In a recent article that was picked up by Infowars, author Len Hart advocates abolishing ‘corporate personhood’ by way of a constitutional amendment.
A proposed amendment would reverse the decision of the high court with respect to Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. In a 5-to-4 vote, SCOTUS ‘created’ real people of mere corporations declaring that corporations have, among every Constitutional right, a right of ‘free speech’ under the First Amendment. It was declared that the government may not ‘impose restrictions’ on the political speech that corporations may indulge. As a result, corporations and other special interest groups are now given license to spend “unlimited amounts of money on elections.” It was a green light to corporations: buy and/or support any candidate with as much money as you want to spend! The decision could not have been a bigger afront to Democracy, i.e, government of the people. Free speech is a right of people as affirmed by our founders. That corporations may now claim that right is simply fascism. Pure and simple!
While I am against any notion of “group rights” – we must remember that corporations are collections of individuals, and as such, groups of individuals must have the same freedoms as singular individuals.
The evil that comes from corporate personhood does not stem from the fact that groups of people can voluntarily voice their views, the evil comes from treating corporate groups as persons when it comes to liability laws. Holding a corporate entity liable for damages, rather than the corporate owners (or shareholders) is why corporations are so destructive to the market.
Liability under the law is not a free action (freedom) in the way the ability to speak one’s mind is. Corporate liability laws allow corporations (groups of people) to do bad things, while allowing the owners of that corporation to avoid personal responsibility for their actions. In fact, the primary purpose of incorporating is to avoid liability problems which is why entities such as limited liability corporations exist in the first place! The legal title has the reason right in its name!
Len seems to be conflating problems that are inherent with a violently funded democratic State with those of individual rights. Len thinks that allowing corporations to have free speech is bad because he fears that corporations will use their speech to influence political campaigns. However, this assumes that political campaigns are legitimate in the first place!
Len… Len… Len… The problem isn’t the fact that corporations can collectively speak their mind. The problem is that a violent State exists which can take people’s resources away from them by force. Consider that if coercive funding of the State did not exist, then it would not matter what corporations said. Limiting the freedom of groups to collectively speak their mind is not the ultimate source of the problems you are trying to solve. Nothing good ever comes from limiting the free action of individuals or groups of individuals.
For an alternative to the coercively funded State, look here: