A subcommittee of the full House Judiciary Committee held a hearing last week on the “Weaponization of the Federal Government.” Two panels discussed the “politicization of the FBI and DOJ and attacks on American civil liberties.” It rehashed old grievances about how Trump and others were treated by the two agencies over the last few years.
If exposing and ending “weaponization of the government” is the target, then the Judiciary Committee should take aim at the single biggest culprit: corporations.
Almost all corporations in the U.S. were originally charged or licenced at the state level by legislatures one-at-a-time. Those charters stipulated specific conditions, to ensure that they served the common good. Corporate charters were routinely revoked when corporations acted “ultra vires,” that is beyond their defined authority. None of those conditions included bestowing inherent rights to corporations to dominate society and government as they do today.
Corporations escaped state legislative authority by “weaponizing” four sectors of government. Their goal was less public accountability to amass political and economic power.
1. Corporations “weaponized” states against one another.
Corporate agents moved corporate charters from states that limited corporate independence to states that were corporate friendly. Originally that was New Jersey. Today that’s Delaware, the home of more than half of the Fortune 500 publicly traded corporations.
2. Corporations “weaponized” the federal legislature
Corporate agents sought federal laws to supersede state laws that limited corporate powers. The federal Sherman Antitrust Act, for example, was a weakened version of much more potent laws that were enacted in many states to prevent corporate concentration.
3. Corporations “weaponized” regulatory agencies
As many states sought public ownership over several types of corporations – including utilities and transportation – corporations supported the alternative creation of “regulatory agencies,” which regulated corporate ownership and served as a shield to direct legislative authority (including revoking corporate charters) and diversion of citizen mobilization.
4. Corporations “weaponized” the courts
The ultimate escape of “democratic” control over corporations was the anointing of constitutional “rights” to corporations. Though there’s no mention of corporations in the U.S. Constitution, the Supreme Court proclaimed over the course of a century that a corporation is a person with First, Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment protections. This makes public definition and authority over corporations impossible. Corporate constitutional rights is the ultimate shield against efforts to assert human rights and the right to a livable world over never-intended “corporate rights.”=
Abolishing all corporate constitutional rights by enacting the We the People Amendment (HJR48) is the only strategy to make corporations authentically democratically accountable.
This requires building a people’s movement. Ending all the other ways corporations have “weaponized government” to consolidate political and economic power becomes much easier one corporations no longer are shielded with constitutional rights
Join our We the People Lobby campaign. Our goal is to secure 100 House of Representatives co-sponsors by the end of this year. Sign up. We’ll work with and connect you with other Move to Amend supporters in your state/district to get started.
If Congress isn’t going to expose the corporate “weaponization of government,” then it’s up to us to not only do so, but to end it.
Based on published article at https://www.commondreams.org/opinion/we-the-people-amendment