Corporations Are Cages

by Jay Deragon on 04/04/2013

full-office-cubicles-449-297When we use the word cage what image does it create in your mind? The definition of a cage is a box or enclosure having some openwork for confining or carrying animals. When most of  think of the word cage we think about containment, restraint, controlled environments and the lack of freedom. Sound familiar?

Now think about “corporations” as cages. This inanimate thing called a corporation run by an elite group of people who have all the power and control over all the decisions and people who work for the corporation. Corporations were designed to “contain” people for the purpose of profit making.

People were, and still are, enticed with money to come into the corporate cage and produce goods and services so the corporation can make a profit.  The more you produced the more you were fed and rewarded with a nicer cage.  The other way you got fed or advanced to a nicer cage was to become a “yes man or women” for the elite man or women, usually a man, at the top. These cages are mental, emotional and spiritual, some physical, models of the industrial era thinking.

The Corporation Is Not A Person

Our brains have been programmed by these mental models and subsequently we’ve been led to somehow believe that the corporation is a person who has power and control over the rights of other people.

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens defines corporation well. “Corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires,” he wrote. “Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their ‘personhood’ often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of ‘We the People’ by whom and for whom our Constitution was established. The rights of the people should always be greater than the rights of the corporation”

Corporation have legal rights and liabilities that are distinct from their employees and shareholders. Corporations can exercise human rights against real individuals and the state, and they can themselves be responsible for human rights violations. 

Most of the rights we give to the “corporation” are assumed rights based on mental models that society has accepted as normal. In the Social Era the mental models and all the subsequent usual rules are being deconstructed so the human network can redefine the meaning of normal rather than accepting the corporations definition of normal.

There are no cages in the Social Era just clouds.

{ 1 comment }

Mary Adams April 4, 2013 at 7:44 am

I couldn’t agree more. Corporations are groups of people empowered to work together.

In The Divine Right of Capital, Marjorie Kelly talks about how our current thinking about capital are very feudalistic (with all power going to capital, just as it did to feudal lords).

I believe that this will change in the Social Era in a very positive way. Feudalism keeps people and innovation down. Changing the dynamic will free up the intangible capital trapped inside corporations.

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