A corporation is a self-sustaining construct that has no moral or civic responsibility. Its only function is to create wealth for its "shareholders."
It is therefor by decree fully self-interested, the perfect expression of sociopathic and narcissistic behavior.
The Corporation emerged in the late 16th Century as a mechanism to separate ownership from management. As the industrial Revolution expanded in the following decades, corporations multiplied as industry found a means to attract investors interested in making money. In the 1700s the corporation was used in America to accrue investments in the building of the Railroads, a project so massive it could not be paid for by the wealthy alone. Middle class investors joined in.
Individual investors were personally liable for their investments until the Limited Liability Act of 1855, essentially disconnecting investors from their personal responsibility while allowing them to profit from the activity of the company. With this development, every day people were liberated to invest and the corporate model blossomed further. Since the shareholders were no longer liable for the actions of the corporation, someone had to take their place. It was deemed that the corporation itself would be liable for its activities, effectively making the corporation into a "person."
In the early 1900s Americans became afraid of the corporation's power and a campaign to humanize the corporation ensued, with ATT&T advertising it was a "friend and neighbor" to regular folks. Thus the start of corporate branding began. Another disconnect between the motives and intentions of a profit-driven entity and its public face.
In the 2000s then presidential candidate Mitt Romney famously stated that "Corporations are Individuals", and the Citizens United Supreme court decision effectively granted corporations the same anonymity as private citizens, allowing corporate interests to contribute to campaigns for their favorite candidates.
So much political rhetoric scapegoats immigrants and the poor for dragging down the economy, when it is the corporation, fulfilling its self perpetuating mission, that ships jobs overseas, calculates fractions on the penny to maximize profits and disregards local economies.
Who pushes through automation and internet commerce over brick and mortar outlets, costing jobs? Who replaces bank tellers, phone operators, cashiers, ticket-takers, and retail clerks with hi-tech substitutes? Who creates websites to replace customer service, disconnecting us from a real person in a regional office? Corporations, and by extension the CEOs and Shareholders that seek profits.
Who replaces scores of coal miners with mountaintop removal technology? The Corporation. Because that is what the corporation is designed to do: increase profits, self perpetuate.
Shipping jobs overseas, automation and computers are changing the workforce, driven by the corporate elites, who then scapegoat the immigrant population as the cause of American Job-loss. That is a cynical game.
The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power by Joel Bakan
Life Inc: How Corporatism Conquered the World, and How We Can Take It Back by Douglas Rushkoff
The Glass Cage: How Our Computers Are Changing Us by Nicholas Carr