This comes from Frederic Bastiat’s The Law:
You say: “Here are persons who are lacking in morality or religion,” and you turn to the law. But law is force. And need I point out what a violent and futile effort it is to use force in the matters of morality and religion?
It would seem that socialists, however self complacent, could not avoid seeing this monstrous legal plunder that results from such systems and such efforts. But what do the socialists do? They cleverly disguise this legal plunder from others- and even from themselves- under the seductive names of fraternity, unity, organization, and association. Because we ask so little from the law- only justice- the socialists thereby assume that we reject fraternity, unity, organization, and association. The socialists brand us with the name individualist.
But we assure the socialists that we repudiate only forced organization, not natural organization. We repudiate the forms of association that are forced upon us, not free association. We repudiate forced fraternity, not true fraternity. We repudiate the artificial unity that does nothing more than deprive persons of individual responsibility. We do not repudiate the natural unity of mankind under Providence.
According to Boston.com, the MA legislature has called for a constitutional amendment repealing the Citizens United ruling. I have several thoughts, not least of which is wondering why I still choose to live here (it’s not ’cause its cheap!). But deeper than that, I wonder if they realize that the ruling was based on the First Amendment. No, I mean, really. Does freedom of speech suddenly get revoked when a group of individuals voluntarily organize together?
I find it interesting that so often in our government individuals are ignored or trampled upon because they’re only being seen in aggregates, while a legitimate collective’s voice is seen as illegitimate and threatening.
Yes, I get it. Corporations wield a lot of power, have a lot of money, and as such have a lot of influence. However, if you’re going to stomp on free speech of corporations, that same rule must be applied to labor unions, PACs, newspapers, magazines, churches, and just about any other group of people. Is that really what the MA legislature wants? The cynic in me thinks so, but at least on the surface no one would ever admit it.
The whole purpose of the First Amendment was to protect citizens who openly criticized government from retribution. It serves no purpose if something as basic as uniting with other citizens nullifies it. You may not like what someone has to say, and you may not agree with it but you are under no obligation to act upon it. Are we really to believe that the populace is merely clay, formed by whatever media they happen to be subjected to in their day to day lives?
To put it more frankly: Are we really that dumb?