The Mythology of Corporations

by Dow Votaw



In this article, the author says that "the corporation today does not live up to the mythical personality and attributes with which it has been endowed by jurisprudence and business folklore. It is in fact a completely different sort of animal, and lip service to such specious mythology does it and free enterprise a disservice by obscuring true facts and throwing the real issues off focus." It is commonly believed that the corporation is a creature of the state and that the state grants not only corporate life and personality but also powers and privileges to the corporation and that without the power granted by the state, the corporation would be helpless. A detail of this myth is that the powers and privileges of the corporation are allocated through the charter, just as they were once allocated through special acts or grants of legislature or crown, and as governmental powers and functions are allocated or assigned through a constitution. The world of myths will produce the correct decisions only by coincidence.

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