In my previous article, I wrote about the telltale signs of the monster (i.e., the corpocracy of big government married to big business) in our midst and how it’s dominating our life equations. I added that, “believe it or not, most American’s don’t really see the monster for one or more reasons.” Before telling you in this final article on the subject what I mean about democracy pow!er I will quickly explain why so many Americans don’t see the monster in their midst.
The signs don’t reach the eye catching and action getting level of “DANGER, RADIOACTIVE LEAK AHEAD!” There is everything abstract and nothing concrete in “Hijacks Our Constitution” until one knows its consequences for ordinary Americans.
They aren’t seen by people for whom believing is seeing. War hawks, war profiteers, and jingoistic patriots (“my country right or wrong”) see and interpret the signs differently from doves and true patriots (“my county, do right, no wrong”).
They aren’t seen by people who would otherwise feel threatened if they didn’t deny seeing the signs. What can one person really do about it all anyway, single handedly take on the monster?
They aren’t seen by people who haven’t directly felt their effects. Eliminating the draft, for example, has eliminated widespread personal involvement, sorrow and loss. “Just go shopping” President Bush told us all as he ordered his mercenaries to invade Iraq.
They aren’t seen by people who were reared in a very dominating setting and come to know life as being the choice between dominating and being dominated. These are people deprived of a true sense and respect for freedom and the equal rights of others.
They aren’t seen by people for whom the signs are ambiguous, their origin misunderstood or confusing all because of the propaganda, obfuscation and outright lying by the corpocracy. “We’re searching for the hidden WMDs” comes to mind here.
They aren’t seen by people worn down, preoccupied by the daily grind of living, just trying to make ends meet, to keep or to get a job. How many Americans find the time or interest to read about the telltale signs? And nightly news and sitcoms won’t tell them.
They aren’t seen by many people because the corpocracy’s takeover of America has been gradual and for the most part done stealthily since 1971. There is no “corpocracy membership directory,” no “corpocracy newsletter” no annual “corpocracy conventions.”
They aren’t seen by people who didn’t live during the earlier corpocracies and who don’t know their American history. The honest past is not to be found in school books.
And finally, we don’t see the corpocracy being hauled off to jail because by and large the actions represented by the telltale signs are perfectly legal. Most of the harm done is not from lawlessness but from wrongdoing made perfectly legal by one or more of “our” three branches of government.
Where’s the Monster’s Opposition?
It stands to reason that with the populace so oblivious and with the corpocracy so powerful in any case that little opposition has been mounted against it. And what opposition that does exist is extremely divided and splintered, which suits the corpocracy just fine.
Because “our” government has failed us spectacularly numerous non-governmental organizations, or NGOs, have surfaced and if you read their websites they seem to be toiling day and night educating, agitating, and litigating against the corpocracy. I have studied the missions and projects of these NGOs and what strikes me is that there is very little coordination or collaboration even among NGOs with identical missions and similar projects. These NGOs may represent organized opposition but they are only organizations within and of themselves. Had George Washington’s troops been so splintered we would still be subjects of Great Britain’s monarchy.
There is today no broader peoples’ rights movement following on the heels of the civil rights movement that might go into action as well as goad the NGOs into unified action. There are a slew of grassroots movements but they are mostly limited to backyards and local issues. The Tea Party and the Coffee Party you have been reading about? At the moment they are not a populace uprising, only burps on the fringe.
Democracy Pow!er: The USCD and the Peoples’ Reignbow Coalition
Ideas are sometimes just a heart beat away from stirring action. Here’s my idea for what I call democracy pow!er. It would make all existing opposition pale by comparison.
Let’s imagine that those independent-minded NGOs for the sake of the common good and the reclaiming of our democracy decide to forge a virtual network among them. It could be one in which they preserve their individual identities, share some of their resources while acquiring more resources, develop a strategic plan, fold their pet projects into this plan, and start new strategic initiatives. Let’s call this network the U.S. Chamber of Democracy, counterpart to the U. S. Chamber of Commerce, a stalwart ally of the corpocracy.
The USCD would be the core part of this new democracy pow!er the likes of which the corpocracy has yet to encounter. Within the USCD there could be an outreach alliance of NGOs for mobilizing a critical mass of opposition to the corpocracy. This critical mass would represent a new and all-inclusive broad peoples’ rights movement. We might call it the “Peoples’ Reignbow Coaltion” to connote its aim of returning the democracy of self rule to the people. The coalition would be a melding of as many different segments of the populace as possible, such as unions, peace activists, consumer rights’ activists, small business interests, and the like.
The USCD through its internal alliances of specialized groups of NGOs would concentrate on educational, legislative and litigation initiatives while the peoples’ rights movement would provide unrelenting political pressure on the corpocracy to overcome counter offensives it would be sure to mount.
Putting the POW! Plan into Action
The POW! Plan is a deliberate homonym of the Powell Plan, the root of power, and deliberately evocative of the latter’s combative tone. Lewis F. Powell was a tobacco road lawyer who went on to be a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Just before doing so he fired off a “battle” plan in 1971 to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He had been fretting that the free enterprise system was being threatened by liberals and he wanted to enervate the moribund corporations of his day. And indeed he did! Today’s corpocracy can rightfully be called his legacy, although ironically, the “invisible” hand of the market is even more visible given that corporate welfare dwarfs social welfare today. Powell targeted four major institutions for corporate attack, the media, the schools, the political arena, and the courts.
The POW! Plan would be a mirror image of the Powell Plan and jam packed with strategic objectives and initiatives to: 1. blitz the media, 2. blitz the schools, 3. shut down the political/judiciary “circus” (e.g., “the Capital Hill lifers and vote peddlers, the Oval Office puppets, the kept court, the touts,” etc., etc., 4. dig up the legal roots (corporate charters, corporate personhood, and limited liability) of the corpocracy, 5. fight corporate lawlessness-yes, some corporate wrongdoing is illegal, 6. end corporate welfare, and 7. end undemocratic capitalism. Delving into all of the specifics of these seven strategic objectives and their dozens upon dozens of specific initiatives would be impossible to do here so I will only highlight some possible actions that could be considered for seeking to uproot corporate personhood. It is the mother root of the corpocracy so to speak.
It’s absolutely unimaginable that the Framers meant to grant corporations rights as persons but somehow forgot to do so. They had a vivid memory of the Crown’s oppressive and ruthless corporations and were wary of them. I’ll skip over the details of what happened about 100 years later and only mention that corporate personhood was born of the chicanery of Chief Justice Morrison Waite and his court recorder in the 1886 case ruled in favor of the Southern Pacific railroad company over Santa Clara County, California.
There are about a dozen or so initiatives that might be taken singly or orchestrated into a multiple offensive aimed at uprooting corporate personhood. A few legislators reportedly are working on various legislative proposals such as prohibiting political advertising by corporations that hire lobbyists, get corporate welfare, or have offshore operations; prohibiting campaign groups and corporate-related groups from using the same advertising firms and consultants; requiring shareholders to approve political expenditures; requiring chief executives to personally sponsor political commercials paid for by their companies or intermediaries; and expand and strengthen the public political campaign finance system.
Those proposals I hate to say seem more laughable than laudatory. They don’t begin to get at the mother root and if implemented would probably have loopholes in them through which corporations could pass on the way to funding candidates and putting or keeping them in office and in continuing to exercise the other 10 or so rights falsely granted them.
Among initiatives more directly aimed at the mother root are ones that would; seek to amend the U.S. Constitution; legislate away corporate personhood; declare personhood null and void in corporations’ state charters; continue shepherding test cases to the Highest Court; petition municipal, state, and federal prosecutors as the case applies to prosecute members of the bar and the judiciary whose arguments for corporate personhood result in verdicts favoring corporations; and passing anti-personhood ordinances in local communities.
While those more direct efforts should deserve more respect and consideration, they would not be easily achievable to say the least. Amending the U.S. Constitution is unlikely. Out of some 18,000 amendments introduced in Congress since its beginning less than 30 of them have been ratified. Legislating away corporate personhood with a paragraph or more in a bill before Congress wouldn’t be much easier to do. There are 50 state charters and any number of them would be willing to incorporate corporations fleeing an outlier state. Shepherding a test case up to the U.S. Supreme Court failed in the Court’s January 21, 2010 ruling granting corporations the constitutional right to free speech, and there is no point in trying again until there is a majority of justices favoring justice over corporate interests. A prosecutorial approach would be a bold and uncertain one. A few anti-personhood ordinances have been passed here and there, but there are thousands of municipalities without them and those with them can expect to be besieged by corporate litigators.
Add to the aforementioned obstacles in the path of just one piece of a strategic objective all the other obstacles facing the rest of the plan and we can begin to appreciate why democracy pow!er guided by a strategic plan and carried out by the USCD and the Peoples’ Reignbow Coalition may start looking like the only viable option if we ever hope to bequeath to future generations a true democracy and a start on achieving the only worthy kind of national progress, that defined by FDR as uplifting the least of us rather than making the wealthy wealthier.