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Pat Buchanan wrote a great book – A Republic Not An Empire, (2002). I wrote this piece to answer something which troubled me from time to time. There is a theory out there in internet-land the United States is a giant corporation. It’s based on the same whimsical thinking that drives lottery sales and horoscopes.

Contrary to what you may read on Facebook the United States is not a corporation. Your birth certificate is not a stock certificate. You will not get rich by cashing in on the national debt. You might go to prison or worse but no money will come of it.

I’ve seen this enough to respond. It’s really a minor issue but I thought I should address it. I see the posts on Facebook from time to time. Posts like this:

The UNITED STATES of AMERICA is a corporation.

“The UNITED STATES of AMERICA is a corporation.Go to the UNITED STATES CODE (note the capitalization, indicating the corporation, not the Republic) Title 28 3002 (15) (A) (B) (C). It is stated unequivocally that the UNITED STATES is a corporation.”

I did look at the law; not what it says or means. The mis-cited law only has to do with the government hiring attorneys for debt collection and similar purposes. See: 28 USC 3002. Boring, yes; Constitution shattering, no.

The theory also revolves around The District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871, 16 Stat. 419 (1871). Yet, all this law did was regulate the governance of the District of Columbia. Such is one of the very few explicit powers granted Congress by the Constitution, Art. I, Sect. 8, CLS. 17.

Never have I met anyone in person who openly espoused this theory. And, I visit with quite a few conspiracy theorists. Should you meet such a person, humor them – unless they try to involve you in a scheme to collect on your shares or something. That road leads to prison or the poorhouse.

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It’s a scam. Google.

Here’s a more in-depth look at the claim: Text of the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871, The Daily Render, 2009. That’s really not worth reading and not worth quoting. It does shed light on the theory though. Why conceive of such fancy?

It seems simple. We do face some major problems today with “our” government. The theorists posit the U.S., in a state of disarray, bankrupted itself out of existence. In the place of the old republic those 19th Century geniuses left us with a national corporation. You, by birth, are a stock holder citizen and entitled to some vast sum of money based on the current national debt.

While the root rests on some disturbing truth, the rest is rubbish.

Some people really believe all of this. Part of the faith comes from a real realization that something is fundamentally wrong with America today. Part is based on tv-induced naivety and ignorance. Part on greed

This does not make sense economically. In order to cash in your “stock” – if everyone did, the only solution would be to print so much more funny money the currency would be worthless. So much for your shares. This fanciful belief makes the real problem even worse.

Let me briefly explain what the U.S. really is. The nation, following the too good success of the loose Confederation, was formed into a Constitutional Republic. Allegedly the rights of the free people were protected and the powers of the new government limited. Somewhere we fell off the wagon and those ideas were reversed. Both the authorities and the people were corrupted.

Today, the Constitution is an ignored artifact stuck away in a museum. Buchanan’s book aside the U.S. has degenerated into Empire, now approaching the late stages thereof. It’s an Empire without an emperor. Specifically, the political power is uneasilly split between ochlocracy (mob rule) and oligarchy (rule by the elite). The elite keeps the mob happy with handouts and spectacles and the mob keeps re-electing the elite. Cozy if crazy.

I’ve said before this country has owners – banks, insurance companies, and other well-connected entities. But their ownership is less like a corporation and more like a plantation. The mob plays the part of the slaves, stupidly trading their sacred freedom for false security and debased entertainment.

What to do? The corporate angle is too good to be true. Don’t believe it. Instead, believe in yourself and put your faith in a Higher Power. Whatever its form, if enough of us ignore the government long enough, it will go away.