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Showing posts from February 24, 2013

Rules for corporations - taking back the regulatory sphere

I was talking to my brother the other day, and I said that the corporation does not just exist to make a profit. He contradicted me that no, in fact, corporations have no other goal. My brother was announcing the contemporary consensus, which owes more to Milton Friedman than it does to the history of corporations, which, far from being the natural creatures of the “free market”, were artifacts of the collision between the legal system and the sphere of circulation as it arose in capitalism.   Like Frankenstein, the corporation was made out of dead bits of history and galvanized into a monstrous life, at which point they began to ravage the countryside. However, there is nothing in their unnatural organism that would prevent them being forced to make a social profit as well as a profit for themselves. On the contrary, they are legal creatures which, in a democracy, can easily be redesigned to reflect the ethos of a democracy. Adam Smith justly saw the double origin of the corp