Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Riki Ott: 4 Positive, Practical Steps for Responding to Citizens United

It’s easy to get cynical and discouraged by the Supreme Court ruling that:

  • IF corporations = people
  • THEN the Bill of Rights must apply to corporations, AND
  • IF money = speech (???)
  • THEN restricting corporate “soft” money in politics restricts the First Amendment rights of an individual (an individual who can’t be tried for a crime or sentenced to prison, of course).

Easy to get discouraged, yes. Understandable to be disgusted with the whole system, yes. But not constructive. Author Riki Ott has some practical steps you can take to get up off the floor, dust yourself off, and do something with your anger and frustration.

From YES! magazine:

First, BREATHE deeply and look out a window.

If you can’t see a mountain, river, forest, wetland, ocean, prairie, tundra, or even a patch of sky, close your eyes and imagine it. We aren’t any good for anything if we’re in a panic or funk.

Second, GET INFORMED.

Citizens United is merely the last straw in a haystack of (successful) corporate attempts to extend corporate constitutional “rights” to corporate persons.

The expansion of corporate rights began over 200 years ago as the anti-corporate fervor from the American Revolution began to fade. The U.S. Supreme Court blurred the distinction between  “natural persons,” or real, living human beings, and “artificial persons”—corporations—in 1886 when it conferred the 14th Amendment right of “equal protection of the laws” to an artificial person, a railroad corporation, in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad. Since then, the Supreme Court has handed out other human rights to artificial persons (corporations), including the battery of First Amendment rights leading to Citizens United.

Since Santa Clara, literally hundreds—perhaps thousands—of local, state, federal, and international laws that attempt to protect our environment, our elections, our safety and health, and our right to organize have been overturned as a result of this doctrine. Armed with human rights and legal privileges, corporations have amassed enormous wealth and power and disabled democracy within all three branches of our government.

Read the whole article here.

 

Related Articles:


The Future Is Hopeless, So Give it Your All

The never-ending national election in the United States, the “surprise” pro-Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, climate change … the list goes on and on about how easy it can be to lose hope in the future.Like many of life’s frustrations, or overwhelmingly large topics, most people in our society find themselves somewhere on the […] Read More

How Carbon Farming Can Save the Planet

Carbon farming alone is not enough to avoid catastrophic climate change, but coupled with new economic priorities, a massive switch to clean energy, and big changes to much of the rest of the way our societies work, it offers a pathway out of destruction and a route to hope.Along the way carbon farming can also […] Read More

Look Under Your Feet for Global Soil-utions

For several years, Chelsea Green has been publishing books that look under our feet for solutions to some of the most vexing problems facing the planet – hunger, drought, degraded farmland and grasslands, damaged waterways, and much more. Those books focus on (mostly) one thing: Soil.  In 2016, we’ve published two more important books that […] Read More

Climate Change & the End of Stationarity

Just as predicting the rise of Donald Trump as a leading presidential candidate stumped even the best of political analysts (looking at you Nate “FiveThirtyEight” Silver), the advent of the Sixth Great Extinction due to climate change and an increasingly potent mix of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has completely upended how we predict the […] Read More

Use Simple Games to Better Understand Climate Change

How is it that emissions keep growing despite rising concern about the climate change they cause? It is possible to identify several reasons for the paradox, most of which lie outside the scope of The Climate Change Playbook. But one important reason is relevant here: people do not understand the behaviors of the climate system.And […] Read More
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com