1958 – Death of Mary Ritter Beard, U.S. historian
“At no time, at no place, in solemn convention assembled, through no chosen agents, had the American people officially proclaimed the United States to be a democracy. The Constitution did not contain the word or any word lending countenance to it, except possibly the mention of “We the people” in the preamble….When the Constitution was framed no respectable person called himself or herself a democrat.”
1995 – “A Call to Citizens: Will Real Populists Please Stand Up” article in Nation magazine by Ronnie Dugger, Alliance for Democracy co-founder
“We are ruled by Big Business and Big Government as its paid hireling, and we know it. Corporate money is wrecking popular government in the United States. The big corporations and the centimillionaires and billionaires have taken daily control of our work, our pay, our housing, our health, our pension funds, our bank and saving deposits, our public lands, our airwaves, our elections and our very government. It’s as if American democracy has been bombed. Will we be able to recover ourselves and overcome the bombers? Or will they continue to divide us and will we continue to divide ourselves, according to our wounds and our alarms, until they have taken the country away from us for good?
“Over 6000 people responded [to the article calling for the creation of an Alliance for Democracy], 2500 joined, and more than 55 local Alliances were formed nationwide. In late 1996 delegates from 30 states convened in Texas hill country and the Alliance for Democracy was founded.”
1935 – Death of Will Rogers
“The business of government is to keep the government out of business, that is, unless business needs government aid.”
2014 – “California Supreme Court Nixes Corporate Personhood ‘Advisory Measure’ From November Ballot” published article
“[T]he unusual ‘advisory measure’ was placed on the ballot very recently by the California state legislature. It called for Congress to ‘propose an amendment…to the United States Constitution” to overturn the infamous Citizens United decision and its progeny, and “to make clear that the rights protected by the United States Constitution are the rights of natural persons only.’
“But now, the state Supreme Court in California, dominated by 5 Republican appointees and 1 Democratic appointee, has intervened to remove the measure from this year’s general election ballot…”
The High Court said it needs more time to consider whether the advisory measure should be placed on a California ballot.
Update: A similar measure appeared on the November 2016 ballot in California, Proposition 59. It passed with 52% of the vote.
1887 – Birth of Marcus Garvey, founder of the United Negro Improvement Association
Founded in 1914 the UNIA became the largest pan-African organization ever established. By the early 1920s it had 700 branches in 38 states with millions of members.
1920 – States ratify Nineteenth Amendment, granting women suffrage throughout America
Women finally get the vote after 75 years of struggle. “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.”
1956 – Birth of Bernardo Alvarez Herrera, Venezuelan ambassador to the U.S.A.
“Let’s have as much representative democracy as necessary, and as much participatory democracy as possible.”
2003 – Federal District Court overturns S. Dakota “Amendment E” banning nonfamily farm-owned agribusinesses
The federal 8th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a 1998 state constitutional amendment voted by South Dakota citizens that banned non-family owned agribusiness corporations from owning farmland or engaging in farming. The American Farm Bureau Federation, agribusiness corporations, and other agribusiness interests had sued to overturn the law, charging that it violated the Commerce Clause. The Court agreed, arguing that the intent of the citizen initiative circulators was to eliminate corporations from agriculture.
2015 – Is This The Great Crash Of China? By Stephen Keen
“Banks in the West effectively ignore what the government wants: in the West, the political class is effectively subservient to the financial class.”
2014 – “Corporations are People. So What if People Were Corporations?” article published by Catherine Rampell
“Turns out corporations enjoy tons of rights and privileges that biological beings should be salivating over…
“The most obvious place to start is taxes. Companies save billions from loopholes that don’t apply to individuals — yet…
“If people were treated like corporations, perhaps we’d be able to ’merge’ with whomever we want without worrying about restrictive marriage laws…We could also choose to abide by the family law in whichever state we like best, regardless of where we live. Companies, after all, can incorporate in the jurisdiction with the most favorable corporate governance laws, regardless of where they operate,…That’s one reason Delaware is home to more businesses than people.
“But the best perk of being treated like an incorporeal corporation?
“Even if you killed someone, stole a house, funded a genocidal regime or terrorized the global economy, you wouldn’t go to jail. At worst, you’d pay a fine. Sure, you could be executed for your crimes — sort of — by having your charter revoked or by being driven to bankruptcy by onerous penalties, but you could always return from the dead with a different name but much of the same DNA. To err is human; to err and bounce back unscathed, you really need to be a company.”