Corporate Tycoons Want You To Make A GESTURE

Fake News written by James Baughn on Thursday, April 13, 2000

from the does-this-gesture-involve-a-certain-finger? dept.

NORTH CAROLINA -- Jon Katz is ranting about WAVE, a program designed to reduce school violence by encouraging school tattling. However, most people are ignoring a similar campaign called GESTURE (Getting Employees Stimulated To Undermine Responsible Ethics) to remove ethics and social responsibility from corporations. "School violence is unwanted. Corporate ethics is also unwanted. It's time to take a stand against employees who let profit take a back seat to values," said a spokesman for Blackerton, the corporation behind the new campaign.

Blackerton has established a site at for the new program. Employees who suspect co-workers or bosses of unusual behavior can post anomymous tips at the site and possibly win prizes. GESTURE defines unusual behavior as "anything that might lead to the inappropriate spread of ethics, morality, social responsibility, fairness, virtue, integrity, or honor into the for-profit corporate environment."

According to the GESTURE site, corporate ethics is a growing problem, much like a weed. "All corporations have a duty to their shareholders to make as much money as possible," states one online pamphlet titled, "Tip Your Cap to Capitalism". "Anything that gets in the way of profit must be eliminated. Do you think Bill Gates would be the richest man today if he actually cared about values? Yeah, right!"

Among the warning signs the GESTURE campaign wants employees to be on the lookout for include:

  • Donating company money to charities for purposes other than tax-writeoffs.

  • Adopting Open Source software. Said one GESTURE spokesweasal, "The idealism behind the Free Software Foundation has no place in business. Linux, Apache, and other 'free speech' software is a subversive meme that could destroy everything Adam Smith held dear. Anyone who is connected with this virus in any way should be re-educated as swiftly as possible to prevent values from creeping into business."

  • Using phrases like "that's not right", "I can't with good conscious do that" or "I have principles to live up to" at business meetings. Such people are obviously using other critieria besides money in making decisions, a definite no-no.

  • Displaying a concern for the environment, for human rights, or for any other non-profit-making cause. "If a manager starts complaining about the sweatshops the company operates in El Salvador, it's time to fire him before he ruins everything," says one GESTURE pamphlet.

  • Embracing competition to help make products better and cheaper for consumers. "We just can't have that," a GESTURE staffer said. "Eliminating competition is not evil. What's good for Microsoft is good for the country."

The GESTURE Campaign will be running a series of nationally aired TV commercials promoting their cause and holding up such corporations as Microsoft, Nike, and the MPAA as corporate roles models.

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