"Mistrust those in whom the urge to punish is strong." Friedrich Nietzche

"Any and all non-violent, non-coercive, non-larcenous, consensual adult behavior that does not physically harm other people or their property or directly and immediately endangers same, that does not disturb the peace or create a public nuisance, and that is done in private, especially on private property, is the inalienable right of all adults. In a truly free and liberty-loving society, ruled by a secular government, no laws should be passed to prohibit such behavior. Any laws now existing that are contrary to the above definition of inalienable rights are violations of the rights of adults and should be made null and void." D. M. Mitchell (from The Myth of Inalienable Rights, at: http://dowehaverights.blogspot.com/)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Are Corporations Dangerous?

"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." Thomas Jefferson said that more than 200 years ago. Unfortunately, corporations have only gotten stronger since then.

Lord Acton said that "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." But from where does power come? Money...and lots of it. Very large corporations, especially international ones, have tons of money and they use it to get what they want, which is more money. To a corporation (a fictional legal entity that cannot be held directly responsible for its actions like a private citizen could) all that matters is the bottom line. Make a profit. Keep making a profit. And damn the consequences.

Our oceans are polluted because of corporations. Rain forests are being cut down because of corporations. Herbicides, pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics pollute our food supply because of corporations. Tobacco is the number one addictive, disease-causing, death-dealing drug in the world because of corporations. The list just goes on and the government does little if anything to stop it. Why would that be?

In September of 1998, Loyola Law School professor, Robert Benson, in conjunction with 30 public interest groups, filed a lawsuit against Union Oil of California (Unocal) for various legal and human rights violation around the world, including the United States. The 127 page legal brief was rejected by the then California Attorney General in just five days. I don't know if you have ever read a legal brief, but a 127 paged brief is rather hard to read, research, digest, and answer in just five days.

Does that mean that the extremely rich international corporation known as Unocal has enough money, therefore the power, to corrupt a government? It is hard to believe that such a thing could even be remotely possible in America today, isn't it?. Therefore, I refuse to believe it. Still, we know that big corporations do a whole lot of damage to our environment...and they are still allowed to exist. But what can we do about it? After all, the United States of America was originally set up as a republic in which "the people" are supposed to be supreme...not corporations.

If you are interested in more on the subject of problems with corporations, go to: http://www.corpwatch.org. If you wish to know more about the Unocal lawsuit, go to the above URL and enter "The Death Penalty for Corporations Comes of Age" in the search field.

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