Talk:List of corporations

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Reference material specific to corporations

Bruce Brown,The History of the Corporation, Volume One

Excerpt: The First Dominion of the Corporation lasted more than half a millennium, propelling Europe to ascendancy over the Moslem East, proselytizing the globe and producing the Renaissance before meeting a savage end during the French Revolution. By then, popular sentiment identified the great ossified religious corporations with many of the more prominent ills of society. The fury the people felt against these corporations - especially the religious orders of the Catholic Church - was so extreme that France's greatest monastery, the abbey of Cluny, was torn apart stone by stone, until nothing was left standing.

Viewing the bits of Cluny that remain today in the Hotel de Cluny in Paris, one can not help wondering if our own corporate colossi are headed for a similar end. Or has the modern corporation evolved sufficiently to avoid the pitfalls of the past? Certainly the similarities between old and new are striking in many respects, from surface cultural characteristics such as the rise of a human managerial elite to deeper structural qualities such as corporate control of almost all physical human wealth.

David C. Korten, Excerpt from When Corporations Rule the World, Buying Out Democracy

Excerpt: Nine of the USA*NAFTA state captains (Allied Signal, AT&T, General Electric, General Motors, Phelps Dodge, United Technologies, IBM, ITT, and TRW) were among the U.S. corporations that, according to the Inter-Hemispheric Resource Center, had already shipped up to 180,000 jobs to Mexico during the twelve years prior to the passage of NAFTA. Some among the NAFTA captains were corporations that had been cited for violating worker rights in Mexico and for failing to comply with worker safety standards. Many were leading polluters in the United States and had exported to or produced in Mexico products that were banned in the United States. Washington's major growth industry consists of the for-profit public relations firms and business-sponsored policy institutes engaged in producing facts, opinion pieces, expert analyses, opinion polls, and direct-mail and telephone solicitation to create "citizen" advocacy and public-image-building campaigns on demand for corporate clients. William Greider calls it "democracy for hire. Burson Marsteller-the world's largest public-relations firm, with net 1992 billings of $204 million-worked for Exxon during the Exxon Valdez oil spill and for Union Carbide during the Bhopal disaster. The top fifty public relations firms billed over $1.7 billion in 1991.

David C. Korten, Excerpt from When Corporations Rule the World, The Betrayal of Adam Smith

It is ironic that corporate libertarians regularly pay homage to Adam Smith as their intellectual patron saint, since it is obvious to even the most casual reader of his epic work The Wealth of Nations that Smith would have vigorously opposed most of their claims and policy positions. For example, corporate libertarians fervently oppose any restraint on corporate size or power. Smith, on the other hand, opposed any form of economic concentration on the ground that it distorts the market's natural ability to establish a price that provides a fair return on land, labor, and capital; to produce a satisfactory outcome for both buyers and sellers; and to optimally allocate society's resources.

John Taylor, [ Construction Construed and Constitutions Vindicated, 1820]

Excerpt: There are some words innately despotick, and others innately liberal. Among those of the former character, corporation and hierarchy bear the most exact analogy to each other, the first being used to destroy civil, and the second to destroy religious liberty. Both are appurtenances of sovereignty, and sovereignty being despotick because it is indefinite, both are appurtenances of despotism. The fruit uniformly produces a tree like that on which it grew. The English sovereignty has availed itself of these two appurtenances to a great extent. Kings and towns conspired in the use of corporations; Kings to purchase partisans, reduce the barons, and increase their own power; towns to obtain more liberty than the rest of the people. Kings soon discovered, that the sovereign right of granting exclusive privileges was much better adapted for getting money, corrupting factions, and gratifying minions, than for diffusing liberty; and they substituted this new appurtenance of sovereignty for its old prerogatives, with the advantage which a plausible novelty possesses over a detected oppression. Commercial monopolies, commercial companies, local immunities and personal privileges, fully compensated their ambition and avarice for the loss of prerogatives, and the word "corporation" has furnished history with a list of grievances, often resisted, occasionally redressed, again revived in new forms, and terminating in taxation and pauperism, both so excessive, that England is as ripe for reformation, as it was under royal prerogative in its most aggravated form. The word was adopted into English jurisprudence, and endowed with a character both sacred and indefinite, by regal "during pleasure" judges, to enlarge regal power, to obtain regal favour, and to avoid regal displeasure. It was thrust into the English law books by sheep, clothed in ermine by lions, and sanctified by precedents bottomed upon fear, hope and flattery. From these receptacles, wherein it hides the heart of a prostitute under the habiliments of a virgin, it has found its way into the heads of lawyers, seduced by the habits of intercourse, or deceived by a primness of feature, adjusted to conceal imposture, and to impose upon credulity. But it did not get into our constitutions, and the question is, whether its congeniality with their principles is sufficiently apparent, to justify our judges in supplying the oversight of the people. Regal sovereignty was its father, and regal prerogative ,a respectable matron in England, though not much beloved here, its mother.