“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.
For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist.”
Marcus Tullius Cicero
“Corporations have neither bodies to be punished, nor souls to be condemned, they therefore do as they like.”
Edward Thurlow, Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England
Golem XIV, aka David Malone, highlights a lesser understood aspect of the corporatism that seems to be taking the developed nations by storm.
The recent moves by the Supreme Court and the Congress to extend personhood and the rights of individuals to corporations as ‘super people’ are more dangerous than most realize.
All individuals are not equal in terms of influence and power. And if organizations such as corporations can become ‘individuals,’ that Frankenstein monster will be able to dominate as effectively as any tyrants in history.
The cure is transparency and accountability, and the recognition that the human individual alone is uniquely protected by the Bill of Rights. Corporations are not asked and expected to fight and die for the benefit of the State. They do not suffer and bleed, nor stay awake at night in worry about their children and their care. Corporations are lifeless.
The Sarbanes-Oxley law was designed to give the people who use corporations as their instruments no place to hide. But as we have seen, it is a law rarely used, and itself under determined resistance to be overturned as was Glass-Steagall.
“Every thing secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity.”
John Dalberg Lord Acton
Corporations are but the artificial constructions of men, often designed to eliminate individual risk and accountability. When things go wrong, no one seems to know what happened. Money just vaporizes away. When recklessness leads to horrific accidents such as Bhopal, the corporation retreats into the aether of words and corporate laws, often held in disinterested foreign hands.
The modern Corporation aspires to the power of the unaccountable State.
Corporations are without sin, no matter what actions or even atrocities they may as a collective commit in pursuit of profits, because they are lifeless. They do nothing, really, except to hide and often excuse the actions of real men and women. Corporations live only in the courts. It is all upside.
And it is the great irony of our time that the platforms and agendas of the Tea Party reformers and the Christian Right have been perverted by their representatives and their money men to become the proponents of the anti-human, the corporate ascendancy over human rights and individual life. And that the elected reformers of the progressive left have largely sold themselves to Wall Street since the 1990′s.
The definition of ‘individual’ as a living being with a soul thereby granting them inalienable rights, which is at the very heart of the American experience, is under determined assault by the power of the global monied interests, not from some godless enemy, but most effectively from the corruption of power within.
By Golem XIV
June 19, 2012
“…We are all now sadly familiar with the role of Off-shore tax havens. They allow companies to avoid having to pay tax. They also allow companies to hide any dealings they may not want scrutinized by prying regulatory authorities. Tax havens are, as Nicholas Shaxson in his wonderful book Treasure Islands has suggested, better thought of as ‘secrecy jurisdictions’. They are purpose built for shrouding in impenetrable and legally protected secrecy any morally dubious financial arrangements which might be embarrassing or costly if revealed to regulators or governments. The world of Off-shore provides a legal and moral nul-space in where most things can be arranged for a price.
But that nul-space is growing and more than simply growing it is maturing.
Recently Off-shore havens have added to financial secrecy another valuable service – data and communications secrecy. There are now companies based in off-shore havens which offer to protect emails and data caches from prying regulatory or legal scrutiny…
Suddenly not only is it possible for corporate finances to be moved beyond the reach of national oversight and regulation, but now corporate emails and other data can also be removed from national democratic and legal oversight. Corporation can now operate within any nation, making their profits there. but without the elected government, the tax officials, financial regulators, courts or police having any power to see what the corporation is doing. The police could not force the disclosure of emails because those emails would not be under UK jurisdiction. It would be entirely possible for a company to be breaking the law, exactly as News International did, but now most if not all (depending on how careful they were) the evidence required to bring their illegal activities to light, would be beyond the reach of any authority in this country…
I look at it and think to myself – so now we have vast financial power shielded from any national, democratic regulation or legal oversight. We have data similarly hidden away from the pesky prying eyes of civilian democratic and legal accountability and we now also have the parts of the global military that routinely operate outside of democratic oversight and who regularly break the most fundamental national and international laws, being organized to operate together under an aspiring supra-national command…
In the week of May 21st of this year in Tampa Florida, Special Operations Forces from 90 countries got together at a Special Forces Convention. You can see a video of what they got up to here.
The purpose of convention, which is a regular thing now, is (from their web site):
The International Conference objective will be that U.S. and International SOF leaders recognize USSOCOM as a Global Command and gain a better understanding on how to become active partners in that partnership.
Who is USSOCOM? It is the umbrella US military command for all US Special forces. So here we have a programme the purpose of which is to integrate the operations and even the command structure with the US at the top, for the Special Forces of 90 nations. Is this anything to be concerned about? Well on one level, if you have Special forces why not have them work together well? Seems sensible. Except that Special Forces are by design the part of any nation’s armed forces which operate routinely and as a matter of course, outside of the law and beyond democratic oversight…
What this this and other documents now clearly indicate is that through this command and others the US can now commit troops to hostile actions without the Congress having to give its consent or even be informed. Now of course we all know this happens. SO what is new. In a sense nothing. In another sense it clearly shows how our governments, or at least elements within them, are keen to follow global finance’s lead in being able to operate outside of democratic oversight, outside its own laws and outside of any democratic accountability. This I think is, if not a new desire, a new maturation of the capability.
There is a clear disdain for democracy being voiced among those who run and own global finance, who make up the supra-national world of the IMF, the WTO and other non-national, non-democratic global technocratic bodies. We all know what disdain the global financial and media companies have for the laws which ‘regulate them’. We know how far outside their own laws and international law our governments have gone in rendition and torture of civilians.
It seems to me you don’t have to subscribe to any conspiracy theory to find this enough to worry about.
Read the entire article here.