Thom Hartmann takes on these most difficult questions and tells a startling story that will forever change your understanding of American history. Amongst a deep historical context, Hartmann describes the history of the Fourteenth Amendment--created at the end of the Civil War to grant basic rights to freed slaves--and how it has been used by lawyers representing corporate interests to extend additional rights to businesses far more frequently than to freed slaves. Prior to , corporations were referred to in U. Since this ruling, America has lost the legal structures that allowed for people to control corporate behavior.
It's time for "we, the people" to take back our lives. In this revised and expanded second edition, Hartmann incorporates specific examples from today's headlines, and proposes specific legal remedies that could truly save the world from political, economic, and ecological disaster. Ecommerce Software by Shopify. Limits on campaign contributions from corporations? Hartmann details many examples of corporate chicanery and outlines the extent of corporate power over government today, confirming what anyone who cares seriously about climate or energy policy already knows: that corporate interests trump the will of the people for clean energy time and time again.
Instead, he enjoins us all to join the movement to dethrone the new East India Companies of the world and take back America and other western democracies for their people. In the US, that would start with a campaign to declare that corporations do not have the same rights as people do, such as Free Speech for People. That will help create momentum for a national effort. It sounds daunting. But then fighting climate change and preparing for peak oil both present such a threat to the profits of so many big corporations, from Big Oil and Big Coal on down to automakers and big box retailers, that there may be no other way than fighting plutocracy to stop America from committing national suicide and taking the rest of the world down with us.
Until we take corporations back down to size, big polluters like ExxonMobil, BP, Massey Energy and their agents at the US Chamber of Commerce will keep bankrolling climate-science deniers and fighting against a rational energy policy that would take America away from fossil fuels and towards conservation and clean energy.
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So keep fighting for renewable energy, green jobs, healthcare, safe products, and top-notch public education. But save some energy for the battle of our lifetimes.
A battle that can open the door to solving all of these things. Erik Curren is the publisher of Transition Voice. In , Erik was elected to the city council of Staunton, Virginia. While it is a very nice thought, I really doubt there are any political solutions to these problems anymore.
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We are at least 30 years too late in this country to enact any sort of meaningful reform of the corporate system. The idea that a constitutional amendment to strip away corporate personhood is jaw-droppingly naive. Furthermore the idea that local governments will stand up to big employers in any meanful way is beyond comprehension.
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Has the author not seen how craven most local and state governments are towards corporations that will bring in jobs and tax revenue? Look at the fight between Washington and South Carolina over who would get the Boeing plant. Furthermore smaller political entities are even less well equipped to fight the expensive campaign battles that any sort of legislation would create.
Not to mention defend against the lawsuits the corporations would file ad nauseum. The consumerist public is not going to accept the price increases that the corporations would pass along, and government is certainly not going to, in this climate, do anything that would lead to lost jobs and tax revenue.
Call me an Orlovite or is it Kunstlerite? Doomer, but at this point I think grandiose political campaigning is counterproductive.
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This sucker is going down and my time, energy, and money are far better spent building the resilience of my local community. Radoje — Believe me, there are days when I feel that national politics is futile and a waste of my time.
But on other days, I see good reasons to engage and I think that a dis-engagement strategy is actually a bigger risk:. No Constitution? No laws of any kind? Are you prepared to put up with plutocracy till then? The ideas of today will determine what kind of revolution we have in the future. Are you so eager to oblige them? I would only ask you to consider the utter disconnect between Obama the candidate and Obama the president bank bailouts, seeming inability to close Guantanamo, war-mongering in Libya….
Personally I feel like the corporations have won, we are now in occupied territory and need to adjust our aims accordingly. The French Army was no longer fighting the Germans in , but the Resistance was quite effective at disrupting their control of the country.
Unequal Protection (2nd ed.) by Thom Hartmann (ebook)
Not that I am advocating violence, but instead of fielding an Army we need to accept the reality of our situation vis-a-vis corporate hegemony. I would disagree that no one has a crystal ball. All of us are basing our decisions today on what we believe will happen in the future. After all every energy descent plan has a vision of how the descent will happen if you, for example though the oil was going to run out next week, your energy descent plan would be very different than if you thought that local fuel deliveries would be increasingly disrupted in the next years. The only difference will be that some of us are going to be more or less wrong or right.
As I said in my previous comment, getting any sort of major reform on the national level will realistically years and likely billions of dollars. Frankly, I could care less whether corporations think me cynical and disengaged, as I hope to so order my life and my community to make them as irrelevent to me as the strong can ever be to the weak. All this is nice and righteous, but sans armed revolution, how exactly are the plutocrats to be ejected?
Beating ourselves bloody in a vain attempt to change the unchangeable? You could write 10, of the most brilliant blogs, parade in , streets, and broadcast over 1,, websites, and you will never break the basic programming of the powerful reptilian brain: Safety at all costs.