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Tag Archives: personhood

Corporations are Objects called Persons: More so Soon

There is a pressing, and perhaps under-reported Supreme Court case that is set for this month which may determine if corporations finally attain something closer to full subjectivity, citizen status in the additional protections under the 1st Amendment in the United States. A New York Times article here. The legal knot stems from a film – Hillary the Movie – produced by some corporate monies that was going to be run during Hillary Clinton’s, now non-existent national Presidential run.

It seems a good time to revisit just how Corporations became persons in America in the first place. Selections from the 2003 film The Corporation, including contributions by Chomsky.

I won’t say much on this, but as I am in favor of ontologies that want to make of any corporate organization an object of force, drive and thought, it is valuable to see the kind of social (economic, political) differences that are made when IN LAW coporations of people are given person status. It is interesting that in the ontological trend towards objects, we have still to be aware that objects are being turned into persons with possibily dramatic results. As one person puts it in the documentary, it took 600,000 lives to grant certain rights to persons (the 14th amendment), and a stroke of a pen to give them to corporations.

I do not adhere to the hysteria of “corporations are psychotic persons” that the film forwards (in later parts), but the level of abstraction and nexus between Law and subjectivity is an significant one. What changes when economic entities become political subjectivities? And, when corporations are transnational, is this not the first transcendent citizenry, the unworking of the other eco-political entity called the State?

Bill Moyer interviews two major players in the Supreme Court case here.