Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 9th Aug 2013 11:01 UTC

President Barack Obama hosted Apple CEO Tim Cook, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, Google computer scientist Vint Cerf and other tech executives and civil liberties leaders on Thursday for a closed-door meeting about government surveillance, sources tell POLITICO.

Five hundred years ago, our ancestors started the fight to separate church and state. Now it's time we separate corporation and state.

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RE[2]: Comment by stabbyjones
by Alfman on Fri 9th Aug 2013 15:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by stabbyjones"
Member since:

Thom Holwerda,

"Five hundred years ago, our ancestors started the fight to separate church and state. Now it's time we separate corporation and state."

Begin rant...
I've been saying this a long time now, corporations shouldn't be entitled to any influence in Washington at all, no lobbyists or anything. Let them compete in the free market without power to corrupt government policy. In democracy people should be at the top of the food chain and it's only to the extent that corporations are helping us advance *our* goals that a corp deserves any kind of governmental role. People often criticize public entitlements, but corporate entitlements are just as bad if not worse because the government is SUPPOSED to be FOR THE PEOPLE, sheesh!

Kick all corporations out of washington! Repeal this "corporations are people too" baloney. Corporations need to be making their case to the PUBLIC and only if WE agree then government policy can be amended, no going behind public backs in closed rooms.

Furthermore we need to eliminate distinctions between "government" and "people". A government must not have any authority above the people, we should be one and the same. It seems the founding fathers knew this, and yet here we are today serving our government's whims, much of which is controlled by wealthy corporate interests.

Edit: Had our ancestors known just how powerful corporations would eventually become, they would have separated corporations from government just like they separated religions from government.

Edited 2013-08-09 15:27 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

mistersoft Member since:

Can't vote you up there Alfman, but could agree more!

That's (or should be) the absolute foundation of a working democracy ; at least of a representative democracy.

I understand corporations will want 'a voice' but it should most certainly be 'through the people' perhaps they could court ordinary voters to join government run corporate 'facebook groups'(call them peoplefacinguptoit-book groups or whatever) which could then be allowed the ear of some government official(s) - with a proportion weight given to the number of members -- zero money should be involved ; or be allowed to be involved!

Plus of course, all members of such group should be invited to any and all meetings that might transpire - and at least a handful of random members should be allowed attend - all done transparently of course!

a bit like a pro-corporation peoples-union -- it's a perverse idea perhaps, but not as perverse as the current status quo

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by stabbyjones
by ricegf on Fri 9th Aug 2013 22:56 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by stabbyjones"
ricegf Member since:

Exactly. Political donations by corporations should be flat illegal.

If the stockholders individually want to make political contributions to promote policies that favor the corporation's business, they have a first amendment right to do so.

But a corporation is not a political action committee - and certainly not a "person" - it's a for-profit organization created by US laws to sustain business activity, and thus should not be covered by first amendment protections at all IMHO.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by stabbyjones
by Neolander on Wed 14th Aug 2013 08:01 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by stabbyjones"
Neolander Member since:

Just a quick legal question regarding the "corporations are people" thing. I'm curious about this because I've been hearing it a lot around here.

In French law, there is a distinction between physical and moral persons, which as an example allows corporations, rather than individual employees, to be held responsible for any damage they cause. It does not give them the full powers of a citizen, and seems absolutely necessary for any large-scale activity. Don't you have a similar concept around here?

I ask this because if corporations had the same powers as people, including being able to vote, any mildly rich person would be able to start a large number of tiny companies and use that to DDOS the voting system. It surprises me that nobody would have thought about that yet.

Edited 2013-08-14 08:04 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1