This chapter focuses on corporate harm. The problem with trying to tackle corporate harm is that virtually every act of the corporate sector is deemed, in some way or another, to be ‘good for the country’. This ideology of corporate virtue, and the benefits of business for the common good, is promulgated through extensive corporate advertising campaigns, capitalist blackmail, and aggressive lobbying of government and against opponents. The prevailing view among government and business is that, with few exceptions, the ‘market’ is the best referee when it comes to preventing or stopping current and potential environmental harm. To address corporate harm, then, requires a political understanding of class power and a rejection of formally legal criteria in assessing criminality and harm. As such, it implies conflict over definitions of conduct and activity, over legitimacy of knowledge claims, and over the role and use of state instruments and citizen participation in putting limits on corporate activity.
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