Stupid yet still clever


The underlying policy views are very confused (a corporation isn’t a person, it’s a group of people who don’t lose their other rights just because they have freely associated financial interests).  But as a political slogan, I found this very clever (and funny).


6 thoughts on “Stupid yet still clever

  1. My understanding is that corporations are legal persons, though not human ones. A corporation, Arthur Anderson, was found guilty of several crimes several years back, by a human jury.

  2. In federal criminal law, corporations are criminally culpable individuals. It sounds absurd, but corporations can and have been prosecuted for crimes. I cite the Arthur Anderson case as one. The joke is on us that the justice department wastes the taxpayer’s money prosecuting legal fictions.

  3. Well, sure, that too, but the word ‘individual’ here is itself functioning as a synonym. Legal terminology strives for empirical meaning, which, though at times useful, contradicts the very function of language; language is something inherently organic and volatile. It was only in the last 400 years or so that the application of the word ‘individual’ even came to associate people with private rights and freedoms (and that after a huge cultural and intellectual shift). The legal term, however, is not necessarily about people in the first place. It’s about a(n INDIVIDUAL) moral agent, one which needs to be held responsible for certain actions. It’s a total abstraction, and most certainly does not try to make corporations “people”.

  4. The point as I understand it is that a key function of government is to protect some parties from the actions of others who might disenfranchise and harm them – to protect each party’s rights. If one accepts that idea, then the issue of consequences becomes central: if an entity considers an action that might bring down punishment, what is the value equation? What is the possible cost, compared to the value the perp might receive?

    If I really need a parking space and no legal ones are available, what’s the fine for violating? If it’s $5, I might be happy to do it. If it’s $100 and there are meter cops all over, I won’t. If it’s a tow and $250, no way.

    It’s corruption if some parties are shielded because they know a judge.

    Corporations are, rightly, entitled to enter into contracts, as people are, and they can be sued for not honoring the contract, like people. They are also entitled to sue for protection when others disenfranchise them. However, access to that process is heavily influenced (for humans as well as “legal fiction” persons) by one’s resources available to fund court activities, so it’s not a level playing field. C’est la vie.

    The issue of executions is no small issue in reality. Corporations seek and have been given protection under the Bill of Rights and the Civil War amendments, but unlike humans, they don’t have the corresponding risk of imprisonment for egregious or even lethal misdeeds. Seems to me that simply doesn’t work as a model for fair, equitable government, si? Or what am I missing?

    Please don’t ad hominem me. I’m just laying it out as I see it, and asking.

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