Sunday, October 03, 2010

Separation of Corporation and State: Why we need a 28th Amendment

“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”  -Benito Mussolini (Italian dictator, 1883-1945)

The first amendment has been highjacked by corporations and the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court's decision for Citizens United v. Federal Election Comission had the effect of declaring corporations to be persons in a deep and far-reaching way, so that the line between artificial, legal fictions and  natural, real persons has been completely blurred.

What did the Court decide in Citizens United?
What does the decision mean for the average American?
Does the Constitution require the result in Citizens United?
What is a corporation anyway? Isn’t it like any other association of people?
How did the Citizens United case happen?
What can people do?
If Corporations are truly persons in America, that means they are citizens:
  • Citizens have a responsibility to vote. Citizens cannot vote unless they register. How many votes would a corporation get? And how would corporate voter registration be handled, exactly?
  • Citizens have a responsiblity to serve on juries. How will that work, now that corporations are persons, and therefore citizens?
  • Citizens have a responsbility to serve and defend their country when required, but I'm having a hard time imagining Corporation X donning military gear and going off to fight in Afghanistan.
  • Citizens of the U.S. have the right to run for office. Won't that be interesting! Can't you just see it? "Vote for British Petroleum for President!"
And what happens when corporations which operate in the U.S., but are owned by foreigners, decide to exercise their "free speech" and support candidates that further the goals of those other nations?
Mike Lillis wonders about this and suggests a possible scenario:
"One prominent example is CITGO Petroleum Company — once the American-born Cities Services Company, but purchased in 1990 by the Venezuelan government-owned Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. The Citizens United ruling could conceivably allow Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has sharply criticized both of the past two U.S. presidents, to spend government funds to defeat an American political candidate, just by having CITGO buy TV ads bashing his target."

We need to seriously consider the separation of Corporation and State, for the sake of both, and especially for the sake of human beings.

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