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Corporations as Persons, Money as Speech

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Blogging my thoughts:

Powerful corporations are usurping first amendment rights, according to recent law studies. (See the NY Times article: “Corporations Take First Amendment Rights and Apply It Liberally.”[1]

“Corporations are not people and money is not speech” say the signs of the protestors.

In the schema of J. Habermas’ Life World and the Two Systems, (See My Mini-Lecture) corporation and money are part of the hierarchical economic system, while people and speech are part of the life-world. And the economic system exists for the sake of the life-world and not vice versa. People and speech do not exist for the sake of the economic system. In this sociological schema, money is the currency of the economic system, while language is that of the life-world. That corporations become people and money becomes speech represents a colonization of the life-world by the economic system, threatening the freedom and value of ordinary life.

With this “imperial free speech,” the corporations get protection for financial purposes, while the speech of students, prisoners, pacifists, and whistle-blowers get short shrift. According to the article, the Roberts supreme courts is especially culpable in this regard. This article by Adam Liptak has much more evidence than I have presented and it is more nuanced, but this schema by Habermas depicts the distortion of the first amendment in bold relief.


[1] New York Times, 3/24/2015, p. A14.)


Written by peterkrey

March 24, 2015 at 9:59 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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