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Sunday, January 24, 2010
“Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights” by Thom Hartmann
The Seminal Book on How Corporations Came to Have the Same “Rights” as People, Leading to the Disastrous Supreme Court Decision on Jan. 21.
“Thom Hartmann takes on these most difficult questions and tells a startling story that will forever change your understanding of American history. Amongst a deep historical context, Hartmann the describes the history of the Fourteenth Amendment–created at the end of the Civil War to grant basic rights to freed slaves–and how it has been used by lawyers representing corporate interests to extend additional rights to businesses far more frequently than to freed slaves. Prior to 1886, corporations were referred to in U.S. law as “artificial persons.” But in 1886, after a series of cases brought by lawyers representing the expanding railroad interests, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations were “persons” and entitled to the same rights granted to people under the Bill of Rights. Since this ruling, America has lost the legal structures that allowed for people to control corporate behavior.”