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Ideas and theory
Society of the Spectacle · Culture jamming · Corporate crime · Media bias · Buy Nothing Day · Alternative culture · Simple living · Do it yourself · Microgeneration · Autonomous building · Cultural Creatives · Commodity fetishism · Cultural hegemony · Conspicuous consumption · Ethical consumerism
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Anarcho-socialism · Alter-globalization · Anti-globalization movement · Environmentalism · Situationist International · Postmodernism ·
Popular works
 · No Logo · The Corporation ·  · Affluenza · Escape from Affluenza · The Theory of the Leisure Class · Fight Club · Surplus: Terrorized into Being Consumers · Profit over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order
Persons and organizations
Adbusters · Freecycle · Ralph Nader · Green party · John Zerzan · Noam Chomsky · Ron English · Naomi Klein · Thorstein Veblen · Guy Debord · Michael Moore · Michel Foucault · RTMark · The Yes Men · Reverend Billy · CounterCorp The E.R.A  · Vandana Shiva
Related subjects
Advertising · Capitalism · Economic problems · Left-wing politics · Sweatshops · Anti-consumerists · Social movements

Anti-corporate activists (see activism) believe that the rise of large business corporations is posing a threat to the legitimate authority of the public good. These corporations, they believe, are invading people's privacy, manipulating politics and governments, and creating false needs in consumers.


Disagreements with corporations

Activists argue that corporate globalization corresponds to a displacement in the transition from a highly industrial-based economy to one where trade development is connected with the financial deregulation on the basis of circulation of capital. Globalization has changed the world’s awareness of time and space, but also increased the pressure of the market system throughout all reaches of the globe. An increasing number of diverse societies have been pushed into a market structure, leading to displacement. As this expansion has occurred, market-governed regulation has outrun the grasps of the state. The government cannot control the markets, widening inequalities have developed, new forms of sophisticated violence have been created, and the corporations have gained strength.[1] People have begun to reject capitalism and the corporate globalization, pushing more for a different globalization that does not practice the same inequality views.[2]


The defenders of corporations would argue that governments do legislate in ways that restrict the actions of corporations (see Sarbanes-Oxley Act) and that lawbreaking companies and executives are routinely caught and punished. In addition from the perspective of business ethics it might be argued that chief executives are not inherently more evil than anyone else and so are no more likely to attempt unethical or illegal activity than the general population.


Anti-corporate activists may often ally themselves with other activists, such as environmental activists or animal-rights activists in their condemnation of the practices of modern organizations such as the McDonald's Corporation (see McLibel) and forestry company Gunns Limited (see Gunns 20).

In recent years, there have been an increasing number of books (Naomi Klein's 2000 No Logo being a well-known example) and films such as The Corporation[3] which have to a certain extent supported anti-corporate politics.

Art activism

Political artist Billy Knows posted his "Greed" posters all across America and Europe in 2004 proclaiming Mickey the Rat as the new American icon.[4] Another artist critical of socio political agendas in business is conceptualist Hans Haacke.

Anti-corporate web sites

In June 2008, Condé Nast Publications released an article entitled "The Secret Seven" which it listed the top seven anti-corporate web sites which include: wikileaks, Mini-Microsoft, Brenda Priddy and Company , Farmers Insurance Group Sucks,Wal-Mart Watch, HomeOwners for Better Building and finally Apple Rumor Sites AppleInsider and MacRumors. [5][6]

New digital media

Media and digital networking have become important features of modern anti-corporate movements. The speed, flexibility, and ability to reach a massive potential audience has provided a technological foundation for contemporary network social movement structure. As a result, communities and interpersonal connections have transformed. The internet supports and strengthens local ties, but also facilitates new patterns for political activity. Activists have used this medium to operate between both the online and offline political spectrums.[7]

Email lists, web pages, and open editing software have allowed for changes in organization. Now, actions are planned, information is shared, documents are produced by multiple people, and all of this can be done despite differences in distance. This has led to increased growth in digital collaboration. Activists can presently build ties between diverse topics, open the distribution of information, decentralize and increase collaboration, and self-direct networks.[7]

Rise of anti-corporate globalization

Close to fifty thousand people protested the WTO meetings in Seattle on November 30, 1999. Labor, economic, and environmental activists succeeded in disrupting and closing the meetings due to their disapproval of corporate globalization. This event became a symbol as anti-globalization networks emerged and became strengthened.[7] The experiences from the protests were distributed throughout the internet via emails and websites. Anti-corporate globalization movements have also expanded through the organization of mass mobilizations, including the anti-WTO protests, which were remarkably successful. In the United States, these movements reemerged after less attention was given to the war in Iraq, resulting in an increase in mass mobilizations.[7]

The aid of technology

Globally oriented and planned protests have benefited from the cheap, quick, efficient means of e-mail. This has also led to the creation of a global connection between alternative transnational counterpublics. Web sites created for mobilizations may not be designed to exist or be used permanently, but their use allows for easy access to resources and contact lists. Face-to-face coordination was also found to be complemented through internet use and has not replaced this aspect.[7] The use of the telephone remains vital, particularly during conflicts that required interactive communication.

Technology and cultural politics

For anti-corporate globalization movements, flexible local and global networks make up the most important forms of organization. Activists have preferred this flexible coordination between groups within a small formation. This includes intervallic meetings, commissions discussing concrete tasks, and project areas. Participation that is open is seen as more productive than representation. In some organizations, there are even no formal members. Instead, any person is allowed to participate as long as they agree with the networks basic beliefs, which includes a personal removal from capitalism and systems seen as similar to it.[7]

The use of networking through technology is unevenly distributed amongst the organizations and movements. The groups with more available funds are able to incorporate newer technologies into the existing communication techniques. Smaller organizations with fewer resources, therefore, look for more innovative methods in order to take advantage of the low cost. Though the anti-corporate globalization movements may be viewed as unified, there exists numerous movements. Their goals may overlap with one another, but each differs on their targeted issues, political subjectivity, ideologies, culture, and organizational structure.[7]

Arguments exist that modern campaigns emphasizing internet use are flexible, diverse, but also “ideologically thin”. This would allow for various political views to co-exist peacefully. This may not as serenely occur if it happened in centralized unions.[7]

See also



  1. ^ Abeles, Marc (2006). "Globalization, Power, and Survival: an Athropological Perspective". Anthropological Quarterly (Institute for Ethnographic Research) 79 (3): 484–486. 
  2. ^ Delacampagne, Christian (2006). "The Politics of Derrida: Revisiting the Past". MLN (Johns Hopkins University Press) 121 (4): 869. 
  3. ^ The Corporation
  4. ^ Political Actions by Billy Knows
  5. ^ Zetter, Kim (2008-06-13), "The Secret Seven", Condé Nast Publications,, retrieved 2008-09-03 
  6. ^ Zetter, Kim (2008-06-13), "Dotcom Confidential", Condé Nast Publications,, retrieved 2008-09-03 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Juris, Jeffrey S.. "The New Digital Media and Activist Networking". The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (Sage Publications, Inc.) 599: 191–199. 

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