I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.

48 Responses to “If corporations are people, would you let your sister marry one?”

  1. If corporations are people, does that make business owners slave drivers?

  2. Kevin Pierce says:

    The formality of a ceremony seems a bit overdue, as corporations have been consummating this relationship since the beginning of time.

  3. Boundegar says:

    Except that “corporations are people” has no standing in US law.  It’s just a phrase Mitt Romney uttered that became a sound bite.The impact of Citizens United is absolutely heinous, but it has nothing to do with the silliness of this bit of theater.  The problem is that the majority of people on Wall Street know how corporate personhood works, and will see this event as evidence the dirty hippies don’t know squat about the law.  Not that they took Occupy seriously before, but still.

    • Sylvia says:

      Some of Occupy’s events are aimed at Wall Street people. Not this one, though. This was a rallying cry for other activists. So basically, they didn’t give a shit if this looked silly to Wall Street people, as long as the basic point was made that activists and the public at large should have more courage to stand up to corporate control. They know that they won’t be able to win over Wall Street with silly theater like this, but they want to spread a humorous message to those who aren’t entirely jaded yet.

      • LinkMan says:

        The problem isn’t that this won’t change Wall Street’s mind about corporate greed, but that it reinforces the views of many in the power structure that these activists are idiots who have absolutely no idea what they’re protesting.

        The Occupy activists I know (including one who I’m pretty sure I spotted in that video) are certainly not stupid people, and I probably agree with them more often than not.  But sometimes they get so caught up in their activist rhetoric that they lose sight of the real issues.  This goes beyond the cliched “What does Occupy WANT?” criticism of Occupy, and to the question of whether they are actually misinforming their activist audience as to what the real issues are.

        • wysinwyg says:

           On the other hand, we do have plenty of evidence that those embedded in the power structure are themselves idiots who have no idea what they’re doing.

          They know this too, otherwise they would point out exactly why the activists are wrong.  The fact that they prefer snide comments in editorials in the WSJ demonstrates to me that they have no real arguments and that this purely comes down to values: the rentier class wants to feel good about being unproductive and rapacious and look down on all those poor little idiots who actually do useful work for a living.

    • Kevin Pierce says:

      A lie repeated often enough…

    • Navin_Johnson says:

      Not that they took Occupy seriously before, but still.

      Police, Feds, and the banker’s lobby seem to take it seriously enough..

    • SomeGuyNamedMark says:

      “Corporate personhood is the legal concept that a corporation may sue and be sued in court in the same way as natural persons or unincorporated associations of persons. This doctrine in turn forms the basis for legal recognition that corporations, as groups of people, may hold and exercise certain rights under the common law and the U.S. Constitution. The doctrine does not hold that corporations are “people” in the most common usage of the word, nor does it grant to corporations all of the rights of citizens.”

      So they have some rights but not all of them.  Maybe we need to return to…
      “Tillman Act of 1907, banned corporate political contributions to national campaigns.”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_personhood

    • Sam Cohen says:

      actually, corporations are people, per the Supreme Court … “[t]he court found…  a corporation’s constitutional right, as a “person” under the Fourteenth Amendment, not to be deprived of property without due process of law.”  
      First Nat’l Bank of Boston v. Bellotti – 435 U.S. 765, 771 (1978)

    • bwcbwc says:

      True this. The actual reasoning that allows corporate political spending is freedom of the people to peaceably assemble into groups, organizations etc., _combined_ with freedom of speech. In other words, if people assemble into corporations in order to coordinate their political speech, there is nothing that the government can do to regulate the speech, short of the same curbs that are applied to individual speech (incitement to riot, threats against the president, etc.)  Otherwise the constituents of the corporation are having their freedom of assembly violated.

  4. grimc says:

    Is it rich and can it hook me up with a job?

  5. Perhaps the only way to repeal DOMA is to label it as infringing on the roghts of corporations.

  6. Mister44 says:

    Considering you get half in a divorce – I’d say it would be a smart move to marry a corporation.

  7. Avram Grumer says:

    Sure, but I’d advice her not to sign a pre-nup. 

  8. Randy Murray says:

    Bonus points for paying tribute to a Ted Sturgeon short story title!

  9. Jun-Kai Teoh says:

    Reminds me of when Britta Perry of “Community” tried to marry the Subway guy. 

  10. dioptase says:

    “Corporation are people” as a phrase hasn’t bothered me much.  It sounds like “orchestras are people” to me.  Or “school boards are people.”  Or any of hundreds of other names for collective groups of people.

    And when someone says “can you marry a corporation?” or “can you X a corporation?” , I hear it like this: “Can you marry an orchestra?”

    I’ve already got a 5 year old.  I don’t need more silly questions.  Though to be fair, he’s got better questions.

    • wysinwyg says:

      Hmm, yes, by deliberately misinterpreting a statement one can often produce an absurdist non-sequitir.  Well done.

      Did you do philosophy 101 at Phoenix University by any chance? “An orchestra is a person” doesn’t actually make as much sense as you seem to think it does.

      • jhertzli says:

         ”An orchestra is a person” does not make sense. “Orchestras are people” does make sense.

      • Jonathan Roberts says:

        As far as I can tell, there’s no way Romney meant anything like what you are suggesting. Stories like this are just seeing how far the whole “Republicans are so dumb” idea can go and don’t really have much relevance to the issue.

        • Finnagain says:

           There was never any way to tell what rMoney meant by anything he said.

          • Jonathan Roberts says:

            If you’re going to take that angle, don’t draw any conclusions at all. Don’t just assume that he couldn’t have meant the most obvious reading of the statement.

      • septimar says:

        It is non-sequitur, not non-sequitir. 

    • Gilbert Wham says:

       If orchestras are people does it mean a one-man band can be an orchestra?

  11. Navin_Johnson says:

    They’ve already f’ed us in the b enough times that we deserve to have them make honest partners out of us..

  12. You can bet your behind that this lady is going to have a huge dossier on her at the expense of you, the American taxpayer. I’m sure it’ll be worth all the money to spy on her for her and others expressing their outrage and the citizens united ruling.

  13. Roose_Bolton says:

    “…let (my) sister…”? That’s rich.

  14. Reverend Billy is The Man. He makes protesting FUN!

    •  In other news, note that the bride’s dress is made of real money. Real STAMPED money that is! Check out the money stamping operation of the StampStampede that is spreading the word that money is NOT free speech and corporations are NOT people. It’s a fun, creative and slightly subversive way to spread the word. http://stampstampede.org

  15. Finnagain says:

    Why would I want my sister to marry a sociopath?

  16. KWillets says:

    If corporations are people, they’re the only ones who aren’t tired of this joke.

    • Cowicide says:

      You’re tired of “jokes”?

      I’m actually tired of corporations screwing people over.  I’ll never get tired of people protesting unethical corporations until they are stopped from doing great harm in this world.  Corporate drones might disagree…

  17. Finnagain says:

    Nice Harry Harrison reference, btw. Chingers, ftw!

  18. Jen Onymous says:

    I LOVE Rev Billy and what he’s done.  I remember when he first started; I caught him doing a brief stand-up thing as a “naughty preacher” at Pseudo.com’s loft in the early 90′s.  He’s really found his voice and his focus.  If you are ever in NYC try to attend one of his “services” or “stop shopping interventions.”

  19. artbyjcm says:

    I think we need to do away with the cliche wedding dresses, because these chicks look amazing. lol

  20. jhertzli says:

    Corporations are not human beings because they are not beings. They are human, at least on this planet.

  21. rufustfyrfly says:

    This was put together by the OWS puppet guild, the same folks who made that Lady Liberty puppet, and dressed up like “working class superheroes and corporate supervillains” for the Occupy Halloween parade. You can stay up to date with their projects on their twitter feed (at)Power2thePuppet

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