Friday, February 04, 2011

The trouble in north Africa, and the Arab world in general

Paul Betts, Financial Times:

The trouble is that in north Africa and the Arab world in general, western governments and their corporate champions have indulged in cultural relativism whereby the local context determines the moral values you apply. Companies cannot really be blamed for this. If anyone is to blame, it is their governments for encouraging them to engage with these regimes and helping keep them in power. The public and shareholders, too, must share the blame for keeping quiet and not complaining.

Oh, yes: If anyone is to blame for commercial immorality, it is the government, which of course by Mr. Betts' estimation includes "the public": We are all, each and every one of us, to blame! After all, pretty much anybody can get their hands on the terms of contract between a multinational firm and an African police state, for review at one's leisure.

But note how unlikely the formula becomes in the case of praise: "If anyone is to thank, it is government, as directed by the public, for encouraging businesses to create popular products and services in compliance with community standards. Companies cannot really take credit for this."

2 comments:

Charles F. Oxtrot said...

The public and shareholders, too, must share the blame for keeping quiet and not complaining.

Holy frijole! This clown actually believes that Supply follows Demand, in every aspect of business. He thinks that corporations do what shareholders and consumers tell them to do via complaint.

That's hilarious.

I bet he's still waiting on an under-pillow Dollar from that Tooth Fairy Transaction, long stalled since he was 9 years old.

C├╝neyt said...

What's that they say? Victory has no shortage of fathers, yet failure is an orphan?