Thinking about how religious people in the US, from diverse traditions, can reclaim our Nation from corporate control, led to a search of Catholic encyclicals. One thing that keeps popping up in Catholic social justice – identical to things I have heard from many fellow Witches – is the dignity of the human person. Although not widely known, several encyclicals starting with Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum make it clear that the Roman Catholic Church opposes US-style capitalism just as much as it opposes socialism. In fact, it opposes any economic or political system which violates the dignity of the human person. Given that many Baptist and Evangelical churches were deeply involved in the civil rights movement, I would think that many Protestants share this belief as well.
As the current pope has put it:
“the market has prompted new forms of competition between States as they seek to attract foreign businesses to set up production centres, by means of a variety of instruments, including favourable fiscal regimes and deregulation of the labour market. These processes have led to a downsizing of social security systems as the price to be paid for seeking greater competitive advantage in the global market, with consequent grave danger for the rights of workers, for fundamental human rights and for the solidarity associated with the traditional forms of the social State.” – Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate
One problem in the Western world is that corporations – in legalese, “non-natural persons” – are recognized as persons by the legal system. This enables large amounts of capital to be used in ways no human person could muster: to control media, depress wages, and eliminate the “social security” net (not speaking solely of the US agency called “Social Security”.)
To restore the dignity of the human person as superior to capital – as is the belief of many Pagans, as well as many Christians – I think the following Amendment to the US Constitution might be appropriate:
1. No Right, stated in this Constitution, shall apply to persons other than Natural Persons, unless specifically granted to persons other than Natural Persons.
2. Section 1 of this Amendment shall not apply to the Powers of Congress as enumerated in Article I, Section 8 of this Constitution.
3. For the purposes of this Constitution, and all laws and regulations made subject to it, the phrase “limited Times” or other like phrases shall be construed as one-third of the average lifespan of a Natural Person citizen of the United States. Said lifespan shall be calculated on a decennial basis by the Social Security Administration or successor agencies; if said agencies cease to exist the national Census shall be modified to determine said lifespan.
4. Sections 1- 3 of this Amendment are curative and shall apply immediately to all treaties, laws, and court decisions now standing.