I need to start many diaries and comments by saying (like Dr. Dean) that I hate Republicans and everything they stand for. I need to say that because I am a little to the right of most people here, especially on two topics: guns and speech.
I am truly suprised by the reaction to the ruling in the Citizen's United case, because I think it actually helps the left.
Why the counter-intuitive position ? Well for one thing, corporations already own the system: how much worse can it get ? But there are other reasons too.....
I think the ruling opens up political speech, and I have yet to encounter a corporation that is run, or owned, by non-humans.
One thing about corporations is that they do act like people: they pursue their own interests, which in many cases are opposed to the interests of others....and in many cases, the interests of other corporations.
You see, prior to the ruling, corporations who may have wanted to stake a political position or get involved in the process were hamstrung and disincentivized from doing so, leaving the field only to politically active corporations.
I'm not using Swiftean satire to say this: I will be looking forward to more corporations fighting it out in the politcal arena. There are a great many of us who work for corporations and own corporations thru direct investments and via pension funds etc.
As I noted, how much worse can it get than it is right now ? The fact is that the libel and slander laws have not been overturned; do we have so little faith in America that we believe that mere volumes of propaganda can determine our shared view of the world ?
Not by a long shot. Propaganda only works to amplify ideas that are already virulent; rarely indeed can it establish them alone.
What this development really does is bring into focus what corporations are saying: what they want, and how they want to get it. To the extent that bad things happen as a result of corporations motives (nearly always mere profits in any case), it will help focus on something really broken in our society, which is corporate governance itself.
As a shareholder burned many a time already by treasonous managers, I am delighted that there will now be a lot more focus in their political activities. Democracy is not just at the ballot-box, and I think this ruling will indeed bring unexpected silver linings.......