Monday, 25 January 2010

US Supreme Court Has Lost Its Mind

Now the cat is truly out of the bag. In principle, corporations can now spend as much of the treasury as shareholders will allow on such political ads. This means that every decision maker in a corporation has contribution and voting rights equal to anyone on the street, while the firm may blast away with treasury funds to bolster management preferences.

Put in these terms, the issue is not, as the Court majority averred, about freedom of speech. Every corporate officer and employee is free to exercise complete freedom of speech along with everybody else. What the Court said was the corporate treasury now has an independent voice, with a megaphone as large and loud as its human managers are prepared to buy. The decision is not about freedom of speech; it is about being able to add large, loud megaphones.
The decision requires a distorted definition of person. Our constitution only guarantees freedom of speech to people. That definition is entirely consistent with the concept of a democracy. There is simply nothing in the constitutional language to suggest that a corporation, as an entity, is entitled to be treated as a person for voting in an election. As an entity a corporation is licensed to do business. It is not licensed to vote in any election, and corporate charters do not guarantee such a privilege. Of course, corporate officers are privileged, as citizens, to vote in any election and to vote for laws or regulations that serve corporate and/or personal interests. However, nowhere is it specified that a company with six officers has a seventh vote for the company. In the voting booth, the company as such is mute.

The bought and paid politicians in the US are now subject to even greater corrupting influences. The US Republic is sliding further down the path of fascism. However, such moves will ultimately backfire if conditions in the country deteriorate too far. Unhappy slaves will ultimately revolt.

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, January 25th, 2010.]

No comments: