Monday, May 09, 2005

A Fascinating FLOW Juxtaposition

Two items that nicely reflect the two sides that we are attempting to reconcile:

On the one hand, The William James Foundation, "The William James Foundation, a non-profit organization, seeks out, sponsors, and provides access to start-up capital for new mainstream business enterprises committed to the highest principles of corporate social responsibility." They then list their criteria:

On the other hand, an article reporting on Taiwanese workers rioting (yes, rioting) on behalf of the right to work longer hours. This was a major event last summer involving 1000 workers and requiring 500 police to squelch the event. It seems not to have gotten much press coverage in the U.S. Apparently Nike reduced hours based on the demands of the "socially responsible" movement in the U.S., and the workers themselves were outraged. One suspects that if 1000 workers and 500 police had had a confrontation against long hours at a Nike plant that the U.S. press would have been all over the disruption:

Why wasn't this a cover story for Time Magazine?

Somehow we want to acknowledge and support the positive aspects of the "socially responsible" business movement while simultaneously being very wide-eyed about the harms that this movement has caused in its current incarnations. Being a realistic visionary means that one does not substitute romantic do-gooder notions for attention to the actual outcomes of policies.


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