Corporations As Frankensteins: How Can We Regain Control?

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At one of Thom's old sites, and don't ask why he had a site called http://www.knightstemplar.com, he talked about how we lost much control over the corporate form. Where once

Corporations were chartered for a single purpose, had to also serve the public good, and had fixed/limited life spans.

Then

Corporations lobbied states to change corporate charter laws to eliminate “public good” provisions from charters, to allow multiple purposes, and to exist forever.

https://web.archive.org/web/20030415174413/http://www.knightstemplar.com...

This transformation made the corporate form amoral.

We The People have given corporations numerous freebies which permit them to thrive and to accumulate wealth and power... something discussed here http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2014/07/can-capitalism-thrive-without-free-goodies-government

What should We The People require in return for this gift? Changing corporate charters to include a public good... and provisions to protect stakeholder rights... (labor and host communities not just shareholders rights) sounds reasonable. Keeping them out of the political system is also vital. Otherwise our little Frankensteins will continue to use that wealth and power to eventually bend us and our system to their will. And yet despite the threats corporations (and great wealth) pose to democracy... it's a issue that's completely absent from political debate. And that is an example of a key difference between the Right and liberals in the US. The Right has a vision, a long term strategy, and they've aggressively been pushing the envelope for the past 40 years. US liberals have no vision of what they want the US to be in 20-40-60 years, and therefore no strategy to get there. So a strategic attack on the corporate form is simply impermissible thought... just as is reforming the US to finally make it democratic.

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Comments

Too bad that pesky constitution gets in the way of the lefts repeated attempts to use the power of government to shut down political speech they don't like.

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Quote gumball:

Too bad that pesky constitution gets in the way of the lefts repeated attempts to use the power of government to shut down political speech they don't like.

The only one in a corporation who has "freedom of speech" is the CEO. Clerks and floor workers best keep their mouths shut especially if they disagree with the CEO.

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Quote gumball:

Too bad that pesky constitution gets in the way of the lefts repeated attempts to use the power of government to shut down political speech they don't like.

Corporations are NOT People. They never had the rights of People. Corporations are mentioned NO WHERE in the Constitution... neither are rights for corporations. Are you suggesting that the 14th Amendment... CLEARLY MEANT FOR HUMANS... should be hijacked to mean artificial paper entities created by government for economic purposes? If so... please find it in the actual wording:

14.1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Corporations clearly can not be born or naturalized. Any rights they may have a purely statutory... not constitutional. And the proposed Move To Amend amendment makes no distinction between corporations and unions. So your claim that the left wants to stop speech it disagrees with is just more of your typical Orwellian Right bullsh*t.

Section 1. [Artificial Entities Such as Corporations Do Not Have Constitutional Rights]

The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.

Artificial entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law.

The privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the People, through Federal, State, or local law, and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable.

Section 2. [Money is Not Free Speech]

Federal, State, and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate's own contributions and expenditures, to ensure that all citizens, regardless of their economic status, have access to the political process, and that no person gains, as a result of their money, substantially more access or ability to influence in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure.

Federal, State, and local government shall require that any permissible contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed.

The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment.

https://movetoamend.org/wethepeopleamendment

Your retraction is noted even if not offered.

When corporate money was banned from politics a century ago by the Tilman Act... it was because the abuses had become intolerable and had corrupted the political system. Your idea that it we should NOT be able to protect our political system from such corruption undermines the very constitution you believes guarantees this right.

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Quote Combad57:The only one in a corporation who has "freedom of speech" is the CEO. Clerks and floor workers best keep their mouths shut especially if they disagree with the CEO.

Corporations by design are private tyrannies designed to aggregate wealth and maximize profits. We can not let them use their wealth and power to hijack the political system that created them.

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I guess we will go down this rabbit hole again. If organizations of people are not covered by the 14th what is to stop the state of Texas from confiscating all the assets of planned parenthood within the state?

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Quote gumball:Too bad that pesky constitution gets in the way of the lefts repeated attempts to use the power of government to shut down political speech they don't like.
So you’re approving crony capitalism under the “free speech” banner?

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Organizations of people come in different motives with different hierarchical forms. In a corporation, labor used to have a voice. As we move toward fascism, labor has been marginalized and capital speaks much more powerfully to the extent that they write the country's legislation. Thus they are allowed to merge and acquire other entities to form oligopolies and monopolies. In that manner they create barriers to entry that no competing entity can overcome.

The huge corporation can stifle free speech from its employees and do through sheer intimidation. If you took a secret vote of the employees about an issue of labor practices, do you think the rank and file would agree with upper management? Very doubtful. Would the miners at Massey Energy agree to go underground amid noxious gases and die if they could vote on the matter? Yet Don Blankenship and top management sent them down there. So 29 of them died. All they knew is that if they didn't, they would lose their $74,000/year jobs.

Do you think employees at Chrysler, RCA, Western Electric, and Bethlehem Steel voted to close down their plants and become unemployed? A corporation under its present structure is anything but a democratic entity. It's a system of lords and serfs similar to the old days of feudalism.

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Quote gumball:

I guess we will go down this rabbit hole again. If organizations of people are not covered by the 14th what is to stop the state of Texas from confiscating all the assets of planned parenthood within the state?

You're back to doing what you always do... evading questions you don't want to answer and trying to hijack the discussion.

1: Show us where in the 14th that a federal law clearly meant for HUMANS can apply to an artificial entity created by the state.

2: You claimed that libs were trying to shut down speech they disagreed with. Show us where in an effort like Move To Amend that's true with it's clear it's aimed at ALL artificial entities including unions.

3: In your mind it may make perfect sense to extend rights of humans to artificial legal entities such as Planned Parenthood. But just because you WISH it to be true, doesn't mean it's in Constitution. If we look at the Constitution as giving limited powers the best case you can make when it comes to seizing property is the Fourth and the Fifth. The Fourth applies only to People.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

And the Fifth says NOTHING about the rights except those of the People... though it gives the government NO power to seize ANY private property EXCEPT for public use.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

But it would seem the property owned by artificial entities is safe... unless a crime has been committed or it's taken for public use. There's no need for to bastardize the 14th to INVENT this right for corporations.

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Quote gumball:

I guess we will go down this rabbit hole again. If organizations of people are not covered by the 14th what is to stop the state of Texas from confiscating all the assets of planned parenthood within the state?

Now do you intend to deal with the actual topic of this thread?

Didn't think so.

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They can, under due process of law. Just not going to happen. Well, maybe in Texas.

But more to the point, the state of Texas does have applicable laws which regulate PP and other institutions. Regulations are not unconstitutional. If they were, all laws would be unconstitutional because they necessarilly involve some kind of potential interference with an individual's personal needs or desires in their respective pursuit of happiness. That's just simply an absurdity that the right keeps promoting, that a Constitution which is designed to promote law contradicts any law that Republicans don't like.

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Quote ulTRAX:

1: Show us where in the 14th that a federal law clearly meant for HUMANS can apply to an artificial entity created by the state.

The "artificial entitiy" in question is an organization of people. Does the rights of people extend to organizations of people? That is what the supreme court has ruled.

Quote ulTRAX:

2: You claimed that libs were trying to shut down speech they disagreed with. Show us where in an effort like Move To Amend that's true with it's clear it's aimed at ALL artificial entities including unions.

I would suggest that most have not thought through the full consequences and are only acting out of a dislike for the content of particular speech.

Quote ulTRAX:

3: In your mind it may make perfect sense to extend rights of humans to artificial legal entities such as Planned Parenthood. But just because you WISH it to be true, doesn't mean it's in Constitution. If we look at the Constitution as giving limited powers the best case you can make when it comes to seizing property is the Fourth and the Fifth. The Fourth applies only to People.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

And the Fifth says NOTHING about the rights except those of the People... though it gives the government NO power to seize ANY private property EXCEPT for public use.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

But it would seem the property owned by artificial entities is safe... unless a crime has been committed or it's taken for public use. There's no need for to bastardize the 14th to INVENT this right for corporations.

I'm not sure what you are getting at here, are you saying I am correct and that under your interpretation of organizations of people having no constitutional protections than a state can seize all the property with out due process?

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Quote al3:
Quote gumball:Too bad that pesky constitution gets in the way of the lefts repeated attempts to use the power of government to shut down political speech they don't like.
So you’re approving crony capitalism under the “free speech” banner?

No. I would say that the protection of speech, and political speech most, is one of the core protections that make are system of government accountable to the people.

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Quote nimblecivet:That's just simply an absurdity that the right keeps promoting, that a Constitution which is designed to promote law contradicts any law that Republicans don't like.

The Constitution is somewhat of a mess. The So-called Constitutional Convention believed rights were secure by the very construction of the Constitution... so it's core assumptions about rights vs government power were never stated... and all we get decipher those assumptions are after thoughts like the Ninth and Tenth. So it gives plenty of room for the devious to play with. But it seems to be the right that goes beyond this to rewrite the Constitution in their image... like their attempt to bastardize even the CLEAR meaning of the Constitution... such as when they negate the militia clause of the Second and claim that the 14th... which could not be more clear that it applies only to HUMANS... is extended to cover legal entities created by statute. Scalia... who they right likes to see as the defender of the Constitution most bastardizes it to claim that RIGHTS can be limited to those enumerated... any common law ones he approves of... and government powers can extend beyond those prescribed to that which isn't prohibited. His new "rules" allow him to use the court in a totally partisan manner and to block any rights he doesn't want anyone to have.

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To gain control, the first step is to get money out of politics. Easier said than done but an attempt was made at one time with McCain-Feingold. Big corporate found a way around it and bought enough politicians as to make it ineffective. The next step is to educate the voting public that their politicians are nothing more than lapdogs for big corporate and get a huge turnover in the congress replacing the corporatists with grass roots populist members. It's a tall order indeed. Corporate designed propaganda has taken hold in the populace by harping on the "government is bad" mantra. Make it known far and wide that government is big corporate. It's not a government of, by and for the people.

I'm afraid it's up to the democratic party to spread this message so the progressive wing must take over the party to accomplish that. There is some hope that this can be accomplished at some point as the gen-xers and millenials are responding to the messaging of Sanders and Warren. The party must be unified and clear as a bell in their messaging. Maybe replace Wasserman Schultz with Sherrod Brown. Start with the election of Grayson and Feingold to the Senate.

It will probably be a long tough slog as the boomers and the grays are propagandized enough to be no sell. It's the younger generations who have been short changed by pulling the rug out from under their "American Dream."

But let's get started.

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Quote Combad57:

To gain control, the first step is to get money out of politics.

You are reminding me of what Thom told me when I brought up our antidemocratic Constitution. In his mind Citizen's United was the source of all evil.

But we've been there, we've done that... to whatever extent this was the case before Citizens United. I didn't see libs or Dems flocking to any reform corporate charters movement before CU or to reform the Constitution.

The real issue are the ideological blind-spots of what passes for liberalism in the US. Just as they are blind to how the Constitution is antidemocratic and works against liberal causes... so to are they blind to the nature of corporations and the strategic thrust on the part of the Right to give them more rights.

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"Corporations are not people" may make for a good bumper sticker but it does not make good policy.

If organizations of people are not covered by constitutional protections a whole can of worms is opened up. What is to stop a state from passing a law specifically targeting points of view? To prohibit organizations of people from advocating for pro choice? To prohibit organizations from criticizing Fracking?

Would a law even need to be passed to confiscate corporate assets? Could the governor of Texas order the Rangers to go to every planned parenthood office and shut them down? Or to send them to down the Sierra Club offices and shut them down?

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Quote gumball:If organizations of people are not covered by constitutional protections a whole can of worms is opened up.
SHOW US WHERE IN THE CONSTITUTION CORPORATIONS HAVE RIGHTS MADE FOR HUMANS?

How many times do I have to ask?

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Quote gumball:
Quote ulTRAX:

1: Show us where in the 14th that a federal law clearly meant for HUMANS can apply to an artificial entity created by the state.

The "artificial entity" in question is an organization of people. Does the rights of people extend to organizations of people? That is what the supreme court has ruled.

It's clear you're going to evade this question.

CORPORATIONS WERE DESIGNED TO SEPARATE LEGAL FUNCTIONS FROM THE HUMANS THAT OWN THEM.... or in the case of a trust no one may own it. Like a trust or an estate... it has a legal life of it's own... and it's merely administered.

There is NO natural or constitutional right that entitles humans to own these entities. They are privileges granted by government and that government can set the conditions for their operation.

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Quote gumball:
Quote ulTRAX:2: You claimed that libs were trying to shut down speech they disagreed with. Show us where in an effort like Move To Amend that's true with it's clear it's aimed at ALL artificial entities including unions.

I would suggest that most have not thought through the full consequences and are only acting out of a dislike for the content of particular speech.

You've failed to prove that accusation... so repeating it doesn't make it more true. MTA is merely saying ALL such legal entities are artificially created and have no natural rights which are protected only rights that are permitted. This doesn't deny the individual rights of those who own or belong to such an entity. The only exception in the Constitution is the press. How many were corporate owned back in 1787... I don't know... though a corporation in that era wasn't the modern ones we have today. The limited liability corporation was created I believe around 1819. They were typically created to perform a certain function like building a turnpike or a canal... and they usually contained time limits to perform that function. All of that begins to change around the 1880s.

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Quote ulTRAX:
Quote gumball:If organizations of people are not covered by constitutional protections a whole can of worms is opened up.
SHOW US WHERE IN THE CONSTITUTION CORPORATIONS HAVE RIGHTS MADE FOR HUMANS?

How many times do I have to ask?

Once again....corporations are organizations of people. The supreme court has ruled that organizations of people have constitutional rights.

The simplistic, bumper sticker slogan "Corporations are not people!!!!!" has become so imprinted in the liberal mind that you can not comprehend that they are organizations of people.

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Quote ulTRAX:
Quote gumball:
Quote ulTRAX:2: You claimed that libs were trying to shut down speech they disagreed with. Show us where in an effort like Move To Amend that's true with it's clear it's aimed at ALL artificial entities including unions.

I would suggest that most have not thought through the full consequences and are only acting out of a dislike for the content of particular speech.

You've failed to prove that accusation... so repeating it doesn't make it more true. MTA is merely saying ALL such legal entities are artificially created and have no natural rights which are protected only rights that are permitted. This doesn't deny the individual rights of those who own or belong to such an entity. The only exception in the Constitution is the press. How many were corporate owned back in 1787... I don't know... though a corporation in that era wasn't the modern ones we have today. The limited liability corporation was created I believe around 1819. They were typically created to perform a certain function like building a turnpike or a canal... and they usually contained time limits to perform that function. All of that begins to change around the 1880s.

Ok, I will retract my assertion.

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Quote gumball:Would a law even need to be passed to confiscate corporate assets? Could the governor of Texas order the Rangers to go to every planned parenthood office and shut them down? Or to send them to down the Sierra Club offices and shut them down?

I took quite some time answering that question the first time you asked it...

http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2015/11/corporations-frankensteins-how...

and you blew off the answer. TRY READING FOR COMPREHENSION.

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Quote gumball:
Quote ulTRAX:
Quote gumball:If organizations of people are not covered by constitutional protections a whole can of worms is opened up.
SHOW US WHERE IN THE CONSTITUTION CORPORATIONS HAVE RIGHTS MADE FOR HUMANS?

How many times do I have to ask?

Once again....corporations are organizations of people. The supreme court has ruled that organizations of people have constitutional rights.

The simplistic, bumper sticker slogan "Corporations are not people!!!!!" has become so imprinted in the liberal mind that you can not comprehend that they are organizations of people.

This partisan Supreme Court has ruled wrongly on numerous issues... as they did when the bastardized the Second to negate the militia clause... and Scalia routinely ignores the Ninth even though its original intent is quite clear. Why would bastardizing the 14th be any different?

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I was confused. Your points seemed to agree with me but then you conclusion says something different.

If organizations of people are not covered by the constitutions then my points stand, do they not?

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The original purpose of a charter was to accomplish a specific task and once that task was completed, the corporation was dissolved. Thus the corporation is a tool just like a hammer or a shovel. It never was an "organization of people" who were like minded. Just as a hammer needs a human to make it effective, corporations need people to accomplish the task. That's all. Humans are the machinery of the corporation. It is not a living thing and thus has no rights as stated for humans in the Constitution.

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Quote Combad57:

The original purpose of a charter was to accomplish a specific task and once that task was completed, the corporation was dissolved.

Source?

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http://reclaimdemocracy.org/corporate-accountability-history-corporations-us/

Now show me anywhere in the Constitution that gives rights to corporations. Just give me article and section or amenement.

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Quote Combad57:

http://reclaimdemocracy.org/corporate-accountability-history-corporations-us/

What is the source of your "source"?

Quote Combad57:

Now show me anywhere in the Constitution that gives rights to corporations. Just give me article and section or amenement.

You may disagree with the conclusion that organizations of people retain constitutional rights but that is the conclusion reached in numerous supreme court cases.

Does the Constitution protect Planned Parenthood from unlawful search and seizure? According to your interpretation it does not.

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Quote gumball:

I was confused. Your points seemed to agree with me but then you conclusion says something different.

Read it again. It said nothing of the sort.

Quote gumball:If organizations of people are not covered by the constitutions then my points stand, do they not?

Uh?

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Perhaps I'm just slow because no matter how many times I read it you go on in length how the fourth and fifth only applies to people and then conclude that the property of corporations is safe.

Which is it? Does the fourth and fifth apply to corporations or does it not?

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Quote gumball:
Quote Combad57:

The original purpose of a charter was to accomplish a specific task and once that task was completed, the corporation was dissolved.

Source?

Today's corporations have little in common with those of the late 1700s.

https://hbr.org/2010/04/what-the-founding-fathers-real.html

A couple months ago the Supreme Court ruled that restricting corporate political spending amounted to restricting free speech. In this view, corporations are pretty much equivalent to people. Would that have seemed reasonable to the Founding Fathers?

In a word, no.

I read this opinion carefully — I’m trained as a historian, not a lawyer. Chief Justice Roberts lays out an ideologically pure view of corporations as associations of citizens — leveling differences between companies, schools and other groups. So in his view Boeing is no different from Harvard, which is no different from the NAACP, or Citizens United, or my local neighborhood civic association. It’s lovely prose, but as a matter of history the majority is simply wrong.

Let me put it this way: the Founders did not confuse Boston’s Sons of Liberty with the British East India Company. They could distinguish among different varieties of association — and they understood that corporate personhood was a legal fiction that was limited to a courtroom. It wasn’t literal. Corporations could not vote or hold office. They held property, and to enable a shifting group of shareholders to hold that property over time and to sue and be sued in court, they were granted this fictive personhood in a limited legal context.

Early Americans had a far more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of corporations than the Court gives them credit for. They were much more comfortable with retaining pre-Revolutionary city or school charters than with creating new corporations that would concentrate economic and political power in potentially unaccountable institutions. When you read Madison in particular, you see that he wasn’t blindly hostile to banks during his fight with Alexander Hamilton over the Bank of the United States. Instead, he’s worried about the unchecked power of accumulations of capital that come with creating a class of bankers.

So even as this generation of Americans became comfortable with the idea of using the corporate form as a way to set priorities and mobilize capital, they did their best to make sure that those institutions were subordinate to elected officials and representative government. They saw corporations as corrupting influences on both the economy at large and on government — that’s why they described the East India Company as imperium in imperio, a sort of “state within a state.” This wasn’t an outcome they were looking to replicate.

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Thom quoting the findings of corporate anthropologist Jane Anne Morris

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/735:unequal-protection-the-early-r...

In researching nineteenth-century laws regulating corporations, Morris found that in Wisconsin, as in most other states at that time:

Corporations were required to have a clear purpose, to be fulfilled but not exceeded.2

Corporations’ licenses to do business were revocable by the state legis- lature if they exceeded or did not fulfill their chartered purpose(s).3

The state legislature could revoke a corporation’s charter if it misbehaved.4

The act of incorporation did not relieve corporate management or stockholders/owners of responsibility or liability for corporate acts.5

As a matter of course, corporation officers, directors, or agents couldn’t break the law and avoid punishment by claiming they were “just doing their job” when committing crimes but instead could be held criminally liable for violating the law.6

State (not federal) courts heard cases where corporations or their agents were accused of breaking the law or harming the public.7

Directors of the corporation were required to come from among stockholders.8

Corporations had to have their headquarters and meetings in the state where their principal place of business was located.9

Corporation charters were granted for a specific period of time, such as twenty or thirty years (instead of being granted “in perpetuity,” as is now the practice).10

Corporations were prohibited from owning stock in other corporations, to prevent them from extending their power inappropriately.11

Corporations’ real estate holdings were limited to what was necessary to carry out their specific purpose(s).12

Corporations were prohibited from making any political contributions, direct or indirect.13

Corporations were prohibited from making charitable or civic donations outside of their specific purposes.14

State legislatures could set the rates that some monopoly corporations could charge for their products or services.15

All corporation records and documents were open to the legislature or the state attorney general.16

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Quote gumball:

Perhaps I'm just slow because no matter how many times I read it you go on in length how the fourth and fifth only applies to people and then conclude that the property of corporations is safe.

Which is it? Does the fourth and fifth apply to corporations or does it not?

The Fifth constantly mentions the rights of person, but very end of the Fifth having property taken is NOT qualified as a right of a person... it seems to be saying ANY private property is protected. And since the government was only given limited powers... the only power it was given in this area was to take property EXCEPT for a public use. So it would seem to be illegal to try seize the property any for any OTHER reasons as you suggested... ie political purposes.

nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

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So according to your interpretation corporations do not have a right against unreasonable search and SEIZURE, unless it is seized for public use.

So as long as Texas does not use the seized Planned Parenthood property for public use then they are well within their constitutional power.

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Here's a tedius, rigorous and in the present day nearly hopeless solution;

http://www.corporations.org/solutions/

At least it has referenced all the ills overgrown corporations have foisted upon us.

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Quote gumball:

So according to your interpretation corporations do not have a right against unreasonable search and SEIZURE, unless it is seized for public use.

So as long as Texas does not use the seized Planned Parenthood property for public use then they are well within their constitutional power.

To quote from post 9 http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2015/11/corporations-frankensteins-how...

You're back to doing what you always do... evading questions you don't want to answer and trying to hijack the discussion.

1: Show us where in the 14th that a federal law clearly meant for HUMANS can apply to an artificial entity created by the state.

2: You claimed that libs were trying to shut down speech they disagreed with. Show us where in an effort like Move To Amend that's true with it's clear it's aimed at ALL artificial entities including unions.

3: In your mind it may make perfect sense to extend rights of humans to artificial legal entities such as Planned Parenthood. But just because you WISH it to be true, doesn't mean it's in Constitution. If we look at the Constitution as giving limited powers the best case you can make when it comes to seizing property is the Fourth and the Fifth. The Fourth applies only to People.

We dealt with #2... WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO ACKNOWLEDGE that the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments apply only to living PERSONS. If you have a complaint... talk to the Framers, the First Congress, and the states that ratified these amendments.

As I said, I believe the Constitution is a mess. One may argue that if the federal government was given no specific power over corporations then they can also have the rights of "persons". But then that violates the core concept of natural rights that the Constitution is built upon... that natural rights belong only to PEOPLE... (except slaves apparently) and corporations have no natural rights since they are CREATIONS of government. Government doesn't get its powers from subtracting some rights from corporations... only from PERSONS. So the "no powers" argument is a dead end. But the Fifth is clear that private property... even unconnected to a person, is protected. Hence the first half of the Move To Amend amendment seems pointless and MTA should instead be arguing for the LITERAL interpretation of the BoR...

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Quote ulTRAX:

But the Fifth is clear that private property... even unconnected to a person, is protected.

Yes. it clearly states that when used for public purpose they must provide compensation. According to your interpretation they can search and seize corporate property without due process as long as they do not use it for public purpose.

Now on the 14th amendment it says this;

"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

So according to your interpretation a state may specifically outlaw speech by specific organizations of people. For instance Texas could pass a law that says that Planned Parenthood can not advertise their services, endorse candidates or petition the government for or against laws they disagree with.

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Quote ulTRAX:

We dealt with #2... WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO ACKNOWLEDGE that the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments apply only to living PERSONS. If you have a complaint... talk to the Framers, the First Congress, and the states that ratified these amendments.

Once again....the Supreme court has ruled that corporations are organizations of people and therefor are covered. You may disagree but to suggest that it an wholly illogical conclusion is being obtuse.

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Quote gumball:
Quote ulTRAX:

We dealt with #2... WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO ACKNOWLEDGE that the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments apply only to living PERSONS. If you have a complaint... talk to the Framers, the First Congress, and the states that ratified these amendments.

Once again....the Supreme court has ruled that corporations are organizations of people and therefor are covered. You may disagree but to suggest that it an wholly illogical conclusion is being obtuse.

Suddenly the Supreme Court knows what the Framers, the First Congress, and the State meant?

And the SPECIFIC basis of this court ruling is.....? How long do we have to wait?

Please find it in the Constitution and post it so we can stop playing these games.

Oh, that's right. You don't like to waste time backing up what you claim. You just want to direct discussion in directions you want.

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UlTRAX, I’d rather focus on an answer to the question in your OP— how can we regain control?

Any sane observation must conclude that if corporations can be understood as persons at all, they must be understood as criminals. That is, if they are persons —which I deny— they are criminal persons and must not be allowed to destroy lives, destroy democracy, destroy biodiversity, violate the laws of sovereign nations with impunity, and, ultimately, ruin all life on this magnificent planet. Thus, an argument about whether corporations have the same “rights” as human persons only diverts those of us who comprehend the ugly, ignorant reality of corporations from opposing them effectively.

We understand this much: unlike natural persons, corporate “persons” have an inverted hierarchy of values. That is to say, where healthy biological persons place life, health, cooperation, love and other human values at the top of their priorities, corporate “persons” place profit, domination, competition, avarice and other anti-life, anti-human values at the top of their priorities. This is the reason that corporations act as criminals— their spirit of power and control becomes a recipe for crimes against humanity and the natural world.

For starters, if you want to deprive Monsanto of its power over the food system, grow a garden:

Vandana Shiva on ideas for resistance: http://ijpr.org/post/vandana-shiva-gmo-resistance#stream/0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMSzyF_BKXc

Then, if every corporation has eighty lobbyists for every member of Congress (my guess), then each one of us must put lobbying Congress on each day's calendar. That has to become a habit of citizenship.

Civil disobedience. We don't have to comply, just because some dingbats in a legislature listened to corporate lobbyists and passed legislation that serves corporations and harms the people. Disobey!

Zenzoe
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Quote Zenzoe:

UlTRAX, I’d rather focus on an answer to the question in your OP— how can we regain control?

You're right. Gummie isn't here to discuss anything... only to disrupt thread. But it wasn't all a waste of time. It did make me realize a core defect in the corporate person-hood argument... that the core assumption of the Constitution is to subtract government powers from the natural right of humans. Corporations as creations of the state never had natural rights... even if owned by humans. They are legal entities created as useful tools to be used by humans and the most they can have are statutory rights... with a few possible exceptions such as free speech for the press and freedom for religion for either the individual or collectively. Where these fall as either natural rights, positive rights, or a combination...

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Quote Zenzoe:Any sane observation must conclude that if corporations can be understood as persons at all, they must be understood as criminals.

There's nothing inherent in the concept of a corporation that requires it to be amoral. After all, religious institutions and charities routinely incorporate. It seems the courts are responsible for making business corporations amoral when they created the standard that management has a fiduciary responsibly to shareholders. That sounds as if it makes a certain amount of common sense. But there are no countervailing decisions that prevent business corporations from making profits by being sociopathic or abusing other stakeholders... such as labor or the communities a corporation operates in.

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Quote ulTRAX:

Quote Zenzoe:Any sane observation must conclude that if corporations can be understood as persons at all, they must be understood as criminals.

There's nothing inherent in the concept of a corporation that requires it to be amoral. After all, religious institutions and charities routinely incorporate. It seems the courts are responsible for making business corporations amoral when they created the standard that management has a fiduciary responsibly to shareholders. That sounds as if it makes a certain amount of common sense. But there are no countervailing decisions that prevent business corporations from making profits by being sociopathic or abusing other stakeholders... such as labor or the communities a corporation operates in.

UlTRAX, I did not stop by to argue with you. In case you can’t tell, I’m friendly to you and your thread.

My attitude about corporations as “criminals” assumed the same understanding of the subject as did your statement of corporations as “frankensteins.” I did not come along and correct you, by saying, for example, “there’s nothing inherently frankenstenian about corporations; after all, religious institutions and charities routinely incorporate.” I think it’s understood we’re talking about big business corporations and not other sorts of institutions.

Anyway, I am not a legal scholar. I don’t know if you are one, but I’m also not here to insult your intelligence, and I would hope you would not insult mine. It’s clear to me you’re a fine thinker; I prefer not to argue with you and simply wish to make a few comments in support of your general point and question.

Whether or not the law requires business corporations to put profit ahead of all other values, in the name of “shareholder wealth maximization,” or serving shareholder’s “best interests” —and, technically, it does not*— is less important than the obvious reality that many large corporations, regardless of the law, do immoral things that do damage to environments —which includes damage to human beings and other species who live in such environments— and to the physical, economic, psychological, and societal lives of real people. And they get away with it all the time.

* The leading statement of the law's view on corporate social responsibility goes back to Dodge v. Ford Motor Co, a 1919 decision that held that "a business corporation is organized and carried on primarily for the profit of the stockholders." That case — in which Henry Ford was challenged by shareholders when he tried to reduce car prices at their expense — also established that "it is not within the lawful powers of a board of directors to shape and conduct the affairs of a corporation for the merely incidental benefit of shareholders and for the primary purpose of benefiting others." http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2015/04/16/what-are-corporations-obligations-to-shareholders/a-duty-to-shareholder-value

So, what in your opinion should we do to force business corporations, such as Monsanto, to respect the notion of corporate social responsibility?

Zenzoe
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Quote ulTRAX:

Suddenly the Supreme Court knows what the Framers, the First Congress, and the State meant?

And the SPECIFIC basis of this court ruling is.....? How long do we have to wait?

Please find it in the Constitution and post it so we can stop playing these games.

Oh, that's right. You don't like to waste time backing up what you claim. You just want to direct discussion in directions you want.


It clearly doesn't specify on the issue of organizations of people.

So with this realization government is now free to pass laws outlawing the Sierra club from being critical of politicians it sees as unfriendly to environmental issues. Government is now free to outlaw Planned Parenthood from speaking out against anti abortion politicians. Government is now free to outlaw NAACP from endorsing candidates and speaking out against voter laws. Government is free to outlaw TV shows from addressing any issue it sees fit. Government is now free to block documentaries from being released based on any criteria it sees fit.

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Quote Zenzoe:

Quote ulTRAX:

Quote Zenzoe:Any sane observation must conclude that if corporations can be understood as persons at all, they must be understood as criminals.

There's nothing inherent in the concept of a corporation that requires it to be amoral. After all, religious institutions and charities routinely incorporate. It seems the courts are responsible for making business corporations amoral when they created the standard that management has a fiduciary responsibly to shareholders. That sounds as if it makes a certain amount of common sense. But there are no countervailing decisions that prevent business corporations from making profits by being sociopathic or abusing other stakeholders... such as labor or the communities a corporation operates in.

UlTRAX, I did not stop by to argue with you. In case you can’t tell, I’m friendly to you and your thread.

Sure... I realize that. I was only commenting on what seemed to be your condemnation of the corporate form regardless of its mission. I did intend to get back to the rest of your post.

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Cool. I hope you do get back on the rest of my comments, but if not, there they are...

:-)

Zenzoe
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Quote gumball:It clearly doesn't specify on the issue of organizations of people.
FINALLY... a recognition that the 14th was ONLY meant for humans.

Quote gumball:So with this realization government is now free to pass laws outlawing the Sierra club from being critical of politicians it sees as unfriendly to environmental issues. Government is now free to outlaw Planned Parenthood from speaking out against anti abortion politicians. Government is now free to outlaw NAACP from endorsing candidates and speaking out against voter laws. Government is free to outlaw TV shows from addressing any issue it sees fit. Government is now free to block documentaries from being released based on any criteria it sees fit.

OK... so are we through with seizing property? You tend to never acknowledge when you cede a point unless dragged kicking and screaming.

The other issues you raised were about property. Given the construction of the Constitution is somewhat if a mess... there seem to be three ways to deal with this.

1: That there's a natural right that has not been surrendered to create government powers

2: There's a positive right created to limit government powers, or

3: Government wasn't given any powers or prohibitions to act on X.

With the 14th and 5th out of the way... one might think that of course freedom of speech should apply to groups who use the tool of incorporation for the purpose of freedom of speech. And given the First doesn't specify that this freedom applies to individuals... only that government can't abridge it... then this right looks protected for individuals or groups.

But government has other interests such as protecting the political system from corruption or its appearance. What Citizens United over threw was this ruling just made in 1989 in Austin v Mich Chamber of Commerce...

Although 54(1)'s requirements burden the Chamber's exercise of political expression, see FEC v. Massachusetts Citizens for Life, Inc., 479 U.S. 238, 252 (MCFL), they are justified by a compelling state interest: preventing corruption or the appearance of corruption in the political arena by reducing the threat that huge corporate treasuries, which are amassed with the aid of favorable state laws and have little or no correlation to the public's support for the corporation's political ideas, will be used to influence unfairly election outcomes.

You've called this a mere attempt to silence opposing voices. IT'S TRYING TO PROTECT AGAINST CORRUPTION... AND TO PREVENT CORPORATIONS FROM HIJACKING THE SYSTEM

DIRECT QUESTION: Are you EVER going to admit these issues are of legitimate concern? Yes Or No?

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/494/652.html

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Quote Zenzoe:

We understand this much: unlike natural persons, corporate “persons” have an inverted hierarchy of values. That is to say, where healthy biological persons place life, health, cooperation, love and other human values at the top of their priorities, corporate “persons” place profit, domination, competition, avarice and other anti-life, anti-human values at the top of their priorities. This is the reason that corporations act as criminals— their spirit of power and control becomes a recipe for crimes against humanity and the natural world.

Business in the corporate form... especially with all the freebies it gets from government has become amoral and it's efficient in its ruthlessness. These corporations were not designed through a democratic process to reflect the character of a "democratic" nation with varied and conflicting interests. Their current form is largely because of court rulings and instead of devising a business model that was more cooperative with other stakeholders... unions and communities, we now have Frankensteins with their own imperatives and logic. After a century or more... we've just come to accept them as some fundamental force of nature that can't really be trusted... and we stopped thinking about them. Instead of reform of the corporate form, we've spent a century trying to tame our Frankensteins... with laws on safe food and drugs, work place safety, ending child labor, a minimum wage, unemployment and disability protections, a 40 hour work week... etc. But we never confronted the core issue of reforming their charters.

We can't expect democratic and corporate reforms to ever come from the right. But where the hell is the "left"? Like with its failure to come to grips with ours being an antidemocratic system, it's just another blind spot in liberal ideology. And now half the Democratic Party is being corrupted with corporate money.

Libs in the US have no vision of where they want to take the US in 20-40-60 years. They tend to think only as far ahead as the next presidential election. They've never had an effective response to the Right's master game plan that was put in motion in the late 70s... to hijack the federal judiciary, defund the Democratic Party by going after unions and trial lawyers, creating as much debt as they could with irresponsible tax cuts, suppress the vote, create a Orwellian Right echo chamber etc.

What is the answer? Libs need to create their own vision of where they want to take the US... and build a long term strategy around it. But I have no hopes this is going to happen. Just as our system is getting more and more antidemocratic and harder to reform, so is momentum building for the corporate and right wing agendas.

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I'm certainly not going to wait around for the Democratic Party to develop a long-term strategy. I’m more interested in grassroots organizing for social justice. Trouble is, lots of grassroots organizations exist, but they’re small and usually single-issue oriented.

This organization —Resist.org— puts many of those organizations under one umbrella and funnels funding to them. That seems like a great idea to me.

Zenzoe
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Quote ulTRAX:

FINALLY... a recognition that the 14th was ONLY meant for humans.

Unless they organize as a group, then it is not applicable.

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What Do Democrats Really Want?

Thom plus logo Thomas Friedman, the confused billionaire, told us decades ago that "free trade" is what made the Lexus a successful product when, in fact, it was decades of Japanese government subsidies and explicit tariffs that did so.
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