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  1. #71
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by htb View Post
    The egg came first -- its seed is the desire for power. Rule by force preceded market domination. But origins are beside the point: what matters to this argument is what exists today in America.
    How do you define the state?

    This is at odds with reality and the resulting convictions of the founding fathers -- the Constitution is so designed because those in government will take rights and privileges away from citizens, including merchants, whenever and wherever they can. Give me an example of American "corporate power," today, that does not involve the government. You can't; because wherever the state's arm doesn't reach, personal technology allows private individuals to publicly indict and chasten (as consumers) or economically undermine (as market competitors) organizations with incredible financial power.
    The Constitution was designed by the Framers to keep the centers of coercive power dispersed into the states (which could, and did take rights and privileges away from citizens at will). In the South, these centers were populated by landed planters (aka the slave power). In the North, these centers were populated by the very merchants you hallow.

    Corporate power outside of the government? Have you been paying no attention to the health care debate?

    Back in 1999, I cheered the Clinton administration's harrying of Microsoft until a friend offered this adage: Microsoft is a private organization and therefore accountable to the law; the state is the law, and ultimately accountable to no one. Be very careful about whom you pick to win a fight.
    The state is not the law. The law derives from the consent of the people. We implement the state as a means of enforcing the law, along with creating new ones. It is accountable to us every time we have an election. I trust them far more than I do a monopolistic board of directors, because even if my say is small, I at least have some say.

    With yesterday's ruling, Microsoft no longer is permanently accountable to the law. It merely must wait until the next election cycle, in which it can buy up the legislators who will make the law they want. They no longer have to listen to legislators who make the law their constituents want.

    You're making too many assertions without any evidence of how the rights identified in the SCOTUS decision -- corporate electoral advertising, including within 60 days of an election -- have actually affected the democratic process.
    Were you not around for "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth"?

  2. #72
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    I'm not really interested in the convictions of the founding fathers on this matter, at least not in a practical sense (unless we were to revert corporate law back to its 18th century state). Global conglomerates simply did not exist in the 18th century. In the time of the founding fathers, corporate charters were limited in time and scope, and could be revoked. That is simply not the case today. This is not a simple matter of law. This is more fundamental. Corporations have been given the same rights as people. They are citizens, which means they exist outside the state. Reducing state power does not mean that corporate power will also be reduced (any more than it means the power of the individual will be reduced). Reducing state power could result in us being overwhelmed by corporate power because they exist outside the state.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  3. #73
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    No, that is not what I was arguing. I was arguing your apparent line of reasoning that "well, we already regulate something partly in some circumstances, so of course we can regulate it fully in others." That does not follow logically.
    I didn't say that if one was good then all are good. I said to acknowledge that some have that have been beneficial means that regulation can be good sometimes, so we have a foundation to seriously consider regulating such business. It was a rebuttal to that over-acrhing "we must not regulate propery!" exclaimation.



    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Obama is anti-corporate? Since when?
    He's comparatively anti-corporate to the Republicans that will likely be running against him. If he wants to completely monatarilly, he'll have to step-up the corporate ass kissing and all start kissing ones he hasn't so far. And that's where the problem comes in. This further elevates the degree to which both parties depend on corporate support to be competetive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I'm not really interested in the convictions of the founding fathers on this matter, at least not in a practical sense (unless we were to revert corporate law back to its 18th century state). Global conglomerates simply did not exist in the 18th century. In the time of the founding fathers, corporate charters were limited in time and scope, and could be revoked. That is simply not the case today. This is not a simple matter of law. This is more fundamental. Corporations have been given the same rights as people. They are citizens, which means they exist outside the state. Reducing state power does not mean that corporate power will also be reduced (any more than it means the power of the individual will be reduced). Reducing state power could result in us being overwhelmed by corporate power because they exist outside the state.
    Absolutely. And I'd like to add that, Alexander Hamilton, by far the driving force behind the constitution, also repeatedly said that anarchy from the bottom was much more likely than tyranny from the top. Do you believe that's also still true, HTB?

    And for the record, before anyone appeals to the founding fathers, they should stop to consider how few things all of them ideologically agreed on. There is hardly any solid vision of the founding fathers beyond the existence of this country.

    But getting back to the main point, you could take any founding father, let's Jefferson, and if he were told people were still following his ideas precisely 225 some years later, he would think that's retarded. These are fairly intelligent men, and they all knew that times change and measures will eventually need to change with them. The constitution was 100% an item of its time. This is not that time.

    Quote Originally Posted by htb View Post
    Give me an example of American "corporate power," today, that does not involve the government.
    I have to wonder if there is an example today of American political power that does not involve corporations.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  4. #74
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I didn't say that if one was good then all are good. I said to acknowledge that some have that have been beneficial means that regulation can be good sometimes, so we have a foundation to seriously consider regulating such business. It was a rebuttal to that over-acrhing "we must not regulate propery!" exclaimation.
    Well, we do have a right to own and to dispose of private property in this country. You don't "regulate" rights. However, the federal government does have the jurisdiction to prohibit quid pro quo payoffs and to set rules for federal elections, clearly.


    He's comparatively anti-corporate to the Republicans that will likely be running against him. If he wants to completely monatarilly, he'll have to step-up the corporate ass kissing and all start kissing ones he hasn't so far. And that's where the problem comes in. This further elevates the degree to which both parties depend on corporate support to be competetive.
    Not really. Look who he has put on his economic team. He's got Wall Street insiders everywhere. He really isn't anti-corporate.



    Absolutely. And I'd like to add that, Alexander Hamilton, by far the driving force behind the constitution, also repeatedly said that anarchy from the bottom was much more likely than tyranny from the top. Do you believe that's also still true, HTB?
    James Madison was actually the Father of the Constitution. Hamilton's input at the Constitutional Convention wasn't particularly strong, although he was one of the most zealous promoters of it (specifically his Federalist interpretation).
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  5. #75
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Absolutely. And I'd like to add that, Alexander Hamilton, by far the driving force behind the constitution, also repeatedly said that anarchy from the bottom was much more likely than tyranny from the top.
    This is interesting because if we were living in the late 18th century, Hamilton's viewpoint might seem valid to us, as well. If Hamilton was teleported to the 20th century, he would probably change his opinion. Who's to say we won't see more "anarchy from the bottom" in the next century or two?
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  6. #76
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Well, we do have a right to own and to dispose of private property in this country. You don't "regulate" rights. However, the federal government does have the jurisdiction to prohibit quid pro quo payoffs and to set rules for federal elections, clearly.
    This is so much more vapid than it immedietely looks. I'm not sure how to even respond to this.


    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Not really. Look who he has put on his economic team. He's got Wall Street insiders everywhere. He really isn't anti-corporate.
    Why are you dividing this into someone being either being or not being anti-corporate? There are degrees of support.



    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    James Madison was actually the Father of the Constitution. Hamilton's input at the Constitutional Convention wasn't particularly strong, although he was one of the most zealous promoters of it (specifically his Federalist interpretation).
    At the time of the constitution's creations, Madison and Hamilton agreed on many, many things (this was not consistent though, because none of the father changed their minds more often than Madison). But you are right, Madison has that lofty title. Hamilton wrote the most in the Federalist Papers (with Madison and Jay) and was probably it's strongest promoter. It would be good to keep in mind that Madison, though he later authored the bill of rights, was at first totally against it (and I believe Hamilton always was). You have to wonder then, what sort of ideas Madison had when he wrote the constitution, hmmm?

    The point here is that the founding fathers were people of their time, who had ideas based on the way things worked in their time.

    Secondly, they were complex and diverse individuals, who were frequently in conflict, and each one stood for different things that are quite opposed to what the consitution and the "vision for this country" is now over-simplistically depicted as.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  7. #77
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    This is interesting because if we were living in the late 18th century, Hamilton's viewpoint might seem valid to us, as well. If Hamilton was teleported to the 20th century, he would probably change his opinion. Who's to say we won't see more "anarchy from the bottom" in the next century or two?
    Well, I agree, it actually has a lot of reason to have made sense in his time. Technological developments, all thanks to that industrial revolution, have so much to do with why the dynamics of power have changed, and why tyranny has been relatively easy to pull-off anymore. He didn't have to account for those things. And further more, look at his history. He was presumably looking back on European ages of feudalism that preceded the enlightenment (and continued into it to some degrees) when low level anarchy was quite common.

    Indeed, who knows what's in store for society 200 years down the line from now. There are some things, scientific things, we can predict 200 years ahead with reasonable accuracy (astronomy is a good field for that). When it comes to social sciences, though, I would neither attempt nor rely on 200 year predictions.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  8. #78
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Why are you dividing this into someone being either being or not being anti-corporate? There are degrees of support.
    His rhetoric is pretty anti-corporate (pro-small business) at times. His actions less so. But that's part of politics. You don't get everything you want. Obama still has to play Washington's game, he's not bigger than the system.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  9. #79
    Senior Member htb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I'm not really interested in the convictions of the founding fathers on this matter, at least not in a practical sense (unless we were to revert corporate law back to its 18th century state).
    Interested or not, your formulations fly in the face of basic tenets of the state and the citizen -- which, in spite of the form of modern commercial enterprise, are still valid. You seem to believe that state actors are benign, disinterested arbiters; they're not, and the country's central governing documents are a testament to this.

    They are citizens, which means they exist outside the state. Reducing state power does not mean that corporate power will also be reduced (any more than it means the power of the individual will be reduced).
    But companies aren't citizens, nor are they outside the state. They pay taxes, are subject to labor laws, and carry out business according to regulations from product standards to price controls. As organizations with particular economic or social interests, their membership and/or leadership seek political speech. I don't know why you're anthropormophizing them or depicting them as nation-states. They're not. That's fiction.

    Reducing state power could result in us being overwhelmed by corporate power because they exist outside the state.
    You still haven't given me an example of "corporate power" by which companies independently compel American citizens under pain of confiscation, imprisonment, or execution.

  10. #80
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by htb View Post
    Interested or not, your formulations fly in the face of basic tenets of the state and the citizen -- which, in spite of the form of modern commercial enterprise, are still valid. You seem to believe that state actors are benign, disinterested arbiters; they're not, and the country's central governing documents are a testament to this.
    Lots of words, but no meat.

    I don't believe that state actors are benign. Where you came up with that assertion, I don't know...your ass?

    But companies aren't citizens, nor are they outside the state. They pay taxes, are subject to labor laws, and carry out business according to regulations from product standards to price controls. As organizations with particular economic or social interests, their membership and/or leadership seek political speech. I don't know why you're anthropormophizing them or depicting them as nation-states. They're not. That's fiction.
    The only thing they lack (that citizens have) is the right to vote. They ARE outside the state, with the ability to conduct business globally.

    The rest of this paragraph is a load of bullshit. I'm not anthropomorphizing anything. The law says they are people. They have been granted rights via the 14th amendment. As for your nation-state comment...what?
    Corporations can't assert that sort of force directly, but they have done it by proxy. Look at Guatemala/United Foods if you want an example.

    You still haven't given me an example of "corporate power" by which companies independently compel American citizens under pain of confiscation, imprisonment, or execution.
    Confiscation: Monsanto suing farmers who (allegedly) violate their patent. Those farmers are either forced to settle or face bankruptcy, regardless of the viability of Monsanto's claim.

    Imprisonment: How about the private juvenile halls that bribed judges to send children to their facility?

    Oh, you said independently, as though it matters.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

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