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The Corporation – by Joel Bakan

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The Corporation – by Joel Bakan

‘The Pathological Pursuit of Power and Profit’

This is another eye-opening book, where the author contends that the structure of companies forces them to be ‘psychopaths’ by definition: they have no regard for others, they externalize as many costs as they can, the take no responsibility, they feel no guilt or remorse, they lack empathy, the have asocial tendencies, they only relate to others superficially, and they manipulate everyone around them.

The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power


“The Corporation” book Summary:-

It’s all about corporations or big companies. The companies legally defined mandate to pursue, relentlessly with no doubt, its own self-interest, Irrespective of the harmful consequences it might cause others.

Hierarchy of chapters is as follows

  • The corporations rise to dominance:-

Over 150 years the corporation has risen from relative obscurity to become the world’s most dominant institution. Nowadays, corporations regulate our own lives, the way they decide. Increasingly, corporations dictate conclusions of the assumed overseers in authorities.

Businessmen and politicians were suspicious of this corporation when it emerged in the 16th century. The ‘partnership’ was the dominant type of business, where little company would team-up. In 1720 the bubble action was passed, which made it a criminal offence to create a company believing for a corporate body. Now it is unthinkable that the government would prohibit the corporate form.

Between 1720 and now, what has made the corporation so powerful?

Politicians widely urged changing the legislation to limit the liability of shareholders to the amounts they had invested in the company. This eliminated the risk of the public in investing. With restricted liability set up, investors might be recklessly Unconcerned about their company’s fortunes. Never mind you need not cover, which means you can start another company tomorrow “Individuals could now trade using a limited Prospect of reduction, but an infinite Chance of gain, This invited speculation.

In 1904 The US market went from separately owned enterprises trading freely Amongst themselves into one dominated by comparatively few corporations, each owned by many shareholders. Not able to influence managerial decisions as individuals because their power was too diluted, they were too widely dispersed to act collectively. The loss in power of shareholders turned into managerial gains. Corporation handled as a person.

Late 19th Century legislation

Like a real man, it can conduct business in its own name, obtain assets, employ workers to pay taxes, go to court to assert its rights and protect its own action: Like a free individual being.

Firms were losing legitimacy when they did not at least appear to do so, during 1930. Henry Ford Explained.

“Firms could be and ought to be a major force for resolving environmental and societal concerns”.

Milton Friedman View:-

They are good for society and also much government is bad, the Government is ineffective. Corporation’s interests are for the stockholders. It’s their endeavor to make as much cash for the shareholders, as a moral imperative. Executives who choose environmental and social goals within profits, try to behave morally, are in fact, immoral.


Peter Drucker, the guru of business gurus says:-

“In case you find an executive who wants to carry on social Responsibilities, fire him fast.

Corporations are created by law enforcement and imbued function by law. Legislation dictates what they must do. They must serve the attention of the shareholders. It is the greatest interest of the corporation’s principle. Corporate social responsibility is so legal – when it is genuine. The law prevents executives from becoming socially accountable.

Drug Firms:-

It treats baldness and impotence; drugs are also used to treat diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis, the top causes of death in the developing world.

However many people could be spared from horrible deaths, businesses make drugs for profit. As CEO you Can not match your own personal thoughts or priorities. When a company floats on the stock market, you dance with that the devil.


The supervisors who do these items are not monsters; they love parents and friends. They are compelled by the corporation’s civilization to disassociate themselves out of their own worth.


Contrary to the Men and Women who occupy the company, it is singularly self-interested and unable to feel genuine concern for others in any context. The companies refuse to accept responsibility for their own actions and unable to feel remorse. Just like a psychopath, the company presents themselves as compassionate and concerned about the others, whereas in reality, they lack the capability to care about anybody or anything but themselves only.

  • Externalizing machine:-

“It is the consequence of a transaction, on a third party who has not agreed to or played any role in carrying out that trade”.

Example:-  The person whose top is dirtied from the power plant down the road. Executives do not have any authority to consider the effects on others. Place a worth In human lives in an objective manner at the cost-effective evaluation.



“Nike” the big brand takes 8 cents to make a shirt which costs US 22.99$.

A corporation such as the psychopathic character it resembles is programmed to exploit others for profit, that is the only legitimate mandate. Executives must function the dehumanizing mandate. A corporation generally tends to be more profitable to the extent it can make other Men and Women pay the bills for society.

The corporation’s unique structure is mainly to blame for the illegalities in the corporate world. By design, the corporate form usually protects the human beings that own and run corporations from legal accountability, which makes or turns the corporation into just an individual with a psychopathic contempt for legal limitations.

Executives are protected from the law. Only people have moral duties, not the companies


  • Democracy Ltd:-

As institutional psychopaths, corporations want to remove obstacles in their way. Corporations have struggled with Substantial success to remove them, through lobbying and political donations.

During World War 2, Some Significant American companies were reaping substantial profits for functioning for Adolf Hitler. General Motors-owned AG, a German automobile manufacturer who manufactured trucks for the German military. IBM who says “if your client needs assistance, you jump!” They jumped when Hitler needed help in the extermination camps. IBM’s inspiration for working with the Nazis was never about Nazism, it was always about gain and profits.


  •  Reckoning:-

Although the collapse of corporate capitalism is not imminent, individuals are increasingly uncomfortable with the system. The question is, what we do now about the corporation?

As a creation of government, the corporation has to be measured against the standards applicable to all government policies. Does this serve the public interest? The company should not be allowed to be an independent individual. It ought to have one goal, to serve the public attention. As a society, We have created difficulty for ourselves. We have constructed a remarkable wealth-creating machine, but it is now out of control.


The Corporation Book Conclusion:-

Joel Bakan author of “ The Corporation” depicts all about the corporation, corporation strategies, models. How they do now and how do they used to treat with their employees. The book overall depicts the behavior and the evil spirit of big corporative giants


Grab a copy of the book here: https://www.bookdepository.com/Corporation-Joel-Bakan/9780743247467/?a_aid=adamsbooks

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