“Corporate Personhood” Vs Humanity

Last Friday, one of the least honest men in America, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), addressed the American Enterprise Institute regarding the “ongoing assault on free speech.” During a follow-up question regarding whether corporations should have constitutional rights at all, McConnell called a bill proposed by  Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) , clarifying that corporations are not “people”, as “absurd”.

As a senator,  McConnell has sworn an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”.  There is no mention of “corporation” anywhere in the Constitution or Bill or Rights. In fact, corporations are established by state laws, not federal laws.

There is in fact no justification for the pretense that corporations have any rights at all outside those granted in their charters and that those charters  are exclusively the prerogatives of the states. This was considered settled law since the 1855 Supreme Court ruling in  Dodge v. Woolsey that reaffirmed the states’ powers over “artificial bodies.” But this didn’t sit well with the artificial, anaerobic life-forms that were the corporations. In the 1886 Supreme Court case of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, which had nothing to do with “corporate personhood” (being more directly a matter of railroad trusts and fences and taxation), but an irrelevant clerk’s note has since been twisted into a justification to apply the 14th Amendment (which protected the rights of freed slaves) to artificial corporate entities. This story is detailed in “The Theft of Human Rights,” a chapter in Thom Hartmann’s recommended book Unequal Protection.

Let’s think about the term “absurd” as it applies to  Sen. McConnell’s position. He wants to grant corporations the same rights as the actual human citizens of this country. Despite the outlandish justifications for his position (that corporations give him money, therefor he will support any insanity they direct him to), let’s play along with him on this one for a bit. Let’s suppose that we subject “corporate people” to ALL the same responsibilities, obligations and consequences as real people!

  • Corporations can pay the same tax rates as individuals, right?
  • Of course you can’t own people, so all of that stock trading would have to go away!
  • Mergers are just like marriages, so let’s assign sexes to all corporations, then prohibit “same-sex mergers”.
  • I know my campaign contributions are capped at something like $5200, let’s do the same for the corporations.
  • When a corporation steals or puts out a product that harms or kills people, we jail or execute them (and take all their ill-gotten money away).
  • People die of old age, and so should corporations. Give them an 80 year life-span, then hit them with a hefty inheritance tax if they wish to “reincarnate”.

Yes, let’s let them be treated just like people in all ways, why don’t we?
That’s not what they have in mind, though. What they want is to be above the law and to control people.
Look at how much control they have over Sen. Mitch McConnell… they want us all to be just like him (-shudder-).


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