A new e-book out that describes the SCOTUS’ corrupt decision in the infamous Citizens United v FEC case has two very special features. It is detailed without being academic and excessively legalistic, and it is free! Author Karl Rogers, professor of philosophy as well as the co-founder and director of the John Dewey Center for Democracy and Education at the University of Minnesota, has provided a vital public service for American voters. You can find, read and/or download Rogers’ book here without fee. Clicking on the book cover to the right will take you to Amazon where you can get a Kindle version of the short book for only 99 cents.
Unless one is a lawyer with a deep understanding of this infamous SCOTUS decision, the reader is bound to learn something new by absorbing this analysis. Without spelling it out, Rogers explains why, for example, the 128 year legal history of corporate constitutional rights cannot be overturned by the Supreme Court. Explaining how the Roberts’ Court justified overruling precedent to help rationalize the decision, Rogers defined stare decisis: “the legal principle by which judges are obliged to respect the precedents established by prior decisions.” Even if President Obama were to appoint a progressive judge to the Court, should one of the conservatives retire or die in the next four years, the best a Court with a new majority could do is to narrowly overturn the Citizens United decision. Corporate personhood, the doctrine that corporations have certain constitutional rights, is too established in prior decisions to be overturned by the Court. This corruption of the American system of government has to be reversed by way of an amendment to the Constitution. Only a mass movement of “natural persons” can take the government back from those who have taken it from them.
Rogers takes issue with the Court decision based upon two major considerations: 1) the legal differences between natural persons and artificial persons (corporations) and 2) the extent to which the Court ignored the difference between free speech and propaganda. To avoid conveying too much about his arguments here (read the book; it’s free!), it is worth noting that Rogers has expertise in the area of propaganda. In addition to Citizens United, he has also authored Occupy Media! Propaganda & the Free Press and Debunking Glenn Beck: How to Save America from Media Pundits and Propagandists. Rogers actually took the arguments in Beck’s books seriously and deconstructed them with pesky facts that Mr. Beck “twistifies” to suit his reactionary agenda.
This essay does not take long to read, and it is essential, not just for those in the movement to overturn this “misguided, naive, uninformed, egregious decision of the United States Supreme Court,“ as Senator McCain described it, but for all citizens who want to consider themselves well informed on the issues of the day. In coming elections amending the Constitution to end corporate propaganda during American elections and corporate dominance in policy making will certainly become one of the primary issues candidates will be facing from an aroused and angry public seeking to end corporate plutocracy. Unfortunately for now, it will be up to voters to distinguish between the legitimate speech of candidates and parties and the illegitimate propaganda of corporations and super PACs.
Good luck with that.