Here's a book about the history of the Corporation. The guy who wrote it was amazed that there were no books about corporations when he went to the library in the 70's, so he decided to research and write about them.
http://www.astonisher.com/archives/corp ... n_ch3.html
The History of the Corporation
by Bruce Brown
While the etymology of company stresses the illicit aspects of the corporation, the word corporation itself stresses the higher aspirations of the entity. Derived from the Latin corparæ, it means to make corporal, or physically embody. For the first half millennia after the fall of Rome, the world's most powerful corporations were all trying to embody the Christian God. The idea took hold so strongly that by 1534 St. Thomas More could speak of Jesus Christ as the ultimate corporation: "He [Jesus] doth...incorporate all christen folke and hys owne bodye together in one corporacyon mistical."
A century later, Roger Williams, Freethinker and founder of Rhode Island, likened the church to a "company of East India or Turkey merchants," while English philosopher Thomas Hobbes saw those same joint stock companies as lesser -- possibly parasitic -- creatures within the larger creature of the state. In Leviathan he wrote, "Corporations... are many lesser commonwealths in the bowels of a greater, like worms in the entrails of a natural man."
God, demon, servant, master, parasite or provider -- what exactly is the corporation? A good starting point is probably Chief Justice John Marshall's definition in the 1819 Dartmouth College case: "A corporation is an artificial being, invisible, intangible, and existing only in the contemplation of the law," Marshall wrote. "Among the most important [of its qualities] are immortality, and if the expression be allowed, individuality; properties by which a perpetual succession of many persons may be considered the same, and may act as a single individual..."
In a general sense, this definition fits every corporation from St. Benedict's to Michael Milken's. All are invisible, for although they may be mighty, they have no form unto themselves; all are individual, with identities and personalities distinct from their numberless human workers; and all can outlive and replace those same workers, just as the higher animals replace their individual constituent cells as they die or lose their effectiveness. Although corporations are themselves not made of flesh and blood, they display qualities of biological life so strongly that both Hobbes and Marshall remarked upon it.
Some modern writers, like W. David Kubiak, have argued that corporations actually constitute an entirely new class of being. Kubiak notes that corporations "appear to fulfill all the definitional requirements of a complex 'organism.' All of them, for example, share basic organizational processes, structures and energy needs: generate psychic membranes that divide their membership from outsiders; take in and process information and nourishment from the environment; specialize, control and outlive their human/cellular constituents: can reproduce, spawning subsidiary bodies..."
The main human attribute that corporations lack is a soul, as Roger Manwood, chief baron of the Exchequer, noted as early as 1592. Since the corporations themselves, and not their souls, were immortal, they were not held accountable to the moral standards that applied to individual people. "Corporations cannot commit treason, nor be outlawed," wrote the great English legalist Edward Coke, "for they have no soul." Or as English lawyer Howel Walsh put it, "a corporation cannot blush." Thus the corporations' moral inadequacy amounted to a significant legal advantage, one of many they have accrued.
In fact, special dispensations, exemptions, and privileges of every kind imaginable are the life's blood of the corporation. Corporate members enjoyed various privileges during Roman times, such as curial immunity, and organizational privileges are evident as early as 628 A.D. in the ecclesiastic orders of the Catholic Church, the first great corporations of the post-Roman era. Modern English and French law traces the secular corporation to the concept of "franchise," which is the French Norman word for privilege.
This story continues and the Benedict reference, is that he was the first to lay down the laws of the that corporations have used as definition since then. I've gotten through 4 chapters and I hope it continues. But he wants to get paid for his work so i may have to buy it.
Since corporations are considered persons, it has the right to sue for personal damages. That is why they can charge protesters for damages to their equipment/personal property. It has progressed already to be included as acts of terrorism, as in the Eco-terrorists as another way to subject the populace to control. When you read how the Benedictine example is so much a part of the corporate ideal, then you understand how they arrived to this spot in time where it is recognized that they don't have souls.
Bottom line thinking and the future of work. Looks like we're herded for slavery!