Nicholas, I feel that companies do work directly towards peace in a way. Many larger corporations have created their own programs towards community relief and empowering people. Pepsi has recently begun a campaign, like many other companies, towards women in the workplace. They are directly working with people to show that women can do everything that men can do. They work to empower this women in a way so that they are comfortable and stronger in the workplace. This can in return reduce gender-based issues in business and help make the company and society a more peaceful place.
M Caitlin Young said:
I agree with your argument Nicholas that the average corporation's main goal is to make a profit. Without a profit focused culture, the company wouldn't make it shareholders happy and would eventually fail. For this reason, a business must have profit in mind but may indirectly contribute to peace along the way.
Nicholas Heiny said:
I would make the argument that most businesses help contribute to peace in an indirect, rather than direct, way. Most for-profit corporations biggest priority is to make a profit for their shareholders and stakeholders; peace is not the main driver. Academi (formerly Blackwater), Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, and other defense companies and private military companies are perfect examples of delivering results to the stock and stakeholders before doing what's best of society, peace.
While most businesses don't directly work for peace, they indirectly can. Small companies and co-ops working in Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Liberia, etc. help provide sources of income and relief for the dismal conditions in each country. By giving people the opportunity to work, they are less motivated to turn towards violence and the higher the income level in the country, generally less corruption occurs, which is a large factor in the creation and sustainment of violence in third world countries.