Flash Fiction Satire by Vonda N. McIntyre
In an expected decision today, the United States Supreme Court reaffirmed its definition of Corporations as persons, and redefined organic beings as unpersons.
Unpersons include nebular avatars, bionic individuals (including biological bodies with computer-assisted intellects, machine-assisted brain preservation modalities, and exoskeleton-assisted paraplegics, quadriplegics, and n-oplegics for any value of “n”, including naturalized aliens), infertile biological entities (whether infertility be caused by chromosomal abnormality, age, illness, sexual orientation, or disinclination to reproduce), naturalized aliens, and natural-born human beings.
The Perfect Union must now be administered as a profit-making organization (Amendment 28 to the Constitution of the United States of America, “National Profitability”). Corporations are the only entities with sufficient financial resources to function as Persons and Citizens. According to Amendment 28, the USA must balance or surplus its annual budget, forgo borrowing under any circumstances, and invest in projects only if they will result in an assured profit of, at minimum, 18%. As a result, all infrastructure construction has been privatized since 2014 and may be used only on a fee basis; health care is available only to individuals who purchase adequate insurance (average cost 3.4 x average annual income) and who can be repaired with standard printable parts; and the defense budget is restricted to amounts returned to the government by surrender of corporate beings, takeover of profitable government entities, and spoliation. Examples include the nuclear program of Iran (including all warheads, enriched uranium, and centrifuge sites); Wyoming (including offshore corporations, Yellowstone National Park, and the hotsprings of Thermopolis, including all springs formerly protected by the Big Horn Hot Springs Land Cession Agreement); and the Smithsonian Institution (including all collections, now dispersed and sold via eBay).
Because biological entities cannot, by and large, contribute to the profitability of the United States, biological entities (including former biological entities life-supported by mechanical or electronic means or any combination of mechanical or electronic means or any means now available or ever improved, developed, or invented in the future) are now relieved of citizenship. Any program that benefits organic entities or extends the lifespan of organic entities must demonstrate its profitability. Since most organic entities are a net drain on resources, most programs — including support for the elderly, support for the infirm, support for children, support for organic entities with young children, and support for organic entities in the process of creating young children — are forbidden.
Programs to defend ova, sperm, and embryos, however, are protected by Amendment 29 of the Constitution of the United States of America (“Personhood of Gametes”) and must be funded. Programs supported by Amendment 29 include R&D (“Communication with gametes and embryos for purposes of voter registration”); elimination of doctor-patient confidentiality laws, medical ethics, and the Hippocratic Oath; prosecution of capital miscarriage (without exception); recruitment of OB-GYNs, obstetrical nurses, midwives, and sexual partners of fertile women as undercover agents for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Guns and Explosives, and Pregnancy; interdiction of masturbation (“Opportunity for Every Sperm” clause of Amendment 29); and liquidation of urologists (“Prohibition of Impotency-Causing Prostate Cancer Surgery” Clause of Amendment 29).
As unpersons cannot function adequately under the Supreme Court decision, Corporate Persons now stand in loco parentis for all non-Corporate Persons. This includes decisions about education, discipline, family honor, and imprisonment. Compulsory education is eliminated, as it infringes on the freedom of individuals, whether they be Corporate Persons or unpersons. Discipline is unregulated, as regulation of corporal, electronic, or capital punishment infringes upon the freedom of Corporate Persons to manage their organizations within their Family Values. Activities related to Family Honor, being the basic Family Value, are unrestricted.
The Corporation of Incarceration, charged with prison construction, maintenance, management, and oversight, recently matched Shexmoil as the most successful Corporate Person in the country, with profits of seven trillion dollars each in the first quarter. The CI’s intake of unpersons is expected to increase. Unpersons unattached to Corporate Persons are known to engage in criminal activity such as substance abuse, caloric excess, and toll evasion, in order to compel the Corporation of Incarceration to support them with food, lodging, and medical care. Insult to Corporate Persons has been upgraded from an incarceratable to a capital offense.
The Major Ten and the Minor Thirteen Corporations recently filed a class action suit to challenge the eligibility of organic beings to hold seats on the Supreme Court.
Shexmoil and CI replied with a counter-suit to maintain the current membership and to overturn any limits on Supreme Court sponsorship, basing their suit on the argument that any regulation of the use of corporate funds is a violation of the First Amendment.
Profit recalculation has resulted in a change of sponsorship for the Supreme Court. CI gains sole sponsorship of one Associate Justice. The Major Ten combine to sponsor four Associate Justices, while the Minor Thirteen combine to sponsor the remaining three Associate Justices. Were the countersuit to prevail, the Major Ten and Minor Thirteen Corporations would be relieved of their sponsorships, while Shexmoil and CI would sponsor five and four Justices, respectively.
Shexmoil, whatever the outcome of the legal challenges, will retain sole sponsorship of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America.
I thought I was writing satire when, on July 4, 2011, I wrote this in a fury.
Recent news makes me wonder.
Vonda N. McIntyre is a founding member of Book View Café. Her novels and selected short stories, including “Supreme Court of the United States Defines Personhood,” Nebula Award winners Dreamsnake and The Moon and the Sun, can be found at the Book View Café ebookstore.