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The Moneysburg Address

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This post first appeared on July 11, 2011

Remarks rumored to have been delivered by Justice Antonin Scalia at an Opus Dei gathering on July 4, 2011

Eleven score and fifteen years ago our Incorporators brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in free markets, and dedicated to the proposition that all corporate persons are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great financial and legal crisis, testing whether those markets, or any markets so conceived and so dedicated, can long remain totally free. We are met on an inflated balance sheet of that crisis. We have come to extend a mighty portion of assets, as a book value preserving holding place for corporate persons who finessed enormous fortunes through beggaring men and women so that those corporate persons might prosper. It is altogether fitting and proper that we, the free market acolytes of corporate persons, should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot hypothecate — we cannot market rate — we cannot estimate – these assets. The financially engineered persons, living free on the indebtedness and taxes of men and women, are the true heroes who innovated here. They have hypothecated and traded these derivatives far beyond our poor imaginations to do more than extend and pretend. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us their nominal trustees, rather, to be dedicated to the unfinished work that they who morally hazarded and secreted away so much have thus far so nobly advanced. It is for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining — that from these free and mighty and untaxed persons we take increased devotion to that cause for which every day they insist on the last full measure of Constitutional personhood — that we here highly resolve that these legal persons shall not have incorporated in multiple jurisdictions in vain — that our free markets, under Mammon, shall have a new birth of corporate freedoms — and that government of the persons, by the persons, for the persons shall not perish from the earth.

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28 comments

  1. psychohistorian

    Slickly sick.

    It should be about the persons owning the persons called corporations that do their bidding.

    Scalia is definitely one of the free market acolytes of corporate persons.

    1. James

      One could even say, the corporate godfather. And don’t you even think about going against the family! In the end, just another greasy mafioso with a law degree. Freaking suits!

  2. K Ackermann

    Serial killing is too mild for me, I found
    I need something more evilly profound
    I’ll be a banker, a broker, a lord of econ profession
    You’ll give it all to me when I robo-sign your confession
    Greed is my need, I bite the hand from which I feed
    I’ll cry before congress and they’ll pass the hat
    Fart in your face ’cause there’s a fat fee for that
    Sneeze your nose at me, I’ll foreclose on you easily
    The newspaper says today you desperately need me.

  3. Seth

    Very fitting parody. A slightly more esoteric one (google “Dred Scott decision”):

    “Natural persons have no rights which the corporate person is bound to respect.”
    — 5-4 Ruling of the Roberts’ Supreme Court

    1. enouf

      I’ve said it before here, and i’ll say it again

      http://www.1215.org/lawnotes/work-in-progress/humanbeing.htm

      To Be or Not To Be a Human Being?
      By Randy Lee in The Christian Jural Society News.
      From Ballentine’s Law Dictionary, 1948 Edition. ‘Human Being’ is defined as follows: ‘See monster’ . From the same dictionary, ‘monster’ is defined: ‘A human-being by birth, but in some part resembling a lower animal.’ ….

      please read the rest – Yes, definitions are key in the conveyance of thoughts, ideas, and ..yep, self-governing constitutions. Linguistic masturbation and contortions seem to be at the heart of almost all deceipt.

      Love

    1. JTFaraday

      It’s not that Adams’ magnificent ego preferred the Senate to the House. Adams never sat in Congress except as Vice President under GW where he was bored spitless, proclaiming the VP spot “the most insignificant office ever contrived by man.”

      It is John Quincy Adams who returned to the US House, after having been President, (largely to continue his grudge match with the South). But this quote is not referring to this either.

      This decontextualized quote is from an 1809 letter from Adams Sr. to Benjamin Rush, in which he is reflecting on the independence movement. Already an advocate of independence in the 1760s, Adams then proclaimed the common school and the MA legislature or “democratic assembly” together, as a pair, the fount and foundation of colonial self governance. So, it is not likely that he was anything but eager to take a place in this same legislature, the “house of representatives” in question, in 1770. However, he does suggest his wife experienced some trepidation:

      “WHEN I went home to my family in May, 1770, from the town meeting in Boston, which was the first I had ever attended, and where I had been chosen in my absence, without any solicitation, one of their representatives, I said to my wife, “I have accepted a seat in the House of Representatives, and thereby have consented to my own ruin, to your ruin, and the ruin of our children. I give you this warning, that you may prepare your mind for your fate,” She burst into tears, but instantly cried out in a transport of magnanimity, “Well, I am willing in this cause to run all risks with you, and be ruined with you, if you are ruined.” These were times, my friend, in Boston, which tried women’s souls as well as men’s.”

      The ruination referred to then, is is that which might come to them with his continued involvement with the independence movement, (as indeed it might):

      “I saw all the awful prospect before me and my country in all its horrors, and, notwithstanding all my vanity, was conscious of a thousand defects in my character as well as health, which made me despair of going through and weathering the storms in which I must be tossed.”

      http://books.google.com/books?id=kI08AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA616&lpg=PA616&dq=WHEN+I+went+home+to+my+family+in+May,+1770,+from+the+town+meeting+in+Boston,+which+was+the+first+I+had+ever+attended,+and+where+I+had+been+chosen+in+my+absence,+without+any+solicitation,+one+of+their+representatives,+I+said+to+my+wife,+%22I+have+accepted+a+seat+in+the+House+of+Representatives,+and+thereby+have+consented+to+my+own+ruin,+to+your+ruin,+and+the+ruin+of+our+children.+I+give+you+this+warning,+that+you+may+prepare+your+mind+for+your+fate,%22+She+burst+into+tears,+but+instantly+cried+out+in+a+transport+of+magnanimity,+%22Well,+I+am+willing+in+this+cause+to+run+all+risks+with+you,+and+be+ruined+with+you,+if+you+are+ruined.%22+These+were+times,+my+friend,+in+Boston,+which+tried+women's+souls+as+well+as+men's&source=bl&ots=jYFiPTqmOM&sig=FlPRD9QmSwX7PylKlacVIVK9iUk&hl=en#v=onepage&q&f=true

      Even with regard to his vanity, in 1770 Adams was only lowly country lawyer invited to Boston by older cousin Sam, where he soon ended up defending the British soldiers tried for the Boston Massacre. Which, Adams family lore has it, was rigged up by Sam in the first place. I think we can conclude he was generally flattered by his election as a Rep from Boston, (despite being tossed about by Sam).

      All in all something considerably different from what is implied by the decontextualized brainy quote.

      1. K Ackermann

        Thank you for this. What a difference context makes.

        If anyone is under the mistaken impression that Quincy MA is named after John Quincy Adams (as I was), it’s the other way around. Per wiki:

        Quincy is the birthplace of former U.S. Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, as well as statesman John Hancock, fourth and longest serving President of the Continental Congress. It was named after Colonel John Quincy, maternal grandfather of Abigail Adams and after whom John Quincy Adams was also named.

      2. SH

        Ouch. That’s the difference between a hack and a knowledgeable person. Hopefully I will be as well read as you one day. I’m trying.

        I picked that quote out of the internet black hat on a whim so you are right to call me out.

        Scott

      3. SH

        I originally wanted to pick this one.

        “Fear is the foundation of most governments.”

        What you got?

      4. enouf

        Award-of-the-day goes to you for the most non-cryptic, yet insanely long URL i have ever seen ;-)

        Love

  4. jake chase

    In a decadent and corrupt empire scum inevitably rises to the top. The real free market is endless competition for favor among sycophantic servants of the criminal elite. Happy Independence Day.

  5. Paul Tioxon

    The new movie, “ABRAHAM LINCOLN, VAMPIRE HUNTER” has a distinct political subtext, “only the living can kill the dead”: corporations as vampires, undead in the form of legal entity personhood, conjured up by a necromancer priesthood of the dark arts, the black robed ones.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZp7eBStN1U

  6. proximity1

    Your Moneysberg Address—inspirational genius!

    (I’ve added a phew hyphens, for added comprehensivitynessness.)

    … “We are met on an inflated balance sheet of that crisis. We have come to extend a mighty portion of assets, as a book-value-preserving holding-place for corporate persons who finessed enormous fortunes through beggaring men and women so that those corporate persons might prosper. It is altogether fitting and proper that we, the free market acolytes of corporate persons, should do this.

    “But, in a larger sense, we cannot hypothecate — we cannot market rate — we cannot estimate – these assets. The financially engineered persons, living free on the indebtedness and taxes of men and women, are the true heroes who innovated here. They have hypothecated and traded these derivatives far beyond our poor imaginations to do more than extend and pretend.” …

    —————-

    “Certain industrialists arose”

    chapter title, from The Robber Barons by Matthew Josephson, (February 15, 1899 – March 13, 1978)

    1. financial matters

      Same story different day.. ‘The New Robber Barons’ (2012)

      review by Karl Denninger on Amazon…

      “”You can choose to listen to the politicians who have every reason to, and have, protected the perpetrators of these frauds upon the public or you can choose to listen to actual subject matter experts like. The difference is simply whether you wish to be informed or further deceived.

      With this as a backdrop, however, and as a prequel to her upcoming work “The Money Book”, this compendium ought to put the lie, once and for all, to the commonly-repeated mantra “Nobody committed any crimes” spewed repeatedly by politicians of all stripes

      Highly recommended.”"

  7. jennifer hill

    I’m feeling nauseous now, kind of disgusted and sad. Brave New 1984 Fahrenheit 451 all rolled into one sick twisted manifesto of an irrational self serving mind. All you finance types need consciousness training – because we can’t fight them with laws, we’ll need an arsenal of deprogrammers to wake up a nation under their spell.

  8. Doug Terpstra

    Thanks, Yves. I this heresy/blasphemy yours?

    This is from another paraphrased delcaration:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all corporations are persons, some created more equal than others, that they are endowed by their Board and the MIC Moneychangers with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Eternal Life, License and the pursuit of Profit by whatever means necessary…”

    (Written exclusively by rich white male slaveholders wearing powdered wigs and makeup, determined to throw off the yoke of tyranny :-)

  9. Susan the other

    Prescient. I’m going to frame it in commemoration of the Second Civil War.

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