By What Authority:

November 2010

By What Authority

Why Abolish All Corporate Constitutional Rights

Corporations are creations of the state. As we documented in many resources over many years, they couldn't exist in any form without the legal sanctioning of government. Since citizens are the source of all legitimate power in any representative democracy, We the People have the power to define corporations any way we see fit. We the People have rights and authority. Originally, corporations only possessed privileges bestowed by the state.

The appointed-for-life US Supreme Court "found" corporations in numerous places in the US Constitution over the past 124 years. These "findings" gave rights to corporations, including many of those in the Bill of Rights. In other words, illegitimate corporate power didn't begin in 2010. The corporate perversion of rights and the Constitution have resulted in the destruction of our communities, economy, politics and natural world in many ways for a very long time.

POCLAD believes ALL corporate constitutional rights should be abolished. These include at least the following:

Since the problem of corporate constitutional rights is multidimensional, the solution must be comprehensive.

The threat to authentic democratic self-governance comes from the fact that corporations have been defined as legal persons. As we see it, corporations have exercised this illegitimate status in many ways. Addressing only one or two of those ways won't reverse the profound corporate threat to We the People having ultimate power to govern.

One hundred and sixty years ago, those who believed the section of the Constitution (Art 4, Sec 2) defining people as property (slavery) was fundamentally immoral didn't call for ending one or two dimensions of slavery. They didn't organize to establish a Slavery Protection Agency, nor ask slaveholders to sign a voluntary code of conduct to treat slaves a little less harshly. They called for abolition of the institution of slavery.

As a reflection of that thinking, POCLAD and others who hold that defining property as people ("corporate personhood") is fundamentally immoral and a threat to real people and the planet, believe that we should not limit our vision and actions. Let's set out to amend the constitution in a way that abolishes all rights wrongly granted to the corporate form during the last two centuries. Let's put an end to the institution of corporate personhood itself.

Nothing less is worth the considerable time and learning, grit and energy required to amend the Constitution.

Why not make the result worth the effort?

Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy

Box 246 S. Yarmouth, MA 02664 Phone: 508-398-1145

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