Jan 31, 2011 2:28 AM GMT
From a constitutional law prof: http://www.professorbainbridge.com/professorbainbridgecom/2011/01/the-corporation-a-thing-of-power-and-beauty.html
Pish posh. When I teach corporate law, I tell my students about Nicholas Murray Butler, president of Columbia University and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, who wrote that: “The limited liability corporation is the greatest single discovery of modern times. Even steam and electricity are less important than the limited liability company.”
I tell them about journalists John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge, whose magnificent history, The Company, contends that the corporation is “the basis of the prosperity of the West and the best hope for the future of the rest of the world.”
And so I also tell them that the corporation has proven to be a powerful engine for focusing the efforts of individuals to maintain economic liberty. Because tyranny is far more likely to come from the public sector than the private, those who for selfish reasons strive to maintain both a democratic capitalist society and, of particular relevance to the present argument, a substantial sphere of economic liberty therein serve the public interest. As Michael Novak argues, private property and freedom of contract were “indispensable if private business corporations were to come into existence.” In turn, by providing centers of power separate from government, corporations give “liberty economic substance over and against the state.”
We should be eternally grateful that slave owning, miscegenating, Jacobin-leaning Jefferson failed to squelch the corporation.
BTW, the Southern agrarian strain of anti-corporation feeling is filed away as a future project.