We Need to Hold Corporations to the Bill of Rights

In a recent TruthOut article (Many Americans Don’t Know It, but Their Employers Can Censor Their Political Speech) the valid point was made that “we haven’t enacted laws to require employers to respect employees’ freedom of speech and other human rights. Corporate censorship is much more common than most people recognize. Many employers conduct Internet searches of employees and fire anyone who says something that displeases management. Even more common is the practice of Internet searches of job applicants. Millions of people have lost job opportunities – because a prospective employer didn’t like something they did or said – and they don’t even know it.” 

This, by the way, is why I consider the “real name” policies of outfits like Quora and Facebook a grave attack on free speech, a form of censorship of public discourse by chilling the disadvantaged among us out of it, leaving risk-less, free speech only for our economic masters.

Vital quotes from the article: “The First Amendment says that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech …” It says nothing about private entities abridging speech. … The framers responded to the world they knew. They had experienced government abuse of power and went to great lengths to create a constitution that would prevent it in the future. Abuse of individual rights by private employers was not a serious problem in the Framers’ world. Most people worked for themselves as farmers or skilled tradesmen. No one worried about Paul Revere’s silversmith shop stifling free speech. … The world today is very different. Multinational corporations are richer and more powerful than most countries. Sadly, they often use this power to abuse the human rights of employees. If the Founders were alive today, they would include protection against corporate abuse in the Constitution. ”

Binding employers to honor our Bill of Rights no less than our government is supposed to do (but during the last 16 years has blatantly stopped doing) is yet another goal to put on the goals list for a political revolution, I’d say.

Last, but not least, stopping them from robbing and cheating us, also makes for a worthy goal, no?

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