In this posting I will be leading you blindly on a path of thought. I hope you are willing to follow along. I will start with a history lesson.
All quotes ('' ") are from our Declaration of Independence. Other quotes are in italics.
The institution of corporation became part of British life before the colonization of the Americas. It was these corporations that permitted the rapid colonization of much of the world. In 1587 it was a corporation of the crown that colonized Virginia. The colonies of Connecticut and Rhode Island were each governed by a "Governor and Company," incorporated by charter from the English crown. Our original colonies were corporations of the English crown.
Corporations then as now had certain human characteristic. They could buy and sell property. They could sue and be sued. The members of the corporation (stock holders) were separate, and could not be held libel for the dept of the corporation. Corporations were created with the blessing of the crown, and could be dissolved by the crown. Today in the U.S. incorporation is done at the state or federal level, and thus it could be said done with the blessing of that government.
Corporations then as now had to follow the dictates of the granting government. It was the corporate responsibility to uphold the dictates of the crown including taxation.
There was and is a legal separation between the corporations and the government, and a legal separation between the corporations and its members. But there was and is an interdependency between these three. Then as now the government grants the incorporation and is dependent upon the revenue. Then as now the corporations are funded by the members, and the members are dependent upon the profits.
"...it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another,..."
The power of England extended globally with corporations creating the expansion and governing over the new lands. The power was maintained though the military might of England. Thus when the colonies revolted they severed "the political bands" with England.
Today the global power of the Western World is dependent upon the corporate reach, but the government granting the corporation is no longer clear. I will use Shell Oil as an example.
Royal Dutch Shell is a corporation headquartered in the Hague, Netherlands. It is incorporated in London England. Under Royal Dutch Shell are these subsidiaries.
Shell Canada - headquarters are in Canada, but control is by Shell Energy North America. Shell Canada was created through a purchase done to gain access to unconventional resources such as tar sands oil.
Shell Gas & Power is the primary energy trading arm of Royal Dutch Shell doing business under Shell Trading and a subsidiary Coral Energy, LLC.
Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company
Shell Nigeria Gas
Shell Nigeria Oil Products
Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas
The Nigerian government has executed protesters that have protested against Shell. Shell claims that they asked the government for clemency for these protesters though there is evidence to the contrary.
Shell Oil Company headquartered in Texas is a 50/50 partner with the Saudi Arabian government-owned oil company Saudi Aramco in Motiva Enterprises.
Other subsidiaries include Shell Australia, Shell Chemicals, and Shell Pakistan
There is no one government granting the international corporation the right to exists. Though not exclusively the might of one single government protecting this right, the U.S. military is the largest in the world, and has the greatest reach.
Up to this point I have used verifiable facts to lay the foundation. Our global reach is created and dependent upon international corporations, and the international corporations are dependent upon the U.S. and other governments to protect that reach. Governments and investors benefit from corporate existence but are shielded by law from the responsibility of their actions. This has been true for centuries, but with the corporations going international there is a level of ambiguity as to which government can gain the benefit of the incorporation along or the power to dissolve it.
In the Revolutionary War we defeated the government that was protecting the governing corporations. Of all the governments world wide the U.S. and our military are the equivalent to the the English military. When "Object evinces a design (by corporations or the U.S.) to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government." Our Declaration of Independence gives the people of all nations the right and duty to expel U.S. troops, and to overthrow their own government should that government refuse. Cuba is a prime example of a people doing exactly that.
"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism ..."
Until this point I have stayed with legal connections. There are moral connections. The investor holds a moral connection to the actions of the corporation, and the granting government also is moral tied to the actions of the corporation. Clearly the military actions of a government are moral decisions. And as citizens we are morally tied to the actions of our government. Because of the legal and moral connection between corporations and government I will be blurring the line.
I will try and show that our government and corporations are trying to reduce us to absolute despotism. I will show that the government and corporation colluded to destroy the middle class, that your every move is monitored, and that the powers will, if they desire, limit your movement, hurt you or kill you, all without trial.
Destruction of the middle class:
In February, 1987 Michael Moore reported on a meeting organized in part by the U.S. Commerce Department under President Reagan explaining to U.S. corporations how they could save money by moving their manufacturing jobs to Mexico. Reagan was instrumental in selling the idea of a free market economy, and every president since then has bought into it. The results? The below charts can be found at http://www.multinationalmonitor.org/hyper/issues/1987/02/moore.html.
Largest Maquila Employers in Mexico
|5. AC Nielson||5,500|
|6. North American Phillips||4,500|
|7. American Hospital||3,500|
Maquiladora Hourly Wages v. Average Manufacturing Wages in Other Countries
Starting with President Reagan and continuing through every administration there has been a move toward a free market economy with the resultant decline in the wages of working Americans.
You are being watched:
In Utah there is construction of a million square foot National Security Administration building to collect and store close to your every communication and action. The following quote is from DemocracyNow!, March 21, 2012.
A new exposé in Wired Magazine reveals details about how the National Security Agency is quietly building the largest spy center in the country in Bluffdale, Utah, as part of a secret NSA surveillance program codenamed "Stellar Wind." We speak with investigative reporter James Bamford, who says the NSA has established listening posts throughout the nation to collect and sift through billions of email messages and phone calls, whether they originate within the country or overseas. The Utah spy center will contain near-bottomless databases to store all forms of communication collected by the agency. This includes the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails — parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases and other digital "pocket litter." "The NSA has constantly denied that they’re doing things, and then it turns out they are doing these things," Bamford says in response to NSA Director General Keith Alexander’s denial yesterday that U.S. citizens’ phone calls and emails are being intercepted. "A few years ago, President Bush said before camera that the United States is not eavesdropping on anybody without a warrant, and then it turns out that we had this exposure to all the warrantless eavesdropping in the New York Times article. And so, you have this constant denial and parsing of words."
In Colorado Springs, CO there is a proposal to install security cameras to watch the public. When combined with face recognition software this could be used to track individual's movements.
Without a trial:
The government can, without trial restrict your movements. In 2008 the ACLU estimated that there were 1,000,000 names on the No Fly List, and growing. The process of limiting travel does not require a trial.
Corporations or our government will hurt or kill you at their will, and without trial. Anwar al-Awlaki was accused of being an official in a terrorist organization and was accused of being involved in the Fort Hood shooting as well as the attempted Christmas Day Bombing. There was never a trail yet he was assassinated by our government. There has been no evidence produced that his son had anything to do with these actions, but he too was assassinated.
Judi Bari was a Union Organizer and a environmental activist trying to save the old growth redwoods. In 1990 a motion activated pipe bomb exploded under her her seat. Both she and her passenger Darryl Cherney survived. Ms. Bari has since died of cancer.
Just 30 days prior the FBI held a bomb school on a Louisiana-Pacific Lumber Company clear-cut near Eureka CA, and two weeks later a bomb went off at a Louisiana-Pacific saw mill. Evidence shows that Judi Bari's car was bombed by the same person. When the car was bombed the first Oakland Police report stated that the car was booby trapped (set off by the car motion). Yet the first thing the FBI said to the hospitalized Darryl Cherney was:
This was your bomb, so why don’t you confess, make it easy on all of us, and get it over with?
The two sued the FBI and in 2002 a jury awarded the two victims $4.4 million after hearing "literally unbelievable testimony from the FBI and the Oakland police" (words of Mr. Cherney). Because the two pipe bombs were connected in construction, and because the one that exploded at the saw mill likely contains DNA evidence Mr. Cherney is taking legal action to have the the FBI turn over the evidence for independent testing. As of this writing the FBI is still fighting that request. In all appearances the FBI is protecting the know bomber.
"... it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
We are living in a country where our every action can be collected without warrant. We are living in a country where our movement can be limited without due process. We are living in a country where you can be kill with government involvement without due process.
We are living in a police state. "...it is (our) right, it is (our) duty, to throw off such Government ...". "To throw off" is not the same as to eliminate. It also includes replacing the power structure.
In the Supreme Court case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission the supreme court continued a long history of slowly giving corporation more personhood rights, starting before the colonization of the Americas. There are many proposals to revoke corporate personhood. I believe that this is treating the symptom, not the problem. The problem is the interdependency of government, corporations, and members of the corporation, but each not libel for the actions of the other. With that in mind I propose this amendment to the Constitution.
No entity doing business in more than one state shall be created that shield its members from the liabilities of that entity. The governing body of a business entity shall be held accountable under the law for crimes committed by the business entity. Members of such business entity shall not be held libel or accountable for the action of other members unless expressly written in contract or law. Such business entity shall not be held criminally responsible or libel for the actions of members unless the crime was committed at the instruction of the business. For crimes committed by such a business resulting in the loss of many lives, after due process, any state or federal court can order an immediate revoke of license to do business with all assets of the business frozen to pay liabilities. In cases of fraud or criminal activity, if the state granting the business entity reasonable should have known about the activity and has not taken steps to stop the activity the state is libel for uncollected liabilities of the business entity up to 110% of the taxes and fees collected from that business for the last 15 years. Such business entities do not have constitutional rights except for those granted by congress.
The biggest claim made is that it will destroy our economy because people will no longer invest. What will they do with their money? If they invest in foreign corporations that do business here or in U.S. corporations that do business here the liability is the same. That said, I would be surprised if it didn't cause a short term downturn in our economy. But I believe that the recovery will be with businesses and governments more accountable for their actions, and that citizens will have a greater say in government.
I welcome comment.