The Leviathan and its Corpus: An Ontological Biology of Non-Biological Persons


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Bachelor's Degree

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Incorporation began as an exercise of sovereign power. This is known as the sovereign concession model. The rise of popular sovereignty did not destroy the great sovereign of the body politic, but rather fragmented its institutions. Corporations, I will argue, are the form of a liberal sovereign, for at root, they are a collection of individuals, each possessing a fragment of sovereign power, who come together to exercise it autonomously. Since incorporation is a function of sovereign authority, without a sovereign to cede the right to exist, the corporation must become sovereign by unifying fragmented elements of power. This places the biological person at a fundamental disadvantage to corporations when attempting to pursue his or her interests because the biological person’s interests are intrinsically smaller than the interests of its non-biological counterparts. I will argue that the issue of corporatism is a function of sovereignty: thereby placing the rise of an increasingly incorporated world as, not an economic issue, but rather a civil rights issue, perhaps the greatest one of our age. Ultimately, I will propose a sovereign unification theory of corporateness, where corporations exist simultaneously as arbiter and subject of right, thus subverting state authority and subjugating the rights of individuals.