Prof. Daniel Greenwood Responds to Ronald Dworkin in Dissent Magazine

Towards a New Corporate Constitutionalism
Daniel JH Greenwood
Dissent Magazine
May 10, 2010


Ronald Dworkin begins his critique of Citizens United, the Supreme Court case that declares that corporations have a First Amendment right to spend corporate funds on election campaigns, by stating that corporations are “only fictitious persons created by the law.” Dworkin is quite correct that the Citizens United opinion is an attack on democratic self-rule as we know it.

But our major multinational business corporations are not “fictitious”. They are quite as real as any institution that dominates our lives. They are enormously wealthy and powerful bureaucratic institutions, making decisions that affect our lives in vital fashion, and, if we do not get control of them, they threaten to destroy our very ecosystem in a fossil-fueled gust of hot air.