1992 – Published article “CORPORATIONS ARE EXTERNALIZING MACHINES, THE WAY SHARKS ARE KILLING MACHINES”
“An important new booklet, published this month, describes some of the changes that have taken place in corporate rights, privileges, and behavior, during the last 200 years. Titled TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS: CITIZENSHIP AND THE CHARTER OF INCORPORATION, by Richard Grossman and Frank T. Adams, the booklet describes how citizens controlled corporations before the civil war of 1861. Up to that time corporations were chartered for a specific limited purpose (for example, building a toll road or canal) and for a specific, limited period of time (usually 20 or 30 years). At the end of the corporation’s lifetime, its assets were distributed among the shareholders and the corporation ceased to exist…
2002 – Death of Bill Moyer, author, “Doing Democracy: the MAP Model for Organizing Social Movements”
“The most important issue today is the struggle between the majority of citizens and the individual and institutional powerholders to determine whether society will be based on the power elite or people power model.”
[Note: Bill Moyer was no relation to the television and print journalist, Bill Moyers.]
1900 – Death of John Sherman, US Senator of Ohio on Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890
The federal law trumped and undercut much stronger anti-trust laws that had been passed by many states.
Sherman’s words in support of the Act: “[P]eople are feeling the power and grasp of these combinations, and are demanding of every State Legislature and of Congress a remedy for this evil, only grown into huge proportions in recent times… You must heed their appeal, or be ready for the socialist, the communist and the nihilist.”
2017 – Former FOX News anchor admits to “corporate culture”
In commenting on the revelation that FOX renewed Bill O’Reilly’s contract for $25 million two weeks after he paid out $32 million to a colleague who threathened to sue him, Gretchen Carlson stated on CNN said: “This is covering up, this is enablers, this is shutting up the victims. And I think it’s absolutely horrifying that we’ve allowed this to go on for so long in our corporate culture.” http://money.cnn.com/2017/10/22/media/gretchen-carlson-bill-oreilly/index.html
1895 – Birth of Maury Maverick, U.S. Representative from Texas
“Democracy to me is liberty plus economic security.”
2014 – Death of Frank Mankiewicz, Vice Chair of the PR Firm Hill & Knowlton
“The big corporations, our clients, are scared shitless of the environmental movement. They sense that there’s a majority out there and that the emotions are all on the other side — if only they can be heard. I think the corporations are wrong about that. I think the companies will have to give in only at insignificant levels. Because the corporations are too strong, they’re the establishment. The environmentalists are going to have to be like the mob in the square in Romania before they prevail”
– quoted in Who Will Tell the People by William Greider
1945 – United Nations Charter comes into force, marking the beginning of the international organization
Responding to several notable international abuses by the ITT and Nestle corporations in the developing world, the UN established a Commission and Center on Transnational Corporations (TNCs) in the early 1970’s. The groups urged TNCs to divest from South Africa if the apartheid system wasn’t abolished.
The major effort of the Center was working to develop a “code of conduct” or governing rules for TNC activities, especially in the developing world. The effort ultimately failed to achieve an agreement after 18 years of negotiations – largely due to opposition by developed countries like the U.S., which desired foreign direct investment (FDI) by transnational corporations in developing countries with few international constraints. Ultimately, the UN facilitated negotiations leading to the 1999 Global Compact, a “corporate social responsibility” initiative signed by over 12,000 corporate agents and other stakeholders in 170 counties. The Compact was/is, however, voluntary. Corporations are treated as equal to citizens and governments.
1886 – The railroads win: states can’t interfere with interstate commerce
“Freedom of commerce among the states…was deemed essential to a more perfect union by the framers of the Constitution.”
–Justice Samuel F. Miller in Wabash v. Illinois, 118 U.S. 557 (1886) http://constitutioncenter.org/timeline/html/cw07_12133.html
2014 – “What the BLEEP Happened to Hip Hop” two-day event in Denver
Hip Hop Congress and Move to Amend partnered to present: “What the Bleep Happened to Hip Hop?”, a multi-racial and intergenerational public education event that was part of a larger national campaign seeking to raise awareness of the dangerous power corporations currently wield over hip hop music specifically, and over the arts, culture and society in general.
2001 – Patriot Act passed by Congress
Passed by Congress following September 11, the Act violates the civil liberties and privacy of individuals.
Originally scheduled to expire, but key provisions were renewed in 2011…and remain to this day.
1858 – Birth of Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States
Roosevelt warned against corporate persons in his 1907 Congressional address:
“The fortunes amassed through corporate organization are now so large, and vest such power in those that wield them, as to make it a matter of necessity to give to the sovereign – that is, to the government, which represents the people as a whole, some effective power of supervision over their corporate use. In order to ensure a healthy social and industrial life, every big corporation should be held responsible by, and be accountable to, some sovereign strong enough to control its conduct.”
Congress passed the Tillman Act that same year – the first U.S. legislation that prohibited any national bank or corporation to “make a money contribution in connection with any election to any political office.”
1958 – Death of Walton H Hamilton, economist, lawyer, Yale Law School professor
“The legal make-believe that the corporation is a person, the ingenuities by which it has been fitted out with a domicile, the elaborate web of ‘as-ifs,’ which the courts have woven, have put corporate affairs pretty largely out of the regulations we decree. [The corporation, unlike real persons has] no anatomical parts to be kicked or consigned to the calaboose; no conscience to keep it awake all night; no soul for whose salvation the parson may struggle; no body to be roasted in hell or purged for celestial enjoyment. [No one can lay] bodily hands upon General Motors or Westinghouse…or incarcerate the Pennsylvania Railroad or Standard Oil of New Jersey with all its works.” From “On the Composition of the Corporate Veil.”
2009 – Steelworkers Form Collaboration with Mondragon, the World’s Largest Worker-Owned Cooperative
“The United Steelworkers (USW) and Mondragon Internacional, S.A. today announced a framework agreement for collaboration in establishing Mondragon cooperatives in the manufacturing sector within the United States and Canada. The USW and Mondragon will work to establish manufacturing cooperatives that adapt collective bargaining principles to the Mondragon worker ownership model of “one worker, one vote.”