Our American democracy has metastasized into a corpocracy, with large corporations dominating our government, our economy, much of our culture. This "mad as hell" guide urges the 99% to fight back, rein in big business and restore the corporation to its original, PUBLIC purpose. Includes a special toolkit for reforming corporations including a primer on corporations, proposed Constitutional Amendment abolishing corporate personhood, local ordinance, campus resolution, media relations, much more.
Today few understand that corporations were established not to "maximize profit to stockholders," but to serve a distinct public purpose, to serve the public interest. Concerted and hugely-financed campaigns over decades led to Supreme Court decisions enshrining corporate personhood (although corporations are never mentioned in the Constitution) allowing them to control the media and control, both through direct contributions and through media messages, at least 90% of our elected officials.
But there are solutions. Abolish corporate personhood with a Constitutional Amendment. Through grassroots action
enforce full corporate accountabilty - transparency - for the harm they do to the environment, to workers, to customers, to the public space. Deny rogue corporations government and university contracts. Refuse to invest in socially irresponsible corporations, and demand that labor and public employee pension divest and refuse to reinvest.
Most importantly, change the culture and the public understanding of the purpose of the corporation. Virtually all are chartered by a state, usually through the secretary of state. The ONLY justification for such actions is to serve the public interest; it therefore follows that the intent, in a state granting all the rights, privileges, and benefits of a corporate charter, is that the public interest be served, not solely the private interests of corporate managers and stockholders.
In a nutshell: Fight the corpocracy. Take back democracy.
About Ralph Estes
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Published November 1, 2011
Business & Economics.