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InvisibleAutonomous
MysteriousStranger

Registered: 05/10/02
Posts: 901
Loc: U.S.S.A.
Libertarians & Corporations
    #4160069 - 05/11/05 01:20 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

LIBERTARIANS & CORPORATIONS
by Jim Russell
excerpted from The Voluntaryist, Whole Number 113 - 2nd Quarter 2002


In the thirty-five years or so that I have thought of myself as a libertarian, the ranks of Americans who call themselves libertarian have grown. Paradoxically, individual liberty itself seems to be steadily losing ground to the growing impositions of a growing Leviathan State. I think I know why.

Most well-known libertarians in these United States are in one way or another affiliated with corporations, in many cases tax-exempt corporations in promulgating libertarian principles. Furthermore, in defending free enterprise and markets from statist encroachment, libertarians often find themselves defending and allied with business corporations. As a result of these relationships and their concomitant allegiance to corporations, these libertarians compromise the objective, which is freedom. Liberty in America is on the wane because its friends have been captivated by the enemy's treacherous child.

Corporations are pure-bred progeny of Leviathan. You can't have one without the other. No libertarian principle can pretend to excuse their existence. Nothing from the lexicon of liberty can be said in defense of the corporate concept. Nevertheless, libertarians across the land are locked in conjugal bliss with these jackanapes. To paraphrase the wisdom of a man called Jesus, "Nothing can come from corn but corn, nothing from nettles but nettles." Freedom cannot spring from the groin of Leviathan or its scion, nor from libertarians wed to corporations.

One absolutely inescapable prerequisite of a libertarian society is people who are willing to accept responsibility for themselves and their actions. The fundamental raison d'etre of incorporation is to avoid responsibility. A corporation shields its owners (stockholders) from responsibility (vis., liability) for the corporation's actions by means of a legal fiction imposed and enforced by Leviathan. It is so contrary to libertarian purpose and principles as to assure that no libertarian society can emerge from a corporate culture.

Among Leviathan's most efficacious, landmark achievements on the road to serfdom, few can compare with the Sixteenth Amendment and the income tax for top honors. Slavery and war are worthy contenders, but their pernicious affects upon liberty are not as subtle and cunning. It is inconceivable that libertarians would cultivate seeds of war or slavery, yet many diligently sow and grow Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)3 corporations. In return for a tax exemption and a shield from liability, they strengthen Leviathan's stranglehold on freedom by legitimizing one of its tentacles.

FEE, Cato, FREE, Reason; look carefully at any libertarian think tank and what you will see is a tax-exempt, state-licensed, government-franchised corporation. Grove City College, Bob Jones University, Hillsdale College, and other noble, "independent," educational institutions that bravely refuse government grants and loans on one hand, on the other hand operate government chartered, IRS-approved, tax-exempt corporate entities to receive private donations. By seeking and accepting privileges and immunities conferred by Leviathan upon corporations, these fine institutions confer legitimacy upon the State, enabling it to impose taxes, wage wars, conscript (i.e., enslave) soldiers, execute "traitors," and suffocate liberty.

What's to be done? Back in the 1950s when the Army Corp of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation set out to build Marble Canyon Dam in the Grand Canyon, a small environmental group took a stand against the project, and, in the eyes of most Western politicians and bureaucrats, a stand against progress. The statists summonsed the IRS which threatened to revoke the group's tax exempt status if it continued to "lobby" against the dam. The group responded, "to hell with that!", and defended the Grand Canyon anyway. The group - the Sierra Club - never stood taller nor grew faster than when it surrendered its tax-exempt status in order to battle Marble Canyon Dam - and won!

The Sierra Club is anything but libertarian, and I assume that it has subsequently reclaimed its 501(c)3 license. But for one brief shining moment it demonstrated the power of putting principles before pragmatism. To incorporated libertarian organizations I would say, go ye therefore and do likewise.


--------------------
"In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination."
-- Mark Twain


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 23,576
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Re: Libertarians & Corporations [Re: Autonomous]
    #4160179 - 05/11/05 01:43 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

:handth:

"To unequal privileges among members of the same society the spirit of our nation is, with one accord, adverse." --Thomas Jefferson


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InvisiblePsychoactive1984
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Registered: 02/06/05
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Loc: California, Monterey Coun...
Re: Libertarians & Corporations [Re: Autonomous]
    #4160200 - 05/11/05 01:47 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Great article, but if you tied any political affiliation to corporations in the title, it would've been much of the same.

It's an issue unfortunately, but that's one of the fastest avenues to fund raising, unless an alternative is given in way of a sizable stipend from the government to prevent corporate back scratching.... I don't see it changing anytime soon.


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"Their is one overriding question that concerns us all: How can we get out of the fatal groove we are in, the one that is leading towards the brink?" Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
"We may not be capable of eradicating the corruption of reason, but we must nevertheless counter it at every instance and with every means." Dan Agin
"Politics is the best religion and politicians are the worst followers."
-It's ok to trip as long as you don't fall.
-Substance over Style.
-Common sense is uncommon.


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Offlinecb9fl
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Registered: 06/12/03
Posts: 3,104
Loc: florida
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Re: Libertarians & Corporations [Re: Psychoactive1984]
    #4160889 - 05/11/05 09:04 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/3966815#Post3966815
Recently I had a dispute with a friend about the existence of corporations. I believe corporations should not exist. As far as I know the original Constitution agreed with this position.

Can someone provide the Libertarian view on the existence of corporations? Also does anyone have a reference which provides reasons to abolish corporations.

He (my friend) didn't seem to understand that corporations don't naturally exist. Only by government interference in the market can an artificial construct, termed a corporation, exist.


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It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not. -Andre Gide

"Generosity is nothing else than a craze to possess. All which I abandon, all which I give, I enjoy in a higher manner through the fact that I give it away. To give is to enjoy possessively the object which one gives."


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OfflinePhluck
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Registered: 04/11/99
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Re: Libertarians & Corporations [Re: cb9fl]
    #4161292 - 05/11/05 11:31 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

He (my friend) didn't seem to understand that corporations don't naturally exist. Only by government interference in the market can an artificial construct, termed a corporation, exist.

Corporations DIDN'T naturally exist. But since they've been created, I don't see how eliminating government interference will get rid of them. You can claim that the only thing holding them together is corporate welfare or their legal status but this is nothing more than wishful thinking. The monster has already been created and deregulating is letting it out of the cage.


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"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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InvisibleAutonomous
MysteriousStranger

Registered: 05/10/02
Posts: 901
Loc: U.S.S.A.
Re: Libertarians & Corporations [Re: Phluck]
    #4161440 - 05/11/05 12:27 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Would removing the legal shields protecting corporate owners from responsibility be letting the monster out of it's cage?


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"In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination."
-- Mark Twain


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InvisibleAutonomous
MysteriousStranger

Registered: 05/10/02
Posts: 901
Loc: U.S.S.A.
Re: Libertarians & Corporations [Re: Psychoactive1984]
    #4161467 - 05/11/05 12:38 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Psychoactive1984 said:
if you tied any political affiliation to corporations in the title, it would've been much of the same.



I look at it differently, as libertarians are the only ones who strive to base their ideals on principles and make claims of consistency. Most other political groups (I'm thinking of party oriented politics) are less coherent in their stances, tending in a great respect towards populism mixed with an inconsistent grab bag of positions gleaned from their largest groups of supporters (or pandering to those whom they want support from).


--------------------
"In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination."
-- Mark Twain


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