[FoRK] My sentiments exactly...

mdw at martinwills.com mdw at martinwills.com
Fri Jan 22 10:46:52 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????)
>  ...ken...

There is one thing you forget and it is important!!!  Corporations can't
vote.  They can spend a billion dollars on something and still lose.  When
I worked for Wal-Mart, BofA, and FedEx they all had their PAC's that they
wanted us to support and asked their employees to add their votes to their
agenda.  I would say I voted for fewer than half of their wishes.


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