Time For The “Corporations Are Not Women And Men” Amendment.   4 comments

October 27, 2011

Can Polar Opposites Unite For Change?

The Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street people need to shut up for a moment and start talking. That’s not a contradiction but rather the order in which I want them to act. Nothing could be more useful to rhetoric in America right now than two highly publicized groups suspending their personal vision or group-think to actually try and accomplish something truly meaningful. And I have exactly the mission for them: Write a Constitutional Amendment. And not just any old amendment. I’m talking about something big. I’m talking about the “Corporations Are Not Women and Men” Amendment.

A September 2009 argument in front of the United States Supreme Court turned into a January 2010 decision. The Court ruled on Docket No. 08-205, in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that "Political spending is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment, and the government may not keep corporations or unions from spending money to support or denounce individual candidates in elections. While corporations or unions may not give money directly to campaigns, they may seek to persuade the voting public through other means, including ads, especially where these ads were not broadcast." In effect, the court—in a 5-4 decision—declared that corporations, business entities, companies, were people.

These commercial entities have no heart (not a revelation,) or lungs; they don't need oxygen or caloric intake to sustain life. Simply put, corporations do not have the humanity of, well, human beings. They were not mentioned in the Declaration of Independence; only men (and by inference, women), not companies, have "been endowed by their creator with inalienable rights." Nevertheless Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, and Anthony Kennedy—authors of the majority opinion—looked straight into the concrete and steel edifice of corporate America and found a pulse. From that moment on, corporations became just like the rest of us. Goldman Sachs was awarded the constitutional right of free speech. But instead of the edifice exercising its new found right, the suits inside the building began writing checks so that others could speak for the edifice. And so it goes. The powerful became more powerful.

If I begin to parse the full weight of the Declaration of Independence, the ludicrous nature of the Supreme Court's decision is exposed for anyone to see. Here is the full passage with my comments:

We [the authors] hold these truths [accept as fact] to be self-evident [any idiot can readily understand], that all men [human beings, no mention of businesses] are created equal, that they [human beings] are endowed by their Creator [using a capital "C" more than suggests, it denotes a Supreme being, i.e., God] with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men [human beings], deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed [human beings] . . . .

I fully understand that the Declaration is not the Constitution, but the authors of the Declaration made their intentions clear; human beings are endowed by their Creator. We are endowed with those rights. Not AT&T, Bank of America, Citicorps, Dow Jones, Exxon Mobil, Koch Industries, Morgan Stanley, PPG, or any other commercial entity. Owners, directors, and employees of corporations can choose to inject their hard-earned (or ill-gotten) money into politics. Formal paperwork representing articles of incorporation cannot. Granting human qualities to a lifeless object essentially allows a corporate person, a CEO for example, to double dip: s/he can donate once personally and a second time by directing the lifeless corporation to donate. While I hesitate to use the word "activist", only five clearly activist judges could choose to inject the breath of life into inanimate corporations. God did not.

So here's the challenge to the Tea Party and to those supporting Occupy Wall Street. Create an amendment and work to change the constitution. Not an easy task, yet given the enthusiasm of both the OWS and TP participants, it's reasonable to believe that the two most vocal groups in America right now could meet and galvanize their respective followers. This is the moment, a unique moment in time to harness enthusiasm and reverse five clearly activist judges.


David Steffen

© David Steffen 2011


4 responses to “Time For The “Corporations Are Not Women And Men” Amendment.

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  1. Corporations are a form of legal trust, created by man, and a dead thing. That legal staus includes important distinctions. A corporation can be “killed” without incurring a charge of murder. the property rights issues raised by the separation of living beings from legal trusts is very clearly defined in law.


  2. Your place is valueble for me. Thanks!?

  3. “Great, thanks for sharing this article post.Thanks Again. Great.”

  4. An attention-grabbing dialogue is worth comment. I believe that you should write extra on this matter, it may not be a taboo topic however generally people are not enough to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers

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