Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. The Trump Stock Market Trap May Be Triggered - Barry_M_Ferguson
2.Why are Central Banks Buying Gold and Dumping Dollars? - Richard_Mills
3.US China War - Thucydides Trap and gold - Richard_Mills
4.Gold Price Trend Forcast to End September 2019 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Money Saving Kids Gardening Growing Giant Sunflowers Summer Fun - Anika_Walayat
6.US Dollar Breakdown Begins, Gold Price to Bolt Higher - Jim_Willie_CB
7.INTEL (INTC) Stock Investing to Profit From AI Machine Learning Boom - Nadeem_Walayat
8.Will Google AI Kill Us? Man vs Machine Intelligence - N_Walayat
9.US Prepares for Currency War with China - Richard_Mills
10.Gold Price Epochal Breakout Will Not Be Negated by a Correction - Clive Maund
Last 7 days
UK House Building and Population Growth Analysis - 17th July 19
Financial Crisis Stocks Bear Market Is Scary Close - 17th July 19
Want to See What's Next for the US Economy? Try This. - 17th July 19
What to do if You Blow the Trading Account - 17th July 19
Bitcoin Is Far Too Risky for Most Investors - 17th July 19
Core Inflation Rises but Fed Is Going to Cut Rates. Will Gold Gain? - 17th July 19
Boost your Trading Results - FREE eBook - 17th July 19
This Needs To Happen Before Silver Really Takes Off - 17th July 19
NASDAQ Should Reach 8031 Before Topping - 17th July 19
US Housing Market Real Terms BUY / SELL Indicator - 16th July 19
Could Trump Really Win the 2020 US Presidential Election? - 16th July 19
Gold Stocks Forming Bullish Consolidation - 16th July 19
Will Fed Easing Turn Out Like 1995 or 2007? - 16th July 19
Red Rock Entertainment Investments: Around the world in a day with Supreme Jets - 16th July 19
Silver Has Already Gone from Weak to Strong Hands - 15th July 19
Top Equity Mutual Funds That Offer Best Returns - 15th July 19
Gold’s Breakout And The US Dollar - 15th July 19
Financial Markets, Iran, U.S. Global Hegemony - 15th July 19
U.S Bond Yields Point to a 40% Rise in SPX - 15th July 19
Corporate Earnings may Surprise the Stock Market – Watch Out! - 15th July 19
Stock Market Interest Rate Cut Prevails - 15th July 19
Dow Stock Market Trend Forecast Current State July 2019 Video - 15th July 19
Why Summer is the Best Time to be in the Entertainment Industry - 15th July 19
Mid-August Is A Critical Turning Point For US Stocks - 14th July 19
Fed’s Recessionary Indicators and Gold - 14th July 19
The Problem with Keynesian Economics - 14th July 19
Stocks Market Investors Worried About the Fed? Don't Be -- Here's Why - 13th July 19
Could Gold Launch Into A Parabolic Upside Rally? - 13th July 19
Stock Market SPX and Dow in BREAKOUT but this is the worrying part - 13th July 19
Key Stage 2 SATS Tests Results Grades and Scores GDS, EXS, WTS Explained - 13th July 19
INTEL Stock Investing in Qubits and AI Neural Network Processors - Video - 12th July 19
Gold Price Selloff Risk High - 12th July 19
State of the US Economy as Laffer Gets Laughable - 12th July 19
Dow Stock Market Trend Forecast Current State - 12th July 19
Stock Market Major Index Top In 3 to 5 Weeks? - 11th July 19
Platinum Price vs Gold Price - 11th July 19
What This Centi-Billionaire Fashion Magnate Can Teach You About Investing - 11th July 19
Stock Market Fundamentals are Weakening: 3000 on SPX Means Nothing - 11th July 19
This Tobacco Stock Is a Big Winner from E-Cigarette Bans - 11th July 19
Investing in Life Extending Pharma Stocks - 11th July 19
How to Pay for It All: An Option the Presidential Candidates Missed - 11th July 19
Mining Stocks Flash Powerful Signal for Gold and Silver Markets - 11th July 19
5 Surefire Ways to Get More Viewers for Your Video Series - 11th July 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Top AI Stocks Investing to Profit from the Machine Intelligence Mega-trend

The United States of Corporate America: From Democracy to Plutocracy

Politics / US Politics Jan 22, 2010 - 05:57 AM GMT

By: Prof_Rodrigue_Trembl

Politics

Best Financial Markets Analysis Article"The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men."Plato, ancient Greek philosopher

...“The 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: The growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.”Alex Carey, Australian social scientist


“The most effective way to restrict democracy is to transfer decision-making from the public arena to unaccountable institutions: kings and princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships, or modern corporations.” Noam Chomsky, M.I.T. Emeritus Professor of Linguistics

On Tuesday, January 19 (2010), the Obama administration got a kick in the pants from the Massachusetts voters when they filled former Senator Ted Kennedy's seat by electing a conservative Republican candidate. The essence of their message was: stop dithering and start governing; stop trying to satisfy the bankers and please the editors of Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal, and start caring for the ordinary people.

Two days later, President Barack Obama seemed to have understood the people's message when he announced a “Volcker rule” that will forbid large banks from owning hedge funds that make money by placing large bets against their own clients, using information that these same clients gave them. It was time. Such a policy should have been announced months ago, if not years ago.

On the same day, however, a nonelected body, the U.S. Supreme Court, threw a different challenge to the Obama administration. Indeed, on Thursday January 21 (2010), a Republican-appointed majority on the U.S. Supreme Court [http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/01/21/us/AP-US-Supreme-Court-Campaign-Finance.html?src=tptw] took it upon itself to profoundly change the U.S. Constitution and American democracy. Indeed, in what can be labeled a most reactionary decision, the Roberts U.S. Supreme Court, [http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/01/21/us/AP-US-Supreme-Court-Campaign-Finance.html?src=tptw] ruled that legal entities, such as corporations and labor unions, have the same purely personal rights to free speech as living individuals. Indeed, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution] says “Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech.

The only problem with such a wide interpretation of the U.S. Bills of Rights [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights] (N.B.: The first ten amendments to the United States Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights) is that this runs contrary its letter and its spirit, since it clearly states later on that "the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people, and reserves all powers not granted to the federal government to the citizenry or States.” The words “people” and “citizenry” clearly refer here to living human beings, not to legal or artificial entities such as business corporations, labor unions, financial organizations or political lobbies.

Such entities, for example, cannot vote in an election. Indeed, laws governing voting rights in the United States clearly establish that only “Adult citizens of the United States who are residents of one of the 50 states have the right to participate fully in the political system of the United States”. No mention is made of corporations or other legal entities.

However, with its January 19 (2010) decision, the majority on the Roberts U.S. Supreme Court is saying in effect that even if artificial entities cannot vote in an election, they can spend as much money as they like to influence the outcome of an election. Money is speech for them, and the more a legal entity has of it, the more it has a right to become powerful politically and control the political agenda.

In fact, what Chief Justice Roberts and his conservative Supreme Court majority have done is to overcome a century-old democratic tradition in the United States in granting a constitutional right to business corporations and to banks, (because they are really the ones with a lot of money), to use their enormous resources to not only participate in debates about public issues, but also, and above all, to de facto dictate the election of candidates of their choice to public office.

That's plutocracy, not democracy!

Plutocracy [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutocracy] is defined as a political system characterized by “the rule by the wealthy, or power provided by wealth.” Democracy, on the other hand, is defined as a political system where political power belongs to the people. This means “a political government either carried out directly by the people (direct democracy) or by means of elected representatives of the people (representative democracy). The terms "the power to the people" are derived from the words "people" and "power" in Greek.

This fundamental idea of democracy was well summarized by President Abraham Lincoln, in his 1863 Gettysburg Address, when he said that it is “a government of the people, by the people and for the people.” This is a definition that is based on the basic democratic principle of equality among human beings.

But now, the Roberts Court's decision must have made President Lincoln turn in his grave, because that decision, in effect, transfers political power from the living “people” to artificial corporate entities, with tons of money to spend. If Congress does not act quickly to reverse this decision, legal entities will be able to spend freely in the media to support or oppose political candidates for president and Congress, and this, as far as the last moment of a political campaign. This is quite something!

By a stroke of the pen, the Roberts Court has thus abolished the laws governing American electoral financing and removed limits to how much special money interests can spend to have the elected officials they want. The government they want will largely be “a government of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations.” Truly amazing!

To reflect the new political philosophy of the five-member majority of the Roberts Court, the Preambule of the U.S. Constitution [http://www.answers.com/topic/preamble-to-the-constitution] that says “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union...” should, maybe, more appropriately be changed for “We, the business corporations of America...”

It is that much more ironic that the word “corporation” appears nowhere in the U.S. Constitution or in the Bill of Rights. It is scarcely conceivable that the drafters of the Constitution had anything resembling corporate entities in mind when they drafted the Bill of Rights. But the Roberts Court majority does not seem to agree with Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, Mason...etc. Because of their decision, the five conservative members of the U. S. Supreme Court of today have become the new Fathers of the U. S. Constitution.

For nearly a century, it has been assumed that the U.S. Bill of Rights protected persons, not corporations. Even if sometimes the courts have extended the rights of the14th Amendment banning the deprivation of property without due process or equal protection of the law to the property of corporations, it was never thought that the purely personal rights of the first Amendment of the Bill of Rights applied to corporate entities as well as to human beings. This is understandable. Business corporations are created through legislation that gives them potentially perpetual life and limited liability to enhance their efficiency as economic entities. While such characteristics can be beneficial in the economic sphere, they represent special dangers in the political sphere. That is the rationale for not extending constitutional rights to purely legal entities.

But now, the five-member majority of the Roberts Court have said that such legalized artificial entities have the same constitutionally protected rights to engage in political activities as living individuals.

This is clearly revolutionary or, more precisely, counter-revolutionary.

Rodrigue Tremblay is professor emeritus of economics at the University of Montreal and can be reached at rodrigue.tremblay@yahoo.com.

He is the author of the book The New American Empire. Visit his blog site at www.thenewamericanempire.com/blog.

Author's Website: www.thenewamericanempire.com/ 

Check out Dr. Tremblay's coming book The Code for Global Ethics at: www.TheCodeForGlobalEthics.com  The French version of the book is now available. See:  www.LeCodePourUneEthiqueGlobale.com  or: Le code pour une éthique globale  

Global Research Articles by Rodrigue Tremblay

© Copyright Rodrigue Tremblay , Global Research, 2010

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Centre for Research on Globalization. The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Comments

Rudy Avizius
22 Jan 10, 17:29
Unlimited corporate campign spending

This decision by the Supreme Court will go down in history as a a key date in the ultimate collapse of the United States of America.

We all instinctively knew that our government had been hijacked, but the Supreme Court in a case of unbelieveable overreach have just declared corporations now have 1st amendment rights and can now buy any politician they wish from their corporate funds.

This will effectivley drown out the voices of the masses as they will quickly consolidate their stranglehold on the media and flood the "market" with their funds.

If the nation does somehow survive this handing of the government to the corporations, this decision will go down in history as even worse than the Dred Scott v. Sandford and Plessy v. Ferguson monumental errors. The 5 justices that recklessly voted for removing all limits to corporate campign spending: Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Scalia, Kennedy will rightly be held in the same regard as those who voted for these two.

In the 2008 election cycle, nearly $6 billion was spent on all federal campaigns, including more than $1 billion from corporate political action committees, trade associations, executives and lobbyists.

Consider how much money we will talking about here, when the 2008 federal eelection cycle totalled $6 BILLION and that was WITH LIMITS. This ruling will now allow labor unions and corporations to spend unlimited amounts in both Federal and State elections.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules