[FoRK] My sentiments exactly...

Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca
Fri Jan 22 10:24:26 PST 2010

--- On Fri, 1/22/10, J. Andrew Rogers <andrew at ceruleansystems.com> wrote:
> On Jan 22, 2010, at 8:05 AM, Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo wrote:
> > How does the right of free speech of citizens of the
> United States of America have anything whatsoever to do with
> corporations? Can someone enlighten me please?
> Corporations are not Federal constructs.  They are
> just groups of people organized under the Common Law. In the
> majority of States corporations have always had the right to
> political speech.
> freedom of speech + freedom of association = freedom of
> group speech
> Whether it is a good thing or not, the reasoning is not a
> stretch.
> > For the record, if it makes it any easier to respond,
> I don't buy this bullshit about an entity that cannot be
> held to the same accountability nor be required to show the
> same responsibility as a human having the same rights as a
> human.
> You ascribe far more power and opaqueness to corporations
> than exist in practice. Corporate decisions must always
> resolve to natural persons, so restricting the rights of a
> corporation restricts the rights of the natural person.
> It is logically problematic to recognize a right for an
> individual and simultaneously deny it to a group of
> individuals.

What a pile of steamy smelly crap!

Corporate decisions do not always resolve to natural persons. Corporations are not held to the same accountability nor subject to the same consequences as individuals. 

Your point, and that of others, that the corporation is considered a legal entity unto itself puts the immediate lie to that notion.

If a corporation loses a civil suit or is found guilty of criminal acts, it is not necessary, and very rare, that any individual(s) in the corporation will suffer any consequences at all.

If it is decided that individuals in the corporation should be held individually accountable for their personal actions, they must be sued or charged independently. Otherwise they get to hide behind the corporation's skirts.

There are many consequences that it simply is not possible, nor even relevant, to apply to corporations. One of the most common consequences isn't even possible: You can't take away their freedom (toss their asses in jail) for a specified period of time, for instance.

When was the last time you saw a corporation subjected to the three strikes rule? When was the last time you saw a corporation designated as a dangerous offender? When was the last time you saw a corporation subjected to capital punishment in a state that still supports it?

Even beyond that gaping hole in your logic there remains an even larger one: corporations are not simply groups of individuals who have agreed to associate voluntarily and speak as one. The war chest of a corporation is controlled by a tiny few at the top. While they may, collectively agree, on the political position they are going to support, not only is it possible that the majority of the individuals who comprise the corporation disagree with that position, it is virtually a certainty that nobody asked their opinion in the first place.

So, back to my initial befuddlement. I can understand that this is a corporate lawyer's dream. But I can't understand why a functional reasoning individual humam, like e.g. jb, would see the perpetuation of this nonsense, especially in the context of the right of an individual to freedom of speech, as a good thing.

 ..... hmmmmmm ..... Perhaps I am in error assuming he is either functional or reasoning.....???? (Where's that "spot check" you mentioned, jb, so I can perhaps see where I rate/rank compared to you????)


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