• Welcome to the PopMalt Forums! Whether you're new to forums or a veteran, welcome to our humble home on the web! We're a 20-year old forum community with thousands of discussions on entertainment, lifestyle, leisure, and more.

    Our rules are simple. Be nice and don't spam. Registration is free, so what are you waiting for? Join today!.

Corporations are people


Son of Liberty
Such as the owners and executives being held personally responsible for the damage that their corporations cause to other people or the environment. If a person accidentally starts a wildfire, there are typically criminal charges against them with a severe punishment (like prison time). If an oil company accidentally spills millions of barrels of oil, they pay a fine.
The difference between those two is mens rea. If I do something negligently to start a fire, even if that wasn't my intent, my conduct, and my mindset, contributed to it. If I own a corporation and my captain was negligent and I'm 3000 miles away, it's difficult to prove my mens rea contributed to the accident.

Criminal Liability in Maritime Accidents

Nevertheless, corporate officials CAN be held criminally responsible based on the circumstance. And in the case of the Exxon Valdez, for example, Captain Hazelwood was held criminally responsible.

I will add there are bills currently proposed that would hold corporate officials criminally liable for knowing information and doing nothing, such as the case of GM.
Last edited:


Heavy Weapons Guy
Maj I would agree that if they can prove executives overlooked obvious security or safety hazards to save a buck I would agree with you. I guess what is considered reasonable safety quals could be a matter of discussion still.

As CO said there are examples of people being held responsible. Maybe it's not often enough though.


If corporations are people, are they not therefore slaves to their owners?

Corporations are more than just slaves. They are scape-goats. Sacrifices for the sins of their masters. Corporations are in some cases created specifically for this purpose. A drug manufacturing corporation for example may produce a drug that is known to bring long term harm and minimal benefit to those who use it, but may be marketed as a wonder drug. The company makes hundreds of millions from the drug, is eventually forced to give tens of millions back in lawsuits, and the Corporation (now with it's stained reputation) is dismantled (Sacrificed) while the masters (none of which incurring criminal charges) take their remaining profits and maybe even start a new Corporation with organs harvested from the old one.

- Cham