Some interesting articles lately about how municipalities in Pennsylvania and California are using municipal laws and ballot initiatives to ‘dismantle corporate rule’ — see e.g. ( and (
Other than zealots like Ralph Nader and Noam Chomsky, the media, academia and politicians have paid almost no attention to the growing power of corporations, which stems largely from the fact that:
— they have limited liability (unlike individual citizens)
— they have perpetual life (and charter revocations are almost unheard of today)
— they concentrate enormous amounts of wealth and hence exert enormous political, social and economic influence
— they have been bestowed by governments with much the same rights as individuals, making them vastly more difficult to oppose or control
The effect of this is that, while on the surface the battles against globalization, and against the more egregious impacts of ‘free’ trade, feeble environmental, campaign finance and labour laws, influence-peddling, etc. are portrayed in the media as ‘people versus government’ issues, they are often fundamentally ‘people versus unfettered corporations’ issues.
In his book When Corporations Rule the World (read for more on the book and the anti-corporate-power movements it has helped spawn), David Korten argues effectively that corporations, originally designed to improve work collaboration and business financing, have become Frankenstein monsters that we unwittingly allow to subvert democracy, diminish citizen rights, impinge on human freedoms, and weaken democracy because with no checks and balances and no implicit morality, the single-minded pursuit of profit, growth and competitive advantage compels them inexorably to do so.
The solution, once we educate people that corporate power is a problem, is to revoke some corporate charters and change corporation laws so that corporations once again become our obedient servents instead of our masters, and once again serve their intended and important purpose: to facilitate investment in business and to allow people to work effectively ‘ in company
As a professional accountant, I’ll have more to say about how this could happen, simply and painlessly, in a later post.

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