Whiteness and the Logic of Corporate Personhood
The overt political motivations of the revolutionaries are only part of the story. In order to see why it was easier for the corporation to access personhood than millions of black and brown human beings, we need to look even more closely at the roots of modern liberal political thought, especially the way its architects conceived of human nature. The centerpiece of liberal political thought is Social Contract Theory. It is summarized with epic clarity and concision in The Declaration of Independence as this set of self-evident truths:
This is one of the supreme ironies of whiteness. Generations of European-Americans have bought into the ideal of whiteness, forsaking their own historical roots in order to access the benefits of white identity. But notwithstanding some relative privileges and a comforting, if fictitious, sense of superiority, it turns out that we have failed to grasp that the logic of whiteness does not correspond to the logic of humanity. So, in our effort to claim and preserve unearned advantages, we (and not only white people) have embraced a standard that we ourselves cannot embody and remain human. The logic of whiteness in the context of economics is actually a logic of capitalist exploitation and empire. And, as it turns out, it is a logic that is most perfectly realized by an inhuman bureaucracy, designed to maximize profits and expand forever.