Sunday, February 06, 2011

A Wall of Separation Between Corporation and State

The Tea Party advocates told me that the Constitution protects capitalism.  That perplexed me.  I have read the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights several times and couldn't recall seeing anything about capitalism.  As a matter of fact, I carry a copy of the Constitution with me like a Christian will carry a Bible.  I can't say that I am a great Constitutional scholar, but I have a pretty good familiarity with it.  

I contended that I never saw anything about capitalism.  The closest thing I could imagine is the right to own private property.  They responded that this right IS capitalism, but the founding fathers just didn't have that word yet.  I again contended that capitalism means buying low and selling high, which is not at all the same as the right to own private property.  They disagreed, and affirmed that it is the same.  

So I looked up the word Capitalism: an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision for profit, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market. 

The first real capitalists were the Dutch East India Company founded 1602.  They used capital for investment, but no one ever used the word Capitalism until it was coined in 1867 by Karl Marx in his book co-written with Engels, Das Capital.  The meaning Marx gave it was using capital (money) to buy commodities to sell for profit.  That seems pretty simple to me and confirmed my contention that capitalism is not the same as the right to own property.  There is no right in the Constitution to own property for profit.  Although the founding fathers assumed that shops and businesses would conduct commerce everywhere in the new Republic, they found no reason to guarantee the right to free enterprise or the right to make profits. 

That's why I believe we need to amend the Constitution to guarantee Constitutional rights only to human persons, as well as making election financing answerable only to the Public for which they will be elected.  These together will make a Wall of Separation between Corporation and State.  

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