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Indeed. It seems to me that using the term "evil" (at least in instances where there's no human harm being done... Bhopal disaster and such aside) about a corporation is unlikely to lead us to clear thinking.

Corporations are artificial entities that are set up with the goal of maximizing shareholder value. The corporations we're talking about exist inside democratic governance and regulatory systems. It seems to me that things would be likely to work best when we all think of corporations as what they are: machines to make a profit, and exercised our powers as voters (and as customers) appropriately.

Now, of course, a particular corporation's behavior may make one more or less likely to want to purchase their products (in other words, their public "persona" is part of their marketing), but to be outraged about legal maneuvers doesn't make much sense to me. Don't buy their products and/or work to change the laws, but let's not be angry at tigers for chasing sweet little antelopes. It's what they do.

I say this as someone who's been outraged before over Microsoft's anti-competitive maneuvers. I think that was probably stupid of me. They were doing just what they should have been doing if that's what they thought would maximize their profitability. Doesn't mean I like their products. But to call them evil was a mistake that I regret.




According to dictionary.com, evil means: "1. morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked. 2. harmful; injurious". Microsoft harmed competitors (and their shareholders) in the marketplace with questionable ethics at best, and was convicted of illegally using their monopoly powers by a U.S. court. "Evil" applies to injustice as much as it does to gross immorality. Sociopathic corporate behavior is just as evil as sociopathic personal behavior.


Why would we stop purchasing their products if we weren't outraged or in any way angry? And I think there is human harm done, albeit possibly second degree or third degree, if progress and innovation are retarded as a result of their actions. I think there is some justification in labeling Apple's actions "evil".


> let's not be angry at tigers for chasing sweet little antelopes.

It's a bit of a different scenario when the antelope is yours.




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