*sigh* OK. The response was not anger. It was frustration in response to the central premise contained in Crash's original posting: that we - the sum of society that consumes McDonalds - are entirely responsible for it's success as a business enterprise because we demand it's product. This issue cannot be broken down to a simple supply and demand equation.
Clearly, the success of McDs is due to more than the simple fact that lots of people want to consume it; consider: coercive and deceptive advertising; restrictive busines strategy; repression of dissent and suppression of negative information; regressive employment practices; etc. Now, while each of these business practices may be legal to a greater or lesser degree depending on the country in question, their application by McDs and other similar TNCs (including BHP and Exxon as noted in my original post) breaches ethical standards that we, in so called liberal democracies, hold up as the foundation of our society and culture. And why are these principles that govern and, to some extent, bind the TNC's operations in their countries of origin no longer applicable when they expand their operations outside of that country of origin?
I am tired of all the hollow rhetoric trotted out by our governments and our heads of business and our opinion leaders re: how great our society is while they turn their backs on the reality (yeah, that's where it's at kids) of what these TNCs are doing to us.
I think, in some respects, we are arguing a similar point. We, as individuals, are responsible for the society in which we live. Society is only what we make it and allow it to be. But the fact that some individuals in our society gather together in the unbridled pursuit of profit and seek to exploit people and destroy our environment through unprincipled and unethical practices, does not absolve us of our responsibility of respect for our natural environment and fellow human and non-human animals.
You two are stuck in a "chicken or the egg" scenario: individuals won't change their perception and values until society says it's the right thing to do. But society can't change until it's individuals decide to make the change. So, what's your choice Knievel/Crash? You gonna sit around waiting for Godot?
The legacy of the 1980s was that greed is good. The legacy of the 1990s is that the pursuit of profit over humanity is the benchmark for success. I am keen to see that the legacy of the 2000s is respect for the earth and it's people. If that's too hippie for you then you are sub-human and I would prefer you didn't come tripping with me anymore.
"What experience and history teach is this - that people and governments never have learnt anything from history, or acted upon principles deduced from it". (Georg Hegel)
It's time for you to learn and to act...