Monday, April 7, 2014

Corporations have Souls

Harry Truman was endowed with great common sense. Truman often remarked that how humans acted in the past, given a certain set of circumstances, was the best predictor of how these same folks would act in the future. Other presidents in history have given us stern warnings that, unfortunately, our country appears to be ignoring. Dwight Eisenhower, Teddy Roosevelt, Truman and Woodrow Wilson all warned America to beware and be watchful of the military industrial complex in this nation.

One only has to review the lessons deriving from the Rise and Fall of the ThirdReich to observe the influence that such a cabal can bring about. Hitler would not have had the power or backing to invade his neighboring countries and launch the world into one of the most horrific wars in the history of mankind without the influence of Krupp Industries and other backers of the Third Reich.

To me, one of the most chilling events in our modern times is the Supreme Court’s disastrous adventure in holding that corporations are people, and thus entitled to all of the constitutional privileges of humans in our country. The Supreme Court decision in Citizens United was nothing more than the conservative Supreme Court’s way of allowing corporations to have greater influence in the selection of our leaders. Holding that corporations are people with the right of free speech, and then illogically reasoning free speech and spending moneyare one and the same, opens the door for the allowance of purchased results in Democratic elections.

The law often speaks of legal fictions. Among those fictions is the one that corporations are to be treated as entities, separate and apart from individuals. Corporations are generally used to amass capital and to protect individuals from liability emanating from the functions and activities performed by corporations. The ultimate legal fiction is to hold that corporations are, in fact, people entitled to the same benefits as real, live, breathing humans.

The Supreme Court is now dealing with some of the aftermath created by Citizens United that I expect
they did not foresee in their initial ruling. HobbyLobby and other corporations have filed suit protesting features of the Affordable Care Act that require them to offer birth control for females in their group insurance. The contention by Hobby Lobby and other corporations is that having to offer such medication to women violates their religious beliefs. The Court must now wrestle with several questions regarding or deeming corporations to be people. Can a corporation have a religious belief? Does a corporation have a soul? Where do corporations go when they die? Obviously, the answers to these questions could defy logic. Corporations cannot be drafted into the military for service to the country. Corporations cannot be sentenced to jail for committing crimes. Corporations can’t vote, per se.

The lesson to be learned from Citizens United, wherein the Supreme Court deemed corporations to be citizens with all of the constitutional rights attached thereto, is that it was based on a false premise motivated by reasons not in the interest of this country. The whole idea in Citizens United is to allow big-money corporations to have a greater say in which politicians are to be elected. Who will run this country–the citizens or money? 

Corporations are participating in the formation of giant political action groups—sometimes called charitable 501c(3) corporations and sometimes called PACS. They are not accountable. They do not allow citizens to know from whence money is coming and then where it is flowing to various politicians. It is symptomatic of what we were warned about by Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and others. With declining citizen participation in elections and increased spending by giant corporations, we in America stand at a crossroads for the soul of this country.

If we, as voting citizens, allow it to continue in this direction, we will deserve what we get. And I strongly predict that what we get, we will not like.

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