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The Frankenstein Effect

February 3rd, 2010 · 1 Comment

Once again, a scant majority in the country’s highest court has handed down a decision on a subject the justices know too little about. They have decided what a person is. It turns out a legal filing– not a jolt of electricity in some Central Europe lab– can shock a stitched-together bundle of documents, capital, and lawyers into life, making a corporation into a person.

This is worse than a mistake. It’s hubris.

Even Victor Frankenstein in Mary Shelley’s 1818 horror classic regrets constructing his monster: “Would you also create for yourself and the world a demoniacal enemy? Peace. Peace. Learn my miseries and do not seek to increase your own.”

Think of a person that neither poops nor dies, does not need doctors or schools or diapers or houses, catches no H1N1 viruses, and does not wake these gowned officials up at night with teething or with adolescent woes: A person with a proper attitude toward money and authority. A person that’s all theory, no needy flesh, no messy bones.

Already a public relations firm, Murray Hill Incorporated, has announced its candidacy for Congress, according to the New York Times. On a campaign video, the company promises to bring “enlightened self-interest and corporate accounting to government.” The company says it will enter a primary election for a Maryland Congressional seat, according to its website. A statement on the website indicates the corporation plans to use “automated robo-calls, ‘Astroturf’ lobbying and computer-generated avatars to get out the vote.”

I imagine the move is tongue-in-cheek, but consider the possibilities: Maybe the Supreme Court will go further and grant corporations the ballot, perhaps limiting the rest of us to three-fifths of a vote apiece. Or perhaps do a 50-to-one reverse split and grant us even less.

All this makes me ponder: My dog Porschy is born in the U.S. She has rights, too. (She wants the right to bare teeth.) I am looking into incorporating her in Delaware. Votes for dogs!

P.S. See the Supreme Court’s decision.

Tags: American Grotesque

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Another Candidate for President? // Nov 22, 2011 at 10:07 am

    [...] the Supreme Court’s opinion last year in Citizens United, which effectively declared that corporations can be treated as humans, I urged that votes be given [...]

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