The recent developments unfolding at News Corp challenge the idea of corporate personhood and whether justice can really be served when corporations are given the privileges of personhood. There are also the aspects of accountability that come with being considered a person.
The events at News Corp Are raising some very thorny questions. Two of the top people at News Corp have resigned. The NY Times reports
Les Hinton, the publisher of The Wall Street Journal since 2007, who oversaw Mr. Murdoch's British newspaper subsidiary when voice mail hacking by journalists was rampant, and Rebekah Brooks, who has run the British papers since 2009 and become the target of unrelenting public outrage, both resigned in the latest blow to the News Corporation and its besieged chairman.
Many former staffers of News Corp have been arrested in England. The FBI has begun an investigation
into whether News Corp staffers hacked or tapped the phones of 911 victims.
There are major questions in England about whether News Corp staffers bribed police and other officials. This is a federal crime-- if a US citizen or his representatives engages in bribery in another country.
That raises some interesting questions based on the Supreme Court's recent Citizens United decision.
If a corporation is rife with corruption. If numerous top officials in the company are suspected of participation in criminal activity, can the company be charged with crimes. If so, can it be tried and convicted. If so, and it is found guilty, can punishments set for individuals be applied to the company?
If the sentence for a human would be death or incarceration, would that mean shutting down or stopping the company from doing any of its usual business for the duration of the sentence? Of course, preventing a company from doing any business would be like a death penalty.
That raises the question of whether it is possible to treat a company like a person in terms of justice. We k now that companies can pursue to positive rights of personhood, but if they can not be held accountable when it comes to crimes, perhaps the supreme court should be required to take a look at its past decisions on the rights of corporate personhood. Perhaps it is time that corporations lose those rights... or that the state of personhood for corporations also include the liabilities, particularly those of facing punishment.
If there was ever a criminal corporation, then News Corp appears to be one, and we might throw in Haliburton and KBR and Monsanto as well. It is time for America to re-assess corporate personhood.
Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect,
connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media.
Check out his platform at RobKall.com
He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity
He's given talks and workshops to Fortune
500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered
first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and
Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful
people on his Bottom Up Radio Show,
and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and
opinion sites, OpEdNews.com
more detailed bio:
Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet (more...)