It’s OK to hate the Corporate State


MAY 4, 2018

Why do corporations hate and abuse the U.S. Constitution? Why do they keep trying to alter or abolish the protections the Founders and subsequent legislators enacted? Most Americans believe that our Constitution is sacred and express truly patriotic sentiments about democratic self-governance that allow our exceptional system to create a prosperous nation dedicated to the idea that hereditary and other special privileges have no place on these shores. But the Corporate State still does all it can to limit the constitutional rights of Americans, a course of action that calls into question the patriotism and Christianity of its participants.

Many Americans, including conservatives, try to honor our traditional national values. For example, America has always been a capitalist economy, but the type of capitalism our nation was born under is different than the type of capitalism with which we are now saddled.

The Corporate State is not native to the American way but was imposed on us by legislation designed to facilitate the financing of the railroads back in the 1830s. Yet the safeguards against corruption that were included in this original legislation have since been dropped in order to increase the wealth and power of the rich.

The original legislation held that ownership and management be kept strictly separate. It required the owners to get together and hire a management team to run the company’s day-to-day operations, but they were forbidden by this law from engaging in the daily operations themselves. The management was hired to run the company but was forbidden by this law from owning any shares of its stock.

Conservatives like to point out that the Supreme Court decides cases based on its interpretation of what the Founding Fathers intended or later Congresses wanted when passing a law. So how come ownership and management are now interchangeable even though the original legislation demanded otherwise?

Obviously, they learned they could get away with it because they had accumulated the money with which they would “pay tribute”to the legislators and judges. The creation of the Corporate State was the beginning of the end for our traditional capitalist system that had been in practice in 1787. The original American capitalist system is known as Jeffersonian democratic capitalism, an unwieldy phrase that eventually evolved into the friendlier term, “Main Street.”

Then Main Street was swamped by the decidedly unfriendly “Wall Street.” There has always been a Wall Street as a physical location where investors got together to make deals, but this whole, monstrous edifice of bloated, arrogant capital is now ruling over us and occupying OUR Capitol.

What was originally promised to simplify the process of building the railroads for the benefit of all was warped against “we the people” for the benefit of the wealthy and politically connected. It never worked out the way it was advertised since the system was misrun by subsequent executives who found the rules and regulations (also known as “laws”) to be cumbersome burdens on their quest for profits.

How can a Christian culture thrive in a capitalist sewer? We had a comfortable Christian-capitalist synthesis in our early days with wealth spread out amongst the people as Jefferson’s farmers, small businessmen and artisans (organized, educated workers) eagerly followed the “hidden hand.”

The Bible is filled with exhortations against the rich, such as, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” I wonder if Christian conservatives have any clue as to who, exactly, loves money MORE than anyone else on this planet.

Lately, we have allowed the corporations to ruin our culture. Corporations have always used the Supreme Court to advance their interests. After the bloody War of Southern Treason, Congress passed two constitutional amendments that were meant to protect the freed slaves, but in the ensuing decades corporations discovered they could use these amendments for their own betterment.

Only 50 or so lawsuits were ever filed by blacks trying to enforce their blocked rights, but corporations filed over 300 suits under these civil rights amendments appropriating them as a wedge to gain even more power and wealth for the denizens of the corporate state.

Today, 90 percent of all lawsuits filed in federal court are by one corporation suing another, but these same businesses have financed massive propaganda campaigns that misinform the public that the courts are buried under a pile of “frivolous,” public-interest lawsuits.

Today, most corporations demand that their customers, vendors and employees sign agreements not to sue in court but to submit to arbitration, a process that the corporate titans totally devised. This was known to previous, more enlightened, generations as “putting their finger on the scales of justice” and “stacking the deck.”

This is evidence that the corporations are corrupt and tired and out of ideas. Forget about gaining a four-day, 32-hour work week as a reward for being the most productive people on the planet. ALL rewards go to the rich. In recent years the corporations have jettisoned any pretense of fair play and by following this course have demonstrated for all to see the utter moral bankruptcy of their ideas and practices.

Instead of running their business responsibly in a way that is respectful to their customers, they cut corners to make a bigger profit. Instead of working hard to produce a good product or service, they merely put out shoddy material accompanied by this “contract” that saves the company the torment of having to defend itself in open court, on the record. It has chosen to reveal itself as an insular, insolent corporation that is so incompetent, greedy and dishonest that it actually needs to restrict American’s constitutional right to sue it for damages in order for it to survive.

Whatever your religion or politics, this glaring FACT remains: 242 years ago we kicked out all the lords and dukes and earls, but today we’re forced to sustain a whole new mob of “nobility” called board chairmen, executive vice presidents and CEOs. Will we ever return to our traditional values?

Rick Gombas lives in Saranac Lake.