[saymaListserv] Good vs. bad capitalism
freepolazzo at comcast.net
Sat Aug 14 18:11:08 JEST 2004
Friend speaks my mind.
Thanks for helping Friends understand that all corporations are not the
same. Just like people, there are good and there are bad and there are in
between and they even change their spots! Once an organization grows
beyond "human" scale, trouble begins.
Max Weber wrote about bureaucracy and how it stifles people's best
I also recommend Reinhold Neighber's book "Moral Man and Immoral Society"
as a further study on why it is tough for any group to be "moral". (even
I maintain that it isn't only For Profit large corporations that can do
"bad'. Not for profit (I call them Tax Exempt) corporations can be placed
in the same category as the rest.
PS: I am part owner of a small business. Check us out at
At 02:17 PM 8/11/2004, you wrote:
>There has been some conversation on this list lamenting the negative
>opinion many modern Quakers alledgely hold about business.
>Another way to frame the discussion is about what kinds of business are
>good and what kinds are bad. E.F. Shumacher took this approach. Rather
>than uncritically condemning or embracing capitalism, he tried to discern
>what scale of economic endeavor was best, with "best" defined as community
>health rather than size per se or the wealth of corporate executives and
>In my mind, my father owned a "good" business, one that provided support
>for my family and those of 6-8 other people. He lived in the community in
>which his business was located and worked tirelessly on behalf of the
>common good through various groups like Rotary International. In
>Appalachia where I live, it is easy to see examples of "bad" business that
>extracts wealth from the region, destroys the land and viewscape, and pays
>back little in terms of wages or taxes for local social infrastructure
>like schools. A historic study around 1980 found that the extent of
>absentee ownership of wealth in Appalachia was inversely related to a
>county's well-being in terms of such measures as poverty, income, and
>Here is a provocative article by David Harvey critiquing current trends in
>today's business world. While it may appear negative to business, I see
>it as trying to discern a happy medium between greed and
>impoverishment. Hope you find it informative.
>Peace like a river,
>Guy Larry Osborne
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