By Mark Lipman
It’s no surprise, trawling through the media on the 22nd of May, to find that not a single mention was made about the passage of Proposition C on the Los Angeles ballot. In fact, it was only after tracking it down on the County Registrar-Recorder’s website that I discovered that it had sweeping support with 76.52% of the vote – the highest margin of victory for anything on the ballot. Yet, all we heard was silence.
In these sad and troubling days, when we see the Koch Brothers eyeing greedily the Los Angeles Times to be the next mouthpiece for their extremist right-wing corporate propaganda, it is no surprise that many right now do not even remember what Proposition C is … the declaration of Los Angeles that corporations are not people, and the demand for a constitutional amendment ending corporate personhood to be enacted.
This vote – like so many similar votes across this country – is a bold testament to the overwhelming consensus in the United States that the foundation of our modern economy – and with it so too our government – is contrary to the intent of our founding fathers and the well being of our nation.
With this let us also compound the effect our misguided economic system has on the rest of the world, in the form of the World Trade Organization, and the International Monetary Fund – run by the same corporations and banking executives that this vote confronts. Think of how trade agreements like NAFTA and CAFTA – enacted to lift all trade restrictions to these same corporations, while destroying local economies throughout the hemisphere – are implicitly balked at in this vote – a vote that decries the infamy of injustice that is embodied in corporate personhood against real life, living, breathing human beings.
Pulling the rug from underneath corporate personhood is a deep blow at the root and causes of all the suffering and poverty that we see today.
Returning to the original law of this country – 150 years ago – when only human beings were considered as people – when corporations were chartered and legislated by law to serve a specific function for the benefit of society, under the supervision of the government and strictly regulated, would essentially overturn capitalism as we know it.
The idea is so powerful, so profound, that it is revolutionary in nature. That is what Los Angeles just voted for in a landslide election. This story is so big that it has the potential to change our entire world. It is so big in fact that the only story bigger is the total media blackout around it.