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 Post subject: Corporate personhood & Animal personhood
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:34 pm 
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I posed this question on my twitter and I would love more input because frankly I find the issue perplexing at the moment...
Why should non-human animal personhood (AP) be accepted but corporate personhood (CP) be rejected?

I realize there is an assumption in there that those being asked wish to reject CP while accepting AP, but thats just the majority stance Ive found among fellow vegans, Im sure I could reword it to be more neutral.
Anyways, what are your thoughts.

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 Post subject: Re: Corporate personhood & Animal personhood
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:16 pm 
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Because a corporation isn't a single sentient biological entity?

It's like a... neighborhood being a "person," isn't it? It's not a biological thing and it's not even a single thing. It's a collection of people and property and nonphysical things like boundaries and rights. Why the hell should that be a person?

Can a country be a person? A school? A library? An attic? A religion? A soccer team? A museum's fossil collection?

To me, these make as much sense as Exxon Mobile being a person.

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 Post subject: Re: Corporate personhood & Animal personhood
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:20 pm 
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Also, the political implications of corporate personhood are ripe for shenanigans.

I can start as many corporations as I like. Should each of them be able to vote? Why not? Each is a person, after all. What if I'm the only human being associated with the corporation? That means, I might get to vote thousands of times. What if I kill someone? No, that was Killem Co. who killed that guy. What are you gonna do? Send a corporation to jail? Now you're just being silly!

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 Post subject: Re: Corporate personhood & Animal personhood
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:27 pm 
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I recognize that there are some superficial similarities between the two situations. But the implications of each situation are markedly different.

Conferring personhood on animals is supported by vegans largely because it would provide legal support for prevention of harm to sentient creatures. Corporate personhood provides legal support for allowing corporations to trample the rights of individuals.

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 Post subject: Re: Corporate personhood & Animal personhood
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:00 pm 
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vegimator wrote:
Conferring personhood on animals is supported by vegans largely because it would provide legal support for prevention of harm to sentient creatures. Corporate personhood provides legal support for allowing corporations to trample the rights of individuals.


Seems thats dependent on your viewpoint, a conservative would say that denying corporate personhood is trampling on rights

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Should each of them be able to vote?


Im not sure the right to vote is at issue in the debate over CP. Its not something advocates of CP advocate. Its a strawman.
also personhood /= citizen /= suffrage

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What if I'm the only human being associated with the corporation?


I'm not sure that actually would be a corporation then.

Quote:
What if I kill someone? No, that was Killem Co. who killed that guy. What are you gonna do? Send a corporation to jail? Now you're just being silly!


if you personally kill someone then you are legally responsible.
However if a corporation's conduct led to the persons death, then yes, the corporation can be held legally responsible, its called corporate manslaughter (or homicide).


Quote:
It's not a biological thing and it's not even a single thing. It's a collection of people and property and nonphysical things like boundaries and rights. Why the hell should that be a person?


probably the simplest explanation would be that "they are organizations of people, and that people should not be deprived of their constitutional rights when they act collectively."

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 Post subject: Re: Corporate personhood & Animal personhood
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:05 pm 
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SkepticalVegan wrote:
Seems thats dependent on your viewpoint,


Well, clearly. You asked for a vegan's viewpoint on the topic and you got it.

But if you want more than that, harming a corporation doesn't harm anything sentient. I think being able to have experiences is a prerequisite for having rights.

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 Post subject: Re: Corporate personhood & Animal personhood
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:08 pm 
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Quote:
harming a corporation doesn't harm anything sentient.


but corporations are made up of sentient individuals (who are also persons), which seems to be the basis for CP

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Last edited by SkepticalVegan on Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Corporate personhood & Animal personhood
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:13 pm 
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SkepticalVegan wrote:
Quote:
harming a corporation doesn't harm anything sentient.


but corporation are made up of sentient individuals (who are also persons), which seems to be the basis for CP


And they already all have rights.

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 Post subject: Re: Corporate personhood & Animal personhood
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:52 pm 
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vegimator wrote:
SkepticalVegan wrote:
Quote:
harming a corporation doesn't harm anything sentient.


but corporation are made up of sentient individuals (who are also persons), which seems to be the basis for CP


And they already all have rights.


Im not so sure. The rights possessed by the individuals do not always transfer well to the corporate structure, personhood allows the corporation to sue or be sued, for the corporation to be held liable for its actions, own property, enter into and enforce contracts, avoid undue censorship, incur debt, & pay taxes.

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 Post subject: Re: Corporate personhood & Animal personhood
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:56 pm 
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It doesn't sound like you find this issue perplexing.

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 Post subject: Re: Corporate personhood & Animal personhood
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:09 pm 
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FootFace wrote:
It doesn't sound like you find this issue perplexing.


Oh Im still not sure where I stand (especially because its not an either or situation, with tons of gray area). But I do so far find the anti-CP arguments regarding the principle of personhood to be unconvincing, while the arguments from consequence against CP have always be pretty compelling (though Im trying to reexamine my anti-corporate knee jerk reactions).

I also think that the issue is made even more complex by the Citizens United Ruling ($=speech) which i feel is not the same issue as CP

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 Post subject: Re: Corporate personhood & Animal personhood
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:17 pm 
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SkepticalVegan wrote:
Im not so sure. The rights possessed by the individuals do not always transfer well to the corporate structure, personhood allows the corporation to sue or be sued, for the corporation to be held liable for its actions, own property, enter into and enforce contracts, avoid undue censorship, incur debt, & pay taxes.


All of those laws could be made without invoking personhood. It would be more complicated, but it would be worth it because it would stave off the negative effects of corporate personhood like subverting democracy by allowing unlimited political donations.

In the case of animal personhood, there's no such negative consequence to consider. If you want to really stretch, you can say that animal personhood restricts my freedom to harm animals. I really hope you don't want me to explain why that's a less important right than the right to be free from human harm that animals should have.

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 Post subject: Re: Corporate personhood & Animal personhood
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:03 pm 
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What does "personhood" mean in this context? Generally, when "personhood" is tossed out in the reproductive rights area, we are talking about conferring civil and human rights to a fetus. Is that what you mean?

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 Post subject: Re: Corporate personhood & Animal personhood
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:41 pm 
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SkepticalVegan wrote:
I posed this question on my twitter and I would love more input because frankly I find the issue perplexing at the moment...

Does this mean no one engaged with you on twitter about this titillating subject? I am shocked. SHOCKED.

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 Post subject: Re: Corporate personhood & Animal personhood
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:08 pm 
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How about we just don't grant "personhood" to things that are not people? Animals are not people. Corporations are not people. This is not complicated.

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 Post subject: Re: Corporate personhood & Animal personhood
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:15 pm 
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Jigglypuff wrote:
How about we just don't grant "personhood" to things that are not people? Animals are not people. Corporations are not people. This is not complicated.


I guess that depends on how you define "people". Are dead people "people"? Are imaginary people "people"? Are the people in the TV "people"? Are my neighbors "people"? I haven't seen them once in the entire year I've lived here...are you sure they're "people"?

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 Post subject: Re: Corporate personhood & Animal personhood
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:29 am 
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I'm confused how people can wonder why a single organic unit would be a person and an idea organized by a group of organic units wouldn't be a person.

The only preference for humans seems to be more of a go team go thing then something I can rationally back up.

Corporate "personhood" though is used to do terrible things. Personhood isn't even the right term since it's more like they are super people with more rights. Crimes that would get you an uncountable amount of consecutive life sentences often lead to relatively minor fines to a corporation because there is no shutdown no jail no government takes over and divides it up. Corporate personhood just gets used to dodge them out of responibility because they can afford the most lawyers and therefore get the most rights?

Why would an idea held by multiple people be a person in the first place? In what way does it even resemble a person? Saying it should have some legal protection and saying that protection would br it legally having all rights of a person are two different statements. It doesn't think like a person it can't be punished in the same way as a person requiring special laws that seperate it from a person anyway? It is in no reasonable way actually a person except in their own corrupt legal pulls to get more and more power.

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 Post subject: Re: Corporate personhood & Animal personhood
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:44 am 
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Corporations are already persons in most countries:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_personality


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