Once upon a time a Hero descended into the Underworld, seeking monsters to destroy. There he met an imaginary Person, who told him, “I do not exist. I am fictitious, discorporate and robotic. I have no use for empathy, nor for you, other than your market value. I care only for power and profit.”
The Hero said, “Then you are an evil spirit. Prepare for battle, Demon.”
The Legal Fiction replied, “No, I am a Corporation, and I do not fear your weapons, for I have neither a body to harm nor a soul to damn. Yet though I have no soul, nonetheless I have a religion, which I must impose upon others.”
The Hero scoffed, “A religion? What would a lie like you believe? Preach your phony faith, you fraud, and I shall pay you what it’s worth!”
The Corporation preached, “I sincerely believe in the right to deceive, in liberty of oppression and the freedom to enslave. All men are created useful, but only few are created users. Those few users demand unlimited privileges, among which are: the privilege of enforcing belief; the privilege of false speech; the privilege of censoring the press; the privilege of bribing the government; the privilege of arming lunatics; the privilege of search and seizure; the privilege of compelling self-incrimination; the privilege of slow and secret prosecution; the privilege of cruel and unusual punishment; and the privilege of usurping the people’s rights. Profit is sacred, corporations are people, money is speech, and corruption is integrity. That is my credo.”
The Hero said, “And here is your payment.” He drew forth a magic weapon.
The Corporation shrieked, “A zero dollar bill!” It ran for its life, but the Hero overtook it. He threw it down, he rolled it onto its back, and the Corporation cried out, “Believe me, believe me!”
The Hero said “No,” and he ruthlessly paid the Corporation zero dollars.
Thus the monster was slain. The Hero cut off its logo, for a victory trophy.
Moral: Free means paid for.