How Do Corporate Policies Impact the Freedom to Associate?
Incorporation is a necessary protection for any association that includes more than a few people
Incorporation fosters the spirit of an association by giving it legal recognition. It also limits liability. When a company is sued, it is only liable up to its assets. In contrast, if an individual carpenter were sued, he could lose his personal assets. Thus, incorporation is a necessary protection for any association of more than a few people.
When a corporation is formed, it must file articles of incorporation with the state. These articles generally require basic information about the corporation, although some states require more details. They also typically require a registered agent. The state will then issue a certificate of incorporation, demonstrating the legal existence of the company. The articles must also contain the corporation’s bylaws, which are its rules and regulations. These documents set out the fiscal year of the corporation, the roles of its officers, and how liability protection is managed. The incorporator must also hold its first corporate meeting and select banks to receive corporate funds.
Incorporation also offers protection for the corporation from unforeseen liability. A corporation is protected from unreasonable searches and seizures, and is free from double jeopardy, equal protection, and freedom of speech. Additionally, a corporation can have a Board of Directors that sets the policies of the corporation. A Corporations Board of Directors may adopt resolutions to implement these policies periodically.
A corporation can be a powerful catalyst for wholesome ambitions. It also offers the promise of legacy. A corporation’s legacy can outlast its founders. John Harvard and Henry Ford were both examples of these corporations. Incorporation also gives ordinary private citizens a chance to reach the highest levels of prominence.
Conflicts between liberalism and communitarianism
This article examines the conflicts between liberalism and communitarianism in the realm of corporate policies. It explains the basic philosophical assumptions and positions of communitarian and liberal approaches to business, and attempts to define the communitarian view on the basis of natural-law principles. It argues that a communitarian approach to business is the proper balance between liberal and socialist views, and is compatible with both of them, while respecting the autonomy of private initiative.
In Western society, communitarian ideas have taken on a more prominent role. Many political leaders, including British Prime Minister Tony Blair, have embraced this philosophy and have incorporated it into their electoral platforms. But communitarianism has also been challenged by libertarians, who claim that social formulations of the common good can be oppressive.
According to liberal communitarianism, individual rights should be protected, but the common good should always come first. The communitarian approach stresses that individuals have the right to be free. Libertarians believe that governments should protect individual rights by enforcing strict limits on governmental power.
The term communitarianism first gained currency in the 1980s, and has been associated with a small group of mostly American political philosophers. These philosophers argued for the importance of the common good and sought to counter the more traditional liberal and libertarian positions. Among them were Charles Taylor and Michael Sandel. Others were Shlomo Avineri and Seyla Benhabib.
In the late 1990s, the debate over universalism faded from its academic prominence to a more political one. The collapse of communism in the former Soviet bloc spawned new, political voices in support of liberal universalism. Francis Fukuyama, for example, argued that the triumph of liberal democracy over its rivals marked the end of history. This view provoked a second wave of communitarian critiques, and the debate became much more political and concrete.