Facebook friends weigh in.
Doug Henwood. I’m getting distressed watching all my FB friends join the Abolish Corporate Personhood group. And what then? Return to proprietorships and partnerships? Or socialize the things? The corp personhood thing is mostly a small is beautiful petit bourgeois fantasy that’s not been thought through.
He does have a point. How would a few mild limits on corporate power change anything?
SA on Henwood’s LBO-Talk listserv agrees:
In response to the Citizens United decision, there seems to be a movement afoot by some folks on the left to amend the Constitution to end corporate personhood. See here: http://www.movetoamend.org/ . Maybe I’m missing something important, but this seems insane. Legally speaking, labor unions are corporations (“non-stock corporations”) – so are all cooperatives, and Amnesty International, and the Economic Policy Institute, etc. etc. They’re all corporations, as is pretty much any non-governmental organization. “Corporation” is a legal term, but basically it’s just a synonym for “collectivity.” Is the left in this country so hyper-individualistic that it wants to stymie all economic and social life not based on the rugged individual?
If corporations no longer had personal rights (e.g., against illegal search and seizure, or prior restraint of speech), Exxon would lose those rights but so would the ACLU. Do we want that? Or am I misunderstanding the legal issues? It seems to me that’s wrong with campaign finance in this country is not the fact that corporations have same rights as people, it’s that people with money effectively have more rights than people without money. So it would seem the logical step would just be an amendment to reverse Buckley v. Valeo and give Congress the right to regulate campaign spending.
BTW, the Populist Party of the 1890’s strongly opposed corporate personhood and did everything they could to block it from happening. They knew what was coming. But the real problem isn’t personhood per se, but the power of money and the corporatist control of DC.
Finally, on the humorous side.
Denise Robb is confused about the new Supreme Court ruling and she wonders, if corporations really are “people” then should I send them Christmas cards and invite them to pot lucks? Should I fix some of my friends up with Exxon or Best Buy? This changes everything!
Hey, maybe I could get a platonic relationship going with Patagonia. They make great, eco-friendly clothes and gear and I’d be happy to take free samples.
So, which corporation would you like to hook up with?