In the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Court ruled that corporations may spend unlimited amounts of money at any time to influence elections.
This seems to redefine the meaning of democracy in this country. After all, the average citizen does not have the financial resources to compete with the likes of ExxonMobil, Walmart, or Wall Street. And, while some might point out that our elected officials are already bought and sold by corporate America, it is now official U.S. law. And that should scare anyone but the most greedy, heartless CEOs and lawmakers.
The Court decided this case by a 5-4 margin. Dissenting in part were Justices Stevens, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor. In his dissent, Justice Stevens wrote:
"The Court’s ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation. The path it has taken to reach its outcome will, I fear, do damage to this institution."Justice Stevens elaborates:
"In the context of election to public office, the distinction between corporate and human speakers is significant. Although they make enormous contributions to our society, corporations are not actually members of it. They cannot vote or run for office. Because they may be managed and controlled by nonresidents, their interests may conflict in fundamental respects with the interests of eligible voters. The financial resources, legal structure, and instrumental orientation of corporations raise legitimate concerns about their role in the electoral process."Indeed.
So what we have now is not government of the people, by the people, and for the people. What we have now is government of the people, by the corporations, and for the corporations.
And that is exactly how Mussolini defined fascism.
According to Mussolini, "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power."
This, it seems, is what our Supreme Court has interpreted to be the law of the land.
Forget about health care reform. The health insurance industry is now unrestricted in buying and selling our politicians.
Forget about curbing global warming. The nation's biggest polluters are also the nation's richest corporations, and now they can freely spend all their profits on electing equally irresponsible government officials.
And forget about peace, human rights, and international law. KBR and Blackwater have much more money than you.
I have a feeling that our nation's Founding Fathers are now spinning in their graves.