Liberty Planet Weblog

Government Corporations

Posted on: June 18, 2012

There was a time when I and most other legal reform advocates assumed that all “corporate government” was bad. Over time, I came to see that–as much as despise and distrust corporations–corporate government is at least a necessity and, properly conceived, a possible benefit for the People.

The fundamental question is not “Am I dealing with a governmental corporation?” but rather “Who owns–and therefore benefits from–the governmental corporation I’m dealing with? Am I presumed to be one of the beneficiaries of that corporation or merely one of its customers or even employees?” I.e., “Is the governmental corporation I’m dealing with a “public” corporation that is owned by all the People and therefore works for the best interests of the “public”/People–or is it a “privatized” corporation that’s owned by some private individuals and works for the best interests of those private individuals rather than for the best interests of the “People” in general?

Here’s a question from a reader that touched on the issue of “corporate” government:

“Al, if all governments are corporations, as Doug suggested in a comment to your recent “Do You Understand?” blog, wouldn’t it be true that all politicans, like Rand Paul, are just corporate representatives? Perhaps when they are attending Bilderberg meetings, they are acting in their corporate representitive roles. Maybe these representatives must execute their official duties, regardless of any moral objections or conflicts of interest they may have.

“This is by no means an excuse for Rand’s statements and actions. I think we need to stop playing the game, rather than be fooled by the delusion of changing the system from within. Ron, Rand, and all of them are just wasting our time and energy from the common purpose of restoring our inalienable sovereign rights.”

My (long-winded and imprecise) response:

A government is a created, artificial entity. It has to be “incorporated”–given a corpus or body–in order to have an identity that can be recognized and powers that can exercised. Originally, our State governments were “incorporated” by their State constitutions.

In A.D. 1781, “The United States of America” was “incorporated” by the Articles of Confederation. Those Articles are the “constitution” of The United States of America. A “constitution” is an instrument that “constitutes,” “creates” and/or “incorporates” a new artificial entity. I’m not sure, but I strongly suspect that the Government of The United States of America is our “federal government”.

But things began to become confusing in A.D. 1789, when the People ratified the “Constitution of the United States” which incorporated a new government of the “United States”. Again, I’m uncertain, but the government of the United States may be our “national government”.

In any case, I believe “The United States of America” differs from the “United States” in this regard: The Articles of Confederation (which expressly created/incorporated “The United States of America”) made no proviso for territories or Washington DC. Thus, The United States of America includes only the States of the Union. The “Constitution of the United States” made proviso for territories and Washington DC. Thus, the territories and Washington DC may be part of the “United States” but not part of “The United States of America”. There are undoubtedly a host of other differences but, for now, the presence or absence of the territories and Washington DC strike me as the most fundamental differences.

The last phrase of the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States reads, “We the People of the United States . . . do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

I have not yet figured out how to read that phrase. Some people think that phase tells us that the true name of the “Constitution” is “Constitution for the United States of America” (rather than “Constitution of the United States”). They might be right, but I don’t think so.

I think the phrase tells us that the “Constitution” created a new national “Government of the United States” that was intended to exist for the benefit of “The United States of America” (the States of the Union). If I’m right, the “Constitution” created something like a “national fiduciary” responsible for acting in the best interests of The United States of America (the States of the Union) and the People of The United States of America.

If I’m right, then, if you can identify yourself as one of the People of a State of the Union and establish that your venue is within the borders of a State of the Union, the “government of the United States” might have to work for your benefit. On the other hand, if you allowed yourself to be presumed to be a “citizen of the United States” and/or be acting in a “territory” of the United States, it may be that you will be presumed to be a fiduciary who must act for the benefit of the “United States”.

Whatever the answer, “The United States of America” appears to be a completely different “place,” “venue,” and “corporation” from the “United States”.

And if it weren’t confusing enough to have both a federal and a national government, what currently passes for “government” appears to be a conglomerate composed of a multitude of private corporations that are alleged “agencies” of the “United States”. God only knows how many “corporations” are currently deemed to comprise our “government”.

The problem with corporations is not that they exist or are necessarily intrinsically evil. The problem is: how can you identify the true owners and beneficiaries of each corporation?

It appears to me that, although they differ in fundamental ways, the corporation “The United States of America” and the “United States” were both intended to work on behalf of all the People of the States of the Union. Thus, we might call those entities “public” corporations in that they’re obligated to work on behalf of all the People.

But if you go to (a list of about 60 million corporations) and type “Internal Revenue Service” into the search engine, you’ll probably get a list of several hundred individual corporations named “Internal Revenue Service”. It appears that each IRS office may be a separate and private corporation. If so, these “privatized” IRS corporations may be: 1) acting as if they are part of the “public” government, when they are actually some sort of private bill collection agency; and 2) these privatized IRS corporations are owned by someone other than all the People of The United States of America and therefore serve some beneficiaries other than all the People of The United States of America.

Thus, the problem with governmental corporations is not that they exist, per se, but that while all such corporations are presumed to serve the “public interest,” it may be that many, perhaps most, “privatized governmental corporations” are owned exclusively by a limited group of private “shareholders” and operate for the benefit of those private shareholders rather than for the benefit of the People of The United States of America.

A good example of privatized governmental corporations is the privatized prison corporations. They’re not owned by all the People and therefore do not truly serve the People’s interests. Instead, in order to make more money for the private prison corporations, those entities will lobby Congress and state legislatures to pass more laws that can put people (“customers”) in prison and increase the penalties of laws to cause convicts to spend more time in prison.

These “git tuff” measures may sound good to the “public,” but they are not intended to benefit the public. They are intended to create more customers and more profits for the few people who actually own the private corporations that hold prisoners/customers for profit. Thus, the privatized prison corporations have a vested interest in creating a police state because the police state will create more prisoners/customers. The People do not share that interest and would be oppressed by the burgeoning police state. Thus, the interests of the private governmental corporations and the People can be opposing.

Here’s another illustration of the relationship between a private corporation (The US Postal Service) and law enforcement: 18 USC 3061–which describes the powers of US Postal Inspectors to make arrests without warrants, etc. 18 USC 3061(b) states:

“(b) The powers granted by subsection (a) of this section shall be exercised only –

“(1) in the enforcement of laws regarding property in the custody of the Postal Service, property of the Postal Service, the use of the mails, and other postal offenses; and

“(2) to the extent authorized by the Attorney General pursuant to agreement between the Attorney General and the Postal Service, in the enforcement of other laws of the United States, if the Attorney General determines that violations of such laws have a detrimental effect upon the operations of the Postal Service.”

The “agreement” is almost certainly a contract between the “Attorney General” (who presumably represents the “government of the United States”) and the USPS–a private corporation. The Postal Inspectors are probably just another variety of privatized “rent-a-cops” who are empower by the national government to enforce laws somewhat like a private bounty-hunter. Those Postal Inspectors will serve the best interests of their employer (the USPS) rather than the best interests of the People of The United States of America.

Most of the previous commentary is conjectural. I can’t prove much of what I’ve just written. In broad strokes, however, “that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it”–at least for now.

One other possibility: If it’s true that most of what currently pass for “governmental agencies” are actually private corporations (like the IRS, NASA, CIA, DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERICES, etc.), then if you’ve been damaged by one of those privatize corporations, why do you sue the “United States” or, say, “Texas”? Why don’t you expressly sue the private corporation that damaged you or your property–and expressly not sue the “United States” or “State of Texas”? Why does the “United States” or “United States of America” (not “The United States of America”) defend these privatize corporations?

Similarly, if the notion that most of what currently passes for “government” today is a “de facto” conglomerate of private corporations, that might explain why it’s been ruled that “all crimes are commercial”. Maybe these “de facto/privatized governmental corporations” can’t “prosecute” true crimes but can only proceed on a commercial basis.

A conglomerate of private corporations masquerading as “the government” might also explain why most “criminal proceedings” are actually “penal” rather than truly criminal. It’s my understand that “penal” signifies a civil process with an attached criminal penalty. If so, “penal” isn’t “criminal”–it’s only “civil”. That peculiarity seems consistent with a world where most of our purported government is actually a mass of private corporations that have the right to sue and be sued civilly, but have no authority whatsoever to prosecute true “crimes”.

If so, the first defense to any governmental entity that attempts to prosecute us might be to discover the true nature of that entity. Is it a private corporation? If so, then where’s the evidence that I agreed to “do bidness” with that particular corporation? If I haven’t personally entered into a business transaction with that “private corporation,” under what right or authority is that private corporation dragging me into court.

Are the police who gave me a traffic ticket really peace officers of “The State of Texas”? Or are they they just “rent-a-cops” from some private corporation? If they’re just rent-a-cops, what is their authority over me?

And on top of that, what exactly is the nature of the “court” I’m being sued in? Is it part of one of the “public” corporation we call “The United States of America,” “The State of Texas,” or even the “The County of Dallas”? Or is it some privatized corporation that has contracted to do business with some other privatized corporations such as “CITY OF DALLAS, TEXAS” or “DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES” etc.?

When Ronald Reagan advocated “privatizing” government as much as possible, I thought it was a great idea. In retrospect, I think it was a terrible idea. If it were up to me, no part of our local, state, federal or national governments would be a private corporation. Everything “governmental” would be part of “public” corporations created by our State and federal constitutions and were therefore owned by the People and operated for the benefit of all the People, only.

Source: Adask


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