Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Powers, Principalities and Alito

After getting a heads-up on this from another spear-oriented blog I regularly read, I've been recently watching chunklets of a rather interesting documentary on corporations, which is accurately if unimaginatively titled: "The Corporation." It's faskinating schtuff, and draws from perspectives from both within and outside the business community. It's worth a watch.

It's particularly intriguing given the recent Supreme Court decision to permit corporations to act as if they had the same rights as citizens of our democratic republic...up to and including direct action to effect an election. One of the more striking segments (which you can watch above) discusses the dynamics of these corporations. The question is asked: What kind of person is a corporation? Among the answers:
  • They are "immortal persons," meaning they can exist forever.
  • They are constituted for the purpose of shielding human beings from culpability for their actions towards other human beings.
  • They exist for the purpose of providing profit for themselves.
  • They have no soul.
  • They cannot be held personally accountable for their actions.
Reflecting on this, I encounter two things. First, a slight shiver as I think about the ground that such "persons" stand upon morally and spiritually. One wonders how Jesus would respond to such a "person," and whether that response would involve a herd of pigs and a cliff.

Second, I wonder how these "persons" relate to the preamble of the Declaration of Independence. Are they the governed? Is government instituted among them, and does it require their consent for it's just powers? Are they...men? Meaning, you know, people?

They do not live. Liberty means nothing to them. They cannot know happiness. And these entities will be influencing and guiding our nation?

I've said it once, and I'll say it again, these are interesting times in which we live.