REAL Democracy History Calendar: July 10 – 16

July 10

1832 – Andrew Jackson vetoes legislation to renew the charter of the private Second Bank of the United States
“Is there no danger to our liberty and independence in a bank that in its nature has so little to bind it to our country?… Should its influence become concentrated, as it may under the operation of such an act as this, in the hands of a self-elected directory whose interests are identified with those of the foreign stockholders, will there not be cause to tremble for the purity of our elections in peace and for the independence of our country in war? Their power would be great whenever they might choose to exert it; but if this monopoly were regularly renewed every fifteen or twenty years on terms proposed by themselves, they might seldom in peace put forth their strength to influence elections or control the affairs of the nation. But if any private citizen or public functionary should interpose to curtail its powers or prevent a renewal of its privileges, it cannot be doubted that he would be made to feel its influence.”

July 11

1899 – Birth of Elwyn Brooks White
“Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half the people are right more than half of the time.”

2014 – American Federation of Teachers pass resolution declaring corps aren’t people and money isn’t speech
The resolution was passed at their national convention
https://www.aft.org/resolution/support-constitutional-amendment-undo-supreme-courts-citizens-united-and

July 12

1804 – Death of Alexander Hamilton, first US Secretary of the Treasury
Hamilton called people the “mob at the gate” and decried “Our real disease, which is Democracy.”

He was a major proponent of First Bank of the United States – a privately owned national bank. The name was to deceive people into thinking that money creation was done by the government instead of corporate banks. The nation’s money was created out of thin air and loaned to the government – at interest – and to private individuals. Eighty percent of the stock was privately held. Hamilton called the public debt “a public blessing” because of his belief that it would tie the wealthy (who would own the government bonds) of the country to the government, and they would, in turn, provide political support for higher taxes, to make sure that there was enough money in the treasury to pay off their principal and interest.

1817 – Birth of Henry David Thoreau, American essayist, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, and historian
“There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.”
[Note: Focusing on fundamental constitutional and other structural and cultural changes are those that strike at the root.]

1873 – The Farmers’ Anti-Monopoly Convention, Des Moines
The Convention resolved that: “all corporations are subject to legislative control; [such control] should be at all times so used as to prevent moneyed corporations from becoming engines of oppression.”

July 13

1956 – J.R.R. Tolkien is quoted on the topic of modern governments
“The main mark of modern governments is that we do not know who governs, de facto any more than de jure. We see the politician and not his backer; still less the backer of the backer; or what is most important of all, the banker of the backer. Enthroned above all, in a manner without parallel in all past, is the veiled prophet of finance, swaying all men living by a sort of magic, and delivering oracles in a language not understood of the people.” – Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, quoted in Contour magazine.

July 14

1798 – The Sedition Act passes
Taking advantage of public fears of attack during a period of naval hostilities with France, Congress passed and President Adams signed a bill permitting government prosecution of individuals who expressed freedom of speech when voicing or printing what the government deemed malicious against the president or the U.S. government. It was a direct violation of the Constitution’s First Amendment right of free speech. There were 14 citizens, mainly journalists, who were prosecuted, and some imprisoned, under the Act.

1965 – Death of Adlai Stevenson II, U.S. politician, diplomat, and Presidential candidate
“The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal…is the ultimate indignity to the democratic process.”

July 15

2003 – Article: “Catholic Social Thought and the Amorality of Large Corporations: Time to Abolish Corporate Personhood” by William Quigley, Loyola University New Orleans School of Law
“Large corporations rule the world. Because of their growing size and power they have overwhelmed the ability of civil governments to regulate them. In a world where 3 billion people live on less than $2 a day, current economic arrangements are not just. Catholic social thought has been critical of corporations since the 1930s and stresses the need for government regulation for the common good, subsidiarity and a preferential option for the poor. Law has bestowed on corporations the legal status of a person and has given corporations many constitutional rights and protections. Ethics, morality and Catholic social thought suggest it is time to abolish corporate personhood as a step towards returning people to the center of economic activity.”

This article is based on a presentation made at the Fifth International Symposium on Catholic Social Thought and Management Education, co-sponsored by the University de Deusto, July 15-18, 2003

2014 — Montana Senator (and farmer) Jon Tester: “Corporations are not people”
Montana farmer and US Senator Jon Tester, took to the floor of the Senate to explain why he has introduced a Constitutional amendment to preserve rights of human beings, and end the fabrication of new “corporate rights.”
Montana Senator (and farmer) Jon Tester: Corporations Are Not People
Text of Tester’s amendment is here: https://www.scribd.com/doc/148533402/Tester-s-Constitutional-Amendment

July 16

1974 – Birth of Ben Manski, Founder of Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution
Liberty Tree “reinforce(s) pro-democracy campaigns across the United States” and helped “solidify networks of people whose aim is to have a more participatory system of government.” He also co-founded 180/Movement for Democracy and Education which was active from 1998 to 2004.. Its goal was “fighting against the corporatization of education, and subsequently aiming toward ‘campus democracy’ through teach-ins and other activities on college campuses.”

1992 – Publication of The Transformation of American Law by Morton Horwitz
“[T]he basic problem of legal thinkers after the Civil War was how to articulate a conception of property that could accommodate the tremendous expansion in the variety of forms of ownership spawned by a dynamic industrial society…The efforts by legal thinkers to legitimate the business corporation during the 1890’s were buttressed by a stunning reversal in American economic thought – a movement to defend and justify as inevitable the emergence of large-scale corporate concentration.”

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