After reading Erik's post about corporate personhood I had to post this quote out of Derrick Jensen's The Culture of Make Believe.
“Corporations are a legal device invented in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to deal with the myriad of limits exceeded by this culture’s social and economic system: the railroads and other early corporations were too big and too technological to be built or insured by the incorporator’s investments alone; when corporations failed or caused gross public damage, as they often did, the incorporators did not have the wealth to cover the damage for which they could be held liable. Because of limited liability, corporations have allowed several generations of owners to economically, psychologically, and legally ignore the limits of toxics, fisheries depletion, debt, and so on that have been transgressed by the workings of the economic system.
“By now we should have learned. To expect corporations to do differently than they do is to engage in magical thinking. We may as well expect a clock to cook, a car to give birth, or a gun to do other than that for which it was created. The specific and explicit function of for-profit corporations is to amass wealth. The function is not to guarantee that children are raised in environments free of toxic chemicals, nor to respect the autonomy or existence of indigenous peoples, nor to protect the vocational or personal integrity of workers, nor to design safe modes of transportation, nor to support life on this planet. Nor is the function to support communities. It never has been and never will be. To expect corporations to do other than to amass wealth at any (externalized) cost is to ignore the system of rewards that has been set up, to ignore everything we know about behavior modification: if you reward someone—those inventing in or running corporations, in this case—for doing something, you can expect them to do it again. To expect corporations to do other than they do is at the very least poor judgment, and the very worst delusional. Corporations are institutions created explicitly to separate humans from the effects of their actions, making them by definition inhuman and inhumane. To the degree that we desire to live in a human and humane world—and really, to the degree that we wish to survive—corporations need to be eliminated." pg. 441