We've all come to accept the legitimacy of mega-corporations. We don't even question their right to exist. But we should. Our country (USA) was founded by people who questioned the authority of British corporations--the colonies and trading companies--to exist. See http://www.ratical.org/corporations/, especially papers by Richard Grossman.
Thomas Paine put it this way: `...a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first formidable outcry in defence of custom. But tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.` (http://libertyonline.hypermall.com/Paine/CS-Frame.html-- Common Sense 1776) Paine was specifically questioning the right of British royalty to dominate the colonies, but the manifestation of royalty in the colonies was the corporations which royalty had chartered to plunder the colonies (see Grossman).
Just for laughs, download/copy the Declaration of Independence (http://libertyonline.hypermall.com/declaration.html) and do find and replace for `They` (corporations) for `He` (King George), `have` for `has,` and `their` for `his.` Try thinking of the `bodies,` `jurisdictions` and `offices` as being the various administrations and bureaucracies of GATT and WTO--as well as state and federal regulatory agencies. King George is back.
Corporations are like royalty in that they demand and receive tribute from their taxpaying subjects in the form of corporate welfare: up to $500 billion per year, depending upon how you count it. (I'd include at least half of military expenditures and at least the same percentage of interest on the national debt--in addition to all the other subsidies and tax breaks.) See http://www.envirolink.org/issues/corporate/welfare/.
Consider, for example, the supra-national oil companies. It has been argued that the fossil fuels industries would not be able to compete with the emerging renewable energy industries without their heavy taxpayer subsidies. The oil industry is heavily subsidized by
military protection of resources in the Middle East, tax credits for royalties (read taxes) paid to oil producing nations, and highway construction.
See http://www.monitor.net/monitor/10-9-95/oilsubsidy.html; http://webdev.nrel.gov/debate/subsidies.html; http://cleanenergy.de/News_archive/01_06_97/200597_3.html.
Like royalty, corporations get to pass on their titles (charters) to their corporate heirs, thereby attaining a degree of immortality. As time passes, wealth becomes more and more concentrated in corporate hands to the point where eventually they will have it all and the rest us will have nothing.
It's no wonder the royal oil corporations are so comfortable dealing with the Saudi, Kuwaiti and other royal families. The same could be said for the royal money center banks in regards to the whole world. Their alliances with local elites have enabled them to exact tribute from 80% of the world's population in the form of `structural adjustment programs` through their royal collection royal agency, the International Monetary Fund. See http://www.igc.org/trac/corner/worldnews/other/other83.html.
The up and coming royal corporate family is the agri-chemical- genetic engineering group. They intend to have the whole world eating their genetically mutilated, pesticide-laden, factory farm foods. And they expect farmers around the world to pay them tribute in the form of license fees for their seeds, fertilizers and pesticides. This and all forms of corporate arrogance are simply astounding.
The classical Greeks called this type of arrogance hubris. It generally applied to royalty. These corporate types have become the modern day equivalents of arrogant royalty. The satisfying part of Greek tragedies was that those guilty of hubris always got their comeuppance in the end. The gods saw to that.
People Against Corporate Takeover
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