limited liability society
Originally, corporations were considered a gift from the people in order to serve the public good. This all changed when corporate lawyers used the 14th amendment (which was originally intended to abolish slavery) to establish corporate personhood and remove many of the “constraints” of social responsibility. As corporations hold tremendous power over most of our society, many of the problems we face today can be traced back to these corporate laws.
Modern day corporations are legally bound by their own laws to put their bottom line above everything else, even the public good. They concern themselves with procuring short term profit and pleasing a very highly concentrated group of stockholders/stakeholders. As a result, many corporations generate what they refer to as ‘externalities’ which create harm in society and make someone else pay for the bill and/or handle all the problems created by them.
The stockholders, and the desire for their approval on which all decision making processes are made, are not even aware of the externalities the corporation is causing. This is because most stocks are traded in the blink of an eye on the trading room floor for short term profit. The concept of longevity and sustainability never enters into the true motive of this transaction.
This has, in turn, created the mentality of a, “Limited Liability Society” where no one takes responsibility for their own actions, and the majority of the people pay the price. Corporate personhood gives the corporation the “rights” of a person, but this is not a person with a soul or conscience that you can throw in jail for inflicting harm on others. In fact, if you were to psycho analyze the corporation as a real living being, it is found to exhibit all the prototypical characteristics of a psychopath.
Listed as follows:
-Callous unconcern for the feelings of others
-Incapacity to maintain enduring relationships
Reckless disregard for the safety of others
-Repeated lying and conning others for profit
-Incapacity to experience guilt
-Failure to conform to social norms and lawful behavior
In this current structure, it is nearly impossible to think about longevity. When you ask the question, “How long is the future?” you will get very different answers from different people. For an average person, the future is perhaps the course of their own lifetime or that of several generations.
For a politician, the future is as long as their political office, which in many cases is only 4 years. For some governmental positions their future is only as long as next week because that’s when their budget runs out. For stockholders, the future is only the few minutes or hours that they hold that stock in their hands before they sell it at a higher price.