Much has been made about the outside power of business corporations in the modern economic reality. Large corporations exert a tremendous amount of economic power by virtue of their size and the support they can expect by their indispensability to the “system”.
Corporations are largely vilified as “antisocial” entities that act against the common good: taking away from those with the least means, debasing the environment, rigging democratic political processes, exhibiting anti-competitive behaviours and so forth.
Indeed, Michael Moore, in his documentary on capitalism, “Capitalism: A Love Story”, likened corporations to psychopaths. This is not to say that the senior leaders of corporations are psychopaths themselves. Indeed, they can be perfectly upstanding people but the way the corporation is structured makes them very liable to exhibiting psychopathic tendencies.
It is important to remember the purpose of corporations: the pursuit of profit. Corporations are economic entities with all the rights of individual citizens. Originally, corporations were joint-stock companies that were organized through the sale of shares. These companies arose because the economic resources of a single individual were insufficient to undertake the economic activities then required.
By pooling the economic and financial resources of several individuals, an entity with sufficient resources to undertake the activity could be constructed. Individuals who invest in this entity would be rewarded a share of the profits dictated by the share of the company they own. Because of the immense resources available to the company, they were able to rival the scale and effectiveness of governments. One together is more impactful than one alone!