They should be treated as such
Do CEOs have the right to get involved in politics? Their business is to ensure their companies are profitable for the benefit of their shareholders. As such it is not a CEO’s fiduciary role to get involved in politics or to dictate to politicians who are elected by citizens.
A corporation is an association defined by civil law as an artificial being. CEOs are merely officers representing an artificial person. Corporations are not natural persons and cannot vote; only natural persons or citizens can.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
The Fourteenth Amendment’s first article
In the U.S. the corporation is defined as a “person”. The idea of person has a dual and misleading meaning. The ambiguity is attributed to a confusion between artificial and natural person (a human being). Adding to the misunderstanding is the fact the Latin origin of corporation is corpus or body.
The word body in this sense does not mean a physiological organism commonly understood as a human body, but refers to a society or an association.
In addition, the original Latin meaning for person is persona, a mask worn by an actor. One must keep in mind that the mask of a person, his or her personality, does not mean the essence of being, his or her soul.
The person, therefore, remains on the side of the thing about which we speak rather than on the side of the speakers themselves who designate themselves in speaking.
Paul Ricoeur, Oneself as Another
The misconception around the meaning of person is exemplified by the oxymoron of corporate citizen. Although the corporation is defined as an artificial person, it cannot be a citizen. Citizenship is granted either by birth or through the process of citizenship, a ceremony that involves taking the oath of allegiance to the United States of America. Only human beings can vote for their elected officials who represent We The People as a mystical body.
The corporation is defined as invisible, intangible and immortal. As such it supersedes ordinary human attributes. An artificial person is larger than its constituent parts, with a power greater than the individuals comprising it.
The body of corporations as we know it today surpasses in power and wealth many countries of the world. Although corporations are identified with a variety of brands they nonetheless all have a similar legal definition, structure and accounting standards. This body of unfathomable artificial persons sharing a similar doctrine, has evolved into an Investor State representing Global corporations.