- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist Party, UK ) on August 05, 1999 at 10:49:28:

In Reply to: Another interview posted by Gee on August 04, 1999 at 12:16:55:

: Lets take that pinch of salt here and proceed. Generalising from a sample of one is a dubious practice.

Indeed, but its a good example...

: Note this, which focusses directly on the problem of who made up the management.

Or rather, as in all firms, the management and owners didn't have any real knowledge or interest in running the company...

: In the early days, he says, the company had one worldwide standard for safety and was considered one of the safest in the industry.

Except they used substandard safety in Bhopal, built a tank they didn't need, and right in the lead up to teh disaster, cut safety and maintenance staff.

: The last line is telling of many companies - the poeple who are technically competent in the companies line of business (whether it be chemicals, insurance, whatever) end up in charge rather than professional business managers.

My point precisely.

: ....all groups of poeple acting within a given structure being prone to this - its not fiscal or capital specific.

Any structure which encourages self interest, and is determined by budgets.

: Initially, the company focused all its energies of keeping all the audiences impacted by the disaster informed.

Bwahahahahahaha! they didn't even sound the emergency siren- lest they unduly alarm the people of bhopal. Read that again, rthe alarms stayed silent, silent.

: Chairman Warren Anderson, who responded memorably by flying immediately to the scene of the disaster, where he was promptly arrested, spent almost every waking moment for the next two years, until his retirement, dealing with Bhopal and trying to help the victims.

$930 m,illion dollars paid in compensation, a piddling sum per victim, knocked 50c off the share-price of Bhopal, when it was eventually paid.

: Meanwhile, the company continued to fight a legal battle with the Indian government. Carbide, which determined that the cause of the leak was employee sabotage, tried to defend itself on that basis.

Strangely, no-one else believed it, and even if it were, as my original interviewee points out, anyone who leaves a tonne of dynamite in the middle of the town is responsible for what happens to it.

:For the most part, the defense fell on deaf ears. The assumption seemed to be that the multinational conglomerate was seeking a scapegoat.

Strange that.

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