Whenever someone brings up corporate personhood, someone else always shouts out, à la Charlton Heston: "Corporations are people!"
Let's cut the crap and get fucking real about the relationship between human beings and corporations, and stop this fucking bullshit conflation of immortal multinationals and mom-and-pop entrepeneurs. We're not talking about Mom and Pop here.
The word "corporate" comes from the Latin corporatus, "form into a body," from corpus, "body." To incorporate is to form a legally recognized non-human entity - formed from natural persons (aka humans) and capital - that is able to act in many ways like an actual person, such as entering into binding agreements and owning property.
Natural persons are the cells of this body. Just like the cells of your body, they are replaced when they die or otherwise lose their utility - generation after generation of them. The corpus itself remains: evolving and adapting as its environment changes, but always there. Sure, in any given generation some few of those natural persons reap great rewards during their brief tenure in this mortal coil - and they delude themselves into thinking that they are in fact masters of the body, but they are simply a means to an end. At best, they are drivers, but they are not the vehicle. The corpus outlives them all, and it has a purpose separate and distinct from the humans who both form it and leech from it.
Corporations exist to devour. That is their raison d'être.
The controllers of a corporation are required to act with the goal of maximising return, by any means necessary, and those means include a myriad of illegal and extralegal actions, and actions that are in direct conflict with the welfare of actual humans. When a corporation gets caught stealing and its hand is cut off, the hand grows back - unlike a person's hand - and tries again a different way. Corporations don't go to jail, and on those rare occasions when their human controllers are found guilty of transgressions, the corpus simply pays the fine and writes it off as the cost of doing business. If you were a thief who knew his hand would grow back if it were removed, how much would you try to steal?
The driving energy of the corporate body is not the human controllers at its helm; it is the almost unimaginable wealth and power that continues to accumulate across lifetimes and generations of actual people.
As long as we allow corporate influence to drive the ideological debates we petty mortal humans have, we will remain locked in a battle that does nothing but increase the power and wealth that is concentrated in these immortal and amoral entities, but the drivers of these creatures want us to buy in to the conceit that corporations deserve a place at the table, because there are humans in the driver's seat. They don't want us to focus on the vehicle. In fact, they want us to grant the vehicle full citizenship, whereinafter what is a creature of the state - based upon the laws of men - becomes itself a master of the state (as every citizen should be).
Democrat, Republican, independent, liberal, conservative, progressive, libertarian, religious authoritarian, secular humanist, whatever - none of that shit fucking matters to these abominations, for they have power and reach beyond any nation's, and they have no care for any particular -ism. As long as they can continue to devour the wealth and resources of we natural persons, they don't give a good goddamn who's in the White House or 10 Downing, who controls Congress or Parliament, who lives or dies in the dust of faraway promised lands. None of that shit matters; they outlast dynasties like your body passes a good meal, having gotten what it needs and then discarding the rest in a steaming pile.
But we self-centered egotistical humans, we need villains and heroes, so we engage each other in Us versus Them contests for what we think is control. And if ever people try to point out "the man behind the curtain," they are labelled as fringe-dwelling conspiracy theorists. We can't envision something that's not actually human, devoid of emotion and passion and morality, which exists only to devour us lifetime after lifetime, with our complicity, direct and indirect, willing and not. We need someone twirling his moustache and laughing diabolically while our hero tries to save the day, and we need to believe that we are the ones in control, that it's just a matter of which group of humans has the will or the heart or the guns or the right god.
Talk about gaming the system.
The United States of America actually rebelled against the fucking British East India Company. It just so happened that King George was on the throne at the time.
And hey, guess what? The trading company is still here 200 some-odd years later. That's at least eight generations, and guess who's still calling the shots?