Friday, January 22, 2010

Sociopathic Politics

The Supreme Court has done it - they've made corporations people.

Welcome to the future election of the Senator from Citibank.

Thanks to the above link, Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad in 1896, the Supreme Court at the time ruled that corporations were allowed certain protections under the 14th amendment, because of what a court reporter noted in the header record of a decision that didn't talk about whether corporations are people. And in a different Supreme Court ruling on Buckley v. Valeo, they stated that the limiting of campaign contributions was, in fact, a limit on political speech, i.e., money equals speech.

I know, my reaction was "huh?", too...

So now, in their incredibly finite wisdom, the conservative majority of the Supreme Court has decided that corporations have the same rights as all of us real people. They can "talk" just as loudly as they want, because to do otherwise would be to restrict their rights as "citizens."

I don't know about you, but I've never seen a corporation vote.

Thus, corporations now have the right to contribute as much as they want to political campaigns, to particular candidates, or to particular issues. They can spend as much as they want on smears and disinformation, and they pay for the news to be broadcast as well. If AIG is paying for the fact-checking of what AIG is saying, who's to say whether AIG is lying?

There was a movie made a few years ago, a documentary entitled The Corporation. Essentially a series of case studies where the corporate model is held up to the mirror of psychoanalysis, and does not come off well. Corporations (large ones) tend to follow either a psychopathic or a sociopathic personality, i.e., there's no empathy, there's no real sense of community, and the driving force is (pretty much) greed. I know, duh, but...

A few years ago, a gentleman named Marc Kasky brought a lawsuit against Nike for lying about it's labor practices in Indonesia and Vietnam. Nike said this was protected speech under the 1st Amendment. They cited the Santa Clara v. SP Railroad decision. In other words, they could lie about whether they were mistreating their workers because it's "free speech, man!" The court ruled against them, calling it "commercial speech," which has to be factually accurate.

Would this court rule the same way, now?

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