Preface- The recent Supreme Court 5-4 vote institutionalizes corporatocracy.
The very idea that a corporation would have "personhood" is directly opposed in every way to the intentions of the founders of the United States. This battle between democracy and the cancer of corporatism has not happened entirely in secret. Presidents and patriots have been warning us of it -- loudly -- since the very creation of our nation.
Woody Guthrie, Anti Fascist
President Thomas Jefferson said, "I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government in a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." Jefferson even went so far as to "insist on annexing a bill of rights to the new Constitution, i.e. a bill wherein the Government shall declare that, 1. Religion shall be free; 2. Printing presses free; 3. Trials by jury preserved in all cases; 4. No monopolies in commerce; 5. No standing army."
Madison's draft of the bill of rights included a protection against economic tyranny as Jefferson wanted.
As President, James Madison said, "There is an evil which ought to be guarded against in the indefinite accumulation of property from the capacity of holding it in perpetuity by corporations. The power of all corporations ought to be limited in this respect. The growing wealth acquired by them never fails to be a source of abuses."
President Andrew Jackson said, "In this point of the case the question is distinctly presented whether the people of the United States are to govern through representatives chosen by their unbiased suffrages or whether the money and power of a great corporation are to be secretly exerted to influence their judgment and control their decisions."
President Grover Cleveland said "As we view the achievements of aggregated capital, we discover the existence of trusts, combinations, and monopolies, while the citizen is struggling far in the rear or is trampled to death beneath an iron heel. Corporations, which should be the carefully restrained creatures of the law and the servants of the people, are fast becoming the people's masters."
Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, and Eisenhower all warned of the "corporate royalists" attempts to subjugate government in their own ways.
For 100 years after the Constitution was ratified, various governmental entities controlled corporations on leashes, like obedient puppies, canceling their charters promptly if they compromised the public good in any way.
The leashes broke in 1886, the dogs ran away, and the public good has been increasingly compromised-until it was finally abandoned altogether.
The 4 major events that have paved the road for corporatacracy in the U.S. are:
- 1. The 1886 "Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad" case. Though nowhere in the case is there any support for the notion that corporations have the same rights as "persons". The lie is the foundation of all corporate mischief since. The Justices said no such thing. In fact, the decision says that because they could find a California state law that covered the case "it is not necessary to consider any other questions" such as the constitutionality of the railroad's claim to personhood. But in the headnote to the case -- a commentary written by the clerk, which is NOT legally binding, it's just a commentary to help out law students and whatnot, summarizing the case -- the Court's clerk wrote: "The defendant Corporations are persons within the intent of the clause in section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." For over 100 years corporations have been gaining power based on an incorrect headnote.Who was this clerk? J.C. Bancroft Davis, a former corrupt official of the U.S. Grant administration and the former president of a railroad in the Robber Baron age. He acted in collusion with a corrupt Supreme Court Justice named Stephen Field, who had been told by the railroads that if they'd help him get this through they'd sponsor him for the presidency.
- 2. The incredible consolidation brought about by Reagan suspending enforcement of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. This along with Clinton signing the Telecommunications act removed constraint on monopolies. It allowed corporations to gobble up the media and giant corporations to swallow the smaller ones eliminating competition. In regards to media, corporate interests are more often than not in conflict with the historic duty of the "Fourth Estate" to inform the public. The "free press" that Jefferson spoke so eloquently about is largely gone in television, radio, and newspapers & bills keep being proposed to bring hegemony to the internet as well.
- 3. The 1976 Supreme Court case -Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 ruled that money to influence elections is a form of constitutionally protected free speech
- 4. The final nail in the coffin of democracy was hammered on Thursday, January 21, 2010 by a divided Supreme Court that swept aside decades of legislative restrictions on the role of corporations in political campaigns, ruling that companies can dip into their treasuries to spend as much as they want to support or oppose individual candidates.
Corporations are gods!
Fascism has come to America. Lovingly longed for on talk radio, by hosts whose inadequacies in cerebral capacity are more than compensated for by bellicosity. It is gift wrapped in an "extraordinary rendition" of the U.S. constitution provided by 5 Supreme Court justices willing to circumvent the purpose of the very document they swore to uphold. Thoughtfully packaged in a lovely Pandoran Box embossed with assorted multinational corporate logos. Adorned with an ostentatious huge red white and blue bow (made from shredded flags, the blood of every American Veteran, and assorted imported spleens from certified sweatshop workers in economically conquered 3rd world nations). It is spangled not with stars, but black holes. Wrapped in a flag spun from split hairs and carrying a cross (or whichever symbol co opts it's victims). The wolf leads the sheep by "bait and switch" tactics. The segment of the public not paying close attention is mesmerized by the wolf's shiny objects...it's a floor wax AND a dessert topping!
The term fascism is a contentious one, as it has all kinds of associations attached to it. And it is easily overused (Islamo-fascists etc.) which has made it easy to dismiss the reality of a legitimate claim of it's implementation. First let's define what it actually means. Plenty of "descriptions" exist and overall they are probably accurate. But for the definition I refer to the source, the men credited with coining the term. Giovanni Gentile & Benito Mussolini, who said "Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." And it should be pointed out that all fascist regimes patterned afterwords were corporatist. Portugal, with its "Clerico Corporativist regime"... Spain's splintered leadership between Falangists, Clerical Fascists and Franco...as well as Hitler's Nazis well documented association with Volkswagen, Opel (who employed Jewish slave labor to run their industrial plants); Daimler-Benz (where prisoners of war were used as slaves); Krupp, Bayer, & IG Farben (who believed "industry" was using Hitler... of course Hitler saw it the other way around, eventually throwing 1 of Farben's owners in a concentration camp...SS uniforms were designed by Hugo Boss...)
The word itself is Italian in origin. The term Fascism comes from the word fascio (in Latin called fasces). According to the Oxford Etymology Dictionary:
The idea of the "bundle", fascis or English translation "fagot" began being used in Italy in the late 1800s to refer to political organizations who banded together; the concept being that a stick can be broken but a bundle of sticks was hard to break. The Fascist Party developed in 1915.
"The Latin word. fasces "bundle of rods containing an axe with the blade projecting" (pl. of fascis "bundle" of wood, etc.), carried before a lictor, a superior Roman magistrate, as a symbol of power over life and limb: the sticks symbolized punishment by whipping, the axe head execution by beheading."
Mussolini came to power in 1922 and wrote, (with the help of Giovanni Gentile) the entry for the Italian Encyclopedia on the definition of fascism in 1932. The following quotes are from this entry:
"Fascism combats the whole complex system of democratic ideology, and repudiates it, whether in its theoretical premises or in its practical application."
"Fascism denies that the majority can direct human society."
"Fascism denies, in democracy, the absurd conventional untruth of political equality"
The Italian Fascist symbol
Mussolini said democracy was "beautiful in theory, in practice it is a fallacy" and spoke in speeches of celebrating burying the "putrid corpse of liberty".
Fascism is against democracy, against equality. It combines government and corporate powers.
It minimizes the impact individual citizens can have on policy, if not excluding them entirely.
It establishes a special "political class" and grants special privileges to itself.
By hook or by crook fascism has come to America. But it wears a tinseled guise. It has learned from it's past. It can not be goose stepping & obvious. It hides behind slogans and false fronts.
Fascism substitutes bombast for content.
It shouts down those with whom it cannot argue,
for argument requires knowledge, and this is a
commodity with which the fascist has little acquaintance.
Fascism comes wrapped in red,white and blue regalia, waving it's
crucifix and shotgun, projecting its sexual confusion and
insecurity onto others, substituting volume for veracity and rage for
reason, and landing on the best-seller list as a result.
1.)- Our World this Century, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0199133247.
2.)- The Italian 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential, Cultural, Scientific, and Political Figures, Past and Present. CITADEL PR. ISBN 0806523999.
3. Unequal Protection by Thom Hartmann
Submitted by the author Benjamin New
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