Corporations and psychopaths have much in common

published Sep 04, 2008, last modified Jun 26, 2013

What is the definition of a psychopath? Simple: someone who always acts on his own self-interest, with absolute disregard of others. Now read this:

“As legal entities, the modern corporation is, as far as the law is concerned, a person. That is one of the fundamental legal characteristics of it and is then imbued by the law by an operating principle that it must always serve its self interest. So the idea that corporations are made in the image of human psychopaths is quite literal…we’ve created [an] institution that is incapable of being genuinely concerned about anybody but its own and its shareholders interests.”

You don’t have to look very far to see examples of that. Corporations are driven to reduce their costs and increase their revenues by doing whatever they have to do. The other interests, be it environmental or working people or children or a population’s health, are called externalities by economists meaning that they are outside of the corporation, they don’t need to be considered by the corporation in making its decisions.”

One example of this cited by Bakan takes place in the early days of the corporation. Henry Ford, having achieved great success through the production of the model-T, sought to raise wages, cut prices, and increase production of his product.

The Dodge brothers, both minority stockholders in the Ford Motor Company, sued Ford for not putting the interests of the shareholders first. They won, and the court decided that a business must be organized primarily for the profit of the stockholders, and cannot place the community or its employees first. The board of directors cannot decide to reduce profits in order to benefit the public.

Publicly-traded corporations legally can not be anything but psychopathic.

Quote taken from Cheaters sometimes prosper, at Ubyssey online.