Whose Public? The Stakes of Citizens United
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission is a 2010 US Supreme Court decision that fundamentally transformed federal election financing. As a result, we have seen a drastic increase in the amount of so-called soft money that wealthy individuals and corporations contribute to political campaigns. Following a brief overview of the case and the precedent that formed the basis for the ruling, this chapter concerns philosophical stakes of the decision and what precisely it says about the public today and the role of philosophy within it. I argue that there are three basic issues here. First is the issue of corruption. Second is the question of propaganda and the potential dangers the Citizens United case might pose for a democratic polity. Finally, I examine the dangers this poses for a democratic polity.