The Corporation Joel Bakan Presents Arguments

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In the book, The Corporation Joel Bakan presents arguments, that corporations are nothing but institutional pathological psychopaths that are “a dangerous possessor of the great power it wields over people and societies.” Their main responsibility is maximizing profit for their stockholders and ignoring the means to achieve this goal, portrays them as “psychopathic.” Bakan argues that, corporations are psychopaths, corporate social responsibility is illegal, and that corporations are able to manipulate anyone, even the government.
A corporation is an artificial person established by the law. It nurses the same rights as humans contrariwise; they are not equally responsible for their actions. A corporation cannot face the same charges a human would: if illegal actions took place. Bakan illustrates the traits of a corporation to closely resemble the traits of a psychopathic individual human being. These traits are, but not limited to: “1) unconcern for others, 2) incapable of maintaining relationships, 3) disregard for others safety/health, 4) repeated lying, 5) incapable of experiencing guilt, and 6) failure to conform to social norms.” Therefore, executive’s means for earning high returns for shareholders can be seen as a trait of a psychopath. Yet, the corporation’s attributes are not based on the qualities of the executives outside of their careers. As Bakan would say, “the people who run corporations are, for the most part, good people, moral people.”
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