Corporate Declaration Of Independence

            It is customary on the Fourth of July to read anew the full text of the Declaration of Independence. While listening to tradition, imagine corporations as people. Here are the substitutions for wherever the word “people” appears:

 

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for [one] corporations to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” 

“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the Corporations to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

“He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of corporations, unless those corporations would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.”

“He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the corporations.”

“He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the Corporations at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.”

“He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our corporations, and eat out their substance.”

 “He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our corporations.”                                                                                                          

“A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of [a] free corporations.”

“We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good Corporations of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.”

 

            Aptly enough, the text appears refreshingly different. When the entirety is read with this change in mind, the text becomes even more startling, its interpretation more revealing and contemporary.

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