Sunday, February 20, 2011


The day after darts, I'm inclined to expand on two points: the corporation, and the feeling that comes over me sometimes, that I am tired of living and there is no point to my existence. One today and perhaps the other tomorrow. I'll start with the corporation.

As I said yesterday, or rather, very early this morning, the corporation is a co-operation between many, because many together are stronger than any one alone. The pre-eminent co-operation practiced today is a most extreme hierarchy, with those at the peak of that hierarchy gaining more than most to an extreme degree. All within this modern co-operation gaining more than most. Which is a kind of tyranny.

The highest court in our land has long declared the corporation to be a person. This ostensibly has been to simplify contracts between parties, such that all who benefit directly from a corporation are not required to participate directly in the contract. More to the point, the corporation becomes a shield protecting investors, employees, executives from any legal action against the corporation. This leads directly to a disconnection between the actions of the "person" that is the corporation, and the people who benefit from those actions. Whatever action taken by the corporation is acceptable then, as long as it is both profitable and within existing law. The "person" that is a corporation is fundamentally amoral, with far more resources than any one individual, with which it influences the law to facilitate the amoral pursuit of wealth generation, often to the degradation of the Earth, often to the great benefit of a few at the expense of the many.

The modern corporation is a vehicle of insatiability. It exists according to a philosophy of eternal growth, on a finite planet, without regard for any resource but that which can be transformed into wealth, no matter the kind nor the amount of waste generated in that pursuit. It generally refuses to account for any of that waste except that which can generate profit. It cannot conceive of any action but that which generates wealth, and of that only the kind of wealth that can be accumulated infinitely, by those who drive the vehicle.

Corporations too can accept only that government that facilitates the kind of order that allows the corporation to pursue wealth insatiably. It does not matter to the corporation what kind of government. All the better, the kind of government that controls the supply of information. Anything but democracy, which almost always places checks on the power of corporate "persons". The best government is that which appears to be democratic, but which in fact is a vehicle of the corporation.

The "person" that is a corporation becomes a shill for men who seek immense terrestrial power, who establish and maintain a social hierarchy, who exploit both human and natural capital, to aggrandize themselves beyond anything thus far conceived. Such men would have us believe that their actions are a great benefit to humanity, but there are about four billion more poor people than there were when the first corporation was formed, most of those without any recognizable hope to improve their state, who will only add to that number. And the whole of the Earth is suffering.

All wealth is of the whole. The modern corporation is largely a means to acquire an ever greater portion of that wealth without end or limit. It does not have to be. Because it is not so much the corporation that is the problem, as the extreme hierarchy so often established and facilitated by it. A hierarchy that cannot ever be anything but exploitative. In theory, government exists to check the grosser aspects of that exploitation. It does not do that well, and cannot. Ultimately then, every human must place checks on oneself, lest one become indifferent to that exploitation, and enrich oneself at the expense of the many. There is no exploitation that is not violent; just as there is no coercion that is not violent. I am equally as bound not to coerce you as you are not to exploit me.

People will always come together, to combine their strengths, to more readily achieve their individual and cumulative ends. That is the way of community. It is only eternal vigilance by all that will prevent that from becoming tyranny.


Kevin said...

Good morning, I see there is another spate of winter passing through town. I'm in full agreement with you on the almighty corporate tyranny you eloquently describe. I've lost count of the debates and arguments over corporate infiltration of this culture. I share your rage and time spent with my dark side. Whenever I question my purpose here and life begins to darken I always find sanctuary in gratitude, although it fails me from time to time. The energy,passion and raw emotion in your writing is an encouraging force. Hang in, I know that cold would be kicking my ass...

William Hunter Duncan said...


Yes. Gratitude is the word.