The greedy giants

Every private corporation is –by definition– an immortal unscrupulous greedy egoist.

Greedy giant

This is how I call a private corporation of a certain size, especially when it gets more powerful than a national government.

Private corporation

A corporation whose mission is to protect and grow the capital of its owners and to increase their revenue.

Public corporation

A corporation whose mission is described and recognized as being of public interest.

For example a national government, a public school or hospital. But also a local scout group, or a supernational body or a foundation.

Let’s look at the mission statements of some big corporations:

  • “Our mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Google

  • “Microsoft is a technology company whose mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. We strive to create local opportunity, growth, and impact in every country around the world.” (via geekwire.com)

  • “The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.” (wikimediafoundation.org)

These three mission statements sound similar in nature. They all declare to fight for a noble cause.

What they don’t say –because it is obvious– is their ultimate mission, their fundamental motivation and reason of being.

Google and Microsoft are private corporations, which means that their ultimate mission is to make financial profit to be shared among its owners, the shareholders. The Wikimedia Foundation, by contrast, is a public corporation. This means that any financial profit is being reinvested into the corporation’s mission.

Examples of public corporations:

National government

A corporation responsible for the survival and welfare of a given nation.

Supernational body

A corporation responsible for collaboration between a group of nations.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1a/Supranational_European_Bodies-en.svg/640px-Supranational_European_Bodies-en.svg.png

Euler diagram of supranational European Bodies. (Wikipedia)

Foundation

A corporation responsible for a publicly known mission.