Taoist mythology, Lanna history, mythology, the nature of time and other considered ramblings

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Location: Chiangrai, Chiangrai, Thailand

Author of many self-published books, including several about Thailand and Chiang Rai, Joel Barlow lived in Bangkok 1964-65, attending 6th grade with the International School of Bangkok's only Thai teacher. He first visited ChiangRai in 1988, and moved there in 1998.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Corporate Slaves

The question of whether a corporation, as an artificial person (able to be party to a lawsuit, taxed, and constrained by law), has never been covered in legislation or a Supreme Court decision. Supreme Court judges could have addressed the issue, but declined, stating merely that their opinion was that corporations were persons – already (and even this should not have established any legal precedent – though it was taken to have). This flim-flam was produced consequent to the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment - about ex-slaves. Somehow, without clarification, elucidation or any real legal justification, it converted artificial entities (juristic ‘persons’) into the legal equivalent of natural persons. An opinion without explanation, given despite no argument being heard, became the law of the United States of America (from Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company, 1886 – though nowhere in the decision does the Court say corporations are persons). No state or federal legislature even discussed it, either; no Amendment to the Constitution was deemed necessary; citizens were simply informed that they had a mistaken view about corporations, if they thought they understood their legal status at all. A bit like the Supreme Court “decision” instating George W. Bush as President – a kind of hidden coup de-tat. Women, amazingly, were still not “persons” – and, soon, the slaves for whom a Constitutional Amendment had been passed (admittedly under dubious circumstances: right after the U.S. “Civil War” with a significant percentage of the population disempowered resultant from that conflict) had lost the rights corporations gained through a sleight-of-hand using their name.
One of the most important results of this is that the public is now rarely informed of critical decisions being considered by Congress, even illegal ones (like much ‘foreign policy’), anti-democratic ones (Bill Clinton’s massive “crowd-control” expenditures) or economic bugaboos (untenably increasing massive economic disparity). A person working for wages as a corporate employee loses Constitutional rights (such as free speech) when on corporate property. Ordinary people working together, as in a co-op or labor union, are not afforded the same privileges as a corporate person. Corporate money now governs the political process – and corporations, by law, can only work for profit. Certainly NOT for a better, or even sustainable, world.
When you hear talk of “free trade” or how the “market-place” will sort things out for us – don’t believe it. The corporations are no longer even really in competition, in any traditional sense of the word. We can’t have an efficient health-care system, or single-payer, national health care, because of corporations profit from the current system – a system draining the viability of the dollar many times more than unwise lending and military expenditures combined. For the corporations that rule us need neither our laws nor our dollars – only our gullibility. Corporations are owned by shareholders, and are clearly property. If also legal persons, then clearly persons owned by others - and thus in a slavery of slavery – something explicitly forbidden by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Nevermind – in a world of good terrorists and bad terrorists, where increased wealth for the few will somehow alleviate starvation and the stresses of poverty, where – well, as I said, never-mind.

Better Ways

Not only could there be expanded awareness, better schools, and better laws, prisons, international relations and nutrition,

There are better ways
Of transportation (more rail, public transport and ride-sharing, use of natural gas and electric bikes, and yes, less jet-set flying about)
Of population control (sexual honesty, admitting that it’s not yet a chicken still in an egg, never having taken a breath or even ever having been seen)
Of waste disposal (after well-controlled, limited use, recycling and turning excrement into fertilizer – more easily done than you likely know)
Of product distribution (patent and licensing limitations instead of extensions, and especially the favoring of local products)
Electricity production (solar, graceful wind generators, geo-thermal, methane from sewage utilization, even exercise harnessing)
and storage (well, maybe not just quite yet – batteries have lagged behind other technologies, but still… there could easily be neighborhood power collection and storage repositories, with meters)

but there’s hardly the will or method necessary to implement these ideas – and a very good question, “Why?”, about that!

Where are our beliefs leading us? Do we care? Or, perhaps, do we count too much on something? on a few things? on, even, other people?



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