Corporations or Capitalists? was Re: exploitation

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Mon Jun 18 13:31:02 MDT 2001

Greg Schofield wrote:
> There are contradictions - first of all there is no such thing as a
> multinational company strictly speaking each part of such a company is
> locked into various states, however, insofar as its capital is liquid and
> tradable, as capital they can fly in an instance to anywhere and in another
> sense by buying and selling swiftly transform themselves from one company
> into another.
> As far as promoting the interests of these large capitals via the state,
> they don't need a homeland (that is something they are absolutely cemented
> into as was the case in classical imperialism) so long as they can command
> the forces of the state.

Greg, just a note on a problem here. Back in the early 1970s there was
an extensive debate, published in the journal _Socialist Revolution_
(which soon changed its name to Socialist Review, then to the even more
innocuous SR) on the subject of Who Owns the Corporations? The answer to
that is important, but no way near as important than recognizing that
corporations DO NOT own themselves: at some point they are owned by
people with eyes and legs and breakfast preferences, etc. As on
contributor to the debate entitled his article (quoted from memory):
"Who Owns the Corporations? Capitalists Own the Corporations."

The U.S. Supreme Court long ago perpetrated the legal fiction that
corporations were persons and entitled to the rights endowed on persons
by the 14th amendment (and doubtless other legal systems have done the
same), but in analyzing the world we should not automatically accept the
U.S. Supreme Court as dogma. Some capitalists are indeed (over their
life span) "international," but on the whole, capitalists (however they
may share ownership of a given corp with each other) are still pretty
tied to particular nation states.

Your argument may still be correct, but expressed as above it is


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