The Founding Fathers and Corporations


I’m not generally concerned, when it comes to Constitutional matters, what the Framers intended or didn’t intend when they wrote the thing. Far as I’m concerned, they knew what they were doing when they used abstractions like “freedom”–they expected future generations to fight over just what those words meant. But I’m not a member of the Supreme Court who claims that original intent is the end-all and be-all of any debate. I can also look at myself in the mirror and not hate what I see.

Which is my roundabout way of saying you should read this short interview with a historian who read the now infamous Citizens United decision which overturned over a century of established law on the personhood of corporations. Seems the Framers didn’t trust corporations either. They weren’t dummies, those guys.

Brian Spears is Senior Poetry Editor of The Rumpus and the author of A Witness in Exile (Louisiana Literature Press, 2011). His poem “Upon Reading That Andromeda Will One Day Devour Triangulum and Come For Us Next” was featured in Season 9 of Motion Poems. More from this author →