Thursday, January 21, 2010

Free Speech For Corporations?

Look, I'm a philosopher, not a lawyer. But as a philosopher, I don't understand how corporations are supposed to have free speech rights. Rights like that are for things with minds, like individual humans. Maybe space aliens, if they exist, or dolphins if they're smart enough. But not golf balls or buildings or corporations. Corporations don't really have minds like humans do, and when you talk about them having desires or opinions you're just employing a useful metaphor. Real free speech rights are for things with real opinions.

The whole thing about corporations being persons is just a legal fiction invented for our convenience, and we can stop taking it seriously when it stops being convenient. I mean, you don't give 18-year-old corporations a right to vote, do you? Uh, I hope I'm not giving John Roberts ideas...
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