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Bad Day for Democracy January 21, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, politics.
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For anyone who takes democracy seriously, today was not a good day. It looks like health care reform is dead for now, held hostage by a minority of 41 Senators who see fit to abuse Senate rules to prevent majority rule.

And the Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling held that restrictions placed on corporate campaign contributions are unconstitutional. Corporate influence on campaigns, already substantial, will now know no limits. Politicians will be wholly owned subsidiaries of Big Pharma, Big Banks, and Big Oil.

The ruling is philosophically absurd. Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, claimed that restrictions on campaign donations by corporations is a unconstitutional abridgement of their freedom of speech.

But corporations are not persons. Human beings have rights such as freedom of speech because we have desires, thoughts, and the self-awareness to care about their expression. Rocks, coffee cups, and footballs don’t—and neither do  corporations. The nonsense about corporations being persons is a legal fiction devised solely for economic purposes in the late 19th Century, primarily to shield individuals from liability.The individuals who own and work for corporations already have free speech rights. The Supreme Court’s interpretation effectively grants corporate speakers extra rights both as citizens and as corporations.

Corporations were created by the government—why can they not be regulated by the government?

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com