Posted by: shannynmoore | January 22, 2010

The United States of the Corporation

The conclusion of Abraham Lincoln’s historic Gettysburg Address means something completely different now.

“…and that government of the people, by the corporation, for the corporation, shall not perish from the earth.”

It cannot be stressed enough how devastating this fascist Activist Roberts Court decision on Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission was.  The ramifications will affect every aspect of our lives, starting with the next election.  Nothing George Orwell ever dreamed up could be more frightening.

Last May, Jeffrey Toobin wrote about Chief Justice John Roberts in The New Yorker.  I quoted from his piece, No More Mr. Nice Guy, on-air this afternoon.  Toobin contrasted George W. Bush’s implanted corporate shill’s carefully crafted image at his confirmation hearing with his track record PRIOR TO CITIZENS UNITED V. FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION:

Roberts’s hard-edged performance at oral argument offers more than just a rhetorical contrast to the rendering of himself that he presented at his confirmation hearing.

“Judges are like umpires,” Roberts said at the time. “Umpires don’t make the rules. They apply them. The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules. But it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ballgame to see the umpire.”

His jurisprudence as Chief Justice, Roberts said, would be characterized by “modesty and humility.” After four years on the Court, however, Roberts’s record is not that of a humble moderate but, rather, that of a doctrinaire conservative. The kind of humility that Roberts favors reflects a view that the Court should almost always defer to the existing power relationships in society. 

In every major case since he became the nation’s seventeenth Chief Justice, Roberts has sided with the prosecution over the defendant, the state over the condemned, the executive branch over the legislative, and the corporate defendant over the individual plaintiff. Even more than Scalia, who has embodied judicial conservatism during a generation of service on the Supreme Court, Roberts has served the interests, and reflected the values, of the contemporary Republican Party.

Read more at The New Yorker.


  1. Unbelievable! This country will most likely see Predident Obama as the last elected Democrat to help lead our Nation. Something is so seriously wrong with this latest ruling. No more freedom of speech. It’s going to take another revolution in our country and it very well may happen in our lifetime.

  2. I said in my response on the last thread, I am ready to March on Washington to get our unacceptance of this heard in Washington. If the Teabaggers can organize a protest, why can’t we, the Liberals and Progressives?

  3. Judges are NOT like umpires. You wouldn’t be able to see the pavement under the number of red flags thrown.

  4. Congress passes “campaign finance reform” every generation, always with loopholes big enough to drive their campaigns through. 6 of 7 states with REAL, publicly-financed “clean” elections got them via ballot initiatives: A far more fundamental reform is NATIONAL ballot initiatives, with improvements to prevent problems like those in California. The best project to get them:


  6. Hereafter to be referred to as the Fascist Five.

    And let us not forget, this is George W. Bush’s legacy to us. He appointed both Roberts and Alito. Roberts and Alito both perjured themselves before Congress during their confirmations. They both swore they were moderates and would not be judicial activists.

    Everyone needs to join Alan Grayson and his petition. Not that it will do any good.

    4.5 years from now Congress will be completely corporate sponsored. They already own the Judicial. They’ll own the executive in 2012. (I’m predicting Palin/Brown since they only need pretty airheads that will take direction and please the teabaggers and talibangelicals.) And by 2014 they’ll have completely cleared Congress of any senators or representatives that are not under their complete control.

    I retire in 6 years. I only hope Canada will take me. Hopefully the cost of living is lower since I’ll only have my pension. My TSA will be worthless, as will my house even if I could sell it. I hope they let me bring my dog. I’ll take a leisurely week or two to drive up the coast to Vancouver. I’ll rent a truck to haul all of my worldly possessions and tow the Prius. Or sell it and buy an EV when I get there.

    I wonder if Canada would buy political asylum?

    I’m a teacher, a librarian and have two master’s degrees. I’ll be one of the first groups targeted.

    Orwell was only off by 16 years.

    Mussolini said it best: “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.”

    For the U.S. it happened yesterday.

    Heckuva legacy, Georgie. Congratulations. The Constitution is, finally, just a piece of paper.

    • mlaiuppa You can leave but what we need to do now is stand against this and be concerted in our efferts. Not sure which way to go as yet but Stand and fight or run away.

      • I think it’s too late.

        We’ve passed the point of no return. The Fascist Five have put the nail in the coffin.

        The chances of any of them being replaced soon is null.

        Corporations can buy their own congressmen starting in November of 2010. Re-election cycles will complete the process in 2014. They’ll own the White House in 2012.

        Obama won’t get any nominee the corporations don’t approve of in after this year. Look how the Republicans are obstructing now. You haven’t seen anything yet. Without Congress and the Supreme Court, this decision will never be reversed or nullified to the extent it will do any good.

        Medicare will be gutted. Social Security will be privatized. Then you can kiss public schools goodbye. The private for profit corporations have been drooling over two pots of tax payer money they’ve never been able to get their hands on; Social Security and Public Education. By 2014 they’ll start to take both.

        I retire in 6 years. I’m looking to see if I’ll still qualify for citizenship in Canada if this country goes the way I see it going. I’ll know by 2014. So will you. Then it’s just a matter of if you want to live under a Fascist Theocracy.

        President Palin. It just a question of whether it’s 2012, 2016 or 2020. The Corporate Party might want to groom Scott Brown for 2012/2016. He seems like a better puppet. That is providing there actually is an election in 2020. I’m sure we’ll have a figurehead for a few elections. Eventually we’ll just have a CEO for life.

        Paxton identifies five stages in fascism’s arc of flight:

        * The initial creation of fascist movements
        * Their rooting as parties in a political system
        * The acquisition of power
        * The exercise of power
        * Radicalization or entropy

        The conservatives were given the upper hand by the Supreme Court. We have a Corporatocracy. We’re at stage three. If the Corporate Party decides to use it’s vast wealth to get it’s candidates elected and then starts changing laws to it’s benefit, we’re at stage four. (I think we’re all ready there by way of lobbying; The Supreme Court has just made it more blatant)

        Robert Paxton: Five Stages of Fascism:

        Have we gone beyond the point of no return? I’m thinking…yes.

        • You’ve already given up? The breeding ground for testing was right here in Alaska. CDQ’s from the Bering Sea Factory Trawler Fishery. They gave the poor people money and took it back by promising a handful of men riches beyond their dreams. Get the charms out. Maybe an ancient chant like “touch the money and turn to crap” will save us from the path we’re on out here in the bleak lands of Western Alaska. The greedy will die lonely. Money doesn’t bring happiness. It’s a known fact.

    • Orwell?

      I say Yevgeny Zamyatin’s novel WE [1920].

  7. mlaiuppa, love The Fascist Five. I’m going to use that, if you don’t mind.

    “Orwell was only off by 16 years.”

    Ah! Actually, what’s happening is closer to Huxley’s “Brave New World” than Orwell’s “1984”.

    I can’t recommend enough the book “Amusing Ourselves to Death” (I can’t find my copy!) by Neil Postman. Written just before 1984, it explains why our education system has become what it has, the demise of our news media, the rise of powerful religious figures, everything. What interests me most is that even though it was written at the very beginning of the internet era, everything he says applies equally well to what has happened with the explosion of internet communication.

    In his preface, he cites how worried we were all about Big Brother, whereas we should have been paying attention to Huxley – The powers that want to control us don’t deprive us of information, they simply drown it in a sea of irrelevancy so that we don’t pay attention and respond to what they are doing until it is too late. Palin and Brown are simply two of the many Shiny Things dangled before us to keep our minds off what the SC just did.

    • Orwell said “An army of unemployed led by millionaires quoting the Sermon on the Mount – that is our danger. But it cannot arise when we have once introduced a reasonable degree of social justice.”

      This is why killing the health care bill is so important to the Republicans. And why Republicans have a vested interest in suppressing any social program that aids the general populace.

      Lyttelton writes that “fascism can be viewed as a product of the transition from the market capitalism of the independent producer to the organized capitalism of the oligopoly.” It was a point that Orwell had noted when he described fascism as being but an extension of capitalism.

      Paxton writes: “…[E]ach national variant of fascism draws its legitimacy, as we shall see, not from some universal scripture but from what it considers the most authentic elements of its own community identity. Religion, for example, would certainly play a much larger role in an authentic fascism in the United States than in the first European fascisms…”

      Religion and Fascism. Sounds like a former Alaskan Governor we all know.

      I don’t think it’s Big Brother we need to fear. I think it’s the pigs on the farm.

  8. Between a the last year of false hope and spineless Democrats and now this SCOTUS decision…I feel like I’m-WE’RE at the end of my-OUR rope. Honesty!

    What’s left to do except a V for Vendetta-style march on the capitol…revolution is all that’s left; that, and hoping a lucky bus takes out Roberts and Alito…that’s something to pray for.

  9. Thank you for posting this. I was wondering why the conservative sites weren’t even considering this. KO certainly knows how to press a point. As he said, at some point we won’t even have the free press to learn from.

  10. I believe this picture is worth far more than a thousand words.

  11. Still no response from S’error on the SCOTUS decision?
    Is it that Meg hasn’t explained it to her yet, or does she have to talk to people to find out how she’s supposed to respond to it?

  12. […] the recent Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision to allow corporations unfettered access to our electoral process, Alaskans should […]

  13. Toyota v. Williams, was brought before the Supreme Court by the corporation asking if an employee was disabled. A twist from the original case. The defendant was a person with a disability involving carpal(sp) tunnel of the wrists, the justice reduced such repetitive action of the wrists on an assembly line to a daily activity of the population. She had no disability because she could comb her hair like the rest of the population. I think that was the reasoning. Forget about pain while on the job. And forget that such repetitive movement aggravated the injury. Since she wasn’t disabled, she could not benefit from the original case.

    It has been my experience that corporations end up winning in the end. My name was on the list of policyholders with two private long term disability companies. I was denied benefits by both companies. The federal statutes barred me from appealling the last company’s denial. No additional evidence was allowed to be added in defense before the panel of judges. Tough out of luck!

    Corporations pay lobbyists to help them have a voice with lawmakers and to help write statutes. I have one vote.

    Thanks, Shannyn, keep up the good work!

  14. The little man gets the shaft. Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.

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