Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Market Decline Will Lead To Pension Collapse, USD Devaluation, And NWO - Raymond_Matison
2.Uber’s Nightmare Has Just Started - Stephen_McBride
3.Stock Market Crash Black Swan Event Set Up Sept 12th? - Brad_Gudgeon
4.GDow Stock Market Trend Forecast Update - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Gold Significant Correction Has Started - Clive_Maund
6.British Pound GBP vs Brexit Chaos Timeline - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Cameco Crash, Uranium Sector Won’t Catch a break - Richard_Mills
8.Recession 2020 Forecast : The New Risks & New Profits Of A Grand Experiment - Dan_Amerman
9.Gold When Global Insanity Prevails - Michael Ballanger
10.UK General Election Forecast 2019 - Betting Market Odds - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
This Invisible Tech Stock Threatens Amazon with 800,000+ Online Stores - 21st Nov 19
Crude Oil Price Begins To Move Lower - 21st Nov 19
Cracks Spread in the Precious Metals Bullion Banks’ Price Management System - 21st Nov 19
Why Record-High Stock Prices Mean You Should Buy More - 20th Nov 19
This Invisible Company Powers Almost the Entire Finance Industry - 20th Nov 19
Zig-Zagging Gold Is Not Necessarily Bearish Gold - 20th Nov 19
Legal Status of Cannabis Seeds in the UK - 20th Nov 19
The Next Gold Rush Could Be About To Happen Here - 20th Nov 19
China's Grand Plan to Take Over the World - 19th Nov 19
Interest Rates Heading Zero or Negative to Prop Up Debt Bubble - 19th Nov 19
Plethora of Potential Financial Crisis Triggers - 19th Nov 19
Trade News Still Relevant? - 19th Nov 19
Comments on Catena Media Q3 Report 2019 - 19th Nov 19
Venezuela’s Hyperinflation Drags On For A Near Record—36 Months - 18th Nov 19
Intellectual Property as the New Guild System - 18th Nov 19
Gold Mining Stocks Q3’ 2019 Fundamentals - 18th Nov 19
The Best Way To Play The Coming Gold Boom - 18th Nov 19
What ECB’s Tiering Means for Gold - 17th Nov 19
DOJ Asked to Examine New Systemic Risk in Gold & Silver Markets - 17th Nov 19
Dow Jones Stock Market Cycle Update and are we there yet? - 17th Nov 19
When the Crude Oil Price Collapses Below $40 What Happens? PART III - 17th Nov 19
If History Repeats, Gold is Headed to $8,000 - 17th Nov 19
All You Need To Know About Cryptocurrency - 17th Nov 19
What happens To The Global Economy If Oil Collapses Below $40 – Part II - 15th Nov 19
America’s Exceptionalism’s Non-intervention Slide to Conquest, Empire - and Socialism - 15th Nov 19
Five Gold Charts to Contemplate as We Prepare for the New Year - 15th Nov 19
Best Gaming CPU Nov 2019 - Budget, Mid and High End PC System Processors - 15th Nov 19
Lend Money Without A Credit Check — Is That Possible? - 15th Nov 19
Gold and Silver Capitulation Time - 14th Nov 19
The Case for a Silver Price Rally - 14th Nov 19
What Happens To The Global Economy If the Oil Price Collapses Below $40 - 14th Nov 19
7 days of Free FX + Crypto Forecasts -- Join in - 14th Nov 19
How to Use Price Cycles and Profit as a Swing Trader – SPX, Bonds, Gold, Nat Gas - 13th Nov 19
Morrisons Throwing Thousands of Bonus More Points at Big Spend Shoppers - JACKPOT! - 13th Nov 19
What to Do NOW in Case of a Future Banking System Breakdown - 13th Nov 19
Why China is likely to remain the ‘world’s factory’ for some time to come - 13th Nov 19
Gold Price Breaks Down, Waving Good-bye to the 2019 Rally - 12th Nov 19
Fed Can't See the Bubbles Through the Lather - 12th Nov 19
Double 11 Record Sales Signal Strength of Chinese Consumption - 12th Nov 19
Welcome to the Zombie-land Of Oil, Gold and Stocks Investing – Part II - 12th Nov 19
Gold Retest Coming - 12th Nov 19
New Evidence Futures Markets Are Built for Manipulation - 12th Nov 19
Next 5 Year Future Proof Gaming PC Build Spec November 2019 - Ryzen 9 3900x, RTX 2080Ti... - 12th Nov 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

$4 Billion Golden Oppoerunity

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