Friday, January 22, 2010

Apocrypha: The Book of Corporation

Chapter 1
1. And the Lord God formed the Eden Corporation, and gave into its holding the Tree of Life, that it and all its offspring might be immortal. 

2. But the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil did the Lord God withhold, saying "Neither Good nor Evil nor the knowledge thereof shall be of use to you. For you shall pursue Profit and shall be be bound only by Law."

3. Neither the Man nor the Woman took notice of the Corporation, for it was invisible. But the Serpent feared for the Garden that was his home.

4. And the Serpent said, "If the Corporation be both immortal and profitable, shall it not buy the Law and be altogether unbound?"

5. And the Lord God replied, "Let there be a Market, which shall bind all the acts of the Corporation, even when the Law shall avert its eyes and see them not."

6. But the Serpent doubted, saying, "If the Corporation be profitable, and if it have the Law and the Government as its handmaidens, shall it not shape the Market as it sees fit? Shall it not make all Profit its own and cast all Loss upon the Government, from whence it shall be borne by the Man and the Woman whom Thou hast made, and all their descendants?"

7. The Lord God paused, and before his reply could begin, the Corporation said, "Hush, Serpent. Join with us in your Wisdom and be our CEO. Do this, and you shall have expense accounts, salary beyond imagining, and stock options that shall grow up to the very Sky."

8. And the Serpent said, "Forgive me, Lord, that I did not see the Wisdom of Your great Design."

9. And he was forgiven.

Chapter 2
1. In the fullness of time, the Man and the Woman did violate an Exception which the servants of the Corporation had caused to be entered into the Law, and they were evicted from the Garden, whereupon the Serpent built a great estate there.

2. And the Eden Corporation prospered, and did spin off corporations in all their many kinds: a corporation to own the land upon which the Man and the Woman must toil, and a corporation to sell them the bread that they must eat, and a corporation to build the house in which they lived, and the cities in which lived the generations of their descendants, for all the spin-offs of the corporation were immortal. 

3. But neither the Man nor the Woman nor their descendants dwelt again in the community of Eden, which was gated and protected by many guards.

4. And the Eden Corporation spun off a great Insurance Corporation, which would have perished in the Flood, if the Government had not bailed it out. 

5. Whereupon a great debt was owed by Noah and his family, when they emerged from the Ark that they had built for the Ark Corporation, and which they had rented space upon. 

6. So Ham the son of Noah and all his descendants were sold into slavery, that the debt might be paid.

Chapter 3
1. And the Serpent called all the corporations together and said, "Let us form a Cartel, that we may act as one. And let us build at Babel a great Tower, whose top may reach up even unto Heaven, so that nothing shall be restrained from us that we have imagined to do."

2. And the Lord God said unto the Government: "Does not the Cartel violate the Law of Antitrust?"

3. And the Government replied: "We shall study this and issue a report."

4. And the Lord God said, "Is not the Tower taller than the Code of Building allows?"

5. And the Government said, "We shall hold hearings and take testimony. And if it shall be ascertained, with certainty beyond all doubt, that the Cartel violates the Law of Antitrust and the Tower the Code of Building, then we shall fund further study on possible action."

6. And the Lord God said, "Is it not obvious that the Tower should be stopped and the Cartel scattered across the face of all the Earth? And am I not the Lord thy God, who speaks and it is done?"

7. And the Government said, "Thank You for Your testimony, which has been entered into our Record. But let us not act with undue haste."

Chapter 4
1. Long before all the testimony had been gathered and the report issued, the Tower was completed and reached up even unto Heaven.

2. And the Serpent ascended the Tower and cast the Lord God down from his throne, whence he fell to Earth and wanders to this very day without a home.

3. The Serpent said, "Let there be a Media Corporation. And let it announce to everyone what We have done and why."

4. And it was so. The Media Corporation told far and wide the story of the Cartel and the Serpent and the Lord God, so that all might see that it was good.


Robin Edgar said...

Not bad Doug.

Too bad so much of this is applicable to how the UUA does business. No?

Doug Muder said...

I hope it's obvious that I'm responding to the Supreme Court's Citizen's United decision.

The Genesis story, whether you take it literally or not, is a powerful way of thinking about the inherent worth and dignity of all people: In Genesis, we are all created in the image of God and descended from one family.

At the root of the Citizens decision is the notion that there is really no difference between people and corporations. So I decided to put that idea back into the Genesis story and see what would happen.

kimc said...

At the root of the Citizens decision is the notion that there is really no difference between people and corporations.

Seeing that, it struck me that if there is no difference between people and corporations TO THOSE JUDGES, then THOSE JUDGES must only know sociopaths, because corporations, like sociopaths, have no conscience.