Friday, September 06, 2013

We've Colonized Ourselves

The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (Probably my favorite environmental organization.)posted this on Facebook yesterday:

End "capital-ism" for corporations--- you can help shut down the widespread acceptance of "corporate personhood" even before we amend the U.S. constitution.

It's a tell tale sign of the biases institutionalized in our society that each time I try to send an e-mail or write in a "word" document using the name of a corporation, my spell-checker tries to correct me for not having capitalized the name of the corporation. If we assert that corporations are things and not persons, then honoring the names of corporations with capitalization and accepting their names as personal pronouns seems to me to be a contradiction of the idea that they are things, not persons.

I think that if "microsoft" deserves to be capitalized, then why not Dog, or Dolphin, or Box Turtle...all of which I hold in higher regard than the corporation? In fact, I want never again to capitalize the label ("name") of a corporation.

We at the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund often capitalize local "Ordinances," because they are laws of communities. So too County, and Township and Borough -- respecting community self-governance. I generally capitalize People and Nature.

So, we can make a statement not only with what we say, but how we type it. And if we do not, we still make a statement...and it is that we continue to be colonized by the dominant culture, which elevates corporations (property) above People and Nature.

Who will join us in de-capitalizing corporations?

I like the idea of ending "capital-ism" for corporations. I also think they make a good point in saying that Dog, Dolphin, or Box Turtle should capitalized well before Microsoft (This computer does not allow me to not capitalize Microsoft.) Robert Bly was right when he pointed out in "The Sibling Society" that we are the first culture to have colonized ourselves.

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