Here’s a pop quiz: How long has corporate corruption existed? Answer: As long as corporations as we know them have been in business. Thanks to journalist David Montero’s meticulously sourced survey, , the consumer public now has access to a wealth of details about the astonishingly shady antics in which multinationals have been engaging since the retro-imperialist heyday of the British East India Company.
And this malignant strain of corporatism is only getting worse. As Robert Scheer remarks to Montero in this week’s episode of “Scheer Intelligence,” it amounts to nothing short of a “virulent, corrosive, murderous arrangement that has only accelerated in recent years.” Some potential reasons why this global scourge hasn’t been more aggressively treated include: willful ignorance; greed; the widely supported myth that the phenomenon is ‘just’ about white-collar crime; a false sense that corporate malfeasance ranges outside of various states’ jurisdictions; and powerful companies engaging in a race to the bottom because, well, everyone else is doing it.
But Montero is ready to serve notice to a host of Fortune 500 companies helpfully name-checked throughout the episode that at least two hard-nosed investigators are onto them. Not only has the extent of the damage done been vastly underestimated and underreported, but so long as it grows in the dark, it’s able to feed into the worst kinds of crises around the world. After taking in Montero’s argument, Scheer sums up the stakes powerfully as he remarks that “white-collar crimes are human rights crimes.”