If corporations are people, then they surely are antisocial gangsters—and we should treat them accordingly. However, too many Americans worship at the altar of capitalism, summarily rejecting any criticism directed at a “job creator.” To help them see the light, share these 18 aphorisms.
1) Of all supervillains, one stands out as the most diabolical. He uses his genius intellect—the fusion of many brains—to seize control of everything in the world. Laws mean little to him and morality means even less. When necessary, he can clone any part of himself at will. Those whom he cannot defeat, he bribes with his immense wealth. No one can reason with him or slay him, and no prison can hold him. His alter ego is a charitable, patriotic, god-fearing, law-abiding entrepreneur. The public idolizes him, granting him every wish. He owns the politicians. And his name is Mr. Corporation.
2) The 14th Amendment led to corporations winning the status of real humans. These “golems” then accepted many of our privileges but few of our responsibilities. So, given that we have egregiously spoiled our corporate offspring, how can anybody now be surprised to learn that they have grown up to become antisocial gangsters?
3) A robot follows a program and lacks a conscience. Corporations are no different. All of their programs are fundamentally the same, centering on maximization of profits—and any acts of compassion carried out while executing such programs are just attempts to divert attention as the machines plunder.
4) “Competition is a sin, therefore you must destroy it,” said John D. Rockefeller, America’s first billionaire. This dictum became the first commandment in the holy bible of capitalism. And with the blessings of our bribed government, corporate America has nearly vanquished this sin.
5) In the real world, the bedrock of free market capitalism is not competition, but rather price fixing and monopolization.
6) International corporations are not actually working to transform Third World countries into likenesses of America; instead, these corporations are doing just the reverse.
7) The principal objective of incorporating is to divorce authority from accountability. Within a corporate structure, officers can direct misdeeds that would bring incarceration or bankruptcy through fines to a sole proprietor. Not only is our legal system unable or unwilling to criminally charge corporate officers, it is also hesitant to assess warranted fines that may injure the entity, leading to layoffs. This corporate authority without accountability fulfills the wet dreams of scoundrels (i.e., free market capitalists).
8) There will rarely ever be masterful bank heists like those shown in Hollywood movies—for brilliant thieves know that it is much easier to steal wealth by incorporating fly-by-night businesses.
9) America did not invent business. Entrepreneurs have created and lost businesses throughout human history, and will continue to do so long past the time that America vanishes from memory. With most businesses, there are few reasons for society to fear a failure: greed will swiftly fill all vacated market niches. Any economic pain will be short-lived and less damaging than the perpetuation of bad business. The sole exception to this analysis rises from the mega-corporations that are literally too big to fail, for we cannot let them die no matter how noxious they become. Thus, to defend the vigorous evolution of capitalism, our government must hack these behemoths down to slayable sizes.
10) Corporations are blackmailing everybody: “Do not dare to punish us for our crimes, or we will pack and leave, ruining your local economies.” Due to our fear of challenging such threats, we now treat all corporations as if they are “too big to fail.”
11) Many corporations might possibly be “too big to fail”—but none of their executives can truthfully make the same claim.
12) To stay robust, capitalism must constantly evolve: bad business needs to die to make room for good business. When we permit an inefficient or antisocial corporation to persist, we degrade our capitalist system. Naturally, a sick corporation will struggle and bargain for its life, so we must resolutely carry out involuntary commercial euthanasia.
13) A corporation has much more capacity than a lone person does to harm society; nonetheless, our laws target bunnies instead of wolf packs.
14) If the death penalty does deter atrocious crimes, why are we not executing the CEOs of Halliburton, Goldman Sachs, Xe, and BP?
15) Do not let your corporate employer fool you: to it, all workers are nothing more than undifferentiated, replaceable parts.
16) Corporate America would pounce on any opportunity to employ slaves; the massive outsourcing of jobs to overseas sweatshops proves this.
17) While we are treating corporations like people, they are treating us like objects.
18) I will agree to grant corporations the status of a person on the same day that we devise a way to incarcerate the bad ones.
Since our plutocrats keep insisting that we treat corporations as people, we must start insisting that corporations behave morally. And this requires that we police their actions as strictly as we do those of flesh-and-blood beings.
Kenneth Rotar recently introduced his first book, Bricks of Truth, a collection of 1000 aphorisms. In 1965, when he was nine months old, he was diagnosed with a severe form of muscular dystrophy. Though it was unlikely that he would survive past his teen years, he has lived a full life. Throughout that time, he steadily lost most of his muscles and is now nearly paralyzed; nonetheless, he completed this book of philosophy at the age of 46, unabashedly sharing his unique perspective on diverse topics.
(You can read a good portion of Bricks of Truth for free at Amazon.)