The bigotry follows a common pattern: dehumanize your opponents, then strip them of their rights.
Tomorrow, various leftist organizations will rally in Denver to advocate censorship to forcibly silence select individuals, on the pretext that “corporations aren’t people.” And never mind the fact that corporations are composed of people, as are all groups.
In the good ol’ days, the left would denounce economic liberty but defend freedom of speech. Today the left’s inner contradictions have led it to endorse censorship outright (though many leftists are too cowardly to openly name their goal).
Colorado Common Cause has openly endorsed the pro-censorship rally and will participate in it. Yesterday the organization Tweeted, “#SCOTUS got it wrong, only people are people. Join @Amend2012 to take back your democracy: twibbon.com/amend2012.”
The link Tweeted by Common Cause takes us to a web page for “Amend 2012,” which states: “Corporations Are Not People. In 2010 the U.S. Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. FEC gave corporations the same constitutional rights as everyday Americans, and said corporations could use their massive riches as free speech. Corporations have been doing just that, pouring money into our elections and drowning out the voices of real people.”
Of course, Common Cause is itself a corporation, as Colorado recordsshow. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011, Common Cause showed revenues of $6,318,706.
So does Common Cause think it should be censored, on the grounds that it is a corporation that “pours money” into the political process? Of course not. Because, you see, some corporations are more equal than others. The members of some groups are more equal than others. The members of some groups are “real people,” who therefore retain their First Amendment rights, while the members of others groups are apparently subhumans, undeserving of the same legal protections. That is precisely the logic of Colorado Common Cause’s position.
Ironically, Colorado Common Cause and others are simultaneously advocating free speech by opposing the SOPA internet restriction bill, and advocating censorship of corporate speech. For example, in a Tweet today Common Cause promoted a “Musical Attack on #SOPA & #CitizensUnited.” See also the linked video.
And yet the voices against SOPA included many of America’s most prominent corporations. Wikipedia led the charge — you know, the free online encyclopedia owned by Wikimedia Foundation, Incorporated. The for-profit corporations Facebook and Google also came out strongly against SOPA. Even the Vibram shoe company came out against SOPA.
Does the American left really want to get in the businesses of imposing government censorship on corporations? As Eugene Volokh sensibly reasons: “Say that Congress concludes that it’s unfair for Google to be able to speak so broadly, in a way that ordinary Americans (including ordinary Congressmen) generally can’t. Congress therefore enacts a statute banning all corporations from spending their money — and therefore banning them from speaking — in support of or opposition to any statute. What would you say about such a statute?”
If censorship is “what democracy looks like,” then I for one will fight for the preservation of the First Amendment and our Constitutional republic.
Read also: Citizens United and the Battle for Free Speech in America, by Steve Simpson