The Corporate Conquest of America

While corporations can live forever, exist in several different places at the same time, change their identities at will, and even chop off parts of themselves or sprout new parts, the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, according to its reporter, had said that they are "persons" under the Constitution, with constitutional rights and protections as accorded to human beings. Once given this key, corporations began to assert the powers that came with their newfound rights.

First Amendment. Claiming the First Amendment right of all "persons" to free speech, corporate lawsuits against the government successfully struck down laws that prevented corporations from lobbying or giving money to politicians and political candidates.

Fourth Amendment. Earlier laws had said that a corporation had to open all its records and facilities to our governments as a condition of being chartered. But now, claiming the Fourth Amendment right of privacy, corporate lawsuits successfully struck down such laws. In later years they also sued to block Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) laws allowing for surprise safety inspections of the workplace and stopped Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) inspections of chemical factories.

Fourteenth Amendment: Claiming Fourteenth Amendment protection against discrimination (granting persons equal protection), the J. C. Penney chain store successfully sued the state of Florida, ending a law designed to help small, local business by charging chain stores a higher business license fee than that for locally owned stores.

Women Ask, "Can I Be a 'Person,' Too?"

Interestingly, during the era of the Santa Clara decision granting corporations the full protections of persons under the Constitution, two other groups also brought cases to the Supreme Court, asking for similar protections. The first group was women. This was a movement with a fascinating history, its roots in the American Revolution itself.

In March 1776 thirty-two-year-old Abigail Adams sat at her writing table in her home in Braintree, Massachusetts, a small town a few hours' ride south of Boston. The war between the American colonists and their opponents - the governors and the soldiers of the East India Company and its British protectors - had been going on for about a year. A small group of the colonists gathered in Philadelphia to edit Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence for the new nation they were certain was about to be born, and Abigail's husband, John Adams, was among the men editing that document.

Abigail had a specific concern. With pen in hand, she carefully considered her words. Assuring her husband of her love and concern for his well-being, she then shifted to the topic of the documents being drafted, asking John to be sure to "remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than [were] your ancestors."

Abigail knew that the men drafting the Declaration and other documents leading to a new republic would explicitly define and extol the rights of men, but not of women, and she and several other well-bred women were lobbying for the Constitution to refer instead to persons, people, humans, or "men and women." Her words are well-preserved, and her husband later became president of the United States, so her story is better known than those of most of her peers.

By late April, Abigail had received a response from John, but it wasn't what she was hoping for. "Depend upon it," the future president wrote to his wife, "[that] we know better than to repeal our Masculine systems."

Furious, Abigail wrote back to her husband.

Read more here.


Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 6 years 14 weeks ago

And, the better part of humanity fights on to this day

Misogynist needs to know this and realize they have a mother

"What, sir, would the people of the earth be without woman? They would be scarce, sir, almighty scarce" Mark Twain

What, sir, would the people of the earth be without woman? They would be scarce, sir, almighty scarce. Mark Twain
Read more at:, sir, would the people of the earth be without woman? They would be scarce, sir, almighty scarce. Mark Twain
Read more at:, sir, would the people of the earth be without woman? They would be scarce, sir, almighty scarce. Mark Twain
Read more at:

HotCoffee's picture
HotCoffee 6 years 14 weeks ago

As a woman I have run into very few misogynists. Perhaps it's being hyperventilated like most things today. Or perhaps because I don't run in those circles, maybe because I won't compromise myself for gain...or maybe because I don't choose to be a victim. I have worked in male dominated workplaces where a sexist man or two has entered the premises and always found myself guarded per se by other men watching over me.

This has been the case in more than one place I have worked.

Just blessed with good men that respected me I guess.

It's true some women have truly been victims ...and so have some men.

However Mark Twain is truly a treasure....that I hear many on the left are trying to ban as racisist and not pc.

geohorse's picture
geohorse 6 years 14 weeks ago

The Santa Clarita Railroad decision in the 1800's was the result of a clerical error in the write up. Apparently these things cannot be corrected as my husband was the victim of one by a certifyably mentally challenged person in the past. It was a small civil incident by really stuck in our craw.

I have the reference somewhere in my files but don't have time to look it up. Am sure you know about it--had to do with "personhood".

jefflisse's picture
jefflisse 6 years 14 weeks ago

The vast majority of the "movers and shakers"..
The corporate "titans"...
The "billionaires"..
The ones that wield power and control over others!

Are MEN!!

It was that way 2000 years ago...
It was that way 200 years ago...
And it's still (unfortunately) that way today!!

And these greedy power mongers..
[Who are the owners of most of these "corporate persons."]
Have their "women" by their sides...
Or worse yet, a few steps behind them!
It really is "fucked up"!!!

jefflisse's picture
jefflisse 6 years 14 weeks ago

I guess.. mama should have let her baby grow up to be a cowboy?!!

gumball's picture
gumball 6 years 14 weeks ago

First Amendment. Claiming the First Amendment right of all "persons" to free speech, corporate lawsuits against the government successfully struck down laws that prevented corporations from lobbying or giving money to politicians and political candidates.

False. Corporations are barred from giving money to political candidates.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 6 years 14 weeks ago

#6 - But the wacko decision by (so called) supreme court ruled in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission 2010 that corporations are people

You can't make this stuff up can you?

Sorry! But I believe the real matter of concern here is marginalisation of women kind (singular)

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 6 years 14 weeks ago

#2 - Agree about the hyper stuff currently all over the place

Just awaiting the next fad... me!

Happy you have no personal experience of mysogeny in the form of groping etc

The main body of your narrative is very interesting since I have known girls to respond to unwanted advance from males with a well aimed knee or hand or verbal shaming

Usually stops 'em dead

I'd like to believe such becomes a life changing experience for the man

will charles's picture
will charles 6 years 13 weeks ago

Corporations allow crimes to be committed under the guise of business when those same actions will land an individual in prison. They are designed by the elite and powerful to maintain the status quo. Make the rich richer and the poor to stay poor while the middle class is distracted by the modern gladiator games oblivious to their own ignorance.

Will Charles,

George Robertson's picture
George Robertson 6 years 6 weeks ago

The prime corporate edict to maximize the return on stockholders investment is not part of a list of corporate commandments it is the one and only corporate commandment. Corporations may also have some socially responsible or politically valuable policies but not any that might ever actually compromise their compliance with the prime edict.

The fact that the prime edict uses the word maximize is a very powerful statement. It requires that everything in the corporate mission must align to deliver the largest possible profit return to the stockholders. Were the word maximize replaced with word that required a competitive return, there might be some room for social responsibility, but the word in the prime edict is maximize. That makes every corporate person into a psychopath, a voracious=maniac seeking an unlimited profit goal that can never be satisfied.

Awarding "personhood" that parralells the personhood of human beings, who mostly have a conscience and limited appetites, to corporations that have neither, was down right nuts.

Jeff Stephan 5 years 51 weeks ago





MEGA GAS Corperations are

Seizing Property for PROFIT !!

CLEAR CUTTING Old Forests !!


COMMITING Oregon and America to Perpetuating Petro Pollution for Decades to come.



Marcus V's picture
Marcus V 5 years 50 weeks ago

Inspired by the divine right of money, a billionaire clique has purchased the US government. How much in dollars, in the percentage of their wealth, did it cost the new Croesus' to purchase a working government?

Clayton207's picture
Clayton207 5 years 48 weeks ago

People take the first ammendment to far, Certain groups that I won't name here burn their cities down in "protest" and call it free speach. When is there going to be a line drawn between free speach and being a criminal?

maxatisd's picture
maxatisd 5 years 44 weeks ago

Here is my take on Trump! Of course, there are two types of Trump supporters: those that benefit from his BS and those that hurt by it. This is for those hurt!


How to talk to a Trump Supporter!

I get that you're pissed off and I understand, really I do and I'm pissed off too.
But please consider this: Trump is the rodeo clown and he is very good at getting your attention. He pulls your eyes toward him all the time, doesn't he! He's loud, garish, outrageous, and he pisses allot of people off and I can see the attraction! But you, my friend are the bull! And the people pulling the belt on your balls is not the immigrants! They don't have the clout to keep you from making a decent living do they!

No, the guys pulling that belt tight are the corporations! In 1965, the average CEO pay compared to worker pay was about 20 times higher. So what is it today? How about 271 times higher! While you were looking at the rodeo clown, they were taking your money and you didn't notice!

Please consider this for a moment. So while productivity went up by 75%, wages went up by less than 10% (from 1973 to 2013)! This is not your fault or the fault of the immigrants or anyone else! Who has the power to keep you and your family barely scraping by? Think about the rodeo clown! His job is to distract the bull from the rider and keep the rider safe. The Rodeo Clown is doing a great job! So tell me, why does the bull keep falling for the same old game?

Christine Meany's picture
Christine Meany 5 years 42 weeks ago

America ... A country of corporations from limitless possibilities! Good article. I like the nose)

Christine Meany's picture
Christine Meany 5 years 42 weeks ago

America ... A country of corporations from limitless possibilities! Good article. I like the nose)

ChristyLitvak123's picture
ChristyLitvak123 5 years 42 weeks ago

You tell me to speak out. Well, here I am with a story . Please hear me!!!!!! My life has been damaged to protect a rich boy! Please, hear me!!! The courts are destroying the 2nd Amendment rights thru their liberal issuance of the restraining orders without due process, and their perversion of the Hearsay Rule. My story begins in the middle of the trial to make Sam’s temporary restraining order, permanent. My story is informative and entertaining. Please, help!. Like us on face book @

Coalage3 5 years 41 weeks ago

Billerica Tow - yes we enjoy free speech rights in America. At least for now, But be wary and vigilant because the fascist democratic party would like to take those rights away from you, especially if you are a conservative. Just like the Borg, you will assimilate, or be destroyed. Your free speech rights will stop because you might hurt somebody's feelings, don't you know?

hapuu3's picture
hapuu3 5 years 31 weeks ago

Why not tax corporations in a progressive manner? It would discourage monopolies, help the debt and be good for mom and pop.

hapuu3's picture
hapuu3 5 years 31 weeks ago

Unemployed workers from the obsolete health insurance industry could go into the new gun liability insurance business.

MarkWilliamson's picture
MarkWilliamson 5 years 30 weeks ago

Great Post :)

austinpaintpro 4 years 42 weeks ago

We have to somehow stop the ability of large corporations contributing to political parties and propelling their own agendas. These corporations are only interested in changing the las to benefit themselves, and they coubl care less about the small business like us, who end up usually being taxed more and struggling because of these gian corporations gaming the freakin system.

I wish we could take back the government from the corporate control that has changed out country so much the last 50 years. How do we solve this, I think we start with putting better people in government.

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From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"If you wonder why and when giant corporations got the power to reign supreme over us, here’s the story."
Jim Hightower, national radio commentator and author of Swim Against the Current
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From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Hartmann combines a remarkable piece of historical research with a brilliant literary style to tell the grand story of corporate corruption and its consequences for society with the force and readability of a great novel."
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