A Newer Deal: Please Protect Us From our Corporations

by Kevin Del Principe - Date: 2006-12-19 - Word Count: 484 Share This!

Philosopher P.J. Proudhon posed this rhetorical question: What is the aim...of our large capitalist organizations...," and answered, "The bank should help the tenant farmer to own his land, and the educator should remove himself from the school to give students back their minds." Proudhon's answer implies a socially conscious corporation; one that exists for the betterment and comfort of the individual. In Proudhon's world, the corporation exists for the individual and not the other way around.

I submit that this type of corporation rarely exists in America today. Certainly a fair amount of duplicitous propaganda from the top/down has contributed to the average American's fear of anything that is termed social or for the social well being. Through this individualistic rhetorical subterfuge, corporate power has not only been maintained but has expanded; ironic that even the term corporation suggests a social welfare for all those that find themselves within the inner sanctum of The Corporation.

Unfortunately, the majority of individuals in America find themselves on the outside of corporate America. We are all influenced by corporations but there is a difference between being used by corporations and using them for our own interests. I would be so bold as to make the populist claim that the majority of citizens feel used by corporations and that our ability to use corporations for our own purposes have been limited.

Two questions must therefore be considered: 1). How have individuals been limited under the law and corporations bolstered, and 2). What can individuals do to reclaim their authority? Firstly, individual power has been limited by U.S courts granting corporations the constitutional protection of personhood. On one hand corporations are protected by legal rights that originally applied to individuals, on the other hand individuals within corporations are emboldened to act immorally (without considering the negative impact on their communities) because responsibility is deflected to The Corporation ("It's The Corporation's fault, not mine").

Secondly, what can we do about it? The answer seems to be twofold and neither is an easy path to victory. Individuals need to increase their consciousness, becoming increasingly aware of where their capital goes and therefore influencing corporations toward a more reciprocal relationship accordingly. Also, individuals within a democracy can urge the state to protect individual liberties. President Theodore Roosevelt maintained that "it is evident that the state, and if necessary the nation, has got to possess the right of supervision and control as regards the great corporations which are its creatures."

Individuals need to communicate with each other in order to combat the corporate propaganda machine that is often times supported by the state. We have a difficult task ahead: changing our minds to change our realities when the corporate world is doing everything in its power to keep its own unbridled growth as the norm. Individuals have a right to grow as well. We just need to stand up together and not be afraid.

Related Tags: democracy, world, social, american, government, power, legal, corporate, law, america, politics, capital, state, rights, court, activism, individual, political, solutions, grassroots, corporations, array individuality, individualis, right, courts

Kevin Del Principe is a playwright, poet, and teacher. His writings challenge unjust cultures, and suggest the creation of reciprocal relationships in their place.

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