A N Other

Corporations and Political Speech

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At the limit - that is, at the logical end of any relevant argument - the State has only one power, the legitimate (legitimized) police power.

The police power is the power to compel or restrain natural human beings.

In many facets of life, the State grants priveleges to natural human beings, managing and enforcing these priveleges via the police power.

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What are you attempting to state?

is this or not the nature of the State and its power(s) apropos this issue?

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What are you attempting to state?

is this or not the nature of the State and its power(s) apropos this issue?

wrong...mis-stated by me...apropos ANY issue regarding the State.

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What are you attempting to state?

is this or not the nature of the State and its power(s) apropos this issue?

Well there are also seven days in the week, so what is your point?

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First, like many other have stated, we do not know where you are going with this. You have started with a post that is a convoluted series of statements...and that's it.

In many facets of life, the State grants priveleges to natural human beings, managing and enforcing these priveleges via the police power.
I'm not sure at all what you mean by this. Human beings have rights. They come together to form societies with the idea that the protection of those rights will be held by the state. In other words - the state has a monopoly on the use of force, except in emergency situations. (Note that this does not give the state the right to initiate force, merely use it against those who have, through words or actions, attempted to violate the rights of citizens of the state.)

Again, it would be helpful if we had some context for these statements.

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First, like many other have stated, we do not know where you are going with this. You have started with a post that is a convoluted series of statements...and that's it.
In many facets of life, the State grants priveleges to natural human beings, managing and enforcing these priveleges via the police power.
I'm not sure at all what you mean by this. Human beings have rights. They come together to form societies with the idea that the protection of those rights will be held by the state. In other words - the state has a monopoly on the use of force, except in emergency situations. (Note that this does not give the state the right to initiate force, merely use it against those who have, through words or actions, attempted to violate the rights of citizens of the state.)

Again, it would be helpful if we had some context for these statements.

more or less a year ago, I posted a drunken rant - sorry, one and all - regarding the reflexive positive reaction to the Supreme Court's decision re corporations and political speech. In a private exchange I told the moderator of this forum I found little to repudiate in the substance of those remarks. I still do not...or... do not still. In making an orderly, respectful case, I'd first like to know, are we agreed on the fundamental nature of the State: It (rightly instituted)holds the police power, the power to compel or restrain natural human beings?

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I'd first like to know, are we agreed on the fundamental nature of the State: It (rightly instituted)holds the police power, the power to compel or restrain natural human beings?

ANY state has that power, rightly instituted or not. That is the essential, defining characteristic of a government of any kind.

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First, like many other have stated, we do not know where you are going with this. You have started with a post that is a convoluted series of statements...and that's it.
In many facets of life, the State grants priveleges to natural human beings, managing and enforcing these priveleges via the police power.
I'm not sure at all what you mean by this. Human beings have rights. They come together to form societies with the idea that the protection of those rights will be held by the state. In other words - the state has a monopoly on the use of force, except in emergency situations. (Note that this does not give the state the right to initiate force, merely use it against those who have, through words or actions, attempted to violate the rights of citizens of the state.)

Again, it would be helpful if we had some context for these statements.

more or less a year ago, I posted a drunken rant - sorry, one and all - regarding the reflexive positive reaction to the Supreme Court's decision re corporations and political speech. In a private exchange I told the moderator of this forum I found little to repudiate in the substance of those remarks. I still do not...or... do not still. In making an orderly, respectful case, I'd first like to know, are we agreed on the fundamental nature of the State: It (rightly instituted)holds the police power, the power to compel or restrain natural human beings?

Well, from what you have written in this thread, my answer would be no, I do not agree with your fundamental understanding of the "nature of the State." The State has no power that is not allocated to it that the individuals do not also have. So, it is not in the State's power to "grant priveleges" which means to give to some and not others certain favors. Man is born with his rights (although they are only recognized in a social situation) and does not require a favor from the government to carry out actions in accordance to his life and values. A proper, moral State would be created which recognizes individual rights and then uses it's powers to protect it's individual citizen's rights against those that intend to, or do, initiate force against others.

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...the state has a monopoly on the use of force, except in emergency situations.

I prefer to state this as, the state has a monopoly on the use of retaliative and pre-emptive force, with individuals retaining the right to defensive (i.e. used in emergencies) force, instead of framing it as an exception whenever an individual uses force.

Obviously, initiatory force is banned across the board.

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First, like many other have stated, we do not know where you are going with this. You have started with a post that is a convoluted series of statements...and that's it.
In many facets of life, the State grants priveleges to natural human beings, managing and enforcing these priveleges via the police power.
I'm not sure at all what you mean by this. Human beings have rights. They come together to form societies with the idea that the protection of those rights will be held by the state. In other words - the state has a monopoly on the use of force, except in emergency situations. (Note that this does not give the state the right to initiate force, merely use it against those who have, through words or actions, attempted to violate the rights of citizens of the state.)

Again, it would be helpful if we had some context for these statements.

more or less a year ago, I posted a drunken rant - sorry, one and all - regarding the reflexive positive reaction to the Supreme Court's decision re corporations and political speech. In a private exchange I told the moderator of this forum I found little to repudiate in the substance of those remarks. I still do not...or... do not still. In making an orderly, respectful case, I'd first like to know, are we agreed on the fundamental nature of the State: It (rightly instituted)holds the police power, the power to compel or restrain natural human beings?

Well, from what you have written in this thread, my answer would be no, I do not agree with your fundamental understanding of the "nature of the State." The State has no power that is not allocated to it that the individuals do not also have. So, it is not in the State's power to "grant priveleges" which means to give to some and not others certain favors. Man is born with his rights (although they are only recognized in a social situation) and does not require a favor from the government to carry out actions in accordance to his life and values. A proper, moral State would be created which recognizes individual rights and then uses it's powers to protect it's individual citizen's rights against those that intend to, or do, initiate force against others.

Great. I agree with what should be. What I want to speak about is what IS, now, in the USA.

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Article 2 Corporations

Corporations are created by the State....no State, no civil law, no corporations.

Natural human beings associate in corporations for three basic reasons: (i) to take advantage of the economic, financial and cultural leverage obtained by acting in association; (ii) to avail themselves of the priveleges granted by the State and (iii) to limit their own personal exposure - the risk they bear - to an easily determinable financial amount.

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Great. I agree with what should be. What I want to speak about is what IS, now, in the USA.

Well, what is it that you specifically want to discuss. Business and government are immense topics, but in the end it all comes down to whether one is for individual rights/freedom and all it's corrolaries, or one is for enslavement and all it's corolaries. So, today, in the USA, we have a mixed economy/government and hence we will have a mixed bag of good and bad. Until people understand what a moral government is created to do and where that government gets it's powers from, we will keep seeing the mess a mixed economy and government produce.

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Great. I agree with what should be. What I want to speak about is what IS, now, in the USA.

Well, what is it that you specifically want to discuss. Business and government are immense topics, but in the end it all comes down to whether one is for individual rights/freedom and all it's corrolaries, or one is for enslavement and all it's corolaries. So, today, in the USA, we have a mixed economy/government and hence we will have a mixed bag of good and bad. Until people understand what a moral government is created to do and where that government gets it's powers from, we will keep seeing the mess a mixed economy and government produce.

The question is the Supreme Court decision re participation in politics in the context of the system in which we live. You may recall I started last time with a mild admonition that the celebration of that decision seemed reflexive, which seems right in the context of the mixed system in which we live. In fact that decision moves us farther away from where we would all like to be. I am going to argue why it's wrong.

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The question is the Supreme Court decision re participation in politics in the context of the system in which we live. You may recall I started last time with a mild admonition that the celebration of that decision seemed reflexive, which seems right in the context of the mixed system in which we live. In fact that decision moves us farther away from where we would all like to be. I am going to argue why it's wrong.

Your views expressed on this the last time argued for curtailing freedom of speech and were repudiated at the time for that reason. There is no reason for us to change that.

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The question is the Supreme Court decision re participation in politics in the context of the system in which we live. You may recall I started last time with a mild admonition that the celebration of that decision seemed reflexive, which seems right in the context of the mixed system in which we live. In fact that decision moves us farther away from where we would all like to be. I am going to argue why it's wrong.

Your views expressed on this the last time argued for curtailing freedom of speech and were repudiated at the time for that reason. There is no reason for us to change that.

My argument was and is that freedom of political speech belongs properly to natural, individual human beings, the only beings subject to the police power of the State, the control and direction of which is the end of political speech. I still think putative champions of the individual who are anxious to empower big corporations, unions, think tanks and foundations who benefit from fnancial and cultural leverage they didn't earn are laying the foundations of their own gas chambers.

"Corporation" (like Foundation, Union, Think Tank) lacks a fundamental, defining characteristic of natural human being, one who acts at his complete unlimited risk, open to the unlimited action of the police power of the state. In the sentence "Corporations should have complete freedom of political speech" the word "corporation" lacks the characteristic that qualifies it for the property assigned.

"Us" doesn't have to change anything. Barrie Obama and the SEIU will do that for you.

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The question is the Supreme Court decision re participation in politics in the context of the system in which we live. You may recall I started last time with a mild admonition that the celebration of that decision seemed reflexive, which seems right in the context of the mixed system in which we live. In fact that decision moves us farther away from where we would all like to be. I am going to argue why it's wrong.

Your views expressed on this the last time argued for curtailing freedom of speech and were repudiated at the time for that reason. There is no reason for us to change that.

My argument was and is that freedom of political speech belongs properly to natural, individual human beings, the only beings subject to the police power of the State, the control and direction of which is the end of political speech. I still think putative champions of the individual who are anxious to empower big corporations, unions, think tanks and foundations who benefit from fnancial and cultural leverage they didn't earn are laying the foundations of their own gas chambers.

"Corporation" (like Foundation, Union, Think Tank) lacks a fundamental, defining characteristic of natural human being, one who acts at his complete unlimited risk, open to the unlimited action of the police power of the state. In the sentence "Corporations should have complete freedom of political speech" the word "corporation" lacks the characteristic that qualifies it for the property assigned.

"Us" doesn't have to change anything. Barrie Obama and the SEIU will do that for you.

Your statements make very little sense to me, if any at all. But, it seems that you are stating that corporations are to blame for the state of the "State" which is a fallacy. In a moral society a corporation earns it's power which is economical power and fully moral. It is only in a corrupt society that corrupt "State" officials use their power to force others to do what they would not normally do. In other words, if we had a government of laws and not of men, there would be no one to corrupt on either side, no one to hand out favors, no individuals held above others. It seems you have reversed the cause effect relationship between the entities under discussion.

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My argument was and is that freedom of political speech belongs properly to natural, individual human beings, the only beings subject to the police power of the State, the control and direction of which is the end of political speech. I still think putative champions of the individual who are anxious to empower big corporations, unions, think tanks and foundations who benefit from fnancial and cultural leverage they didn't earn are laying the foundations of their own gas chambers.

"Corporation" (like Foundation, Union, Think Tank) lacks a fundamental, defining characteristic of natural human being, one who acts at his complete unlimited risk, open to the unlimited action of the police power of the state. In the sentence "Corporations should have complete freedom of political speech" the word "corporation" lacks the characteristic that qualifies it for the property assigned.

"Us" doesn't have to change anything. Barrie Obama and the SEIU will do that for you.

Corporations are merely voluntary associations of individual people and those people have rights like property rights, the right of free speech, etc. People don't lose those rights when they join together to form a corporation, charity, labor union, political party, advocacy group, or any other organization. That is what freedom of association means. See the First Amendment of the Constitution.

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Article 2 Corporations

Corporations are created by the State....no State, no civil law, no corporations.

Natural human beings associate in corporations for three basic reasons: (i) to take advantage of the economic, financial and cultural leverage obtained by acting in association; (ii) to avail themselves of the priveleges granted by the State and (iii) to limit their own personal exposure - the risk they bear - to an easily determinable financial amount.

The state can create new legal mechanisms to recognize new forms of property rights. The state is creating the mechanism, not the right. Properly, the state only grants a recognition of corporateship when the organization applies for it, having created the actual articles and bylaws, and securing the investments, themselves. The individual persons have done all the acts of creating.

All the essential things a corporation does could be done via contract law alone, but in a very complex, convoluted manner. Corporations are the mechanism to recognize a standard arrangement.

"Corporation" (like Foundation, Union, Think Tank) lacks a fundamental, defining characteristic of natural human being, one who acts at his complete unlimited risk, open to the unlimited action of the police power of the state. In the sentence "Corporations should have complete freedom of political speech" the word "corporation" lacks the characteristic that qualifies it for the property assigned.

Wrong. An individual, "natural" human being can enter a contract with somebody that unilaterally limits their liability to any amount that both parties agree upon.

An LLC gains this "privilege" too, without needing to incorporate.

When you posted on this previously, I argued with you extensively in several posts, as did other forum members. Here is the link:

http://forums.4aynrandfans.com/index.php?showtopic=11408

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My argument was and is that freedom of political speech belongs properly to natural, individual human beings, the only beings subject to the police power of the State, the control and direction of which is the end of political speech. I still think putative champions of the individual who are anxious to empower big corporations, unions, think tanks and foundations who benefit from fnancial and cultural leverage they didn't earn are laying the foundations of their own gas chambers.

"Corporation" (like Foundation, Union, Think Tank) lacks a fundamental, defining characteristic of natural human being, one who acts at his complete unlimited risk, open to the unlimited action of the police power of the state. In the sentence "Corporations should have complete freedom of political speech" the word "corporation" lacks the characteristic that qualifies it for the property assigned.

"Us" doesn't have to change anything. Barrie Obama and the SEIU will do that for you.

Corporations are merely voluntary associations of individual people and those people have rights like property rights, the right of free speech, etc. People don't lose those rights when they join together to form a corporation, charity, labor union, political party, advocacy group, or any other organization. That is what freedom of association means. See the First Amendment of the Constitution.

I am in the middle of my three intensive teaching days and so will not be able to respond to all in detail until the weekend. I do have this comment on the above:

Just so. If you and I are shareholders in Sell Mart, I have all of my rights as an individual and you have all of yours. How is either diminished if we do not let SellMart's PR department campaign for some candidate? But, SellMart posesses a financial, social and cutural leverage I could never attain as an individual. To put the matter in a non-rigorous, colloquial manner, Sell Mart's participation violates "one man, one vote" and more than that pits an individual against a force which achieved its massive leverage under the auspices of the State it seeks to influence.

Appeals to LLC's and other such simply beg the fundamental question I so far, apparently, been able to frame right. One is still depending on the civil law and his torpedo, the police power, for insullation.

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Just so. If you and I are shareholders in Sell Mart, I have all of my rights as an individual and you have all of yours. How is either diminished if we do not let SellMart's PR department campaign for some candidate?

Because as individuals you each have the right to campaign for some candidate!

But, SellMart posesses a financial, social and cutural leverage I could never attain as an individual.

A free society does not put some arbitrary cap on the amount of financial, social, and cultural leverage one may attain. If by "I" you meant "anyone", then that is a baseless, unsupported assertion. If by "I" you meant a "typical" person (so, you are suggesting that typical corporations have more leverage than typical persons), then you still haven't demonstrated why the amount of leverage should be capped.

To put the matter in a non-rigorous, colloquial manner, Sell Mart's participation violates "one man, one vote"

It patently does not. Do you see the absurdity here? Nobody is suggesting that corporations actually be given additional votes. If you can't see the distinction then I don't know how we can possibly convince you.

and more than that pits an individual against a force which achieved its massive leverage under the auspices of the State it seeks to influence.

I already posted on this:

The state is creating the mechanism, not the right. Properly, the state only grants a recognition of corporateship when the organization applies for it, having created the actual articles and bylaws, and securing the investments, themselves. The individual persons have done all the acts of creating.
Appeals to LLC's and other such simply beg the fundamental question I so far, apparently, been unable [correction re-inserted] to frame right. One is still depending on the civil law and his torpedo, the police power, for insullation.

It's not begging the question. You didn't state that LLCs should be barred from contributing to campaigns. If you wish to do that, you can revise your argument.

However, the points I have been posting do not rely on that distinction. For example, in this post, I stepped through various levels of abstraction in business entities and illustrated that no step involves government granting a right that individuals do not already have.

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After this semester is over, I will write an annotated essay on this topic and post it in the essay section, which is what I should have done in the first place. I want now just to answer some of the posts above.

RayK, Arnold and realitycheck44: I started to post my position in pieces; my intention was each premise would be posted and discussed in turn. Perhaps I should have said that up front. Second, I should not have used "corporation" but someting like "institution" I think that unions, foundations, churches, think tanks, colleges and universities - any non individual live human being entity - should be deprived of political speech to the greatest practical extent possible, leaving only those recognized, regulated entities solely and explicitly political.

RayK 10/18: Are you speaking of the State in concept or in current concrete realty? Driving on public roads is a privelege granted by the State; if you don't believe that, find a way to contest it with the state where you live. My aim is not directly at what should be in a rational society, but at what is in this one.

EWV 10/18. Simply false; I argued for restricting the speech of institutions so as to not co-opt individual speech.

RayK 10/19. I do not hold that view of corporations or any institutional entity per se, alothogh I do hold that view of many actual such entities, such as The Kaiser Foundation, GE, the SEIU, and George Soros' think tank.

Betsy 10/19: Corporations, like other institutions, are NOT merely voluntary associations. They seek the leverage that acting in association provides so as to best the efforts of any individual competing with them and to get the protection and license of the state. Again, I am not saying what should or shouldn't be, I am making a plain easy to see observation about what IS in our society today. A large number of such instituions are NOT voluntary. It's not my issue that someone continues to work at a unionized job, one who objects (but not with his feet) to the union's political activity. It IS my issue that the MEA outvotes me with money virtually extorted from its members.

JeffT 10/19: In every case, as a matter of fact, you go file with the state to obtain your "rights". I cannot enter an LLC that will protect me from the draft, the IRS, the EPA, Obama Care, the state's sanction of illegal immigration, et. al.

JeffT 10/19: As a matter of concrete reality, institutions do very often get to vote, by exerting influence an individual cannot match.

In Michigan, the MEA, the teachers union, representing people who are on average the highest paid, most richly benefitted people in the State, is busy buying local school board elections all over the state. You want to run for school board in a small district. You have $1,000 to devote to your campaign. The union finds a sympathetic opponent, trains them, provides them with an organization and money. They get many interviews on local TV and radio that you don't get. Workers go to every home in the district, well trained with every answer for people's concerns. And the voice of reason is stilled in the official conduct of the district's business. Oh, you can still publish and you could move if you wanted. But they would vote to use taxpayer money to build a Holistic Community Health Center, requiring architects, construction firms, bond attorneys, financial consultants and a new staff (members of the union, of course). They would run the general fund down to $0 and borrow behind closed doors from the state - more public money - to make their bond payments, instead of paying from the millage they levy, and of course that borrowing requires bond attorneys and financial advisors and...the district, a wealthy suburb of the State capital, is broke. Williamston SD MI, just outside Lansing, last btime I saw their financials.

Reality is eating individuals while more and more political power is being turned over to the elites who run the wealthy, powerful institutions.

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A N Other, you are right that many groups are granted additional political rights that would not be possible in a purely capitalist society.

But, granting your argument (which I don't agree with, but for the sake of illustration) that because our mixed economy is so saturated with rights violations by government that restrictions on speech are necessary, purely in self-defense, what makes you think that laws against speech by corporations won't be crafted, by those in power, to favor "their" speech over "our" speech? If advocates of individual rights have the legislative power to craft laws to protect us from government force, it would be far better, instead of further entrenching government regulation, that might someday, somehow be eventually unwound if and when the culture changes (which will take longer because of these new restrictions on speech), to instead, directly legislate to unwind corporate welfare.

Also, can you please clarify your position:

In a purely capitalist society, without government initiation of force, would you favor these restrictions on corporate or group speech?

Or is your argument purely that these restrictions are a form of self-defense in a mixed economy?

In other words, I want to know if we are debating this quote from Ayn Rand in the abstract (whether you agree on the quote as written, or its interpretation):

A group, as such, has no rights. A man can neither acquire new rights by joining a group nor lose the rights which he does possess. The principle of individual rights is the only moral base of all groups or associations.

from The Virtue of Selfishness “Collectivized ‘Rights,’” The Virtue of Selfishness, 102., quoted at http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/individual_rights.html

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The question is the Supreme Court decision re participation in politics in the context of the system in which we live. You may recall I started last time with a mild admonition that the celebration of that decision seemed reflexive, which seems right in the context of the mixed system in which we live. In fact that decision moves us farther away from where we would all like to be. I am going to argue why it's wrong.

Your views expressed on this the last time argued for curtailing freedom of speech and were repudiated at the time for that reason. There is no reason for us to change that.

EWV 10/18. Simply false; I argued for restricting the speech of institutions so as to not co-opt individual speech.

It is not false. You have in fact been advocating restrictions on freedom of speech and your advocacy has in fact been rejected because of that.

It has been explained to you many times that corporations are voluntary organizations of individuals. Indentifying a group of people and certain relations between them through such an abstract concept as "corporation" does not make it take on a metaphysical existence of its own. Only individual people exist and only the speech of real people can be curtailed. Doing so in the name of restricting the "groups" does not change that.

You are advocating suppressing the freedom of speech of individuals because you don't like what some of them are doing in their organizations or the resources they combine to do it by virtue of their organizations. This has all been explained to you before and it does not help to keep repeating the same anti freedom of speech advocacy as if it had not been rejected and without regard to what has previously been said about it. Repeating it yet again in an "annotated essay" will not change that.

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