As shameful as the Citizens United decision is, we must confront the sobering reality that it is only the tip of the iceberg. A small ruling elite (often succinctly described as the 1%) have stolen control of the country, and they are ruling over us.
There’s a misconception spreading that Citizens United is an extension of corporate personhood. It’s not. While it’s true that Citizens United strengthened 1st amendment protections for corporations, the basis for that protection isn’t personhood. Rather, the court’s decision rests on something else.
The protests that began in Wisconsin this year, and which now also fill the streets of Manhattan, Boston, Chicago, and this week, Washington D.C., have gotten the attention of the American political class. 2011 is becoming a remake of the 1999 Battle of Seattle, except this time the protests are ongoing, national and global, and the target is not the WTO but the entire edifice of corporate capitalism.