Who Doesn't Like Saying SCOTUS? Really?

For all the commenters raining praise down on Vonda N. McIntyre's SCOTUS Defines Personhood, you'd think there was some, I don't know, content there.

I'm as big a fan of the corporatocratic dystopian fiction as the next guy; heck, I've got a series of short adventure stories set in the Incorporated States, a universe of my own devising, though one in which I wanted to demonstrate that corporations are not by definition evil, and that a corporatocratic system would no more have to be tyrannical than a democratic system has to be egalitarian.  I absolutely agree that our current construction of a 'proper' capitalist system is unsustainable, not least because it privileges those who produce nothing of value so much more than those who still provide a good or service that benefits society.  There is simply no justification for a wage gap as high as the one that exists between, say, the Walton family and the people who actually do all the work at any given Wal-Mart location.  The CEO of Wal-Mart simply does not work a thousand times as hard as the store's employees.

And yes, exaggeration for the purposes of satire is a fine tradition, in science fiction as much as in any other genre of artistic expression.  I doubt Orwell really believed the future of 1984 was exactly what was going to happen, any more than Alan Moore thought V for Vendetta was a reliable prediction of the future of Britain or Margaret Atwood thought genetic engineering was just a few years away from exterminating nearly the entirety of the human species.  Just because a work is over the top doesn't make it bad, though it usually means it has to work harder to be good in order to balance out the goofiness of such exaggeration. 

And yes, the ruling by the SCOTUS that the First Amendment protects corporate spending during an election is a worrying one.  And yes, corporate donations and funds spent on lobbying just go up and up, year after year, election after election.  And yes, President Obama had the exact same sorts of people working on his economic recovery plan as those who caused the disaster in the first place.  And yes, and yes, and yes. 

Still.  With all due respect to Ms. McIntyre, this story is just... well, there's just nothing to it, really.  It's a hodgepodge of background and worldbuilding, without much of an actual story hanging from its bones.  Its 'flash fiction', true, but that doesn't excuse it from at least having some kind of narrative structure.  And just because it's written in the form of a newspaper article doesn't excuse it, either, since most newspaper stories are written with exactly the sort of narrative structure that gets people invested in a work and reading through to the end.  Really, it's not even that it's bad, it's just that it's, well, it's not much of anything at all.

And just to raise a quick point; while it's an interesting idea, such a fundamental change to the status quo would be bitterly resisted by the most profitable corporations and wealthiest individuals precisely because it is a change to the status quo.  These entities made their money based on the way things are.  The last thing they want is a massive change.

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