From the pre-coronovirus archives: Nostalgia looks with fondness to the 19th century as a time of rugged individualism and unemcumbered free markets. As with so many mythic images, reality is exceedingly different. If you like corporate personhood, thank the railroads. Ever notice how, in labor strife the gov’t generally takes the side against the workers? Curious about the decision making process for big polluters? Again, look to railroad history. That 19th century behemoth, the powerful machinations of the transcontinental railroads, gave us today’s corporate rule.