Due to my long-time admiration of Cornel West, I was drawn to the Table of Free Voices.
100 questions - Does our wealth depend on the third world being poor? What's after capitalism? Is corporate social responsibility possible?
112 participants - Wim Wenders, Cornel West, Bianca Jagger...mmmm, what's going on? Lot's of people from all corners of the planet, many of whom I have never heard of, but they all seem to have answers and in videos!
Professor West's answer - the video - to the question of whether corporate social responsibility is possible:
There is no doubt that corporate social responsibility is possible. It’s not only possible but it’s necessary. It’s highly desirable. We have seen, in fact, corporations make significant concession to workers over the last 150 years or so in which in fact child labor laws and which in fact healthcare and other benefits do in fact take place. It has everything to do with the power and clout, the organized pressure of working people, of trade unions in work places trying to ensure that the corporate quest for profits do not take place in such a way that that quest ignores the rights of working people so that we have, in fact, seen corporate social responsibility at work. Unfortunately in the last 30 years, workers rights have been attenuated, working workers power have been cut; and corporate social responsibility cannot be talked about without, in fact, significant worker organizations having power and pressure to ensure that there is some kind of fairness, some kind of justice in the kind of contracts made between working peoples and corporate elites. So, it’s not only possible. We have seen it in action over and over again; we’ve also seen cut backs; we’ve also seen take backs and, therefore, it’s always a dynamic situation and has so much to do with whether in fact workers organizations can be forward sustained and are strong enough to promote corporate social responsibility along with fellow citizens in small businesses and in civil society as a whole.