Inside, a cool, golden light suffused the walls; outside, the maize was bone-dry in the August sun. The village church was full to bursting point. Never had so many people turned up for the burial of an 'harki' (French soldier from the colonies - tr. note). On this his last day, it was not the nation for which he had fought that was paying him the last honours, but the company for which he had worked for more than twenty-five years. Here, in the middle of the summer, almost all of his colleagues had gathered, not called together by any company memorandum, but simply by the memory of his laugh. On that day more than any other I was proud of my company.

All of us can remember such moments of solidarity, when a company assumes the reassuring face of a family, of a nation, or perhaps the familiar landscape of one's childhood. On the other hand, how many mining towns have not been lulled into unsuspecting sleep in the shadow of long-established,  large local companies, which have suddenly bowed under? How many regions have not lost their industrial pride when the blast furnaces were shut down? How many countries have not lost their dominant position when competitors have invaded their ports?

Perhaps companies should simply be cold-hearted capitalist nomads, relinquishing to the State, as the sole guarantee of caring, justice and stability, the task of checking and balancing their versatility and irresponsibility?