Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A Common Leftist Meme on Corporations

While looking for reactions to Verizon's innovative legal doctrines, I noticed an example of a common leftist meme in the comments to a post on Crooks and Liars:

Unfortunately, there was a Supreme Court decision in the early 20th century (forget what it was called) which declared a corporation as a person with respect to 1st Amendment rights. Since then, things have gone down hill for private citizens with respect to the 1st Amendment.
It is a sad day when a CORPORATION can claim personhood and declares it has 1st Amendment rights? At the same time, real people are losing their civil rights and civil liberties right and left.
Corporations do not have rights. The “real people” making up corporations do exist and have rights. The rights of corporations is simply a shorthand way of describing those rights. The existence of a corporate person merely means there is more than one reason to defend the rights of the people making up the corporation.

The really fascinating aspect of this meme is the reaction of leftists when we wingnuts try arguing in favor of deregulating corporations on the grounds of human rights. They will first assume that we are using the legal decision that corporations are persons and claim it should be repealed. When we try explaining that we mean the human rights of the individuals making up corporations, they will assume we are ignorant clods who don't even know the arguments on our side.

I'd like to let the leftists in on a little secret: I have never seen one of us reactionaries using the legal decision that corporations are persons. We always use other grounds.

On the other hand, maybe they could claim that Microsoft, for example, is actually run by goblins instead of humans …


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