Corporations

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Totalitarianism no longer comes in the form of communism or fascism. It comes now from corporations. ~ Chris Hedges
As a psychopathic creature, the corporation can neither recognize nor act upon moral reasons to refrain from harming others. ~ Joel Bakan

Corporations are legal entities that are created under the laws of a state designed to establish the entity as a separate legal entity having its own privileges and liabilities distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter (i.e. by an ad hoc act passed by a parliament or legislature). Most jurisdictions now allow the creation of new corporations through registration.

Quotes[edit]

  • As a psychopathic creature, the corporation can neither recognize nor act upon moral reasons to refrain from harming others.
    • Joel Bakan, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power (2004), p. 60
  • A century and a half after its birth, the modern business corporation, an artificial person made in the image of a human psychopath, now is seeking to remake real people in its image.
    • Joel Bakan, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power (2004), p. 135
  • Corporation, n. An ingenious device for securing individual profit without individual responsibility.
  • I believe that if you go and ask a chief executive of a Goldman Sachs or a BP, and they answer you honestly ... they want monopolies, they want government subsidies, they want preferences – they're not interested in free markets.
    • Ian Bremmer, "The West Should Fear the Growth of State Capitalism," The Daily Telegraph (July 10, 2010)
  • The United States ... celebrates rote vocational training and the singular, amoral skill of making money. It churns out stunted human products, lacking the capacity and vocabulary to challenge the assumptions and structures of the corporate state. It funnels them into a caste system of drones and systems managers. It transforms a democratic state into a feudal system of corporate masters and serfs.
  • Totalitarianism no longer comes in the form of communism or fascism. It comes now from corporations. And these corporations fear those who think and write, those who speak out and form relationships freely. Individual freedom impedes their power and their profits. Our democracy, as Snowden I think has revealed, has become a fiction. The state, through elaborate forms of political theater, seeks to maintain this fiction to keep us passive. And if we wake up, the state will not shy away from draconian measures. The goal is complete subjugation, the iron rule of our corporations and our power elite.
  • Given the extensive involvement of state violence in the process by which the corporate elite not only achieved its wealth in the past but continues to maintain and augment it in the present, it is clear that the massive inequalities of wealth that characterise present-day “capitalist” society are radically inconsistent with any approach to justice in holdings that is even remotely Nozickian.
    • Roderick Long, "Left-libertarianism, market anarchism, class conflict and historical theories of distributive justice," Griffith Law Review, Vol. 21 Issue 2 (2012), p. 425
  • The economic fate of a corporation, like that of other business enterprises, is ultimately controlled by individual consumers. But most consumers may be no more interested in taking on management responsibility than stockholders are. Nor is it enough that those consumers who don’t want to be bothered don’t have to be. The very existence of enhanced powers for non-management individuals to have a say in the running of a corporation would force other consumers and stockholders to either take time to represent their own views and interests in this process or risk having people with other agendas over-ride their interests and interfere with the management of the enterprise, without these outsiders having to pay any price for being wrong.
    • Thomas Sowell, Basic Economics, 4th ed. (2010), Ch. 7. Big Business and Government
  • Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904)[edit]

Quotes reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 48-50.
  • We ought not to encourage vexatious prosecutions, which tend to throw corporations into confusion.
  • The Court are bound to consider all the circumstances of the case, before they disturb the peace and quiet of any corporation.
  • That corporations are the creatures of the Crown must be universally admitted.
    • Lord Kenyon, C.J., King v. Ginever (1796), 6 T. R. 735.
  • The situation the Lord Mayor holds is the first officer of the first city in the world in point of commerce and riches, and everything that can constitute the magnificence of a city. He is a judicial officer, and a municipal officer too, and from these combined characters there are duties incumbent upon him, which by all the ties that can bind a man to the discharge of duty, he is bound to discharge. It stands at the head of his duties, next after protecting the religion which binds us to God, to govern that civil policy which binds government together, and prevents us from being a state of anarchy and confusion.
    • Lord Kenyon, Eaton's Case (1793), 22 How. St. Tr. 820.
  • We ought, as far as we can by law, to support the government of all societies and corporations, especially this of the city of London; and if the mayor and aldermen should not have power to punish offenders in a summary way, then farewell the government of the city.
    • Holt, C.J., Clark's Case (1696), 5 Mod. Rep. 320.
  • Corporations cannot commit treason, nor be outlawed, nor excommunicate, for they have no souls.
    • Edward Coke, Case of Sutton's Hospital (1612), 5 Rep. 303; 10 Rep. 32 b.
  • Cities are immortal.
    • Grotius, De Jure Belli et Pacis, lib. 2, cap. 9. See also 1st Inst. fol . 9 b. 3 Coke, 60 a.; 2 Bulstr. 233; 21 Edw. VI. f. 13.
  • A corporation can have no legal existence out of the boundaries of the sovereignty by which it is created.
    • Taney, C.J., Bank of Augusta v. Earle, 13 Peters' Sup. Court Rep. (U. S.) 588.
  • It is a fiction, a shade, a nonentity, but a reality for legal purposes. A corporation aggregate is only in abstracto—it is invisible, immortal, and rests only in intendment and consideration of the law.
    • Edward Coke, Case of Sutton's Hospital (1612), 5 Rep. 303; 10 Rep. 32 b.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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