Do Corporations Manipulate Us?

According to this, our legal actions against food companies imply that we would all be thin and fit were it not for corporate manipulation.

Yet the move will reinforce all those who believe something not entirely flattering to the common man and that, in fact, undermines the philosophical basis of democracy itself: that large companies successfully manipulate us at will. If we are obese, it is because they make us eat fat; if we have lung disease, it is because they make us smoke cigarettes; if we are drunken, it is because they make us drink alcohol. If we vote for X, is it therefore not because X's party apparatus has manipulated our minds? Surely it would be better to have philosopher kings who were intelligent enough to be free of such extraneous influences, who decided for us what habits were healthy, what foods were nutritious, which rulers were best?

At the same time, of course, the common man can do no wrong: He is, at heart, the creature in whom Rousseau believed, that is to say the good savage whose innate decency was subverted by social influences such as giant food companies. Left to his own devices, the denizen of hamburger restaurants would eat fresh carrots and brown rice, his natural choices. He wouldn't want the horrible muck provided by fast food chains and processed food companies.

To me, the biggest problem with people today is that we evolved to live in a world much much different than the one we inhabit today. It used to make sense for us to eat sweet sugary foods, and to pig out when we could, because food was scare and fattening food would help us survive. Now, food is readily available, and most of us sit at desks all day instead of hunting and fishing, but we still love that sugary sweet stuff. You can't blame the corporations for human nature.

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