Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Romney is Wrong! Corporations are NOT People

By Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Mitt Romney has claimed that corporations are people, real people! He even got upset with his audience for daring to challenge his absurd assertions. Now --when corporations are held responsible for their crimes in the same way that individuals, that real people, are held responsible for their crimes, then and only then can I even begin to take seriously the utter BS re: 'corporate personhood' that has been put forward by the GOP, by the extremists on the right wing SCOTUS or by the legion of powerful, wealthy lobbies on K-Street!

The fact is corporations are mere 'legal abstractions'; they are NOT people. The definition of 'people' may be found in biology textbooks; I deny that old men or liars in robes can redefine with a mere decree some several million years of evolution over which they have had no control or input. Robed judges are not 'God' nor can they --with a decree --change the laws of evolution and/or physics.

I deny that SCOTUS may decree that gravity will not work, that Earth will not orbit the sun or the moon, the earth! Say what it will, SCOTUS may not redefine a person; nor may it decree that words on paper may live, breate and procreate biologically as do real people. SCOTUS has no jurisdiction on this point. Rather, some several million years of biological precedent should humble the likes of Scalia.

Nor can I imagine how 'fundamentalists' reconcile their fundamentalist religious beliefs with the ludicrous idea that by squeezing a 'corporate seal' one may CREATE a person, and a REAL person at that! That SCOTUS may be taken seriously could be understandable in a state like Texas, victimized by the GOP assault on education. Texas ranks dead last in high school graduations, thanks to the GOP incompetence of Bush/Perry. However, it is not only Texas under Bush/Perry that has fallen off the radar with respect to education. Education, logic, intellect are always targeted by a party that has made of itself an enemy of erudition, science, logic and, most importantly, good will.

Real people are interchangeable in a corporation --an abstraction. Moreover, anyone can form a corporation for very little money and they can do it by mail order. The corporation is nothing more than 'data' recorded with a Secretary of State (somewhere, probably Delaware), a corporate seal, and a Certificate of Incorporation:

From Cornell University Law School:
"A corporation is a legal entity [emphasis, EC] created through the laws of its state of incorporation. Individual states have the power to promulgate laws relating to the creation, organization and dissolution of corporations. Many states follow the Model Business Corporation Act. (See Minnesota's adoption.) State corporation laws require articles of incorporation to document the corporation's creation and to provide provisions regarding the management of internal affairs. Most state corporation statutes also operate under the assumption that each corporation will adopt bylaws to define the rights and obligations of officers, persons and groups within its structure."
--Cornell University Law School
ERGO: people are INTER-CHANGEABLE in a corporation. A real person doing business as a 'sole proprietorship' does not have that luxury. To create this Orwellian interchangeability, SCOTUS seeks to bestow upon corporations 'privileges', privileges that real people are denied in the same decision.

The law treats a corporation as a legal "person" only in so far as it can sue and be sued. That is not to be confused with either legal or biological personhood. And the reason that it MAY NOT be so confused is that 'suing and being sued' DOES NOT DEFINE a person. If corporations were people, then DuPONT et al should have been put to death for the deaths it caused at Bhopal.

When has ANY corporation --at any time in history --been held to account for the many crimes to include mass murder and other atrocities in the same way that REAL PEOPLE are held to account?

NEVER!

Moreover, the legal independence of a corporation prevents shareholder liability for corporate debts; ERGO, corporations are NOT people. Real people have NO such exemptions, no such luxuries. Corporations are NOT people; SCOTUS, MITT and the GOP are dead wrong. I will be happy to set them straight.

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