The CorporationBMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7457.117 (Published 08 July 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:117
- Gavin Yamey, magazine editor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- PLoS Medicine, Public Library of Science, San Francisco, United States
In many walks of life, resources that were once considered publicly owned, like the ocean, the public airwaves, and even our own DNA, are being quietly appropriated by the private sector. When the Bolivian government brought in a transnational corporation to privatise water, at the demand of the World Bank, it became illegal for people to collect rain. A corporation literally owned what was falling from the sky. Those who could not afford to buy water went thirsty, until a popular uprising wrestled back water ownership into the public domain.
This is perhaps the most shocking case study—and there are many—in the Canadian documentary The Corporation. The film argues that the corporation is today's dominant institution and that we should be troubled by its behaviour. The problem is not just that corporations are plundering our common wealth, but that in their unfettered pursuit of profit, they have …