We deal with the effects of the corporatism practiced in America every day, but few, stop to think of the history of corporations, or if they should exist as they do today or not.
Before I get into some of the negative aspects of modern Corporate America, I feel it is necessary to quickly go over the key points of the History of corporations and their role as they have applied in the united States over the years.
In the first days of colonial america, English Corporations such as the Massachusetts Bay Company, the Hudson’s Bay Company, and the British East India Company, as arms of King George, used their virtual monopoly status, on account of their enormous size, to pressure and tax early american settlers.
The Boston Tea Party, was in fact a revolt against the Tea duties imposed by the British East India Company and a strike at all English Corporations. The founding Fathers saw how corporations could control the people and thought of corporations as a tool of a king.
After the revolution, early corporations were kept under check by local governments without federal oversight. Corporations had no voice in politics, and were not permitted to own stock in other companies. When a corporation was found to act outside of public interest, they became dissolved.
In the early history of America the local people had a say in how corporations function and the corporations were held in check by the State government having the ability to dissolve their charter. This is certainly not what happens today, so what has changed?
The shift of power began during the Civil War. Corporations were able to create record smashing profits fueling the disorder. With the profits, started the process of corruption, bribing legislatures, and slowly re-writing the laws on corporations. This caused President Lincoln to exclaim
“corporations have been enthroned. An era of corruption in high places will follow and the money power will endeavor to prolong its reign by working on the prejudices of the people until wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the republic is destroyed.”
The corruption continued unheeded unfortunately. Corporations used their politicians to change the laws. State charters could no longer be dissolved, no limits could be placed on profits obtained, the laws were changed so that only judges could prohibit corporate activity, as judges were also bribed, on what, to them seemed only a trivial matter, having forgot the harsh lessons of the revolution, granted rights to corporations, with legal victories, giving corporations more and more power.
The final nail in the coffin, that has put us in the position we are in today was Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific Railroad, the US Supreme Court deemed that a private corporation was a “natural person” under the US Constitution and therefore entitled to protection under the Bill of Rights.
In one fell swoop, corporations became a natural born citizen and all the rights and sovereignty previously enjoyed only by the people, became the rights of a corporation, whose sole function is to increase profits, as millions use corporations as investments, demanding returns over all else.
At first it may not seem so bad to give corporations the rights people are born with, the difference being, corporations are not only groups of people, they are store houses of vast resources and wealth. Thus making the power held by corporations greater than a individual citizen, in contrary the the constitution which holds people to have the greatest power in government.
With the vast resources of corporations, they can exploit and defend their “natural born rights” much better than any private citizen could dream. This created a balance of power between private citizens and corporations that has never been returned to us.
The system “by the people and for the people” was replaced with “by the corporations and for the corporations”.
What has followed from that fateful legal decision is an era of political corruption and special interest lobbyist that has plagued our government to this day.
Corporations spend billions financing campaigns, polarizing both their employees
and share holders.
Corporations control the media and press, they have bought up the majority of media outlet’s to form a huge centralized corporate controlled media base, where perhaps voices aren’t silenced but are certainly controlled through employee contracts and the ease with which journalist can be hired and fired. 6 private corporations own around a 90% share in the news people read, hear and see. As well as what gets said loud and what is said in a whisper.
Public policy is basically formed from their lips to a public that refuses to even acknowledge that 6 corporations basically control it all.
In Medicine they have done more of the same. Drug Corporation board members and share holders set policy and have written the rules to keep little guys out of the process as they buy the rest up.
They hold seats of influence in the FDA, they have lobbied and changed legislation allowing them to advertise poorly tested prescription products to a populace that in turn demands their Doctor gives them the latest greatest medicine which in time has come back to help fund the legal industry when the policies the drug industry basically put in place failed to protect the people from the harm their advertised drug created.
With the natural born right’s corporations have obtained, personal Banking corporations have taken control of the money supply. They operate in public, as a private industry that is allowed to set the countries monetary policy. This may come as a surprise to some, but the Federal reserve bank is owned by private parties, not affiliated with the United States Government. The Federal Reserve Bank, is in fact also a corporation, with the sole function of creating profits for the private share holders. Is it any wonder our dollar has lost value since the Federal Reserve Bank was created? The Federal Reserve, unfortunately is no more federal than federal express.
These are certainly not the only examples, not even in the industries exposed. Countless and nameless policies and legislation preserves and protects the corporate welfare/warfare state every day. I could quite literally list the negative effects over the last hundred years or so, forever.
Corporate America is also encouraging the hiring of foreigners over the American worker. Huge companies like FaceBook love to hire “dreamers” because its cheaper than hiring locals.
Corporations, with the stolen rights of natural born citizens, have taken control of our country. With the resources and money in the hands of corporations, they will always have the upper hand when it comes to protecting their rights, thus infringing the rights of actual people.
Only knowledge and spreading of that knowledge can ever hope to challenge their strangle hold on Americans and their constitutional
Guest post by Jerry.