Impact of capitalism in society

Essay by ray83911University, Bachelor's October 2008

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A corporation is defined as an organization, containing a group of individuals working together to meet number of objectives. These objectives can differ from company to company, but one main objective that all corporations have in common is making as much money as possible, which usually causes large or hidden harms. Bakan's "The corporation's rise to dominance" examines the nature and rise of the dominant institution of our time. Bakan illuminates corporation's social, cultural, political and economic grip on our society. He argues that "They, the corporations, determine what we eat, what we watch, what we wear, where we work and what we do. We are inescapably surrounded by their culture, iconography and ideology" (Bakan p. 317). According to Bakan, the corporation became officially recognized as a "person" by the end of the nineteenth century through courts, who fully transformed the corporation's identity (Bakan p.323). This corporation new identity of a 'person' was generally imbued with a personality of reckless and obsessive self-interest.

Amassing unprecedented amounts of wealth and costs, corporations today are larger than the economies of some entire countries. One of the largest costs associated with corporations come from the notion of 'limited liability'. The notion of 'limited liability' was established by the middle of nineteenth century to limit the liability of shareholders to the amounts they invested in a company (Bakan p.320). Under the new identity and the notion of limited liability, the owners and managements are not held responsible for their corporation's failure, which undermines personal moral responsibility. And in most cases, it is the society who has to deal with the costs from failures of corporations. The purpose of this paper is to examine how corporations are dominating our society and our lives socially, culturally, politically and economically as well as to identify the root...