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Jan-26-2010 19:30printcomments

The New Feudalism

The future will depend on whether the trend of increasing corporate wealth and power is allowed to continue.

The power of corporations is a direct threat to personal freedom.
The power of corporations is a direct threat to personal freedom.

(GOLD RIVER, B.C.) - The social system in most of Europe during the Middle Ages is known as feudalism. A similar system existed in Japan.

A defining characteristic of this system is that a ruler holds all title to land and dispenses use of the land to retainers in return for their loyalty and service in support of the ruler.

These retainers in turn have there own retainers on down the line until we reach the serf at the bottom of the pyramid.

A person who works for and is dependent upon those above for their survival. Eventually this system gave way to one based on class, and theoretically now to one based on democracy for all citizens of legal age regardless of class or gender, giving them a say in how society operates.

History shows us that social systems are in continuous flux, some times one way and some times another, and some times faster or slower. Where our current system is going is a good question all of us should ask and think about. This particularly if there are directions that we care very much that we do not want it to go.

Recently in the United States the Supreme Court issue a ruling that overturned the McCain - Feingold campaign finance reform law that limited the ability of corporations to spend money on political advertising. The ruling was based on the issue of free speech, which the court ruled applies to corporations which for over a century have been considered a person under the law.

The idea that corporate groups have rights equal to those of real persons in a society is a threat to any form of democracy based on the equality of the individual, and is a step in social evolution backward towards the structures of the Middle Ages.

Recognizing the rights of corporations as equal to those of actual persons increases the power of accumulated wealth to decide what the rules are that govern how we can live our lives.

When corporations exercise their influence there is little doubt that when the question is between corporate interest and the well being of society, which way they will influence the decision.

The power of corporations is a direct threat to personal freedom. The more this power increases the more people are made dependent upon them and the less ability people have to deviate from what the corporations want them to do. As corporate power grows corporations absorb more and more of our infrastructure, buying up businesses and property and taking over government services.

The end result could be a return to a feudal system where most of the population are serfs in the service of one corporation or another. Unlike the older feudal structures, however, instead of the ruler being at the top of the pile, in today's developing feudal society the corporations own the rulers who are being reduced to corporate functionaries. The real power lies in the board rooms.

The recent Supreme Court ruling is a step in the direction of greater corporate influence in our lives, and not just American lives since the United States has such a great impact on world society, whatever happens there sends ripples throughout the rest of the world, particularly in Canada which is so closely bound to it.

The future will depend on whether the trend of increasing corporate wealth and power is allowed to continue. If it does, the ideals of freedom and democracy will be replaced with ones emphasizing compliance and loyalty to corporate will. Reversing the trend will require public pressure, a lot of it, to reduce corporate power and increase the power of the individual.

To maintain and expand our freedom we need to vote for politicians willing to change the legal status of corporations, and make them subservient to the public, not the other way around.

We need leaders who will take away corporate personhood, who will make corporations justify their existence and go through a public review process before they are granted a charter, and go through it periodically to get their charter renewed. We need to put an end to limited liability and make those who own corporations responsible for corporate actions.

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Jerry West grew up on a farm in Fresno County, California, and served with the US Marine Corps from 1965 to 1970 including 19 months in Vietnam with the Third Marine Division, and three years at MCAS Iwakuni where he became an anti-war organizer in 1970. He earned an Honors Degree in History at the University of California, Berkeley, and did two years of graduate study there. While in university he worked seasonally in fire and law enforcement with the US Forest Service.

After university he worked for a number of years in the international tour industry in operations and management before moving to a remote village on the west coast of Vancouver Island where he is currently the editor and publisher of The Record newspaper serving the Nootka Sound region. He is a Past President of the Northern California Land Trust, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

You can email Jerry West, Salem-News.com Writer, at: newsroom@salem-news.com




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Jerry Madison February 3, 2010 6:28 pm (Pacific time)

I agree with you Jerry West, there needs to be some congressional action taken to rein in some of these large corporations and Wall Street banks. Have you ever taken the time to look up where a significant portion of their political donations go? An historical look at Goldman Sachs, including the former governor of New Jersey can prove to be quite an eye-opening journey. Freddie Mac and Fannie May also has some characters, past and present, that need some sunlight. We taxpayers have really been had. Maybe if we start seeing more prosecutions with convictions having sentences with some real teeth, then possibly those kinds of sanctions will promulgate responsible behaviors?


Jerry West February 3, 2010 1:52 pm (Pacific time)

Related to the article: http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2010020503/taking-elections-back-corporations-and-constitution-back-gang-five


Jerry West February 3, 2010 1:50 pm (Pacific time)

Madison, the anti-trust laws are inadequate, and in some cases modern trends have worked in favor of ever increasing size while decreasing competition, witness the banks. Witness the never ending stream of corporate mergers and take-overs. Corporations are too big and an effective law meant to block their power would have never let them get as big and powerful as they are, nor let them do business in more than any one narrowly defined field of enterprise.


Madison February 2, 2010 9:14 am (Pacific time)

The recent court ruling has not changed the anti-trust laws (the people's legal remedy) on the books. In terms of an economic model, this has always been a dynamic process, and it's unlikely with the below laws on the books that "We The People..." will not be able to impact corporations who attempt to damage our Republic form of government by over-reaching with their political speech. I expect that projected new corporate political activity will be similar to other corporations who currently engage in political activity. Hence, the monopoly is over for the latter group, and they are no doubt displeased. Anti-monopoly legislation was enacted by the federal and various state governments to regulate trade and commerce by preventing unlawful restraints, price-fixing, and monopolies by corporations, to promote competition, and to encourage the production of quality goods and services at the lowest prices, with the primary goal of safeguarding public welfare by ensuring that consumer demands will be met by the manufacture and sale of goods at reasonable prices. Anti-trust laws are STILL on the books and will remain on the books for the foreseeable feature. This is because monopolies distort commerce. Also, this is a reminder that we don't live in a free-market system but a regulated market system. if we lived in a true free-market system, we'd all be at the mercy of the biggest companies because it might very well be in their interest (and not the interest of the consumers) for the companies to combine and set prices as they want. Anti-trust laws are designed to prevent this. The premiere US anti-trust law is the Sherman Antitrust Act (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherman_Ant… As an example, it was used it the late 1800s to prevent big oil companies from all combining into one big company. Imagine if we'd had one oil company since 1880s?


Jerry West February 1, 2010 6:01 pm (Pacific time)

What is your point, Dallas? That rule by wealth is preferable to democracy where all have an equal say regardless of how much they have? Which economic model works best is a value decision which has different answers for different people. For plutocrats and the wealthy economic models such as limited liability corporations that are allowed to increase in size to the point that they can control a country are the models that works best. For those who prefer a more popular democratic model where everyone is more or less equal, these models are not the best.


Dallas February 1, 2010 8:06 am (Pacific time)

The writer of this article wrote: "The power of corporations is a direct threat to personal freedom..." Well that sure puts the entire world population in a big fix! Possibly you have another economic model you would like to share? Before this ruling were there any other corporate models you preferred? How about the New York Times? Newsweek? Time magazine? How about those huge unions out there who really control people within their membership, and far more intensely than the corporations they work for? Who decides which economic model works best? Paul Krugman or someone of his ilk?


Hank Ruark January 31, 2010 11:54 am (Pacific time)

Kyle: My best friend in h.s. was full-blood Abnaki, still speaking his native tongue at home with aged grand-dad. SO can appreciate your stand here, sir, but must disagree. My forebears came from Ireland in steerage, driven out by Brit-theft of fine pastureland. Mainman was a shipbuilder, worked at once in Maryland yard...and bought it about twenty years later. One son became news-writer, and family had ongoing feud over some of what he revealed as working conditions, including shipyard !! BUT he was right on to lay the details right out there for all to see,eventually even winning first working conditions remedies in home state. So there's another point of view than simple pride in the nation--demanding all one can do to MAKE ITWHAT IT CAN SOME DAY BECOME !!! Thanks for your pride and insightful comments, sir !!


Jerry West January 30, 2010 5:51 pm (Pacific time)

Kyle, you said: "At my age it no longer shocks me that there are those who seem to enjoy picking out past historical misdeeds and augment them to serve whatever it is they are trying to do." The problem is that the misdeeds are not merely past, they are persistent and ongoing, and have been an integral part of American success. Some are deeds that 65 years ago we were hanging people in Germany for doing. Many of those who are identified as such are probably if not better at least more aware Americans than those who oppose them, since they do see the difference between American ideals and the practices of American government and the establishment that controls it. I would also question whether those who criticize the conduct of the US government dislike America. In fact it may be their real like and patriotism based on the founding ideals of the country that fuels their dislike of what the ruling class has done to it, and continues to do. As for your digression on First Nations people, I don't see where that applies to the original topic of the article, or to you criticism of "malcontents."


Kyle Hennison January 30, 2010 10:14 am (Pacific time)

My mother is Native-American and my father is of Irish ancestory, but regardless of how far back I can trace my bloodline to the North American continent, which is beyond 350 years by literally thousands of years, I am also a very proud American, as are the rest of my family, and people that I work and socialize with. I agree that it is our form of government that has allowed us to prosper better than any other people. At my age it no longer shocks me that there are those who seem to enjoy picking out past historical misdeeds and augment them to serve whatever it is they are trying to do. It's as though some of these malcontents look at America through a "jeweler's loop" coupled with blinders. I dare say, you can take anyplace in the world and find people being misused by other people. Here in North America, long before you white people came, it was just as violent as any other place. I could provide horrible stories how indigenous people in Canada are being treated, right now, today, by the white man! So the posters from Canada should look in the mirror when you evaluate us Americans, and yes I consider myself an American. You may be surprised how many indigenous people do not hyphenate their names, even when they can benefit from doing so. A saying I am in full agreement with..."Love it or leave it." Regardless of how some of you feel about America, those who dislike it are in a very insignificant minority and it is my guess none have really learned to enjoy what we have here by living in other parts of the world to compare. The lack of success in life often breeds jealousy and discontent.


Jerry West January 30, 2010 12:09 am (Pacific time)

Ersun, this is digressing from the main topic, but it is fun. One branch of my family dates back to the original Massachusetts settlements before 1640, no royal grant, the baronet was kicked out of England by Charles the I. Other branches go back before the Civil War. I am still tracking them. One had family in Georgia, and my great-grandfather and his brother were not warmly received by their grandmother there when they visited with General Sherman in 1864 when they were in the 31st Indiana Infantry. They finished the war in Texas where the regiment occupied Victoria.


Ersun Warncke January 29, 2010 4:50 pm (Pacific time)

Jerry, I can verify your personal/family experience. I have ancestors who started in South Carolina with a land grant from the king. Every generation moved farther west. This is all well documented in family records and culture. Their descendants are now upstanding members of the Democratic establishment in Texas. Funny that they made the switch from being slave holding Democrats to "liberal" Democrats without much difficulty. A big chunk of my distant family in Houston even endorsed Obama over Hillary in the Primary. Not quite as "progressive" as it would seem though, because they were just trying to buy votes for one of them to run for mayor of Houston.


Daniel Johnson January 29, 2010 3:05 pm (Pacific time)

Illusions, illusions. Dallas, you ask (probably thinking it a rhetorical question): "what has made America so prosperous? I suggest that it is our form of government."

In his best selling 1968 analysis of American wealth, Ferdinand Lundberg in The Rich and the Super Rich wrote: “Whereas European royalty and nobility played profound integral roles in European history, the latter-day American rich were more like hitchhikers who opportunistically climbed aboard a good thing. They produced neither the technology, the climate, the land, the people nor the political system. Nor did they, like many European groups (as in England) take over the terrain as invading conquerors. Rather did they infiltrate the situation from below, insinuate themselves into opportunely presented economic gaps, subvert various rules and procedures, and, as it were ride a rocket to the moon and beyond, meanwhile through their propagandists presenting themselves, no less, as the creators of machine industrialization which was in fact copied from England and transplanted into a lush terrain.” This comment adds to Jerry's last observation.


Jerry West January 29, 2010 12:08 pm (Pacific time)

Dallas, you say "The list of books/authors provided are easily refuted by authors/books who provide actual information based on historical facts." Are you saying that those with whom you disagree are not using actual information and historical facts? Amazing! "has made America so prosperous?" One might reasonably suggest brute force and the stealing of land and resources from its native peoples, and a rapacious foreign policy that exploits less fortunate people elsewhere. Not to mention stripping the ecological system beyond its sustainable limits and passing the cost of accumulating current wealth off onto future generations. I can speak as one whose family has been a part of this on the continent for over 350 years.


Dallas January 29, 2010 9:08 am (Pacific time)

The list of books/authors provided are easily refuted by authors/books who provide actual information based on historical facts. It is always productive, from an academic perspective, to review different viewpoints, but why waste so much time on those who dislike America and have an agenda to mislead by misinterpreting actual historical flow? To suggest that MLK was assassinated because of comments he made about Vietnam is pretty far out there. Have you got some investigative documentation that this was so? What was MLK's political ideology? Did he have a particular political party he orientated himself with? I too have spent time in many different countries, and I remain a proud American and feel so very grateful that I live here. For those of you who do live here and feel other places are better, then why stay? For those who don't live here and have the need to ridicule us, well I'm sure you have those who are simpatico with your views, and maybe they should run for office and effect some changes to meet their values. As far as the recent Supreme Court decision, well that is the law, so work towards changing it. Good luck with that. Do you feel that newpapers and other media corporations should be the only ones to have a "political voice?" For example General Electric owns NBC and no doubt wields considerable power over them. Say Comcast buys NBC and removes many shows that you may like, is that okay then? What is really great about America, is that we are never really satisfied with the staus quo, and this stimulates debate, which stimulates change, which has been a constant since our founding. If all people are born as a blank slate, being equal in every regard, then what has made America so prosperous? I suggest that it is our form of government. Sure we have problems, but we address them and create solutions to those problems. You could be Chinese, Cuban, or even Canadian, be glad you are American. Just my opinion.


gp January 28, 2010 6:58 pm (Pacific time)

Or read Martin Luther King's speech on Vietnam, the speech that got him killed, the speech given a year to the day before his assassination. Nothing has really changed for the better since then. Nothing except that non violent direct action seems to be something of the past.


Jerry West January 28, 2010 6:27 pm (Pacific time)

Dallas, to say that "Our country has the most successful political model on the planet," begs the question, what does one consider as success. I have lived in several countries and am a citizen of two. Each one has features that are better than the others. If you measure quality of life, then the US does not surpass Canada or some European countries. But then, of course, that might depend upon how one defines quality of life. One who has any illusions about the United States being a wonderful and benevolent power in the world would do well to read the books that Daniel recommends, and a long list of others all that detail the evil and brutal path of US foreign policy over the past century, particularly after WWII when we fell back to committing some of the same crimes that we prosecuted the Germans for. As for economy of scale, the value of that is questionable in some circumstances, and the fact the some of the developed world has ridiculously cheap consumer goods is not necessarily a good thing since often the cost of those goods are subsidized by the environment which is being destroyed without serious regard for the well being of future generations. You said that "Corporations provide jobs, and many other societal benefits that would dearly be missed if they went away." Which is only partly true since there is no guarantee that the net amount of jobs and benefits would decrease over the long run if corporations were to be banned. But then, the point in the article was not to ban corporations, but to bring them under much greater public control and to remove their status as a person with all of the rights that that entails. Corporations are a perfectly good form of organization as long as they perform publicly beneficial services and are held accountable through periodic public reviews, and have no limited liability so that investors may not create untold damage in society without being held personally accountable.


Hank Ruark January 28, 2010 5:46 pm (Pacific time)

Friend Dallas: Your defense of America falls more than a little flat given the long record of our imperial empire-building and unwarranted aggression against others. Iraq now wellknown as unnecessary war brought on by deception and neocon desperation. We are open-hearted and very basically a decent nation with most seeking the goodwill,good faith actions of which you are so proud. But we have another side or two with our own special kind of exceptionalism --which is why we are wise to listen and learn from those who can show us where we sometimes fail to meet our own values. Yours earlier re Supremes decision is far off-mark, with longtime history you describe distorted in depth and detail;see my current Op Ed and watch for other 2-to-come. Yours re great progress in provision of massive variety of products at lowered costs damaged by same failures to consider or report on the many costs involved other than only dollar-measures. Your insights slightly sharpened and conscientiously applied may serve to enlighten you et al via more-to-come in S-N...keep tuned !!


Daniel Johnson January 28, 2010 4:05 pm (Pacific time)

Dallas: Maybe you just want to live and let live. There are many fine Americans who have this positive attitude. But you don't seem to be aware of your nation's sordid history. Read Stephen Kinzer's book Overthrow where he details the direct American actions in overthrowing legally elected governments around the globe--Chile in 1973, Iran in 1953, Nicaragua, Honduras, Iraq, Vietnam... It's a long and shameful list. Or try Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine. Or Andrew Bacevich, Limits of Power: The end of American Exceptionalism The US may finally have a decent president, but it may be too late. Yes, Americans do help around the globe, but that's the American people doing that, many of whom I like and admire. But American foreign policy still keeps it in the category of rogue nation.


Dallas January 28, 2010 2:53 pm (Pacific time)

It appears someone does not like America and our form of government. People all over the world receive our assistance, and not just during times of tragic events like the recent Haitian earthquake. I am proud to be an American as our the vast majority of us. If that is arrogance, well then that would be a mischaracterization of who we are. Maybe those who call us arrogant simply misunderstand that we simply want to live and let live, but will help all when needed, even our misinformed detractors.


Daniel Johnson January 28, 2010 1:27 pm (Pacific time)

Dallas: You come across as the stereotypical American. Arrogant yet ill-informed. “Our country has the most successful political model on the planet, so we will adapt while others will continue to be spoon fed propaganda, especially countries in Europe and Canada until they start changing their government model to be more like ours, which is one for the people and by the people.”

"most successful political model on the planet." Only Kool-Aid drinking Americans believe that.

The U.S. is in a hell of mess both politically and economically (an extension of your politics), but people like you have blinders on and have no awareness of the global reality of all nations, which includes the U.S. I keep saying it: There are very good reasons why many of the world's people hate the U.S. which is a rogue nation with too much power.

Majority of SCOTUS?—55%. Not an overwhelming number. The rulings of SCOTUS tend to be based not so much on law as ideology, depending on which president gets to make the appointments.


Dallas January 28, 2010 1:06 pm (Pacific time)

Major media corporations have been selecting, and have helped, in electing candidates for quite some time now. The FEC maintains donor lists of our politicans, so this law has not been changed in the recent ruling, nor has the law been changed about forbiding foreign money to be introduced into elections. Go to the FEC website and see what politico's have been receiving cash from major corporations, and please note the biggest benefactors are the loudest ones complaining about this ruling. Ummmm. So with this ruling it just opens it up so more info goes out to the voters by having other corporations join in the political process (more openly). With the slow downward spiral of newspapers and the major television networks it's obvious the voters have found other places to find their info. Our country has the most successful political model on the planet, so we will adapt while others will continue to be spoon fed propaganda, especially countries in Europe and Canada until they start changing their government model to be more like ours, which is one for the people and by the people. By the way a poster mentioned that corporations of old in England were for essentially one project and then dissolved. That is not a good business model to follow, so it certainly evolved beyond that stale approach. Corporations give us economy of scales. Remember 50 years ago a colored television cost $500 to buy, and only a few programs were in color. That was 1960 dollars. I recall a desk top computer with printer and a 15 inch screen I bought in the early 90's that cost me nearly $3,000. Look what they cost now, not to mention the incredible advancements. One could fire off an almost endless list of products we all buy (and many we need), which are relatively low priced, and better quality than what some were in the past. We owe that to economy of scales that only large businesses can create. Corporations provide jobs, and many other societal benefits that would dearly be missed if they went away. Sure we have plenty of evil out there, but we have laws and methods available to deal with them. The ruling will be a benefit in both the short and long term in my opinion, and of course, in the majority of the Supreme Court's opinion.


Ersun Warncke January 28, 2010 12:15 pm (Pacific time)

Percy, you are obfuscating the point. You and your wife have all the rights of every other citizen. Why should you have any special and exclusive rights that arise from corporate organization? If corporations have their own rights, then the owners of corporations have more rights than their fellow citizens. Under this scheme, corporate owners have not only their natural rights of citizenship, but an additional set of rights being exercised through their corporate identities. Consequently, corporate ownership, which is another way of saying inherited wealth, becomes a dividing line between upper and lower class citizens with separate legal rights. How is this functionally different than having a legally entitled aristocracy and a legally inferior peasant/serf class? It isn't, which is the primary objection of those of us who live under a constitution that grants equality before the law to all and recognizes no titles of nobility.


Dallas January 28, 2010 8:40 am (Pacific time)

It will take time before this recent court ruling is fully understood, but to consider it to give rise to a 4th branch of government is humorous. Then would this same poster call "earmarks" the 5th branch? There will be countless lawsuits in the future that will test this ruling for additional clarification, but when you have certain politicans saying that it threatens our form of government, then I say look at their financial reports as to who their larger donors are. It's all public record.

DJ: I think you'll be singing a different tune when you learn that Wal-Mart, General Electric, Big Pharma and their ilk are getting their own politicians elected with their agenda and the voice of ordinary people falls below that of a whisper. You won't be heard either.


Phil January 27, 2010 5:45 pm (Pacific time)

This makes me so angry. On January 21, 2010, with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government. Human beings are people; corporations are legal fictions. The Supreme Court is misguided in principle, and wrong on the law. In a democracy, the people rule. This group i found is moving to amend the constitution and already have almost 50,000 peeps signed on: http://movetoamend.org/ give it a look and get active if your are upset.


Daniel Johnson January 27, 2010 9:16 pm (Pacific time)

Hope you're happy, now, Percy. America now has four branches of government--the fourth being the corporate world who are out of reach of any democratic action.


Percy January 27, 2010 6:18 pm (Pacific time)

I'm a CEO, and ex-wife is CFO of our corporation (we're very small), and we do all those things that humans do. Why should I/we be prevented from using our financial assets in political speech as I/we see fit? In fact the majority of corporations in the States are small to medium sized. When I see outfits like the major publications, and the major television networks (and all their subsidaries) engage in political speech, often disguised as reporting the news (which they edit and report as per their agenda), why shouldn't the rest of us be allowed to do that? How about union dues payers (including taxpayers!) who object to how those dues are being used in political speech? So if we require stockholders to vote, ditto for union members, "on all issues." Wow, what a train wreck that would be. Of course the stockholders could sell out, but union members are stuck with what their leadership does. Never gonna happen. The court spoke and no congressional legislation is going to change it anytime soon. We have three branches of government, and this decision will allow for that to continue. Obviously some would like to see just one of those branches running things. I do admit that when foreign interests get involved, that has to be highly scrutinized as illegal and a criminal prosecution, without a possible pardon, must be pursued. So anyone know what the foreign contributions were in recent elections, say going back to 1992? Several people in federal prison now, but many have evaded the law, including domestic offenders who hid behind the 5th Amendment and irresponsible past attorney generals have failed to prosecute them.


phil January 27, 2010 5:46 pm (Pacific time)

This makes me so angry. On January 21, 2010, with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government. Human beings are people; corporations are legal fictions. The Supreme Court is misguided in principle, and wrong on the law. In a democracy, the people rule. This group i found is moving to amend the constitution and already have almost 50,000 peeps signed on: http://movetoamend.org/ give it a look and get active if your are upset.


Hank Ruark January 27, 2010 3:47 pm (Pacific time)

Corporations notoriously run by CEO with iron hand, even major stockholders dare do little to help govern corp. actions as demanded for ethical actions. THAT'S WHY HUGE CEO PAYOFFS now under close examination. Why NOT now require ALL stakeholders --allconnected with corp. including workers-- vote on any political stance or public "political-speech" via new Supremes action ? ALL are required to make corp. "successful", so ALL should have full voice. IF in doubt, take away any one group --managers at alllevels, investors, workers and stockholders: See what you have left !! NOT my concept: From famed columnist Dionne, OREGONIAN 1/25/10.


Daniel Johnson January 27, 2010 10:35 am (Pacific time)

When corporations were first created in England, they were for a specific purpose for a limited time. For example: A new bridge was needed. A corporation was formed to build the bridge. When the bridge project (they didn't call it a project) was complete, the corporation was dissolved. The corporation today is primarily a vehicle for the rich to keep their assets in one place, relatively free from any threat by the hoi polloi.


Hank Ruark January 27, 2010 10:22 am (Pacific time)

rb: Please re-do link, now shows up as "broken", no connection. I need contact for upcoming Op Ed on this topic, one of about ten in past four years. Re "Supremes" statement -- can hardly be seen as worthy of "judgment" !- there's no doubt whatsoever that Founders meant freedoms/rights to belong ONLY to humans (since corporate formats then openly detested, mistrusted), so: Query to differentiate is very simple" Does it breath, sweat,eat, urinate, defecate and THInK ? On every test corporation exists ONLY via its charter, shaped and granted by thinking humans answering physical tests easy to apply. Major legal stance was for century only a legal convenience. Major legal court decision, basis for striving to change and further support ever since, was mistaken record of lower/court judge's casual remark to court recorder, now known to have inserted judge's statement as if authentic part of legal findings. Jerry: Thanks for sharp, concise, comprehensive summary of difficult issue --made so purposively over years by corporate lawyers seeking to build impenetrable safeguard- wall vs reality tests of what is "human being" as Founders clearly intended.


republicanblack January 26, 2010 7:59 pm (Pacific time)

Right on with this story. A+ This is an attempt to hurt our democracy, but I saw this article that went into how the court came up with their decision check it out

http://wendygdphillips.wordpress.com/2010/01/26/citizens-united-v-fec-%E2%80%93-american-jurisprudence-at-its-best-or-partisanship/

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