Quotes About Corporations

compiled by George Draffan
© Public Information Network, PO Box 95316, Seattle WA 98145-2316

 

Corporation: an ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility. (Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary. Bierce's definition of impunity is "wealth").

 

I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. ... corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. (U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864, letter to Col. William F. Elkins, in The Lincoln Encyclopedia, by Archer H. Shaw).

 

Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power. - Benito Mussolini (cited in Encyclopedia Italiana, edited by Giovanni Gentile).

 

When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross. - Sinclair Lewis

 

The legal make-believe that the corporation is a person, the ingenuities by which it has been fitted out with a domicile, the elaborate web of 'as-ifs' which the courts have woven, have put corporate affairs pretty largely out of the regulations we decree. [The corporation, unlike real persons has] no anatomical parts to be kicked or consigned to the calaboose; no conscience to keep it awake all night; no soul for whose salvation the parson may struggle; no body to be roasted in hell or purged for celestial enjoyment. [No one can lay] bodily hands upon General Motors or Westinghouse...or incarcerate the Pennsylvania Railroad or Standard Oil of New Jersey with all its works. (Walton H Hamilton, economist and lawyer, On the Composition of the Corporate Veil, written in the 1940's).

 

The exercise of the police power of the state shall never be so abridged or construed as to permit corporations to conduct their business in such manner as to infringe the rights of individuals or the general well-being of the State. (California Constitution of 1879, Article XII, Section 8)

 

Nothing is illegal if 100 businessmen decide to do it. Andrew Young, in Money Talks.

 

Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it treason. John Harington, 1618

 

Private enterprise is ceasing to be free enterprise. Private enterprise, indeed, became too private. It became privileged enterprise, not free enterprise. Franklin D. Roosevelt, in Money Talks.

 

Corporations have been enthroned.... An era of corruption in high places will follow and the money power will endeavor to prolong its reign by working on the prejudices of the people...until wealth is aggregated in a few hands...and the Republic is destroyed." (Abraham Lincoln, 1865).

 

THE NEW UNHAPPY LORDS

They have given us into the hand of new unhappy lords,
Lords without anger and honour, who dare not carry their swords.
They fight by shuffling papers; they have bright dead alien eyes;
They look at our labour and laughter as a tired man looks at flies.
And the load of their loveless pity is worse than the ancient wrongs,
Their doors are shut in the evening; and they know no songs.

GK Chesterton - "The Secret People"

 

We all know that, as things actually are, many of the most influential and most highly remunerated members of the Bar in every center of wealth, make it their special task to work out bold and ingenious schemes by which their wealthy clients, individual or corporate, can evade the laws which were made to regulate, in the interests of the public, the uses of great wealth. (T. Roosevelt, 1905, at his Harvard Commencement address).

 

Corporations are "worms in the body politic." (Thomas Hobbes).

 

From top to bottom the whole system is a fraud, all of us know it, laborers and capitalists alike, and all of us are consenting parties to it. (Henry Adams, cited in Gore Vidal's The Decline and Fall of the American Empire).

 

The most difficult problem of modern times is unquestionably how to protect property under popular governments. (Brooks Adams, cited in Gore Vidal's The Decline and Fall of the American Empire).

 

We have a single system, and in that system the only question is the price at which the proletariat is to be bought and sold, the bread and circuses. (Henry Adams, cited in Gore Vidal's The Decline and Fall of the American Empire).

 

This country is a hell of a success. (U.S. House Speaker Uncle Joe Cannon, 1903-1911, who always did his best to obstruct reform).

 

We ought to pass a law that no man worth $100,000,000 should be tried for a crime. (U.S. Senator Norris, in the 1920s, after an industrialist was acquitted of charges of corruption, cited in Lundberg, America's 60 Families, p. 189).

 

Let us disappoint the men who would raise themselves upon the ruin of our country. (John Adams).

 

I hope that we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country. (Thomas Jefferson, in 1816, quoted in Lawrence Goodwyn, The Populist Moment).

 

Thomas Jefferson, the man who wanted an amendment to the Constitution prohibiting monopoly, would be aghast at our billion-dollar corporations. Jefferson, who abolished primogeniture and entail in Virginia in order to prevent monopoly in land, would be appalled by our high percentage of tenancy. Jefferson as the man who dreaded the day when many of our citizens might become landless, would perhaps feel our civilization was trembling on the brink of ruin, if he were to find so many of our people without either land or tools, and subject to the hire and power of distant corporations. If the Jefferson of 1820 could see his name used by men crying `States' rights!' in order to protect not individual liberties but corporate property, then he would shudder. (Henry A. Wallace, November 17, 1937, former populist U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and Vice-President of the United States).

 

Great corporations exist only because they are created and safeguarded by our institutions; and it is therefore our right and our duty to see that they work in harmony with those institutions. (T. Roosevelt, 1901, first annual message to Congress).

 

Now as through this world I ramble,
I see lots of funny men,
Some rob you with a six gun,
And some with a fountain pen.

(Woody Guthrie, Pretty Boy Floyd).

 

You got criminals in high places, and law breakers making the rules. (Bob Dylan).

 

We're more likely to see other companies as collaborators rather than adversaries... We aren't so much competing with each other as we are competing with the earth. And maybe that's a healthy way to look at it. (George Kirkland, Chairman & managing director of Chevron Nigeria Limited, quoted in The Nation, Nov. 16, 1998).

 

In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one class of the citizens to give to another. (Voltaire).

 

Endless money forms the sinews of war. (Cicero, Philippics).

 

Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all. (Adam Smith, 1776, Wealth of Nations, book V, ch.I, part II).

 

Government has no other end but the preservation of property. (John Locke, Civil Government).

 

The power to tax involves the power to destroy. (U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall, 1819).

 

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. (John Kenneth Galbraith).

 

Commerce is entitled to a complete and efficient protection in all its legal rights, but the moment it presumes to control a country, or to substitute its fluctuating expedients for the high principles of natural justice that ought to lie at the root of every political system, it should be frowned on, and rebuked. (James Fenimore Cooper, The American Democrat, 1838).

 

To ignore the pivotal role played by particular individuals who are in positions of power is to do violence to historical accuracy. A recognition that the course of economic events can be influenced by individuals who have the imagination and the power to take advantage of prevailing conditions does not constitute acceptance of a 'conspiracy' theory of history. (John Blair, former chief economist for the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Anti-Trust and Monopoly, cited by A.V. Krebs).

 

To secure to each laborer the whole product of his labor, or as nearly as possible, is a worthy object of any good government. (Abraham Lincoln, December 1, 1847 speech).

 

Subject to compensation when compensation is due, the legislature may forbid or restrict any business when it has sufficient force of public opinion behind it. (U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., 1926).

 

Big business is not dangerous because it is big, but because its bigness is an unwholesome inflation created by privileges and exemptions which it ought not to enjoy. (Woodrow Wilson, acceptance speech, Democratic National Convention, July 7, 1912).

 

I know of no original product invention, not even electric shavers or heating pads, made by any of the giant laboratories or corporations... The record of the giants is one of moving in, buying out, and absorbing the small creators. (General Electric vice president John Molloy, Molloy's Live for Success, New York: Bantam, 1983).

 

The limited liability corporation is the greatest single invention of modern times. (Columbia University president Nicholas Murray Butler).

 

The real fight today is against inhuman, relentless exercise of capitalistic power... The present struggle in which we are engaged is for social and industrial justice. (U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, in Money Talks).

 

Where a trust becomes a monopoly the state has an immediate right to interfere. (Theodore Roosevelt, speech to New York legislature, Jan. 3, 1900).

 

You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold. (William Jennings Bryan, speech at Democratic National Convention, 1896).

 

Was there ever domination that did not appear natural to those who possess it? (John Stuart Mill).

 

The press is the hired agent of a monied system, and set up for no other purpose than to tell lies where the interests are involved. Henry Adams, quoted in Derrick Jensen, Remembering, April 1997 draft).

 

Why shouldn't the American people take half my money away from me? I took all of it from them. (Edward Filene, in Schlesinger's The Coming of a New Deal, 1959).

 

Do you want to know the cause of war? It is capitalism, greed, the dirty hunger for dollars. Take away the capitalist and you will sweep war from the earth. (Henry Ford, interview, Detroit News).

 

Corporations have at different times been so far unable to distinguish freedom of speech from freedom of lying that their freedom has to be curbed. (Carl Becker, 1873-1945, in Money Talks).

 

Lobbyists are the touts of protected industries. (Winston Churchill, in Money Talks).

 

No nation was ever ruined by trade. (Benjamin Franklin, Thoughts on Commercial Subjects).

 

The business of government is to keep government out of business -- that is, unless business needs government aid. (Will Rogers, in Money Talks).

 

No business is above Government; and Government must be empowered to deal adequately with any business that tries to rise above Government. (Franklin D. Roosevelt, in Money Talks).

 

Out of this modern civilization royalists carved new dynasties... The royalists of the economic order have conceded that political freedom was the business of the Government, but they have maintained that economic slavery was nobody's business. Franklin D. Roosevelt, renomination speech, June 27, 1936.

 

Capitalism inevitable and by virtue of the very logic of its civilization creates, educates and subsidizes a vested interest in social unrest. Joseph Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, 1942.

 

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. President Dwight Eisenhower, farewell address, Jan. 17, 1961.

 

What is good for the country is good for General Motors, and what's good for General Motors is good for the country. Charles E. Wilson, before congressional committee, 1952.

 

For many years I thought that what was good for our country was good for General Motors, and vice versa. Harry Truman, at New York press conference, in Money Talks.

 

It would be madness to let the purposes or the methods of private enterprise set the habits of the age of atomic energy. Harold Laski, Plan or Perish, 1945.

 

If small business goes, big business does not have any future except to become the economic arm of a totalitarian state. Philip D. Reed, in Money Talks.

 

Only in time of peace can the wastes of capitalism be tolerated. F.R. Scott, in Money Talks.

 

When the men in Russia foul up, they are dismisses, sometimes losing their necks. But we protect those who fail and press them to the government bosom. Hyman Rickover, U.S. Navy, in Money Talks.

 

What's good for the United States is good for the New York Stock Exchange. But what's good for the New York Stock Exchange might not be good for the United States. William McChesney Martin, Federal Reserve Board, in Money Talks.

 

There is nothing mutually exclusive about making a profit and serving the needs of society. Personally, I have no doubt that the companies that will be the most profitable in the long run will be those that serve society best... Society will reward those that help unclog our highways. rebuild and vitalize our cities, cleanse our streams and conquer poverty and disease -- not those whose pursuit of the dollar blinds them to such needs. Charles B. McCoy, Du Pont, in Money Talks.

 

Capitalism in the United States has undergone profound modification, not just under the New Deal but through a consensus that continued after the New Deal... Government in the U.S. today is a senior partner in every business in the country. Norman Cousins, in Money Talks.

 

What kind of society isn't structured in greed? The problem of social organization is now to set up an arrangement under which greed will do the least harm; capitalism is that kind of a system. Milton Friedman, in Playboy, 1973.

 

Free enterprise is dead in some segments of our economy and seemingly on its death bed in others. It, however, is not beyond cure. The medicine I propose is a large dose of antitrust. U.S. Senator Philip A. Hart, 1912-1976, in Money Talks.

 

Frankly, I'd like to see the government get out of war altogether ad leave the whole field to private industry. Joseph Heller, Catch-22, 1961.

 

Wealth is not the fruit of labor but the result of organized protected robbery. Franz Fanon, in Money Talks.

 

Surely we should be as concerned about the erosion of capitalism as we may be impatient about the slowness of our moral advancement. Frankly, I am far more concerned about the ability of our corporations to raise equity capital than I am about whether we can raise the level of management conduct. Roderick Mills, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, in Money Talks.

 

I have a consistent rule: The American people should know as much about the Pentagon as the Soviet Union and China do, as much about General Motors as Ford does, and as much about City Bank as Chase Manhattan does. Ralph Nader, in Money Talks.

 

Nothing short of a federal investigation can begin to disclose the abuses which have woven a fine web of mutually implicating relationships between businessmen and government officials. Ralph Nader, in Money Talks.

 

Why is it legitimate to invite a member of Congress to make a speech before a trade association and pay him $5,000 when everyone knows he has nothing to say? Isn't that a subtle form of corruption? Peter Nehemkis, UCLA School of Management, in Money Talks.

 

We haven't done anything for business this week -- but it is only Monday morning. President Lyndon Johnson, speech to U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Apr. 27, 1964.

 

Democracy is the institutionalization of nonviolent problem-solving in the social order. (Richard Deats, The Global Spread of Active Nonviolence, Fellowship, July-August 1996).

 

I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion. (Thomas Jefferson).

 

The great, greedy, indifferent national and international economy is killing rural America, just as it is killing American cities... Experience has shown that there is no use in appealing to this economy for mercy toward the earth or toward any human community. All true patriots must find ways of opposing it. (Wendell Berry, Conservation and the Local Economy, Sex, Economy, Freedom, & Community: Eight Essays, Pantheon, New York, 1993).

 

As long as corporate management considers public interests as merely incidental to private interests, we can hardly expect the final solution of the conservation problem from voluntary decisions by directors of corporations... As long as the maximization of profit remains the cornerstone of acquisitive society and capitalist economy, corporations will retain their interest in scarcity as a creator of economic value. Social welfare demands abundance, distributed justly and spread out over a longer time than even the most progressive and liberal corporation executive at present dares consider. (Erich W. Zimmermann, World Resources and Industries, 1951 edition, p.811).

 

There are never wanting some persons of violent and undertaking natures, who, so they may have power and business, will take it at any cost. (Francis Bacon, quoted on the title page of The Robber Barons, by Matthew Josephson).

 

There is nothing written in the sky that says the world would not be a perfectly satisfactory place if there were only 100 companies. (Reagan anti-trust chief William Baxter, quoted in Plant Closures: Myths, Realities and Responses, by Gilda Haas & Plant Closures Project; Boston: South End Press, Pamphlet No. 3, 1985, p. 22).

 

Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. (John Maynard Keynes).

 

What can unions do in the face of these kinds of union-busting campaigns? What I have been telling labor all over the country for the last three years is that there is one thing that my former field cannot deal with: the light of day, exposure. The union buster operates best when he is concealed. [Unions should] get him out in the open: who he is, where he is, everything there is to know about him... Exposure is the most potent weapon. (from an interview with former union-buster Marty Levitt in the April 1991 issue of the Multinational Monitor).

 

I sympathize therefore, with those who would minimize, rather than those who would maximize, economic entanglement between nations. Ideas, knowledge, art, hospitality, travel--these are the things which should of their nature be international. But let goods be homespun whenever it is reasonably and conveniently possible; and, above all, let finance be primarily national. (John Maynard Keynes, "National Self-Sufficiency," in The Collected Writings of John Maynard Keynes, vol. 21, edited by Donald Muggeridge. London: Macmillan and Cambridge University Press, 1933).

 

The smart (companies) are going green, the dumb ones are not, and the foolish ones are pretending. (David Kreutz, environmental consultant, quoted in Green Business: Hope or Hoax?, citing the Toronto Globe and Mail).

 

Business is a means to an end for society and not an end in itself, and therefore business must act in concert with a broad public interest and serve the objectives of mankind and society or it will not survive. (Lammot du Pont Copeland, chairman of DuPont).

 

If monopoly persists, monopoly will always sit at the helm of government. I do not expect monopoly to restrain itself. If there are men in this country big enough to own the government of the United States, they are going to own it. (President Woodrow Wilson).

 

The limited liability corporation is the greatest single discovery of modern times. (Nicholas Murray Butler, president of Columbia University).

 

The power of capitalism to mediate the gap between rich and poor is pretty incredible. Indeed, I think, year by year, the gap gets less. (Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, World Economic Forum, Switzerland, 1997, quoted in Seattle Weekly, Oct. 15, 1998).

 

The growth of a large business is merely a survival of the fittest, the working out of a law of nature and a law of God... The time was ripe for it. It had to come, though all we saw at the moment was the need to save ourselves from wasteful conditions... The day of combination is here to stay. Individualism has gone, never to return. (John D. Rockefeller, cited in Trachtenberg's The Incorporation of America).

 

Giant corporations... trusts and mergers... [are] the natural, even logical outcome of [the profit motive] coupled with the new technologies of mass production and corporate organization... Mergers... sought to... remove the disturbing influences of the marketplace from the production and distribution of commodities. Mergers... were efforts to replace the invisible hand of market forces with the visible hand of managerial administration (Heilbroner and Singer, The Economic Transformation of America: 1600 to the Present, p. 220).

 

We have nothing left but our great empty corporation statutes--towering skyscrapers internally welded together and containing nothing but wind. (Bayless Manning, cited in The Monopoly Makers).

 

Oh, it is excellent to have a giant's strength, but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant. (Shakespeare, Measure for Measure).

 

The court does not wish to hear argument on the question of whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids a state to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to these corporations. We are all of the opinion that it does. (Chief Justice Waite in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, 118 U.S. 394, 396 (1886)).

 

The freest government if it could exist would not be accepted if the tendency of the laws was to create a rapid accumulation of property in a few hands and to render the great mass of the people dependent. (Daniel Webster, cited in The Monopoly Makers).

 

There is not one grain of anything in the world that is sold in the free market. Not one. The only place you see a free market is in the speeches of politicians. (Wayne Andreas, CEO of Archer Daniels Midland, Z Magazine, April 1997, p. 29).

 

So great is the regard of the law for private property, that it will not authorize the least violation of it; no, not even for the common good of the whole community (Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1765-1769, cited in Zinn, A People's History of the United States, p. 256).

 

The root of the evil... lay not in corruption but in the system which bred it, the alliance between industrialists and politicians which produced benefits in the form of tariffs, public lands, and federal subsidies. (Samuel P. Hays, The Response to Industrialism 1885-1914, p. 26, describing the view of E.L. Godkin, who founded the weekly Nation).

 

Greed, the desire to incorporate, is magnified and fed back to produce the pretan realms, just as hate creates the hells. Robert Thurman. Tibetan Book of the Dead, p. 29.

 

 The whole fabric of society will go to wrack if we really lay hands of reform on our rotten institutions. (Henry Adams, cited in Gore Vidal's The Decline and Fall of the American Empire).

 

Every man is equally entitled to protection by law; but when the laws undertake to add... artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society--the farmers, mechanics, and laborers--who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their government. (President Andrew Jackson, veto of national bank bill, July 10, 1832).

 

Did you ever expect a corporation to have a conscience, when it has no soul to be damned, and no body to be kicked? (Lord Chancellor of England Edward First Baron Thurlow, cited in Business & Society Review, No. 72, Winter 1990, p. 51).

 

I hope that we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country. (Thomas Jefferson).

 

I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy -- but that could change. (Vice President Dan Quayle, May 22, 1989).

 

When one of JP Morgan's lawyers advised him about something he was about to do, "I don't think you can do that legally," Morgan replied, "I don't know as I want a lawyer to tell me what I cannot do. I hire him to tell me how to do what I want to do." (Ida M. Tarbell, The Life of Elbert H. Gary: The Story of Steel, New York: D. Appleton & Co, 1925, p. 81).

 

When the streets run with blood, I buy. (Rothschild, quoted in The House of Morgan, p. 13).

 

As we view the achievements of aggregated capital, we discover the existence of trusts, combinations, and monopolies, while the citizen is struggling far in the rear, or is trampled beneath an iron heel. Corporations, which should be the carefully restrained creatures of the law and the servants of the people, are fast becoming the people's masters (President Grover Cleveland, 1888, quoted by Hughes, Jonathan, R. T. The Governmental Habit Redux: Economic Controls from Colonial Times to the Present, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1991, p. 112, citing Swisher, Karl Brent, American Constitutional Development, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1954, p. 422).

 

Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write. (John Adams).

 

The person who would challenge the logic or justice of any one aspect of the chain must eventually confront the logic and justice of the entire system (The Ecologist, Whose Common Future?, p. 51).

 

Let them call me a rebel and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul. (Thomas Paine, quoted in Rules for Radicals, by Saul Alinsky).

 

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it. (Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural).

 

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. (Edmund Burke).

 

America's corporations are a spiritual slum, and their arrogance is the major threat to our future as a free society. (Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals, p. 183).

 

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. (Benjamin Franklin, 1759).

 

A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance. And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power that knowledge gives. (James Madison).

 

Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants. (Louis D. Brandeis, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1916-1939, in Other Peoples' Money and How the Bankers Use It).

 

We need to publish a Catalog of Global Carpetbaggers, entrepreneurs eager to profit on misery. We should name names and illustrate the book with the shocking examples of what these people and their uncontrolled multinationals have done to the earth. We should describe these companies, who controls them and estimate whether they are solvent enough to put up a big environmental restoration bond. (David Brower, Beware of Joint-Venture Vultures, Earth Island Journal, Fall 1991, p.35).

 

Competition, free enterprise, and an open market were never meant to be symbolic fig leaves for corporate socialism and monopolistic capitalism. (Ralph Nader, introduction to The Closed Enterprise System).

 

We cannot think first and act afterwards. From the moment of birth we are immersed in action and can only fitfully guide it by taking thought. (Alfred North Whitehead).

 

Conscience is the virtue of observers and not of agents of action. (Goethe)

 

The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails, and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like... the offices of a thoroughly nasty business concern. (C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters).

 

The men at the top of organizations will tend to be ambitious, shrewd and possessed of a non-demanding moral code. Their ambition will not be merely personal, for they will have discovered that their own goals are best pursued through assisting the organization to attain its goals. While it is less true, or even untrue at the bottom of the organization, those at the top share directly in the benefits of organizational goal achievement, such as seeing their stock values go up, deferred compensation, and fringe benefits... Further, being at or near the top, these persons are those most strongly identified with the goals of the organization... they believe in the organization, they want to attain its goals, they profit personally from such goal attainment. So they will try hard to help the organization attain those goals. Finally, if the organization must engage in illegal activities to attain these goals, men with a non-demanding moral code will have the least compunctions about engaging in such behavior. Not only that, as men of power, pillars of the community, they are most likely to believe that they can get away with it without getting caught. Besides, they are shrewd. (E. Gross, Organisational Sources of Crime, in Studies in Symbolic Interaction).

 

The thief who is in prison is not necessarily more dishonest than his fellows at large, but mostly one who, through ignorance or stupidity [or racism or poverty! - Draffan] steals in a way that is not customary. He snatches a loaf from the baker's counter and is promptly run into gaol. Another man snatches bread from the table of hundreds of widows and orphans and similar credulous souls who do not know the ways of company promoters; and, as likely as not, he is run into Parliament. (George Bernard Shaw).

 

General Motors could buy Delaware... if Du Pont were willing to sell it. (Nader and Green, Corporate Power in America, p. 79. Draffan: By 1922, Du Pont owned 37 percent of General Motors; this tie was "broken" by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1962 -- by giving Du Pont shareholders GM stock).

 

I can be free only to the extent that others are forbidden to profit from their physical, economic, or other superiority to the detriment of my liberty. (Emile Durkheim).

 

Mendoza to Tanner: "I am a brigand; I live by robbing the rich." Tanner to Mendoza: "I am a gentleman; I live by robbing the poor. Shake hands." (George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman).

 

When a country is well governed, poverty and a mean condition are something to be ashamed of. When a country is ill governed, riches and honors are to be ashamed of. (Confucius).

 

A newspaper must at all times antagonize the selfish interests of that very class which furnishes the larger part of a newspaper's income... The press in this country is dominated by the wealthy few...that it cannot be depended upon to give the great mass of the people that correct information concerning political, economical and social subjects which it is necessary that the mass of people Shall have in order that they vote...in the best way to protect themselves from the brutal force and chicanery of the ruling and employing classes. (E.W. Scripps).

 

Research is digging facts. Digging facts is as hard a job as mining coal. It means blowing them out from underground, cutting them, picking them, shoveling them, loading them, pushing them to the surface, weighing them and then turning them loose on the public for fuel -- for light and heat. Facts make a fire which cannot be put out. To get coal requires miners. To get facts requires miners too: fact miners. (John Brophy, 1921 United Mine Workers of America Convention, cited by A.V. Krebs).

 

A page of history is worth a volume of logic. (U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, NY Trust Co. v. Eisner, 256 U.S. 345, 1921).

 

The system of corporate life is a new power, for which our language contains no life. We have no word to express government by monied corporations. (Charles Francis Adams, A Chapter of Erie, 1869).

 

Incorporations: the reorganization of perceptions as well as of enterprise and institution.... Changes in business organization were associated with other historical developments such as the rise of the metropolis, a revolution in transportation and communications, and the processes of secularization, bureaucratization, and professionalization (Trachtenberg, The Incorporation of America, pp. 3,5).

 

Who can tell of the weird and ghastly story of the last quarter of the nineteenth century? (Labor writer John Swinton, 1894).

 

Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. ...Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. ...Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. (Frederick Douglass, 1849).

 

"The big corporations, our clients, are scared shitless of the environmental movement," [public relations executive Frank] Mankiewicz confided. "They sense that there's a majority out there and that the emotions are all on the other side -- if they can be heard. They think the politicians are going to yield to the emotions. I think the corporations are wrong about that. I think the companies will have to give in only at insignificant levels. Because the companies are too strong, they're the establishment. The environmentalists are going to have to be like the mob in the square in Romania before they prevail." (William Greider, Who Will Tell The People?, p. 24).

 


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