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There's a pretend world and a real world

The Supreme Court of the United States ($COTU$) granted constitutional rights to legal inventions (corporations) by pretending that property is a "person." CC-BY-NC-SA

So here's something weird. Back when horsepower was horse-powered, the supremely well chosen ones on the Supreme Court of the United States ($COTU$) lavishly indulged a special class of private property with our constitutional rights. Humans have property rights. Property doesn't have human rights, except now it does, e.g., religious exercise, free speech, etc.1 Yet legal inventions (corporations) can't pray, worship, or confess.

How could these non-human resources be granted constitutional rights that were intended for human beings? Well, in legal circles a trillion-dollar multinational corporation is called a "person", which is a "legal fiction,"2 and that's close enough. Doink!

In criminal law, fiction gets a bad rap. That's probably because it's not true. Yet unreal McPeople are the real McCoy, with real-world liberties and dream-world McJustice.

These monstrous disembodied doodads are "too big to fail" and too vague to jail.


Funky Monkey Business

  1. Joshua Holland, Moyers & Company: The Creeping Expansion of Corporate Civil Rights, http://billmoyers.com/2014/02/18/the-creeping-expansion-of-corporate-civil-rights/, February 18, 2014.

Keeping It Real
A quote that tells it like it is

2. A corporation is an artificial being, invisible, intangible, and existing only in contemplation of law. Being the mere creature of law, it possesses only those properties which the charter of creation confers upon it. - Chief Justice John Marshall, Supreme Court of the United States ($COTU$), Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819).

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from "personality" to full personhood 23.Sep.2017 07:13

Mike Novack

The Marshall quote was from the Supreme Court decision that decided that corporations had a right to "personality". That is the component of personhood that we associate with a NAME. The issue was about the attempt of the state of New Hampshire to seize Dartmouth College by eminent domain --- not JUST the physical property of the college but its NAME too. Dartmouth argued that while the state could seize its property, Dartmouth College as a self governing entity could pick up and move and set up somewhere else.

We should note that "personality" is different than personhood. We accept that certain persons, for example, have more than one "personality" << common with people on the stage, authors of books, etc. >>

What we are seeing is the creep/expansion of the "personality" of corporations to have more and more all the rights of persons. That's the bad part << they SHOULD, as the Marshall Court decided, have SOME of the personality components --- exist, sue or be sued under their own name, etc. >>