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Corporations Who Need Corporations Are the Luckiest Corporations

January 22, 2010

WNYC’s Brian Lehrer joked- hopefully- that now that corporations are people, (as I discussed yesterday), they might RUN for office. “AIG for Senate”, he joshed.

Ecstatic Repooplicans – zing- would no doubt agree. But there are thornier implications to discern. Hopefully the Michael Steele braintrust will get their noggins kanoodling and pen a policy paper.

Will Republicans now be for immigration reform, demanding that  those hardworking corporations should have a legal mechanism for attaining citizenship?

Will they now be for “marriage equality”, arguing that the love between a man and a coporation should be sanctioned by the state? I guess two corporations marrying would still be gay, but a dude and a company is perfectly natural.

Also, if I throw away my paperwork before I have officially filed for “incorporated” status, will I be bombed by an anti-abortion loon?

And so on…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jonathan permalink
    January 22, 2010 7:29 pm

    Wait a minute, haven’t corporations always been legally people? I learned that way back in civics.

    • JoJo permalink
      January 23, 2010 12:02 am

      ah, yes sir. you are correct.

      but what’s new, i presume, is the idea that corporations are people in the sense of entities with inalienable rights, a sphere of autonomy on which a government may not tread.

      the natural law tradition- from which jefferson got his idea of inalienable rights- had it that people had rights even in the “state of nature”, independently of and prior to any government. rights were thus inalienable- unable to be taken away- precisely because their existence preceded the existence of government; hence the (artificial, conventional or provisional) government had no legitimate ability to take away what nature had bestowed.

      corporations, by contrast, even when considered legal “bodies”, or ‘persons’, were always constructs of the state. they do not exist “naturally”. because they were created by the state, for purposes sanctioned by the state, it would be absurd to suppose they had inalienable rights, bestowed independelty of the government, such that a government had no legitimate interest in restricting them. that is, traditionally, if a goverment deemed it necessary to curb a coroporations ability to “speak” – as we’re calling spending these days- freely, then, this was no violation, as the corporation only existed- and had what rights it did- because the government said so.

      apparently, though, the supreme court has truly mistaken a corporate body for real person, something that has rights and dignity apart from a state charter, such that the government itself has no right to restrict or even take away a coroporations right to free speech.

      this is indeed a fundamenetal- and absurd- switch, despite them being ‘persons’ in some degree all along.

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