Monday, December 31, 2007


It's interesting to hear John Edwards rail against "corporations". It really riles the Middlebrows to hear their masters disparaged thus. But I've long wondered why the "corporation" is thought to be such a salutary part of democracy. It seems to me that democracy only works if freedom is proportionally yoked to responsibility, and what is the the LLC but a device for diluting responsibility unto oblivion? Its reason for being is precisely the limitation of liability for the people it benefits. In today's practice this means the virual elimination of accountability, a virual diplomatic immunity from prosecution, and even, more and more, from litigation.

So, what is the corporation but a sort of Golem in the legal world, a living thing made up of dead abstractions? Just like any of us, it has an agenda (even a "mission"), rights, property, privacy, and, far more than most of us, a say in the government which in theory regulates it; but the corporation has no conscience, and seeks always to limit its accountability. Freed from accountability, the Golem has absolute power. Benevolence does not ensue.


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