Corporations are fictions. They do not exist.

published Jan 13, 2012, last modified Jun 26, 2013

Dedicated to the people that hate the imaginary ghosts called "corporations".

Corporations don't exist.  Not in the sense that you and I exist.

Yes, this sounds crazy.  This probably comes as a shock to you, so let me explain in detail.

What a corporation is, is a special type of legal fiction with a number of magical privileges that give them disproportionate amounts of power over people like you and me. Privileges such as taxes only on profits, corporate immunity shield, fixed rather than progressive tax rate, and thousands of other examples of preferential treatment compared to actual people. While there are many other legal fictions, such as "state", or "city", or "nonprofit", here I will be speaking exclusively about the legal fiction that we call "corporation", and all of its implied privileges.

Note how I said a legal fiction. Corporations do not exist. This is a factually, observably true statement, recognized even by the legal profession (the experts in making up things that don't exist). All that actually and observably exists, is a bunch of papers in a filing cabinet sitting on a big building, likely in a place called "Delaware" or whatever your capital city is. It is very important that you understand this observable truth; if you don't get this or you don't believe me, ask a lawyer friend of yours for confirmation: "Are corporations legal fictions?" -- he will confirm this to you. They don't actually exist. Just like souls, or unicorns, or leprechauns, don't exist.  I mean, there are stories written about leprechauns -- that doesn't mean leprechauns exist, though.

All that is really and observably happening, is that people operating under the name "government" play pretend that corporations do exist, and force everybody else to play their game of pretend, such that resisting to play along could quite literally cost you your life. I'm thinking of, e.g., a lawyer doing business under the name of "Corporation X" suing you; then, the people doing business as "government" will play along the charade and, if they find you "guilty", they will drag your sorry ass in a large cage, full of violent sociopaths.

As the obvious result of the actions of "government", everybody just acts as if corporations really "existed". We all just assume that a gigantic con is "true", because openly stating that the emperor has no clothes could very well cost you your life.

Made it so far? OK, then it should be clear by now that a corporation is a fiction.

However, the corrupt privileges that "corporations" carry (like the privilege to sue "on behalf of the corporation" I just used as an example), are very observably and tangibly real; they are granted to theowners of the "corporation" (actual flesh and blood human beings, in this case). And those privileges are exclusively granted by those assholes operating under the name "government".

So, if government disappears, what happens?

Well, the very idea of "corporation" becomes instantly meaningless, because there's nobody to recognize the "existence" of any "corporation", or to compel anybody to (counterfactually) recognize their "existence", much less grant owners of "corporations" the corrupt "corporate" privileges.  Nobody comes at you and tells you "The magical unicorn in the sky says you have to stop doing this thing", right?  So, in a world where the enforcer of corporations has vanished, who would say "The magical corporation says you have to stop doing certain things"?

In a world without a magical entity imposing corporate rule on everybody, all that remains for the human eye to see is buildings and groups of peoplewithout any more magical privileges that make those people powerful over individuals like you and me. Now, you could call these remaining groups of people "cooperatives" or "companies" or "clubs" or "groups", but you can't rationally call them a "corporation" any more because, without the government mandating that everybody believe in the existence of corporations, they are no longer a corporation in any meaningful sense of the word.

Here comes the final mind-blowing realization. Without those special privileges they used to dominate you, without the large amounts of money that "belonged" to the "corporation", how exactly are those "ex-corporation-owning" people going to dominate you?

Do you see now, the enormity of what is at stake when people suggest abolishing corporate privileges? Do you see now, why corporations will never be abolished as long as government exists?

I highly suggest you investigate the history of the concept of corporation, why it was invented and what actual purpose it has (I'd summarize it thus: it's a symbiotic corrupt relationship between government sociopaths and private business sociopaths, of privileges in exchange for allegiance). It's a fascinating topic and I'm sure you'll love it.