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SOCA02H3 Chapter Notes -Multinational Corporation, Fot, State Ownership

Course Code
Sheldon Ungar

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Box 13.2: Sociology at the Movies:
The Corporation (documentary) :
Indian farmers cultivating neem trees w/ medicinal properties for generations
American Chemical corporation patented a fungicide derived from neem tree
Life form of 100 generations became private property of a multinational corporation
Corporate ownership has a big advantage over indiv ownership
o Is why it grew so fast
o Govt grant corporations right to exist but as corporations have grown exercise more
and more influence over governments
o Corporations taxed at a substantially lower rate than individuals
Documentary argues that if corporations were people, they’d be labelled psychopaths
o Incapable of maintaining enduring relationships
o Disregard for feelings and safety of others
o Fail to conform to social norms and behave lawfully
Such corporate behaviour is routine
Green party succeeded in having patent for the need fungicide revoked
o 1st time anyone succeeded in having a patent rejected on grounds of biopiracy
(corporate theft of traditional agricultural and medical knowledge)
Communism is an “ideal”
Communism is the name Karl Marx gave to the classless society bound to develop out of
Socialism = transitional phase between capitalism and communism
No country is communist in the pure sense of the term
Dozen countries consider themselves socialist
Communism = 2 distinct features
o 1. Public ownership of property the state owns almost all the means of producing
goods and services
Private corporations do not exist
Aim of public ownership = all indivs have equal wealth and access to goods and
o 2. Government planning five year state plans establish production quotas, prices, and
other economic activity
A high level of control requires to implement rigid state plans
Until recently, Centreal and Eastern Europe were single party socialist societies
Most powerful = Soviet Union
Started introducing capitalism and holding multi-party elections in the late 1980s and early
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