Transformers- A Metaphorical Analysis of the Modern-day Corporatism

Originally published in Data Driven Investor

Photo by Tara Winstead from Pexels

Corporations and humanity are as different as apples and oranges, as the former is a thing with distinct and independent existence, where the latter the element of living biped mammalian. Corporations are entities and preordained to serve the interest of their Living shareholders by protecting against personal liabilities. Today the concept of incorporation is more than establishing an entity or “a thing.” It is merely about money, power, and control. As the entities propagate larger, wealthier, and powerful, they have a propensity to transform themselves from being a meek personal defensive shield into a giant monstrous offensive system. I like to allude to it as the prominent science fiction movie character of “the Transformers.” As pointed out earlier, not a mystery that the primary purpose of incorporating an article is to reduce personal risks for its investors and entrepreneurs. It also is fair to take on- once a corporation grows over a particular size; the pick tends to rick paradoxical.

For decades, we could all conspicuously concede the corporate control over the small businesses along with the grassroots through fiscal control and kickback practices. But with the advancement of artificial intelligence, access to silos of big data, the concept of humanoid transformer is well substantiated, as are the metaphoric descriptions of how organizations represent their behavior today. By virtuousness of gaining access to money, legal entitlement, media, and the ocean of public information, corporatism is on course to meet your requirements as the accepted ideological phenomenon of modern-day feudalism. In addition, corporations are more so positioned to maintain themselves as the offshoot of our deeds. Today’s conglomerate is equal to humans alongside all the rights of a breathing incarnate human, only more prominent, more prosperous, and emotionless- programmed to oblige and shield the interest of its masters while holding the full privilege of legal prejudice.

Corporation’s foremost ambition has always been to exploit its share value and maximizing revenue stream. But, entities and the big firms have commenced balancing the key fiscal objective with additional rudiments such as societal, political, and environmental ambitions to sponsor the calming down stakeholders and ease further profiteering.

History Corporatism

The word “corporation” is the common derivative of the corpus (the Latin word for the body), also refers to as the “body of people.” The history of the notion goes back to ancient rulers of 527–565 when Justinian Roman law recognized corporate entities under the names corpus, Universitas, or collegium. Yet, the officially established and oldest modern corporation in the world reported is the Stora Kopparberg mining community in Falun, Sweden, which obtained its authorization from King Magnus Eriksson in 1347. Naturally, since then, corporations have gained added opportunities with the aid of governing monarchies, subsequently shaped into a monopolistic edifice. For instance, the 17th-century English dominion formed various corporations under a royal acquiescence (also called the Act of Parliament) with the grant of a cartel over a particular territory. For example, during the period East India Company of London, established by Queen Elizabeth I in 1600, granted the corporation exclusive right to trade with other countries to the east of the Cape of Good Hope.

The corporations were even further vested in acting on the government’s behalf to maximize revenue stream from its foreign exploits. Over centuries, entities shaped into increasingly integrated assemblies with English and later British military and colonial policies. Thus corporations became essentially subordinate to the Royal Navy’s ability to control trade routes by forming several industrial complexes. Since then, countless forms of entity formations have been realized, each with respective legal tributes and rights. Yet, the missing link from the corporate list of advantages had always been the presumptuousness of corporate personhood.

The Concept of Corporate Personhood

For the entity to meet legal recognition as an individual would grant corporations the haven, including all the privileges primarily enjoyed by human beings. This advantage serves well on top of the already given combined financial and political powers that are hardly within reach by a person. The fictitious Legal personality held by corporations was the objective to secure the path for even more promising endeavors.

Corporations are the master fib of the mortal person. They are deliberated to serve their patrons irrespective of the consequences of their undertaking to the community.

Equalizing the individual with a thing is a perilous phenomenon, as Rights are legal, societal, and ethical principles of the living free individual. Thence are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to the immediate society. But today, Corporate right fundamentally equals an individual right.

The root of this controversial ruling dates back to 1886 when the Court Reporter issued a headnote in the Supreme Court case of Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific Railroad Co. as it claimed to outline the intellect of the Court on equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The amendment was declared for corporations without the Court having decided or issued a written notion on that point. The motion led the Supreme Court to uphold that- the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause also granted constitutional protections to corporations as it would lend oneself to a living individual. This corporate personification ruling has been the subject of major sociopolitical controversy, where extreme left-wing opposed the idea of the embodiment of the entities claiming that- it is only the living person who is entitled to a right.

On the other end of the ideological spectrum, hard-right politicians would argue; corporations are entitled to equal rights. Because stakeholders are sponsoring the entities, so their financial interests must be protected as living persons. Besides, none would acknowledge the fact that the concept of corporate personhood is neither a conservative ideology nor a social occurrence. On the contrary, the history surrounding corporations, as discussed earlier, stretches to 17th-century English common law and realm.

Realistically, a corporation necessitates being no more than a legal declaration between its shareholders. Yet, the primary concern is that large publicly traded corporations are more than another conceivable joint formation in the cure business climate.

The Free Market

Some view the concept of free-market as a responsible dynamic for corporate overtake of the socio-political arena, withstanding that we don’t necessarily need conglomerates to maintain a free and open market. Large corporations with political and fiscal power are the biggest annihilators of fair competition by the advantage of the free market.

Forthwith, the Big Data

Historically corporations have enjoyed the extravagance of personhood, collective influence of their stakeholders, money, and technology. Today, they are on the verge of exercising the ability to read the human mind, access their personal information without breaking a single law. They are endowed by possessing the intelligence (Artificial) and learning mind of their own. Till now, to make an object shadow learn a human behavior was considered impossibly absurd. With the current advances in monstrous databases, data mining strategies, deep learning through sophisticated mathematical algorithms, and such aspiration is nothing short of a dream come true. Corporate entities have set sail in the ocean of free yet invaluable data. The modern pirates are benefited from merely one legal leeway separating them from breaking privacy laws. Not that, but correspondingly they enjoy partnering up with government entities to aid in mutual long thought endeavors.

The Transformers Metaphor

I would care to define current corporate operations using the transformers Metaphor. The later sci-fi movie as one of the masterpieces of Steven Spielberg is where “ Optimus prime” represents the noble humanoid character where “ Megatron” the evil contender. Let’s conceive of corporate entities as the transformers. By the merit of holding similar rights as a human being, vision, mission of their stakeholders, technology, access to data, and artificial intelligence/mind of own, they may indeed be called Megatrons. Imperative to recognize, not every corporation is a Megatron or at least intended to be one, but the shift from tactical operation with a well-defined goal to pivotal strategic fiscal security has made Optimus Prime a collector’s item.

Big Picture

Corporate existence is undoubtedly essential to ease certain financial risks, thus promoting the free market and economy. But giving the corporations the privilege otherwise naturally relished by a human is a matter of significant polemic. The mind of collective overture through bundling the joint exploitation of the nation of human minds is commanding, more so under money and political influence. The current contentious arrangement has granted unlimited lobbying power to the entities in exchange for marginal or no accountability of its stakeholders, thus placing individuals at an immense disadvantage. The vicious circle of money, power, political influence, and dominance has been designed to feed itself like a hurricane. It will not halt until it makes a destructive landfall or fades into the ocean.

Take-Home Message

The forfeit of individuals to the unconditional collective action of the corporate cartel is existent. They curb public perception through social media and full access to raw yet sensitive information. Even more- it entertains lawmakers' marketing power and political support. Corporate entities are the products of not needfully masterminds of tactical missions of their incorporators, but more so of shroud plans of strategic monopoly betwixt extraordinary interest executives on both sides of the administrative isle. The day corporations were equaled to humans was the time to say farewell to liberty.

What is the Solution?

A corporation does not necessarily need to be a Megatron. But amidst all short of optimal inadvertence is destined to transition into one. It presumptuously is overdue to brawl down the already congealed to the transformers' action through legislative exertion. They bear their minds like humanoids; they can read, analyze, learn, convey, and lobby. Such indulgences are out of the league of smaller competitors in the battle against Megatrons. To ensure the balance of power, one must create Optimus Prime, programmed to serve and protect the public's desperate needs, interests, individual rights, and sovereignty. They must hold well-defined tactical visions and missions they intend to do.

In the meantime, Optimus Prime must respect the free market that guarantees fair prices on goods and services determined through the system of open, fair competitive market or the economic state of free trade. Considering an entity backed by the collective mission of its stakeholders, protected under the laws of personification, offends individual rights, hence is corporatism. Corporatism fails to venerate the free market. Optimus Prime can be at liberty of the free market, comply with transparency, accountability, and decentralization of data. Optimus Prime’s mission is well-defined, lacks bias, greed, and prejudice. Its fiscal prosperity is directly defined by the success and affluence of the consumers it intends to serve well, goals attained, and securities protected. Corporations are to work for the people; on the contrary, they are the masters of contemporary slavery.

#Corporatism #Transformers

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