The problem isn't when individuals or corporations are free to do whatever they want.
The problem is when the government gives them special privileges at the expense of others' rights.
And who controls what the govt does?
Corporations. Which, of course, wouldn't exist without the government.
Even without corporate charters issued by the government, corporations would still exist. (That is, in the absence of government force to the contrary,
investors would still voluntarily band together of their own accord in order to hire employees to manage their collective property, and to split the profits from the revenues derived.)
The only reason that corporations now control the government, is because you do not have fair representation; you do not have proper apportionment.
I will make this clear... (using extreme example)
Hypothetical situation 1: There is 1 representative for every 1 thousand people.
Hypothetical situation 2: There is 1 representative for every 1 trillion
As you can see, in situation (1), you have fair representation. (Democracy!)
But in situation (2), you do not have fair representation. (Dictator!!!)
(Notice that the only difference between "democracy" and "dictator" is the number of people being represented.)
In situation (1), a person cannot be elected to the House unless he actually lives in your neighborhood, operates a business nearby, attends your church, etc. No amount of TV commercials can change this. No outsider could ever win. Certainly no one would be in office for very long, unless he was available to meet with constituents, who would all actually meet with him and voice their concerns on a regular basis.
In situation (2), on the other hand, a person cannot be elected to the House unless he gets lots and lots of money from big corporations, and spends it on lots and lots of TV commercials. No "real person" could ever win. Certainly no one would be in office for very long, unless he was entirely bought-and-paid-for by large corporations, who would all actually meet with him and voice their concerns on a regular basis.
When the Constitution was written, the House had 1 representative for every 30,000 people.
Today, Congress is very different. There are 435 people ruling over FOUR HUNDRED MILLION. This is no different than 1 person reigning over 1 million. (In the old days they called that a "king.")You see, "everybody has one vote" is a lie they sell you. What's actually important is how diluted that vote is.
Consider also the SENATE. In the old days, each Senator was appointed by his respective state legislature. He had a strong incentive to represent the interests of that state legislature, for otherwise, they would remove him from office. This meant that the Senators were beholden to the States, just as the House was beholden to the People. (The Senators actually represented the States, in those days.) Therefore, a Senator actually had to deal with 50 or 100 actual state legislators and their concerns, or he was fired.
But today, things are very different. The Senator is elected by direct election of the people. For example in California, there are THIRTY MILLION PEOPLE but only 2 Senators. But those Senators do not represent
those people, since it is physically impossible for anyone to represent thirty million people. Instead, those Senators represent the large corporations who pay for TV commercials that get them elected. As for the voters, the Senators really only care about a certain vague notion of whether the voters are "angry", and this they only care about once every 6 years. They certainly do not represent
those voters, nor do they represent the interests of their State government (which has no say in their election.)
So you see, the States WERE represented in the Senate, but no longer. And the People WERE represented in the House, but no longer. Those times have passed / are passing.
This is not a problem of corporations, which are a simple fact of natural law. Rather, this is a problem of an uneducated populace being unwilling or unable to demand their right to fair representation.
Once you fix that, then suddenly all problems of "corporations" or "campaign finance" or "district gerrymandering" are revealed as false issues, and disappear. Those issues are actually used as a red herring in order to distract the population and keep them occupied in the two-party system. Don't fall for it.
Also, see: www.apportionment.us
Corporations can only become an illicit power center (as well as a bogeyman) in cases where your vote has been diluted away. The same is true of unions, and even government agencies. This is why you move through life with that vague feeling of pressure to either become part of the investor class and under SEC and FDIC regulation, or the corporate class regulated by your manager who is regulated by the FTC, or to join a union, regulated by the Department of Labor, or work for a government agency, or to end up in the prison system or living off of the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. You certainly don't feel as if the system is pushing you towards "running your own ship", now do you?
All of the problems that conservatives normally associate with unions are not a result of the unions themselves (i.e. the workers' natural rights of association and collective bargaining.) Rather, they are problems caused by state and federal laws which favor unions at the expense of our rights.
Similarly, the problems that liberals associate with corporations are not a result of the corporations themselves (i.e. the investors' and employees' natural rights of association, property, voluntary exchange and the right to contract.) Rather, they are problems caused by state and federal laws which favor corporations at the expense of our rights.
It's always the same: Unfair advantages (granted via government force) to the corporations/unions/banks/whatever, bundled with increased government power to regulate
those same corporations/banks/unions/etc--always at the expense of individuals and small businesses--with the ill-gotten gains being distributed disproportionately to those who are well-connected. Growing more and more towards fascism on the right, and socialism on the left.
The cause is also always the same: lack of fair representation
stemming from ignorance
about our rights under Magna Carta, under the Enlightenment, under Natural Law, under the Declaration of Independence, and the Judeo-Christian ethic. This same ignorance also destroys our right to a fair jury trial via juries who judge the law itself (and not merely the facts of the case.) For if jurors are ignorant of this right, it becomes of no effect.