Elizabeth Nolan Brown // Blog

media. music. feminism. food. city-dwelling. story-telling. and other things.

Rushkoff on Corporatism

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I got to interview Douglas Ruskoff about his recent book, Life, Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take it Back, for the AARP Bulletin.

Q. You wanted to look at how human beings have absorbed the logic of corporatism. How do people act like corporations?

A. If you think of your home as property, rather than a place, and your community as a brand, rather than people, then you have decided to take a businessman’s approach. If you become a selfish individual, trying to extract value out of every person you meet, then you are a corporation. That is the logic of corporatism: Instead of creating value with others, you extract value from others, in a zero-sum game.

I hadn’t read any of Rushkoff’s many books prior to Life, Inc. (though of course we discussed his documentaries amply as communication grad students), but I always find interesting, if often disagree with, his stuff for arthur magazine. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but wound up rathing enjoying talking to Rushkoff—who is intimidatingly smart in print, but in conversation is funny and manic and scattered and friendly—and found Life, Inc. a very fast, fascinating read (especially the sections about the history of housing and transportation policies in the U.S., of corporations, and of local/community currencies). Anyway, here’s my interview, and here’s a great excerpt from the book.


Written by Elizabeth

August 7, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Posted in My Life, Self-Promotion

Tagged with ,

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