These twelve organizations appear to have little in common. They are public and private, national and international, profit-making and charitable, religious and secular, civil and military, and, depending on one's perspective, benign and nefarious. Yet they do share three characteristics. First, each is a relatively large, hierarchically organized, centrally directed bureaucracy. Second, each performs a set of relatively limited, specialized, and, in some sense, technical functions: gathering intelligence, investing money, transmitting messages, promoting sales, producing copper, delivering bombs, saving souls. Third, each organization performs its functions across one or more international boundaries and, insofar as is possible, in relative disregard of those boundaries.