Duty to Warn
Polluting Mining Corporations like PolyMet and Glencore Meet the Definition of Sociopath
Gary G. Kohls, MD
“Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person.” — Anonymous
In 2010 the pro-corporate Roberts’ 5/4 Supreme Court decided, in the Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission ruling that favored right-wing multimillionaire businessmen and amoral multinational corporations by making it easier for them to steal US elections by allowing unlimited, anonymous monetary contributions to political campaigns, political action groups and politicians.
This ruling, called by many fair-minded observers to be the worst Supreme Court decision of the past century, has emboldened the already powerful and corruptible corporations (that already have dominion over the economy) to now also be able to thoroughly bribe any number of favored pro-corporate politicians to do their will but also to more effectively brain-wash voters through multi-million dollar ad campaigns (that can’t be effectively countered by small contributions from average voters).
The US Supreme Court has thus made legal the absurd notion that inanimate paper corporations like PolyMet and Glencore should have the same privileges (but not the same responsibilities) as living humans. Both of those out-or-state companies are potential despoilers of northern Minnesota’s irreplaceable wetlands, rivers, aquifers and aboriginal land and water rights.
After the ruling came down, there was only a brief bit of outrage from the so-called national and state leadership of our essentially “one-party system” (one-party, that is, when it comes to the Republican and Democratic Party’s corporate and militarist agendas).
What Should be the Punishment for Corporate Entities That Plunder, Rape and Pillage?
But if corporate America has new privileges, shouldn’t it be honoring the responsibilities of personhood as well?
Any thinking person would agree that if any entity enjoys the privileges of a human, it should also bear the same responsibilities as humans. Thus it should incur the same punishments as individuals do when it hurts people, commit crimes, poisons the water, fouls the air or rapes the land?
One of the rare victories against corporate giants occurred at Shapleigh, Maine, when that town managed to protect their water rights from the insatiable water-extracting corporate giant Nestle. (See video and more information on this episode at: (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/40335).
Nestle, one of many multinational corporate exploiters around the world, has no allegiance to any state or municipality or any location where it tries to extract water or minerals that never were theirs to begin with. But when the minerals are gone and the water has been used up or polluted, Nestle, PolyMet, Glencore, et al will be long gone, which has always been the case of giant resource-extractors and polluters like Exxon/Mobil, Shell, Chevron, British Petroleum, Halliburton, Deep Water Horizon, Coca-Cola, Perrier or whatever other corporate intruder that covets the people’s resources.
And who benefits? Why, of course, the major benefactors will be faceless, out-or-state investors, corporate shareholders and CEOs living and doing business at some luxurious corporate headquarters, none of whom will have to live with the poisoned environment that they will be leaving behind.
Move to Amend: Overturning Citizens United
Shapleigh, Maine’s small victory against injustice should inspire the rest of us to do what must be done if America’s fragile democracy is ever to thrive again. The outrageous Citizens United decision must be overturned with a constitutional amendment. (See www.movetoamend.org for more.) The future of the nation, our children, the planet, our drinking water, natural habitat and aboriginal rights are all at stake.
Exploitive corporations don’t really seem to care.