How Corporations Hijacked Personhood
Posted August 8, 2019
Commerce is not a dirty word, nor is the creation of wealth when it is achieved within a free market economy. The problem is that the remnant of a free market existed only in an age before the mercantile interests were able to redefine the character of business transactions. Today, few question the nature of the corporation. Even small business ventures migrate towards the organizational structure of a corporate entity.
What is a corporation? Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary defines it as ‘an ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility’. It is a legal construct, a charter granted by the state to a group of investors to gather private funds for a specific purpose. Originally, charters were granted in the service of a public purpose, and could be revoked if this were not fulfilled.
The relationship between state and corporation is a complex one. Over the past 400 years corporations have conquered territory and brought in resources for the state, breaking laws put in place to constrain them and gaining in power and privilege. History shows a repetitive cycle of corporations over-reaching, causing such social turmoil that the state is forced to reign them back in through regulation. More…
Corporations have now grown more powerful than the governments that initially granted their charters. It is no secret that because of this new power shift, governments now serve transnational corporate and big money interests.
Consider the consequences of allowing corporations to continue to get larger and larger through acquisitions and mergers. What will the world look like when a small handful of corporations control almost all production, financial transactions, media outlets, and own most of the resources in the world?