Federalist Society v Corporate Personhood
Corporations don’t have First Amendment rights except when they’re making political donations, refusing to bake cakes, or blocking birth control.
There are lots of cleavage lines between “left” and “right” (“Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition: There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect” -F. Wilhoit), and here’s a crucial one: the left knows its ideology arises from material reality, while the right claims otherwise.
The right likes to claim to be “rationalist,” grounded in the realm of ideas, not the material world. For example, the right says affirmative action is unfair, because policies should be “race-blind” and thus neutral. The left, meanwhile, says that offering the same chances to people regardless of whether they have the same material means to seize those chances is unfair, because it simply cements the dominance of the people who are already on top.
But all ideology is grounded in material reality. The things you think — and believe — arise out the material world you encounter. How could it be otherwise? Remember when David Cameron, as PM of UK, said that there was no room for social explanations for the London uprisings, insisting that it was down to “criminality, pure and simple”?
“Criminality, pure and simple” has no explanatory power. Where was the “criminality” the day before the uprising? Where did it go to, the day after? Is it a strange tide, driven by mysterious ideological currents in the aether? Is it a pollen that alights on poor people and sends them into the streets before it dissipates and lets them trickle back home?
It’s not just your beliefs that rise and fall based on your material circumstances — it’s also the salience of those beliefs. Racism is a complicated ideology, but at its core, there is something like the toddler’s revulsion of having their peas and carrots touch on the same plate: these things do not belong together.
This carrots-and-peas theory of racism came into focus for me reading NK Jemisin’s brilliant (anti)Lovecraftian novel The City We Became. Jemisin’s foils make it very clear that…