Dukes of Douches is a relatively new and interesting blog concerned with hypocrisy and injustice on the world stage and often in the US mainstream media. It sometimes sinks to the level of a celebrity tabloid, but shines through with insight and relevance when its attention is turned to the larger issues of mankind and its leaders. I was particularly impressed by the recent post regarding the Bopal criminal decision. The post makes reference to the Yes Men, producers of two films everyone should see.
The recent Bopal court decision sets dangerous precedent and the topic fits in well with our previous post on Environmental Accidents. We are witnessing an incomprehensible lack of punishment of Union Carbide or compensation for the victims of an industrial and environment disaster. Such court decisions only incentivise companies to externalise their costs - even in the form of human lives and suffering.
We must recognise that by design, Corporations are psychopathic. We should not expect them to make moral or socially responsible decisions. Instead, they should be assumed to maximise their own profit potential while minimising financial risk, even if it means placing enormous costs on others. Rather than worrying about whether corporations are good or evil, the laws and the enforcement of laws must effectively internalize costs to the corporation and guarantee prohibitory insurance requirements for companies who in an extreme scenario might inflict costs on other lifeforms. Courts bear the brunt of the responsibility to ensure these requirements are enforced so as to protect human life and the environment from the inexorable profit maximisation calculations and occasional incompetence of industry.