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Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See for full contents of our site

February 14, 2010


A corporation is not human. A corporation is a thing. It's a legal fiction, subject to the definition in the corporation's charter and restrictions imposed by law.

A car is a thing, too. Can a car possess rights? No. A car does not have the right to drive down the street. It has no will of its own, so the idea of rights for cars is absurd. Instead, the car's driver has the right to drive the car down the street, within certain restrictions. The driver must have a driver's license and obey traffic rules.

It's just as absurd to say that a corporation has 'rights.' When we say a company has the right to advertise its goods or services, what we really mean is that we recognize that advertising is part of the normal function of a business corporation, just as transportation is the normal function of a car.

Like a car without a driver, a corporation has no will of its own. Its actions are guided by CEOs and other managers, owners and stockholders, a board of directors, or some combination of these people. They profit through the corporation, by receiving salaries and bonuses or through their investments in the corporation. When those who control the corporation use it to break the law, abuse their power, or violate the corporation's own charter, then the corporate charter should be revoked -- just as the driver who violates traffic rules may lose the use of his or her car. - Scott McLarty, Common Dreams


Anonymous Give me liberty or give me weed. said...

"But the latest outrage of all was delivered to us by the supreme court—you know those same mullahs who gave us Bush, wise decision on their part! Now they say we have to protect the corporations, that they are more citizens than human beings--- after all, they last forever! Wasn’t it Caligula who made his horse counsel of Rome?"
Ed Rosenthal, marijuana growing guru.

February 14, 2010 12:59 PM  
Anonymous ... or some part thereof... said...

Re:"... Wasn’t it Caligula who made his horse counsel of Rome?"

February 14, 2010 1:01 PM  

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