We the Corporations
By Joelle Hervic / filmsforaction.org

We the Corporations:  Corporations and the Hijacking of Democracy: 

Asserting People Power.

 

Joëlle Hervic, Esq. 

CEO, Human Dimensions TV

www.humand.tv

 

Corporate money has hijacked our democracy with mega corporations spending billions to buy elections and politicians.  Big Oil, Big Gas, Big Pharma, and Big Banks spend staggering amounts buying political power to push policies and candidates that help big business and hurt the rest of us.  For as long as this corporate power continues, real change will not be possible at a governmental level and countries will be powerless to address the major issues and challenges of the day, in particular, global warming.   

At the same time, corporate rights are being elevated to exceed the rights of human beings.  In the US the law recognizes corporations as people and protects them while diluting the rights of human beings.   Instead of protecting people and the Earth community – the laws protect and insulate corporate power and fail to make corporations accountable to the community.   U.S. and other courts have increasingly granted corporations greater rights and protections at the expense of individual rights.  

This trend was hugely amplified in the controversial and divisive 2010 U.S. Supreme Court case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.[1]  That case concerned a dispute over whether Citizens United, a Political Action Committee (PAC), could air political advertisements publicizing a video-on-demand that was critical of Hillary Clinton during the 2008 presidential campaign in which she was a candidate.   In a 5-4 ruling, the Court declared unconstitutional the government restriction on corporate and union spending during US elections, and determined the broadcasts should have been allowed.  In so doing, the Court overturned century-old precedent that allowed the government to regulate campaign expenditures.  

Trade agreements have also been investing companies with increasing power at the expense of individuals.  The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a particularly troubling trade agreement that is currently being negotiated in secret.  If implemented it would strip any remaining powers from people to have any say in setting limits and protections.  The TPP is being negotiated between Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.   If you are concerned about the food you eat, the health of ecosystems and environmental protection you should be very concerned about the TPP. 

Some provisions have been leaked including a provision called “investor-state dispute settlement” which gives foreign corporations the political power to challenge national laws before a small panel of lawyers that would not be reviewable by any courts.

Cause for Hope

In 2012, in a marked departure from the judicial trend strengthening corporate powers and protections, President Judge Debbie O’Dell-Seneca of the Court of Common Pleas for Washington County, Pennsylvania, found that corporations were not “persons” entitled to the State’s constitutional protections.  

Ruling in a hydraulic fracturing contamination case that there is no corporate right to privacy under Pennsylvania’s constitution, she granted the request of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Washington Observer-Reporter to unseal a court-approved settlement between Plaintiffs, Stephanie and Chris Hallowich, and Defendants, Range Resources, MarkWest Energy Partners and Williams Gas/Laurel Mountain Midstream Partners.[2]

Judge O’Dell-Seneca declared that “in the absence of state law, business entities are nothing.”[3]  Citing the 1776 Pennsylvania Constitution in support of her finding that corporations were never intended to be constitutionally protected “persons”, she declared that “an even more dubious proposition is that the framers of the Constitution of 1776, given their egalitarian sympathies, would have concerned themselves with vesting, for the first time in history, indefeasible rights in such entities. . . that language extends only to natural persons.”[4]

Reasoning that if corporations are permitted to claim rights independent from people, then “the chattel would become the co-equal to its owners, the servant on par with its masters, the agent the peer of its principals, and the legal fabrication superior to the law that created and sustains it.”[5] 

This decision and others and the growing movement around the world of regular people who are voicing their opinions, protecting their communities and saying “no” to corporate power is inspirational.  We can’t afford to wait around for governments to do the right thing because we will be waiting for ever.  Change is possible but it’s up to you and me.  

 

What you can do

  • Support new film in pre-production, “The Journey Home”[6] (TJH) anyway you can – whether it’s sharing the website and Facebook page with your friends, contributing your talent or with a financial donation.  No contribution is too small. 

 

TJH is a new inspirational movie that features a mysterious warrior who finds himself in present day North America – a stranger in his own land once more and whose personal journey is a quest for reconnection with the sacred – and with himself.

 

  • Inform yourself about how companies are influencing your lives – from the food you eat, the air you breathe and the water you drink to the news you read.  Read the labels of the food you eat – see if the tuna you buy is sustainable and whether the food you eat has been genetically modified.  

 

  • Divest your superannuation from fossil fuel investment.  Look for ethical alternatives.

 

  • Look for petitions and like-minded groups which are working to take back power from corporations and which are working on local issues including hydraulic fracturing.


Resources

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Citizens United v. FEC, 130 S. Ct. 876 (2010).

[2] See Washington County Judge Orders Marcellus Shale Development Settlement Records Unsealed, Paula Reid Ward, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 20 March 2013.  Available at:  http://pipeline.postgazette.com/news/archives/25102-washington-county-judge-orders-marcellus-shale-development-settlement-records-unsealed

[3] Id.

[4] http://citizenactionmonitor.wordpress.com/tag/community-environmental-legal-defense-fund/

[5] http://earthlawcenter.org/news/headline/a-new-civil-Ffrrights-movement-liberating-our-communities-from-corporate-control/

[6] © Human Dimensions TV2014

0.0 ·
0
What's Next
Trending Today
When You Kill Ten Million Africans You Aren't Called 'Hitler'
Liam O'Ceallaigh · 14,972 views today · Take a look at this picture. Do you know who it is? Most people haven’t heard of him. But you should have. When you see his face or hear his name you should get as sick in...
Who Are You? Watching This Breathtaking Video Could Be the Moment You Change Your Life
2 min · 13,453 views today · "Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to a job that you need so you can...
Rap News Special Edition: Hillary Clinton Vs Donald Trump
7 min · 10,822 views today · Hello world. RAP NEWS is back for a special episode on the 2016 USA Election mayhem, feat. Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump + a touch of Jill Stein & Gary Johnson. This one's...
What It Really Means to Hold Space for Someone
Heather Plett · 8,056 views today · How to be there for the people who need you most
Ten Ways We Misunderstand Children
Jan Hunt · 5,912 views today · 1. We expect children to be able to do things before they are ready. We ask an infant to keep quiet. We ask a 2-year-old to sit still. We ask a 3-year-old to clean his room...
10 Shocking Facts About Society That We Absurdly Accept As Normal
Joe Martino · 5,591 views today · When you take a moment and look around at the world, things can appear pretty messed up. Take 5 or 10 minutes and watch the 6 o’clock news. Chances are, the entire time, all...
How to Criticize with Kindness: Philosopher Daniel Dennett on the Four Steps to Arguing Intelligently
Maria Popova · 5,394 views today · “Just how charitable are you supposed to be when criticizing the views of an opponent?”
The International Criminal Court May Start Prosecuting People Who Commit Crimes Against the Environment
Tara Smith · 5,163 views today · The International Criminal Court is not known for prosecuting people responsible for huge oil slicks, chopping down protected rainforests or contaminating pristine land. But...
Humanity's Greatest Challenges Aren't Technical, They're Human
8 min · 4,856 views today · Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is incomplete as we commonly know it. Later in his life, Maslow wrote about a stage beyond self-actualization. Nichol Brandford explains how to...
Caitlin Moran's Posthumous Advice for Her Daughter
Caitlin Moran · 4,853 views today · My daughter is about to turn 13 and I’ve been smoking a lot recently, and so – in the wee small hours, when my lungs feel like there’s a small mouse inside them, scratching to...
The Culture of Maximum Harm
Daniel Quinn · 4,682 views today · People have lived many different ways on this planet, but about ten thousand years ago there appeared one people who believed everyone in the world should live a single...
The Journey From Syria (2016)
71 min · 3,333 views today · Reporter Matthew Cassel spent a year documenting the journey of Syrian jeweler Aboud Shalhoub as he travels from Turkey to Greece, and through Eastern Europe to the Netherlands...
10 Photos That Show the Magnificent Light Shining on Standing Rock
Josue Rivas · 2,258 views today · Despite all the news of pipeline regulation, court appeals, and activist arrests, Native photographer Josue Rivas reminds us that it is actually a peaceful place.
The Left Deserves Better Than Jill Stein
Kate Aronoff · 1,908 views today · Stein’s Green Party run doesn’t offer a plan to win, or to build power. The Left is capable of so much more.
Prince Ea Just Put The School System on Trial and Found it Guilty of Killing Free Thought
6 min · 1,832 views today · Albert Einstien once said "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid". Today Prince...
The Little Engine That Couldn't: How We're Preparing Ourselves and Our Children for Extinction
Daniel Quinn · 1,738 views today · In a recent semi-documentary film called Garbage, a toxic waste disposal engineer was asked how we can stop engulfing the world in our poisons. His answer was, "We'd have to...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,205 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Debt, Inequality and the Logic of Financial Violence
David Graeber · 1,159 views today · Five years after Occupy, organizer and anthropologist David Graeber speaks to ROAR about the power of finance, the history of inequality and the legacy of the movement.
This Satirical Trump Vs. Bernie Debate Is Both Hilarious and Highly Disturbing
44 min · 1,127 views today · Comedians James Adomian (Bernie Sanders) and Anthony Atamanuik (Donald Trump) bring two of the most controversial candidates in history, head-to-head, or rather bald-to-toupee...
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 1,093 views today · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
We the Corporations