It is funny how we are arguing a similar point. But I feel that you have still missed the point Crash and I have been trying to make.
When we speak of society - it is just a representation of the individual at a macro level - dont take it as a cop out, or some form of apathetic mentality as if you are then you are missing the point.
As I said in my previous message - a macro effect has a micro cause - did you not read this? or did you just misunderstand it. If you are confused what I meant is that it does begin at the individual level, and the point I'm trying to make - and I think Crash is of the same opinion - is that one person making a change has an insignificant effect - until the macro paradigm shifts then all you have is an opinion. Which was the theme of my previous message.
"Clearly, the success of McDs is due to more than the simple fact that lots of people want to consume it;"
Of course it isn't - but its demise more than likely will be - also a point previously made. No point throwing stones - after all you will probably agree that it is the multi-nationals that run this planet - not the governments, so why do you think that an opinion will change anything? Multi-nationals are spurred on by profits at any expense - do you really think that the CEO of McDonalds in any country will change anything even if you convince him/her that their company is "ethically wrong?" The truth is that you will be laughed at. The point I'm trying to make is that the way you are going about it is like you are appealing to the one's with the power - well the bad news is that the ones with the power dont give a shit. The governments have the choice to take the power but they are no better than the multi-nationals - they too are reactive to the masses (due to the fact that they are on a power trip - after all they are elected by means of popular vote, which is why we shouldn't be waiting for a directly elected President as we are just following in the footsteps of the U.S. where the one with the most money and best Marketing gets the power of the nation - the sad reality)- hence my point of throwing flowers into the wind - no change is made.
"And why are these principles that govern and, to some extent, bind the TNC's operations in their countries of origin no longer applicable when they expand their operations outside of that country of origin?"
Because of international trade and specialisation (comparative advantage [I can give you a better understanding of this concept if you require it] Which is another good example of how money is power.
If the world is run by economics then surely that is how a change is realistically going to be made. Why dont you understand this? I'm not waiting for society I haven't paid for McDonalds in years, I've sent mail to friends informing them of the sad reality - I've done my part, I'm just being realistic as to the way things operate and how the market determines what happens.
"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."
Then surely you must realise how you are being mislead - without recognising that it's a question of economics then you are only perpetuating the politics.
"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?"
First of all - what on earth is a godot? my dictionary has no reference to this - could you please inform me? Secondly if we are arguing a similar point then where is it that you think we agree? Your sarcasm is amusing but please read this note more carefully and take the time to understand it before you make any more accusations.
"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."
Well you are still a hippy until you see the reality of how out world works - not the way you want it to be when you are "tripping". That was my final point on why you are a hippy - this quote you just made strengthens the previously refernced metaphor. So if my understanding of reality makes me sub-human then I guess I'll have to live with it. (that's me being sarcastic).
At this point I stand by what I have repeatedly said - there will be no change until the micro cause has the macro effect economically speaking. We are arguing the same point that it starts at the individual level, and if you are concerned with the practical implications of what you believe in then you are seriously mislead as to how a change will be made - if ever.