Thursday, July 06, 2006

Corporate Personhood

Readers of this blog know about my obsession with Corporate Personhood. It began when I attended a Womens' International League of Peace and Freedom
lecture sponsored by Micheal Moore. I recall they had space for 40 and packed about 80 into the room, and this was few years ago.

One of my favorite blogs has taken up this issue. From Political Theory Daily Review via Alternet, "here's a not-so-modest proposal: abolish the concept of corporate personhood. But why do you have fewer rights than corporations? And it turns out capitalist Warren Buffet is really a socialist dragoon."

The proposal to abolish personhood by Alternet fails to succeed because it cannot recognize that corporate personhood, as David Million points out, "is itself a changing notion that derives its varied shapes from the philosophical or ideological basis of its proponents; the argumentative strategy of these positions beget the character of the disputed corporate character."

In other words it's not just enough to be mad at current construction of corporate power as most of the commentors in support of this idea would have you believe. What we should really be doing is asking better questions about how we want corporations to behave "the more apt question ... is not the nature of the corporate person but the proper relation of the corporate person to those natural persons around it. "

The finest scholarly treatment of the issue is David Million's THE AMBIGUOUS SIGNIFICANCE OF CORPORATE PERSONHOOD. Since this is a law journal article, and I have so many lawyer friends, I expect mad posting to begin on this topic. I will offer my own treatment soon. Now that I am working for the PIGS again my mind has little energy to apply to recreation.

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