“Today the business once transacted by individuals in every community is in the control of corporations, and many of the men who once conducted an independent business are gathered into the organization, and all personal identity, and all individualities lost. Each man has become a mere cog in one of the wheels of a complicated mechanism. It is the business of the corporations to get money. It exacts but one thing of its employees: Obedience to orders. It cares not about their relations to the community, the church, society, or the family. It wants full hours and faithful service, and when they die, wear out or are discharged, it quickly replaces them with new material.
The corporation is a machine for making money, but it reduces men to the insignificance of mere numerical figures, as certainly as the private ranks of the regular army.
~ Fighting Bob La Follette, speech on the Dangers Threatening Representative Government, Mineral Point, Wisconsin, July 4, 1897