It seems that I may have to state the obvious, here, but The United States Supreme Court seems to have been compromised.
The Supreme Court, as an institution, may seem to be an impervious citadel of wisdom and integrity, one that strikes awe into the hearts of citizens and preserves hope in the soul of American life, itself immune to partiality, composed of learned individuals dedicated to the integrity of the system of law, ruling fairly for the highest good of the greatest number -- but recent rulings might cast that characterization in doubt. See what I mean about stating the obvious? Am I understating my case, do you think?
Let's take an easy potshot at the Citizens United ruling.
Now, I know that much has already been said -- but not, I think, this:
The Citizens United ruling was based upon a pre-existing body of law, which holds that corporations are artificial persons -- not that they are artificial citizens.
What the Citizens United ruling did was to confuse personhood with citizenship.
Yes, a corporation may operate as an artificial person, owning assets, subject to claims of liability, borrowing money, and so forth. But nothing about those functions amounts to citizenship. Citizens, apart from being productive, make certain commitments and are expected to take on certain civil responsibilities -- responsibilities that corporations hire lawyers to evade. Indeed, what the ruling did was confer citizenship to artificial-person-corporations without the "candidates for citizenship" fulfilling any of the responsibilities faced by living persons who wish to become citizens. Is a corporation subject to military draft? Can a corporation be called for jury duty? Does a corporation owe allegiance to its host country? Can a corporation commit treason? (History shows that a corporation may indeed commit treason, and not be held accountable for it.) If a corporation commits a felony, does the corporation go to jail?
See, there are serious problems with the notion of corporations being citizens.
Citizens have voting rights; persons who are not citizens do not have voting rights. Corporations do not have voting rights; corporations are not citizens. They are aliens -- aliens invading all parts of the Earth intent on taking over, artificial, unnaturalized. It's like The Invasion of the Body-Snatchers. Corporate environments are very often unhealthy for humans; in general, those who inhabit corporations are the last people who should be in control. Why, then, are they given the right of protected free speech -- meaning the right to financially interfere with elections, as if distribution of money is free speech -- when only speech is free speech?
It's a muddle-headed mess that The Supreme Court has given us.
What the "corporations are persons" ruling did was either
- raise corporations to the level of human personhood - or -
- reduce human persons to the level of mini or "micro"-corporations.
That ruling dehumanized human citizens. By so doing, it struck at the soul of American society. It was a betrayal of humanity.
The Supreme Court seems to have missed that little nuance.
Here's another one, glaringly blatant:
the name, "Citizens United".
The name is a lie. It should have been called, "Corporations United". However, its intent is clear: claiming the rights of citizenship for artificial-person-corporations -- outright.
That the Court somehow managed to miss this subterfuge and failed to discern the nefarious intention behind it suggests that, for all its learnedness, the majority of the Court (i.e., those who ruled in favor of Citizens United ) may be senile.
It may be that the Supreme Court is not the lofty citadel of high ideals we might have thought it is, but that members of the Court are either:
- pawns of moneyed interests -- co-opted, somehow
- infected by the unhealthy form of deviant Capitalism dominating the world-scene, these days -- and don't know it
- duped by the idea that the proper business of the United States Government is to promote the interests of business, wealth, and property.
1. and 2. are plausible.
3. is interesting.
It suggests that the Court doesn't have the mental capacity to weigh multiple considerations fairly because it has been compromised by the official religion of this age, Capitalism -- and not even healthy Capitalism (which is healthy because tempered by morality). Unhealthy Capitalism. Deviant Capitalism. Perhaps The Supreme Court has been compromised by the sick spirit of unhealthy Capitalism (which few people recognize is distinct from healthy Capitalism) and don't know it. They may think they are protecting the health of the American way of life (American Dream?), but they are infected with the Unhealthy Capitalism Virus.
The Citizens United ruling did not just open our political process to control by the Unhealthy Capitalism Virus; it infected the spirit of the American people with dispair and mistrust; how's that for a boost to the American economy? Everybody knows that Capitalism is sick. Now we have a diagnosis.
Unless, of course, some members of The Supreme Court are the dupes of moneyed interests.
In either case, an immune response is building to the virus in this country and abroad.
The Supreme Court would do well to recover from the virus before the immune response begins full-on.