Saturday, December 10, 2005

Brand X

This past week I re-read some comics I'd managed to slip away with during my internship at Marvel. Marvel Boy is full of wild, fucked-up, incoherent ideas courtesy of the chemical mixing-bowl that is Grant Morrison's brain. The Hex Corporation, one of those ideas, is a living corporation. In the comic it's a sentient organism that's concerned only with its own survival. What Morrison's really doing though, is taking capitalism and looking at it from a birds-eye view. For what is a corporation but a multicellular organism striving for its own survival? Corporations satisfy all of the requirements of our basic definition of life: they have metabolism, growth, reproduction, and reaction to stimuli/adaptation to environmental changes. It's food is money, which it ingests and expells in efforts to generate more money (through any number of actions--marketing initiatives, product development, providing services). A successful corporation will often grow both financially and physically at a steady rate. A new corporation may rise from an expelled cell (read: employee), who has taken with him knowledge of the original corporation's structure and strategies. He reproduces the original corporation, but may steer it in new directions and implement new ideas. And finally, corporations adapt to a changing environment--the new needs of its clientele, new technologies, etc.--by incorporating those technologies, restructuring the organization of its personel, or taking any number of other actions.

Corporations aren't the life-draining, empty caverns of despair they're often portrayed as. They are life--you could even consider them a new mutation in the development of human life, which is pretty scary, I guess. They are us.


aducore said...

Look at a road map of suburbia, then look at a zoomed-in picture of blood vessels. Similar structures on different scales; all the world's a fractal.

Flushy McBucketpants said...

It's all too fucked up and weird. And it's strange to think that I'm just some kind of red blood cell or something... I would recommend you read some Grant Morrison stuff. He just thinks big. Some of it is ridiculous and incoherent, but when it's not it's fascinating and incredibly compelling.