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Corporations: The Greatest Political Scandal Never Told

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df1

posted on Jul, 21 2004 @ 08:38 PM
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Our Bill of Rights was the result of tremendous efforts to institutionalize and protect the rights of human beings. It strengthened the premise of our Constitution: that the people are the root of all power and authority for government. This vision has made our Constitution and government a model emulated in many nations.

But corporate lawyers (acting as both attorneys and judges) subverted our Bill of Rights in the late 1800's by establishing the doctrine of "corporate personhood" -- the claim that corporations were intended to fully enjoy the legal status and protections created for human beings

We believe that corporations are not persons and possess only the privileges we willfully grant them. Granting corporations the status of legal "persons" effectively rewrites the Constitution to serve corporate interests as though they were human interests. Ultimately, the doctrine of granting constitutional rights to corporations gives a thing illegitimate privilege and power that undermines our freedom and authority as citizens. While corporations are setting the agenda on issues in our Congress and courts, We the People are not; for we can never speak as loudly with our own voices as corporations can with the unlimited amplification of money.
Reclaimdemocracy.org: Personhood
Reclaimdemocracy.org: Draft Amendment To Strip Human Rights From Corporations

The greatest threat to America is that the legal system in the US grants a corporation the same legal rights as a person. This is an absolutely insane proposition as government has no way to impose the same punitivive penalties on a corporation that it can impose on a living and breathing person. Corporations do things with impunity that a person would not even consider because the penalties which would deter a person cause no injury to a corporation. A corporation can not suffer embarassment. A corporation can not be put in jail. A corportation can not be put to death. Corporations have no soul, no heart and suffer no pain. It is time to strip corporations of human rights, because corporations are not human and do deserve those protections.
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posted on Jul, 21 2004 @ 08:46 PM
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I completely agree. People ask all the time what happened to America, and why is it like it is, and the answer is corporations.

However, don't forget the other side of the argument: without corporations, would you have a nice, big comfortable house, and cold Dr. Pepper, and a car with satellite radio in it?

Something to think about, I guess.



posted on Jul, 21 2004 @ 08:59 PM
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Great post df1!

The latest gambit is that corporate lawyers have now begun to claim that advertising is a corporation's "freedom of speech" and therefore they cannot be held responsible for inacurate or patently false information. (i.e. sued for false advertising, misrepresentation to shareholders etc.)

They can now lie just like anyone else and be protected.



posted on Jul, 21 2004 @ 10:17 PM
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df1, I agree with your post. A corporation is a legal fiction created by government. You allude to, but do not directly point out, that the creation of a corporation grants the owners immunity from criminal and financial liability for actions of the corporation.

This is actually a good thing. It makes possible the amalgamation of the large sums of capital necessary to achieve the economies of scale of modern industrial production. But no, corporations should not have the legal rights and status of a person.

The biggest problem with corporations is that they have totally taken over the political process. One party, the Republican Party, is totally controlled and financed by large corporations. The Democratic Party is also somewhat controlled by corporations, but the control is far from total.

This increasing control of government by corporations amounts to fascism. After all, Mussolini, who knew a little about the subject, defined fascism as the merging of corporate and state interests. That is exactly what happened in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. That is exactly where we are .ed with the government under control of corporate whores like Bush and Cheney.

I am a left-wing, liberal Democrat, but I believe that corporations are a net benefit to society, when properly taxed and regulated. Although Republican propagandists will claim that people like me are socialists, that is definitely not the case. I believe that a market-driven capitalist economy, under proper government regulation, is the best economic solution for a liberal (in the best sense of the word) democracy.

The key is regulation. Corporations have to be regulated to keep them out of the political process. They have to be regulated to prevent disasters like the savings and loan debacle, the rape of California energy consumers by Enron, and the wholesale destruction of the environment which occurs when corporations are allowed to exploit natural resources without restraint.

Government has every right to tax corporations, since they are a creature of government. Government provides courts to adjudicate contracts, and police forces to maintain a sufficient degree of order for markets to function and corporations to do business.

Since the Constitution specifies that the government is to provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare, it is perfectly appropriate for the government to tax corporations to provide funds for other government functions than those the corporations need in order to make money. Without the government, the corporations would not exist and would make no money.

It is not socialism for the government to tax corporations and use those funds to pay for such liberal social programs as universal health care and education.



posted on Jul, 21 2004 @ 10:21 PM
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It seems to me that what is needed here is constitutional law that deals directly with corporations. Corporations after all are really just a conglomerations of share holders interests. They are formed for the purpose of producing products and or services for the purpose of making a profit for their shareholders who are people.

While equal rights should not be afforded corporations as are affored to individuals, there are and should be some rights that should be granted to such a cooperative effort. There also needs to be certain checks placed upon corporations so as to limit the dehumanizing qualities and powers that a corporation in the wrong hands can wield. As with all things dealing with power, abuse of that power can have very damaging effects.

The question then becomes what sort of rights should a corporation have and what restrictions should be imposed upon them in order to bridle those who wield the power of their organization to feed their own lust for more?

Most thinking people recognize that there is both a lack of proper regulation upon large corporations and an over regulation at the same time. While some aspects of corporate life such as how they spend their profits, and how they are allowed to influence political campainges goes relatively unregulated, other aspects of corporate life such as worker relations, liability and insurance issues, and safety regulation seem to be regulated to the extreme with an overbearing, bloated beurocracy overseeing every aspect of these areas of corporate activity.

This being said what are the rights and restrictions that a corporation should have? Second how should these rights and restictions be applied? Should there be a constitutional ammendment to deal with them or should the legislature deal with issue and hope that the Supreme Court doesn't step in and muck it all up.

I do not believe that corporations are the great Satan of the political world and need to be utterly destroyed. I do believe that this country needs to establish some clear cut boundaries that define what a corporation has as its privaledges and rights and its restrictions. This is neccessary because of the upheaval that has occured due to corporate abuses and the incredible civil backlog of caselaw that has been created by the ambiguous nature of our current definitions.



posted on Jul, 21 2004 @ 10:52 PM
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Has anyone ever heard of Richard L. Grossman or read any of his books? I once read some of his stuff. He is bang on.

I also know a thing or two about the law. Corporations were not always in the form that they have today. Used to be a time when a corporate charter was granted to a corporation based on a clear mandate and for a limited period of time. If the mandate is diverted the charter could be revoked.

There are many sites explaining why the current rules governing corporate charters should be revoked and replaced. Some even go as far as to describe how it could be done. Revoke the Corporate Charter.

Unfortunately I had a complete computer meltdown a few months ago and lost much research into this topic or I would post more.

P.S. Did anyone see this? I recommend it.

spelling

[edit on 7/21/2004 by Gools]


df1

posted on Jul, 22 2004 @ 04:03 AM
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Giant corporations govern, even though they are mentioned nowhere in our Constitution or Bill of Rights. So when corporations govern, democracy is nowhere to be found. There is something else: when people live in a culture defined by corporate values, common sense evaporates. We stop trusting our own eyes, ears, and feelings. Our minds become colonized.
www.poclad.org...

The Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy is one of many organizations providing the resources that are helping to take America back from the corporate thieves that have stolen your birthright. Regain the power to control your life, your community and your government.
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posted on Jul, 22 2004 @ 10:26 PM
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A corporation can be defined as a little miniature government within our society. It as a board of directors that is responsible to the shareholders who in many cases have the power to remove board members and even ceos if enough of the shareholders agree. The problem of course is that money dictates most decisions in a corporate environment and money is the root of all kinds of evil. Perhaps corporations need to be viewed in the same way that local municipalities are. That is as entities that represent the will and interests of people. This would not put the corps on par with a citizen but would give them certain influencial and exisistential rights and privaledges. Just food for the discussion.



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