Reg and Syd: I, Corporation

“So, Reg, I was thinking …”

“As a man in your position, Syd, I should hope you’d be thinking all the time. It’s not like profits grow on trees.”

“If you’re Monsanto …”

“Point taken.”

“Thank you. So have you ever watched the behavior of people in the food courts in the shopping malls?”

Those foul places? Heavens no! And I should hope that I’m not paying my employees enough to tempt them to frequent the food courts. They can cook their own wholesome foods at home. Better for them and us.”

“When we give them the time to cook.”

“Do they want jobs or don’t they? Where are you taking this?”

“To marketing. Food courts have – or used to have – stalls for local food vendors and stalls for the franchisees of major corporations. Where do you think the lines are?”

“The corporations, of course. Who wants to take a chance on a local fly-by-nighter who can’t even afford nationwide advertising? Sam Walton learned this decades ago – why do you think Wal-Mart made money during the Great Recession, while most of their local competition went bust?”

“We can therefore assume that the corporations are acting in the best interests of the citizenry, because the citizens are voting that way with their feet and their wallets?”

“Elementary, my dear Syd.”

“Then how come those same citizens are so upset about letting corporations vote those interests?”

“Also elementary. Because the citizens are fools. They think, among other things, that treating corporations as people is something new. Ridiculous!

“Corporations were legally defined as persons from the very beginning. They were so defined so that they could legally hold assets separately from their owners and governors, so that, should the corporate person die, only the corporation’s assets would be subject to the greedy hands of the undertakers … er, creditors. The owners, if they were wise enough to keep their personal assets, like their mansions and Dreamliners, unentangled with those of the corporation, could keep them.

“All George did, with some push from Citizens United, was to grant corporate persons the right to vote – indeed, to vote the true interests of the customers who patronize them. To do anything else is discrimination, just as it would be if you denied the vote to women, or blacks, or Baptists, or what have you.”

“What about these petitions being circulated, then, urging that the laws granting citizenship rights to corporations be overturned?”

“Ignore them. They are meaningless. If the good citizens of the planet should ever work out that they could work their will on the large corporations that they profess to hate simply by withdrawing their custom from them, then we’d be in trouble. As you’ve so astutely pointed out, that’s not going to happen. I’d almost like to see it happen. Because the result can be only one of two things.”


“Either the anti-corporate types get found out, and die miserably – or they become like us. Because only our way works – as the citizens who frequent us themselves proclaim, in the only way that matter$. Now see what you’ve done? You’ve made me talk myself dry. I need a drink.”

“I daresay. I’ll see what’s new and good in the cellar.”

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