening of corporations was closely intertwined with the official policies which proved to be supportive to the development of corporations and their formation as important, socially significant institutions. To put it more precisely, the government supported the development of corporations creating favorable legal and economic conditions. The stimulation of the development of corporations resulted in the emergence of corporations which grew stronger and stronger. In this respect, it is important to underline that, initially, the government expected to rely specific public functions on corporations. In such a way, the film probably implies that the government attempt to grant corporations with its own social responsibilities.
Nevertheless, the outcomes of the supportive policy of the state in regard to corporations resulted in the strengthening of corporations to the extent that they became extremely important institutions entitled to some of the legal rights of a person. In actuality, the film reveals the fact that the role of corporation has increased so significantly that, at the social level, corporations became almost rivals of the state. At this point, it is worth reminding the original efforts of the state to make corporations performing public functions. At the present moment, such a policy resulted in the growing social responsibility of corporations, but, on the other hand, such social responsibility of corporations made them very important social institutions which turned to be competing to the state in its social and legal efforts.
At the same time, the film depicts not a very optimistic perspective of the current development of corporations and their future development and impact on the society. The director of the film conducts the analysis of modern corporations from a very unusual point of view. In fact, corporations are analyzed from the psychoanalyst point of view. To put it more precisely, the film presents the analysis of corporations, corporate character and functions as the analysis of the corporate “personality”¯, as if corporations are human beings.
Moreover, the analysis is conducted in terms of the DSM-IV using criteria, which are normally used for diagnosing mental health disorders in humans.
In fact, such an approach is quite symbolic since it reveals the attitude of the authors of the film to corporations as some social formations which are rather unhealthy than essential and useful for the modern society. The film involves Robert Hare, a University of British Columbia Psychology Professor and FBI consultant, who provides professional interpretation of the psychology of corporations.
Remarkably, he arrives to the conclusion that modern corporations may be compared to individuals which are normally diagnoses as psychopaths. In such a way, the film reveals the destructive effects of corporations on people and on the society at large. This is very important analysis because corporations constitute an essential part of modern society and the film shows that they are profit-driven institutions which are totally indifferent to actual needs and interests of people.
Thus, in conclusion, it should be said that “The Corporation”¯ reveals the essence of modern corporations. At the same time, this film should be viewed as a warning in regard to possible negative effects of corporations on the society and basic human values.