Robbins, Mark on 19 Sep 2000 22:07:08 -0000

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

RE: <nettime> We knew how to kill mammoths; how about corporations?

Thank you for the perspective, however, there is a hole in your analogy
and your argument itself. The fruits of a mammoth were in its death (food,
clothing, etc..) whereas a corporation only bears fruit through its
continued existence.  So there really is no motivating factor for humans
to kill corporations; especially when most humans have never really
cherished being a human being for a day in their lives (nor the human will
which coropations subdue), seeing themselves only as pleased and passified
animals, which corporations are quick to take advantage of.  If will and
the ability to manifest that will were as important to most citizens of
the United States as it is to (I think) people on this list, then
democracy would never have decayed in this country to the state that it is
in today. The death of corporations serves no one; corporations are a
powerful and potentially beneficial force, since we have the (now latent)
power as human beings to control the abstractions which we create.  I am
not saying that this is an easy task, or perhaps even an achiveable one at
this point, but the task remains necessary.  Humanity is at the whim of an
abstraction it created, and as abstractions go, corporations are rivaled
(if at all) only by the State, and by God.  I'm not a religous man, so my
options are limited to two; attempt to use the State, and the power of law
which it commands, to reign in corporate power, or create a new
abstraction.  Being that the State is already believed to exist, and has a
complex system established for its manipulation, this seems the easier
(read: most likely to be possible) route.

Furthermore, corporations are treated as human beings not only because
people believe in them as such, but because they believe the acts of
corporations (namely buying, selling, growing and interacting) are also
what makes most human beings human.  A discussion of the Turing test and
the like could easily ensue, but that is extratopical; the fact remains
that whatever corporations are, they are because we allow them to be so,
and because we continue to believe that they are so.  Whatever form the
abstraction of the corporation takes in its interaction with us, it is
still an abstraction, and therefore, wholly dependant on us for its
continued existence.  A dependancy is always a potential source of power,
and this source should be exploited for all that it is worth.

M. Robbins

-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Roberto Verzola
Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2000 7:57 AM
Subject: <nettime> We knew how to kill mammoths; how about corporations?

On the discussion whether corporations are humans:

Most legal systems today recognize the registered business firm as a
distinct legal person, separate from its stockholders, board of
directors or employees. In fact, laws would often refer to "natural or
legal persons". It should therefore be safe to conclude that such
registered business firms or corporations are persons (ie, organisms),
but NOT "natural persons", and therefore not humans.


#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: contact: