10649 VOC

This minor planet is named after the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie, also known as the Dutch East India Company. Founded in 1602, formed as a government-made conglomeration of multiple trading and shipping companies, this entity is interestingly anachronistic in several ways. It can be considered the first multinational corporation, the first megacorporation, and was in fact the first company to be listed on any public stock exchange.

For 21 years the VOC had a government-sanctioned monopoly on trade in the East Indies. It wielded an immense amount of power there, including and not limited to the ability to wage war, form treaties, and mint its own coins. For good reason, some historians consider it to be a corporation-state. And its enterprises were not limited to trade: they had their fingers in everything from shipbuilding to wine brewing to map making. For nearly 200 years, they shaped the world in a lot of very positive and very negative ways; although they contributed much to trade and knowledge and exploration, they did so under the authoritarian aegis of monopoly and empire, which also aided them in their pursuit of war, slavery, and exploitation.

The symbol of this minor planet is straightforward, if somewhat bland. It is the logo of the Dutch East India Company, perhaps the first corporate logo to have ever existed. It it a large Latin letter V, with tiny Latin letters O and C intersecting the left and right limbs, respectively.


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