Now, I turn my attention to our next group project, which involves reframing the Declaration of Independence as being about human rights versus corporate rights.
The actual text of the Declaration of Independence is here: The Declaration of Independence: Full text (ushistory.org)
In this post, the relevant part of the declaration is the introduction (prior to the list of specific grievances). This section reads as follows:
“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people 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.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People 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. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”
Now, let us put this text in terms that pertain to our need to shed ourselves of corporate dependence and political influence.
Here is my initial reframing of this first section of the Declaration of Independence to address corporate influence in government.
“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for human beings to dissolve the political bonds which have made them dependent upon the corporate state and those who own the corporations, to assume the station to which the laws of nature entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of humankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to institute such reforms.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all humans, regardless of race, creed, ethnicity, wealth or parentage, are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, equal opportunity, equal human rights, economic justice, and the pursuit of happiness. — that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among human beings, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, and not from corporations, which are not people — that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new legal framework, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to result in their safety, wellbeing and happiness.”
“When a long series of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the objective of wealth and power, proves a design to reduce the populace to a state of being subject to absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such aspects of government, and to provide new guards for their future security. — such has been the patient sufferance of the people of the United States, and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter the systems which support corporate influence upon our government. The long history of the current corporate influence upon our political system, is a history of repeated injuries, all having its direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over we the true people. Let it be hereby established that corporations are not people nor do they enjoy the rights of natural humans, such as free speech, voting rights, the right to security or to pursue happiness, or any other human right.”
Note that this rewrite does address the Citizens United issue essentially, but goes beyond that to incorporate and expand upon (or delete) concepts from the original Declaration of Independence
This is only an initial rewrite. Please feel free to offer additional revision suggestions.
In future posts, I plan to present a revised set of grievances (about corporatism) and conclusions for further revisions.