Saturday, September 29, 2007

Remove "person" from all Corporations...

From :

How Corporate Personhood Threatens Democracy

How Corporations Became 'Persons'

The amazing true story of a legal fiction that undermines American democracy.


By Tom Stites
"Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."


Corporations Special Issue

Corporations 1, Citizens 0 by David Wolman and Heather Wax
Communities Fight Back by Jane Greer
A Prodemocracy Visionary by Kimberly French
Resources on Corporate Privilege by Jane Greer and Tom Stites


Sound like a protester railing against the World Trade Organization? Think again. These are the words of a successful corporate lawyer who represented railroads before becoming president of the United States. They resonate for many people in this Era of Enron, when huge hot-stock corporations have cooked deals with the aid of their auditors and Wall Street bankers to enrich executives at the expense of their employees and shareholders, when corporate lobbyists and campaign donors so often have their way despite the interests of the voters, and when Federal Reserve figures show that the top 1 percent of U.S. households controls 38 percent of the nation's wealth. But these words were written in an 1864 letter, by Abraham Lincoln.

Today, Lincoln's prophetic letter turns up more than 1,100 times in an Internet search, largely in writing that provides evidence that concern about corporate power is spreading rapidly—even though the issue is far from popular in our corporate-owned news media. The number of books on the topic is growing in number and quality. And a new breed of activists is winning converts to the idea that while vast corporations have helped fuel unprecedented prosperity they have also overpowered "government of the people, by the people, and for the people," to quote another memorable Lincoln phrase. Corporations' power over the government is at the root of a wide array of issues of deep concern to Unitarian Universalists, including campaign finance reform, the growing gap between rich and poor, environmental degradation, globalization, and whether democracy itself has been reduced to a mere charade or a sideshow in a global bazaar.

The debate about corporate power so far has cast it as a political issue. Yet, like all that is crucial, it is a religious concern as well. Any force that can overpower democracy is a threat not only to our nation's political system but also to the human spirit, to the right of conscience, and thus to human freedom.

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