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Defying Corporations, Defining Democracy: A Book of History and Strategy
by Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy (POCLAD), edited by Dean Ritz

AVAILABILITY: Readily available

Publication Date: 2001
Publisher: Apex Press / POCLAD
Binding: Paperback

Description: Tired of giant corporations running everything? Tired of hearing there is no other way? Tired of politicians doing the bidding of corporate executives? Why not try consent of the governed? This collection of 73 essays, speeches, sermons and letters chronicles the work of the Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy (POCLAD). Here are hidden histories, crisp analyses, and throughtful responses to corporate apologists and accommodationists.

'Defying Corporations, Defining Democracy' asserts that corporate operatives have long wielded the Constitution to thwart the democratic self-governance championed by the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution. In this book of history, strategy and struggle, POCLAD authors marshal evidence for the historical truth that this nation has never functioned as a democracy. POCLAD urges activists to learn from every generation's struggles for democracy and to seize the offensive by:

* Defining corporations as public entities subordinate to public control;

* Banning corporations utterly from elections, lawmaking, charitable giving and schools;

* Prohibiting corporations from all discussion and debate about public policy;

* Guaranteeing to workers on the job full constitutional freedom of association, along with all other Bill of Rights powers;

* Stripping corporations of 14th Amendment "equal protection" and "due process" of law;

* Changing judicial interpretations of the Constitution's commerce and contract clauses to assert human rights over property interests;

* Divesting corporations of 1st Amendment "freedom of speech";

* Denying corporations the privilege of owning other corporations.

Among the book's selections: "Help, I've Been Colonized & I Can't Get Up; Take a Lawyer and an Expert to a Hearing and Call Me in a Decade"; "Human Rights vs. Corporate 'Rights' "; "Revoking the Corporation"; "Corporate Perversion of the 14th Amendment"; "Rumors of Democracy Discovered to Be Counterfeit"; "Workers' Rights, Corporate Privileges"; and "Revolutionizing Corporate Law."

In 1787, the few denied fundamental human and constitutional rights to the many - African Americans, Native peoples, women, indentured servants, debtors, white men without property, and other persons. Men of property have exercised private governing authority ever since. Today, a few giant corporations wield more governing power than the nearly three hundred million people in this nation who live and breathe. This book shows that people do not need to bury aspirations for democracy in endless efforts to legalize "acceptable levels" of corporate poisonings, mitigate new corporate mandates, and walk away with toothless corporate codes of conduct.

This 352-page book collects 70 published and unpublished articles, essays, speeches, letters, harangues, and screeds authored by POCLAD members.

Includes an extensive bibliography, an index of court cases (including reporter citations), and a subject index. Detailed editor's notes cross-reference the many related topics covered in the articles, provide insightful commentary, and document sources.

Edited by Dean Ritz of the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center, Missoula, Montana. Original artwork by Adam Wolpert and Bev Glueckert.

Review(s): "Don't just read this book. Use it to get corporations out of our Constitution." - Arthur Kinoy, Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University School of Law; Co-president of the Center for Constitutional Rights

"This book is a compelling call to us as citizens to take back the power to shape and protect the ways in which we live together on this planet." - Elise Boulding, Professor Emerita of Sociology, Dartmouth College

"...a work of historic importance...An essential resource for all who believe in democracy." - David Korten, author of 'When Corporations Rule the World'

"POCLAD would have us redefine and affirm our rights and identities as sovereign citizens. We cede the very fiber of our Constitution if we fail to take up the challenge ." - Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich

"POCLAD's publications combine the exciting history lessons, loving inspiration and formidable logic we need to repair our corporatized minds." - Bette Burkes, Past President, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

"We know when we walk into a migrant labor camp, the law says we have no First Amendment right to talk with farmworkers. But we do it anyway. FLOC has beaten stacked-deck labor laws with organizing based on human rights and people power. So we know how important it is that POCLAD is helping organizers get off the defensive to challenge employer privilege and Supreme Court decisions that shackle workers' rights." - Baldemar Velasquez, President, Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC), AFL-CIO

"The first step in solving a problem is learning more about the problem, and how and why it grew. POCLAD is giving us U.S. history like it's not usually taught in schools. Hooray!" - Pete Seeger

"Because there is a growing recognition among Americans that corporate power is an assault on democracy, this volume of thoughtful essays arrives at just the right time. An ideal handbook on the pernicious role of corporations, it could have a crucial effect in securing power to the people, where it belongs." - Howard Zinn, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Boston University; author of 'A People's History of the United States' and many other books

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