A Word About Corporations

Source: The Two Faces of Money

Corporations have been around for centuries, and have long provided both the motivation and means by which empires would be built. As we know, the American colonies developed a strong distaste for corporate power over the colonists’ economic lives. The Boston Tea Party was famous for its protest against the undercutting of colonial profits orchestrated by the British East India Company, and other such corporations.

Thus, as detailed in Defying Corporations, Defining Democracy: A Book of History & Strategy, edited by Dean Ritz:

For one hundred years after the American Revolution citizens and legislators fashioned the nation’s economy by directing the chartering process . . .[because] the laborers, small farmers, traders, artisans, seamstresses, mechanics and landed gentry – who sent King George III packing – feared corporations. . . .They knew that English kings chartered the East India Co., the Hudson’s Bay Co., and many American colonies in order to control property and commerce. Kings appointed governors and judges; dispatched soldiers; dictated taxes, investments, production, labor, markets.

In spite of the long effort of citizens and legislators aimed at “directing the corporate chartering process”, the 14th amendment provided the means by which corporations were given person-hood – while the “new legal regime” created by the Reconstruction amendments increased the “police powers” of the federal government, thereby diminishing the sovereign rights of ordinary citizens.
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The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Administration

1. Bernard M. Baruch — a financier and adviser to FDR.
2. Felix Frankfurter — Supreme Court Justice; a key player in FDR’s New Deal system.
3. David E. Lilienthal — director of Tennessee Valley Authority, adviser. The TVA changed the relationship of government-to-business in America. Continue reading