Saturday, January 30, 2010

A big list of quotes about corporations


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# You are looking at the
# Corporations Quotes file
#
# last modification: Sun Jan 31 01:06:12 EST 2010
# version 1.416
#
# This file is maintained by Bill Huston (WilliamAHuston@gmail.com)
# Please send email if you have quotes which you feel should be added,
# or if you find any errors.
#
# There are currently 307 quotes. I have combined quotes from many sources,
# so there may be a few duplications. Additionally, some quotes are commonly
# attributed to more than one person, and some have wide variations circulating.
# In such cases, I have attempted to locate the original sources, and used the
# quote in the largest context possible. Where I have not been able to
# determine the authentic source, I cite all commonly attributed authors.
# If you can help with quote accuracy, please send me an email!
#
# If you remove these opening comments, this file is in Unix
# "fortune" file format. You can use commands like strfile, unstr,
# and fortune to manipulate these files. A perl program is used
# to approximately sort quotes by last name of the author, and
# remove dupes.
# There are ports of fortune to just about every operating system
# e.g. Windows, Mac, etc. like "Winfortune" and "Fortune Cookie". Search Google.
#




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The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. -- Jane Addams

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Do people like, for example, what's happened in the radio business, where Congress took the cap off of how many radio stations a company can buy, and now one company controls over 1,000 stations in this country? Is that something that the public likes? I mean subjectively, we need to find out. Because there's questions that don't lend themselves to hard data. They're questions of judgment. And the DC Circuit Court of Appeals has charged the FCC with trying to justify its rules with evidence. And we need to have evidence. But, historically, the Supreme Court of the United States has determined that it's the role of the FCC to protect the unabridged right of people to hear the free discourse of ideas. Now we need to look at both of these things. We have a role in not abridging the right of people to hear all kinds of different viewpoints. And how we do that should involve looking at the record, building up a substantive database about what it is and isn't that happens. But remember, we're predicting the future. What's gonna happen if you change this rule? How can science possibly predict the future? I mean historians can't even agree on what the history of this is. How could we, as a commission, ever say, "WE have the hard data, and there's a science that can say, 'This is what's gonna happen to diversity if you change this rule. This is what's going to happen to localism. And whether or not you can hear in your community about events in your own community, if we allow one corporation to control, say, many more of the television and radio stations in your home town.'" -- Jonathan Adelstein, FCC Commissioner, commenting on proposed relaxation of media ownership rules proposed by Chairman Powell, quoted on Now, with Bill Moyers, April 4, 2003

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The FCC is about to make historic changes to media ownership rules and that'll affect each of us as media viewers and listeners," he said. "We at the FCC are responsible for overseeing the airwaves in your interests, not in the interests of corporations ... I'm afraid we're about to forget that. -- Jonathan Adelstein, FCC Commissioner, 2003

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Well, there are six major national corporations that control the vast amount of what people see on television today. And they also control a lot of the internet portals that people are using, or the internet materials that people access. What people are looking at remains much more truncated than what it appears, by the fact that there's over 200 channels on television. Even though there's 200 channels, and there's a vast array of things to look at the internet, these are positive things that we need to take into account in this. The same time, it's only a handful of those entities that are actually producing programming. And they're actually pulling it together for people, so that they can get the news information in a way that makes sense to them, and not have to do their own original research, or be their own editor and their own journalist. -- Jonathan Adelstein, FCC Commissioner, commenting on proposed relaxation of media ownership rules proposed by Chairman Powell, quoted on Now, with Bill Moyers, April 4, 2003

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As with other other American institutions, perhaps it is time that the networks were more responsive to the views of the nation and more responsible to the people they serve. Let me make myself perfectly clear; I'm not asking for government censorship or any other kind of censorship. I'm asking whether a form of censorship already exists. When the news the 40 million Americans receive each night is determined by a handful of men responsible only to their corporate employer, and is filtered through a handful of commentators who admit to their own set of biases. -- Spiro T. Agnew (1969), tape played on the Thom Hartmann radio show, 17 OCT 2003

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American corporations hate to give away money. -- Stephen Ambrose

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Political freedom has given way to guilt by association. Due process has given way to detention on the Attorney General's say-so. Public scrutiny has given way to secret detentions and secret trials. Equal protection under law has given way to ethnic profiling. -- The Nation magazine - about how Sept.11 attack has allowed the government to take away Americans' civil liberties

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The Republicans would like to take us back to a darker time, when corporations ruled and the underserved had no rights. -- Joe Baca

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...I knew that all corporate leaders get special attention in Washington. But the ones who are the most feared are media corporations.... -- Ben H. Bagdikian, from "We the Media: A Media & Democracy Field Guide", New Press

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There was reason enough ... for concern that so small a number of dominant firms had such a disproportionate influence on American culture, commerce, and political power. That shrank the status of the individual and more personal groups as voices in society. But today there is an even smaller number of dominant firms -six- (even excluding the AOL-Time Warner deal), and those six have more communications power than all the combined fifty leading firms of sixteen years earlier. It is the overwhelming collective power of these firms, with their corporate interlocks and unified cultural and political values, that raises troubling questions about the individual's role in the American democracy. -- Ben Bagdikian, Media Monopoly

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Corporations are social organizations, the theater in which men and women realize or fail to realize purposeful and productive lives. -- Lester Bangs

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Since 1945 this country ... has sought not the delicate balance of power but a position of commanding superiority in weapons technology, in the regulation of the international economy, and in the manipulation of the internal politics of other countries. -- Richard Barnet, Intervention and Revolution

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The United States supports right-wing dictatorships in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East ... because these are the rulers who have tied their personal political destiny to the fortunes of the American corporations in their countries... Revolutionary or nationalist leaders have radically different political constituencies and interests. For them creating "a good investment climate" for the United States and developing their own country are fundamentally conflicting goals. Therefore, the United States has a strong economic interest in keeping such men from coming to power or arranging for their removal if they do. -- Richard Barnet, Intervention and Revolution

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One of the intentions of corporate-controlled media is to instill in people a sense of disempowerment, of immobilization and paralysis. Its outcome is to turn you into good consumers. It is to keep people isolated, to feel that there is no possibility for social change. -- David Barsamian, journalist and publisher

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It's only in relatively recent years that Hollywood became the playground of multinational corporations which regard movies and TV shows as a minor irritant to their overall activity. -- Peter Bart

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In Santa Clara County v. the Southern Pacific Railroad (1886), the court reporter, Mr. John Chandler Bancroft Davis ( a man with close ties to the railroad industry), entered in the headnote to the case, "The defendant Corporations are persons within the intent of the clause in section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment...which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.", however the declaration of "corporate personhood" was absent from the Courts actual opinion in the case. Therefore, the established precident "corporate personhood" may be dubious.

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If democracy is ever to be threatened, it will not be by revolutionary groups burning government offices and occupying the broadcasting and newspaper offices of the world. It will come from disenchantment, cynicism and despair caused by the realization that the New World Order means we are all to be managed and not represented. -- Tony Benn, British Labour Party Member of Parliament

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Scientific corporations might well become almost independent states and be enabled to undertake their largest experiments without consulting the outside world - a world which would be less and less able to judge what the experiments were about. -- John Desmond Bernal

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Punk is not dead. Punk will only die when corporations can exploit and mass produce it. -- Jello Biafra

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What distinguishes the New Right from other American reactionary movements and what it shares with the early phase of German fascism, is its incorporation of conservative impulses into a system of representation consisting largely of media techniques and media images. -- Philip Bishop, Madison Social Text Group, The New Right and the Media Social Text 1:1 (Winter 1979): p. 178.

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Certainly when the fourteenth amendment was submitted for approval, the people were not told that ratifying an amendment granting new and revolutionary rights to corporations and were not told that it was intended to remove corporations in any fashion from the control of the state governments. The fourteenth followed the freedom of a race from slavery. Corporations have neither race or color. -- Former Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black

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Of the cases in this court in which the Fourteenth Amendment was applied during the first fifty years after its adoption, less than one-half of one percent invoked it in protection of the Negro race, and more than fifty percent asked that its benefits be extended to corporations. -- Hugo Black, Supreme Court Justice, Connecticut General Co. v. Johnson in 1938

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Our leaders are cruel because only those willing to be inordinately cruel and remorseless can hold positions of leadership in the foreign policy establishment ... People capable of expressing a full human measure of compassion and empathy toward faraway powerless strangers ... do not become president of the United States, or vice president, or secretary of state, or national security adviser or secretary of the treasury. Nor do they want to. -- William Blum, Rogue State

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My name is Iain Boal. I am a historian of science and technics, with a longtime interest both in radio and in the history of enclosure and privatization. I have stood once before in such a room, some eight years ago, in Washington DC, during the effort to derail the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which quite predictably led to a vast plunder of the public airwaves. The jackals are back again - this time to scavenge for what is left of the carcass. The hearings were a travesty then; now they have the makings of a farce. There is only one commissioner here today; Chairman Powell has not seen fit to show himself to the people of Northern California. Nor have the rest of the commission. None of the corporate interests poised to profit from the new ruling has bothered to show up either; the fix is already in. They should know; they paid for it. The people, on the other hand, have turned up, and in some numbers; the hall is full to overflowing. This public comment period is, it might be said, just another ludicrous symptom of the grotesque constriction of the public realm, a parody of the network soundbite - the polyphony of voices reduced to videotaped snatches of vox pop in a broom closet (for viewing "later" by the FCC), to invitations to "fill out" 3 by 5 postcards, to one hundred and twenty seconds of "feedback" permitted at this microphone - no doubt a veritable eternity in the context of Viacom and Clear Channel programming. Our moderator was about right when she called these proceedings, quite without irony, "your two cents worth". -- Iain Boal, Text of remarks delivered at the Federal Communications Commission Hearing on Media Ownership Rules at the City Hall, San Francisco, Saturday April 27th, 2003

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We are not hated because we practice democracy, value freedom, or uphold human rights. We are hated because our government denies these things to people in Third World countries whose resources are coveted by our multinational corporations. That hatred we have sown has come back to haunt us in the form of terrorism and in the future, nuclear terrorism. -- Robert Bowman, Vietnam Veteran, bishop of the United Catholic Church in Melbourne Beach, FL.

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If both parents must work, I think it is more important that the mother has proximity to the child to therefore establish a childcare situation at the big corporations not once a day, but many times a day. -- Eric Braeden

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The recent quantum leap in the ability of transnational corporations to relocate their facilities around the world in effect makes all workers, communities and countries competitors for these corporations' favor. The consequence is a "race to the bottom" in which wages and social conditions tend to fall to the level of the most desperate. -- Jeremy Brecher

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[T]here seems to be nothing to prevent the transnational corporations taking possession of the planet and subjecting humanity to the dictatorship of capital.... In order to crush any thought of organized resistance to the supporters of the new world order, tremendous police and military forces are being used to establish a doctrine of repression...." -- Christian la Brie, Le Monde Diplomatique (Paris)

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Multinational corporations do control. They control the politicians. They control the media. They control the pattern of consumption, entertainment, thinking. They're destroying the planet and laying the foundation for violent outbursts and racial division. -- Jerry Brown

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Indeed, it is doubtful if free government can long exist in a country where such enormous amounts of money are...accumulated in the vaults of corporations, to be used at discretion in controlling the property and business of the country against the interest of the public and that of the people, for the personal gain and aggrandizement of a few individuals. -- RICHARDSON V. BUHL, 43 N. W. Rep. 1102. (Nebraska)

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Policy protects the corporations, it doesn't help the consumer. -- T. Colin Campbell, PhD, VegSource Conference 2002

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It is arguable that the success of business propaganda in persuading us, for so long, that we are free from propaganda is one of the most significant propaganda acheivments of the twentieth century. -- Alex Carey, Managing Public Opinion: The Corporate Offensive, 1978, in Taking the Risk Out Of Democracy

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The 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporte propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy. -- Alex Carey, Taking the Risk Out of Democracy

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We must turn to the task of creating a public realm in which a free people can assemble, speak their minds, and then write or tape or otherwise record the extended conversation so that others, out of sight, might see it. If the established press wants to aid in the process, so much the better. But if, in love with profits and tied to corporate interests, the press decides to sit out our public life, we shall simply have to create a space for citizens and patriots by ourselves. -- James W. Carey, professor of journalism.

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Multi-billion-dollar multinational corporations view the exploitation of the world's sick and dying as a sacred duty to their shareholders. -- John le Carre', author

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Corporate executives dream of a global market made up of people with homogenized tastes and needs.... Logos on bottles, boxes, and labels are global banners, instantly recognizable by millions who could not tell you the color of the U.N. flag. -- Richard Barnet and John Cavanagh

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Who gets the risks? The risks are given to the consumer, the unsuspecting consumer and the poor work force. And who gets the benefits? The benefits are only for the corporations, for the money makers. -- Cesar Chavez

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If you go back to the time of J.P. Morgan, the world of high finance was completely wholesale. The prestigious investment banks on Wall Street appealed exclusively to large corporations, governments, and to extremely wealthy individuals. -- Ron Chernow

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A properly functioning system of indoctrination has a variety of tasks. Its primary target are the "stupid and ignorant masses". They must be kept that way; marginalized, and isolated. Ideally, each person should be alone in front of the TV screen watching sports, soap operas, or comedies, deprived of organizational structures that permit individuals lacking resources to discover what they think and believe in, to engage in interaction with others, to formulate their own concerns and programs, and to act to realize them. This hapless multitude are the proper targets of the mass media and a public education system geared to obedience and training in needed skills, including the skill of repeating patriotic slogans on timely occasions. -- Noam Chomsky

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Corporations were given the rights of immortal persons. But then special kinds of persons, persons who had no moral conscience. These are a special kind of persons, which are designed by law, to be concerned only for their stockholders. And not, say, what are sometimes called their stakeholders, like the community or the work force or whatever. -- Noam Chomsky, quoted in the movie The Corporation (2006)

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The 'corporatization of America' during the past century [has been] an attack on democracy." -- Noam Chomsky

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The major media are large corporations, owned by and interlinked with even larger conglomerates. Like other corporations, they sell a product to a market. The market is advertisers - that is, other businesses. The product is audiences, [and] for the elite media, [they're] relatively privileged audiences. So we have major corporations selling fairly wealthy and privileged audiences to other businesses. Not surprisingly, the picture of the world presented reflects the narrow and biased interests and values of the sellers, the buyers and the product. -- Noam Chomsky (from Take the Rich Off Welfare - Odonian Press, p133)

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The media serve the interests of state and corporate power, which are closely interlinked, framing their reporting and analysis in a manner supportive of established privilege and limiting debate and discussion accordingly. -- Noam Chomsky, American linguist and US media and foreign policy critic

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The most effective way to restrict democracy is to transfer decision-making from the public arena to unaccountable institutions: kings and princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships, or modern corporations. -- Noam Chomsky

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The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum - even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate. -- Noam Chomsky

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Think for yourselves, do not uncritically accept what you are told, and do what you can to make the world a better place, particularly for those who suffer and are oppressed. -- Noam Chomsky

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The greatest crime since World War II has been U.S. foreign policy. -- Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General

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As we view the achievements of aggregated capital, we discover the existence of trusts, combinations, and monopolies, while the citizen is struggling far in the rear or is trampled to death beneath an iron heel. Corporations, which should be the carefully restrained creatures of the law and the servants of the people,... are fast becoming the people's masters. -- President Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) to his address to Congress, December 3, 1888

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Of the five House Calendars, the Private Calendar is the one to which all Private Bills are referred. Private Bills deal with specific individuals, corporations, institutions, and so forth, as distinguished from public bills which deal with classes only. -- Howard Coble

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The American political system, as conditioned by corporate cash, the corporate press and legal obstructions to independent candidacies, is designed to eliminate any threat to business as usual -- Alexander Cockburn, "Against Dullness: The Campaigns So Far." The Nation, Jan. 21, 2008: 9

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Corporations cannot commit treason, or be outlawed or excommunicated, for they have no souls. -- Harold Coffin (or Edward Coke)

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In every case, the environmental hazards were made known only by independent scientists, who were often bitterly opposed by the corporations responsible for the hazards. -- Barry Commoner

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I again recommend a law prohibiting all corporations from contributing to the campaign expenses of any party....Let individuals contribute as they desire; but let us prohibit in effective fashion all corporations from making contributions for any political purpose, directly or indirectly. -- Theodore Roosevelt on his address to Congress, December 3, 1906

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...the exercise of the police power of the State shall never be so abridged or construed as to permit corporations to conduct their business in such manner as to infringe the rights of individuals or the general well-being of the State. -- CA Constitution, 1879

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I came up with the word ["Corporateering"]. It is a new word. I felt there needed to be a word to describe when corporations prioritize their commercial gain over individual, societal and cultural gain. The phenomenon that has been most devastating to the public, which the public rarely sees, is that corporations in the last 20 years have changed social mores, the rule of law, and ethical custom to their advantage and to the individual's detriment. -- Jamie Court, Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights

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The public is bombarded by $1 trillion of marketing worldwide with the message that the corporation has human values. McDonalds wants to see you smile. But the public suspects that there is something else behind the smiley face. But it doesn't have a lexicon or perspective to discuss it. And it doesn't have a clear political theory that says that over the last 30 years, corporations have been mucking around in our culture in a way that they hadn't before. -- Jamie Court, Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights

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The way that a handful of corporations in Los Angeles dictate how our stories are told creates a real poverty of imagination and it's a big problem. -- Alex Cox

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[The corporate mass-media] serve to divert the unwashed masses and reinforce the basic social values: passivity, submissiveness to authority, the overriding virtue of greed and personal gain, lack of concern for others, fear of real or imagined enemies, etc. The goal is to keep the bewildered herd bewildered. It's unnecessary for them to trouble themselves with what's happening in the world. In fact, it's undesirable; if they see too much of reality they may set themselves to change it. -- Noam Chomsky M.I.T. professor of linguistics prolific author & U.S. foreign policy critic, What Uncle Sam Really Wants

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Large Corporations, run by an elite of white men, do not have the right to Govern the U.S.; the people must and will reclaim their democracy, However long and difficult the process. -- POCLAD and Syracuse Cultural Workers.

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It is impossible for the world economy to grow its way out of poverty and environmental degradation.... As the economic subsystem grows it incorporates an even greater proportion of the total ecosystem into itself and must reach a limit at 100 percent, if not before. -- Herman Daly

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Many corporations whose products we consume on a daily basis have learned that prison labor power can be as profitable as third world labor power exploited by U.S.-based global corporations. Both relegate formerly unionized workers to joblessness and many even wind up in prison. Some of the companies that use prison labor are IBM, Motorola, Compaq, Texas Instruments, Honeywell, Microsoft, and Boeing. But it is not only the hi-tech industries that reap the profits of prison labor. Nordstrom department stores sell jeans that are marketed as "Prison Blues," as well as t-shirts and jackets made in Oregon prisons. The advertising slogan for these clothes is "made on the inside to be worn on the outside." Maryland prisoners inspect glass bottles and jars used by Revlon and Pierre Cardin, and schools throughout the world buy graduation caps and gowns made by South Carolina prisoners. -- Angela Y. Davis, "Masked Racism: Reflections on the Prison Industrial Complex"

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Our supporters can send the message that it's wrong for politically connected corporations to make millions while people doing an honest day's work are being cheated out of an honest day's pay. -- Morris Dees

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Gilded Age elites shifted constitutional powers from the public to corporations and their leaders-a legal and political transformation that continues today in subtle yet alarming ways. The result was a tension between corporate and popular sovereignty that exploded violently in epic riots and strikes at the end of the last century - but is being played out today largely off the public radar screen. -- Charles Derber, Corporation Nation

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Leaders symbolize what the country stands for. As corruption becomes routine in Washington in both parties, it trickles down as a corrupting influence in everyone's lives... Democracy is the ultimate casualty, and the sapping of democratic life is the most serious contribution of corporate ascendancy to our spiritual decline. As democracy ebbs, Americans retreat into private cocoons, feeling helpless to make a difference... In a democracy, civic participation and the belief in one's ability to contribute to the common good is the most important guarantor of public morality. When that belief fades, so too does the vision of the common good itself. -- Charles Derber, Corporation Nation

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Quite simply, there can be no popular sovereignty without a real belief in the value of government. If government does not assume and carry out public responsibilities, less accountable institutions such as the corporation will do the job in their own self-interest. -- Charles Derber, Corporation Nation

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Rockefeller, for example, readily used Darwinist language: "The growth of a large business is merely a survival of the fittest ... it is merely the working-out of a law of nature and a law of God." Rockefeller could conclude that "God gave me my money. -- Charles Derber, Corporation Nation

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Social Darwinism dominated the thinking of the Gilded Age. It made poverty, competition, and exploitation all part of the natural struggle for existence. Said one railroad baron, "Society as created was for the purpose of one man getting what the other fellow has." Social Darwinism and rugged individualism intertwined to create a theology that gave spiritual meaning to the terrible gulf between rich and poor. The robber barons' conversion of their own ill-begotten wealth into a symbol of God's favor, and reading of God's mysterious purposes into the misery of the poor, was the great spiritual accomplishment of a passionately commercial and otherwise notably nonspiritual age. It helped engender the public worship of wealth and acceptance of poverty that is among the cruelest of the robber-baron legacies. -- Charles Derber, Corporation Nation

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The robber barons virtually reinvented politics. Had they been only wealthy captains of industry, they would be today simply a fascinating historical curiosity. But because their economic achievements were based on a political reconstruction of the corporation that eroded the sovereignty of the public, they had a profound and enduring impact on American democracy. -- Charles Derber, Corporation Nation

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Today, as in the Gilded Age, we live in a world where a morality of personal responsibility rubs shoulders with a culture of greed and of flagrant social irresponsibility. Now as then, business has shed its collective responsibility for employees - just as government has for its citizens. -- Charles Derber, Corporation Nation

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"Sui Juris" (Latin: "Self Law") is a legal term used for an adult natural person, able to engage in contracts The following are generally considered incapable of engaging in contracts, thus, defined to be non-Sui Juris: children, animals, trees, buildings, and "the mentally incompetent".... Yet [corporations, i.e.,] a "legal fiction" is not a living thing. It is without a soul and without honor. In a very real sense, a corporation (like the State that created it) does not really exist, nor ever existed. It is not a thing at all; it cannot be touched or seen, it cannot act, and thus, it *certainly* cannot act morally, or with honor. It does not have a mind, thus cannot understand or consent. Something which cannot act with honor, lacks understanding or the ability to consent is, by definition, Non Sui Juris, and thus not fit to engage in contracts.... [They are] thus are closer to insanity than other living states. -- Ahimsa Dhammapada, Lawful Arrest FAQ

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A corporation by definition an "artificial person", a legal fiction, ... created immortal by men (and the government that charters it). The purpose is to reduce tax liability, raise money through stock sales, and to protect the personal assets and otherwise limit the liability of the human founders in the event of civil or criminal wrongdoing. (Wait! What was that last part again!??) -- Ahimsa Dhammapada, Lawful Arrest FAQ

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Commercials are designed to make real persons think they are lacking, diseased, in pain, deficient, and that the product the corporation makes is the cure for this malaise. Advertising is mind control propaganda, Manchurian programming designed to make us shop. Commerce-Speak dominates and controls all media and drowns out the speech of natural persons. And since the government created the corporations, and the political candidates are funded by corporations, and the television stations are owned by corporations, and the government and banks make most of the money available to the corporations, and we need this money to pay taxes to the same state which chartered/created the corporations ... Is it any wonder that speech that is critical of state oppression or corporate crime is rarely heard over the din of jingles, slogans, and registered marks of trade? -- Ahimsa Dhammapada, Lawful Arrest FAQ

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Despite the language "Congress shall make no law", the Supreme Court has held that individual states cannot abridge the right to free speech (as well as the other rights). Now what about corporate employers? Are they exempt for being compelled to observe and respect the rights of their employees? Perhaps, but consider that corporations are created by their "State Charter". In this way, the "private corporate business sector" might actually be considered a branch of the government. Corporations certainly are a creation of the government! Remember, you cannot convey a right which you don't already have. Thus, if the State has no right abridge the freedom of speech, they cannot create an entity (like a corporation) which does. -- Ahimsa Dhammapada, Lawful Arrest FAQ

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For corporations to work, they need to be endowed with the "rights" of property ownership and the ability to engage in contracts. But while we humans evidently claim to have figured out how to create artificial life, we have certainly not figured out how to endow little Artificial Johnny, Ltd., with a soul, or a conscience, or a moral code. -- Ahimsa Dhammapada, Lawful Arrest FAQ

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In the past, corporations were created for a specific purpose, and for a certain time. Today, Corporate Charters are "indefinite". This makes our Artificial Life, immortal. We have created a God in the image of a man, so we claim. Why should a "corpse" be created immortal? What about punishing bad ones by revoking the charter: corporate death? An argument can be found to say that killing any creature with eyes and a brain is wrong, but who can argue against dismantling a misbehaving machine? A corporation (or the State) is a robot, a servant, an automaton, designed and fabricated to do the will of the people. When the masters find themselves slaves to the machine, it becomes their duty to dismantle it. -- Ahimsa Dhammapada, Lawful Arrest FAQ

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While the Declaration of Independence says that all men are created equal and endowed with certain rights, "men" is commonly interpreted to mean "mankind". A better word might be "persons", or "natural persons" -- this would help to distinguish between living, breathing creatures with eyes and a brain, and "artificial persons", a.k.a., corporations, which do not deserve rights such as the right to life since they never were alive to begin with! -- Ahimsa Dhammapada, Lawful Arrest FAQ

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"big government should not stand between a man and his money", i mean, "what's good for business is good for the country", our children still take that lie like communion, the same old line the Confederacy used on the Union, conjugate liberty into libertarian, and medicated associated with deregulation privitization, we won't even know we're slaves on a corporate plantation, somebody say hallelujah, somebody say damnation, cause the profit system follows the path of least resistance, and the path of least resistance is what makes the river crooked, makes it serpentine, capitalism is the devil's wet dream. -- Ani Difranco, "Serpentine"

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I have a personal interest in the intersection of culture, capitalism and media, because I am often standing at that crossroads with my guitar. ... Even in this age of corporate mega-mergers and media hegemony I have to believe that slowly, slowly, the truth will out. -- Ani DiFranco, "Me and Big Media, How I learned to make the right answers to the wrong questions", The Nation, 12/28/01

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The corporations of America today effectively oversee the Congress, and the regulatory agencies and indeed the presidency itself. -- E.L. Doctorow, author

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The FCC's action was one of the most complete cave-ins to corporate interests I've ever seen by what is supposed to be a federal regulatory agency. -- Sen Byron Dorgan, D -ND

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Our upside down welfare state is "socialism for the rich, free enterprise for the poor." The great welfare scandal of the age concerns the dole we give rich people. -- William O. Douglas, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1969

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The interests of the corporation state are to convert all the riches of the earth into dollars. -- William O. Douglas, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1969

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Those in power are blind devotees to private enterprise. They accept that degree of socialism implicit in the vast subsidies to the military-industrial-complex, but not that type of socialism which maintains public projects for the disemployed and the unemployed alike. -- William O. Douglas, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1969

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One aspect of modern life which has gone far to stifle men is the rapid growth of tremendous corporations. Enormous spiritual sacrifices are made in the transformation of shopkeepers into employees. . . . The disappearance of free enterprise has led to a submergence of the individual in the impersonal corporation in much the same manner as he has been submerged in the state in other lands. -- William Orville Douglas

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Over the past 200 years, all over the world but especially in the United States, legal systems have been changed to accomplish two things: limit the legal liabilities of corporations, and give corporations the rights and protections of citizens" by extending "constitutional rights to corporations." -- George Draffan

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There is no question that people fighting war and exploitation have seized segments of the new digital technologies and put them to remarkably constructive use. In December 1999 techs and journalists created the Seattle Independent media Cetner during the massive demonstrations against the World Trade Organization. They spawned a movement that has witnessed the growth of IMCs in almost 75 cities around the world. They have struggled fairly successfully to create democratic and reliable news sources and to share information accross borders. IMCs and their Internet radio stations have provided live coverage of people fighting the international organizations of corporate domination every time the IMF, World Bank, WTO, FTAA or G8 meet. Free Sppech TV managed to secure a 24/7 satellite channel on the Dish network and produce live broadcasts of political opposition to the Democrat and Republican parties at their conventions in the summer of 2000. And most recently with World Link (another progressive satellite channel) provide live coverage of the massive anti-war rally in Washington DC on October 26th.In the interim dozens of wonderful documentaries have been produced and aired via digital satellite technoligies During the strike at Pacifica radio last year an alternative network was created that now broadcasts Amy Goodman's daily Democracy Now! show live over more than 30 community radio stations, 60 community access cable tv channels and FSTV's national channel. Most recently Jeremy Skahill and Jacquie Sohens were able to send back a series of video reports from Baghdad using a simple technology that allowed them to break up a short digital video into dozens of packets that were sent from a cybercafe via email and reassembled in the US at http://www.iraqjournal.org. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of digital artists and journalists have found new venues for their work. The topic for this forum, "how the democratization of digital video tools has changed the political nature of the medium..." is right on time. Whose Remote, indeed. John Poindexter's or...? A discussion of the democratizing effect of these new digital tools should not only consider their specific technologies, but more contextual issues: Who really owns the tools and the means of transmission? Who has access? In whose interest are they used? It's an old question, but is the transforming power primarily in the technology of the tools, or with the people in the streets who must challenge and restructure not only the screen, but the entire society so that the tools themselves can be liberated for democratic purposes. -- Brian Drolet, Tech Director at Free Speech TV, 4 Dec 2002

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The corporation has evolved to serve the interests of whoever controls it, at the expense of whoever does not. -- William Dugger

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Chartered privileges [corporations] are a burthen, under which the people of Britain, and other European nations, groan in misery. -- Thomas Earle, pamphleteer, 1823

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1) The size, concentrated ownership, owner wealth and profit-orientation of the dominant mass-media firms. Think about this: in a capitalist society, any individual or group can have an inordinate input into the media which it owns purely on the basis of their purse. 2) Advertising. It can readily be expected that in a market where unit sales forms only a minor part of a medium's profit, advertisers will have undue influence since they will only choose to advertise in a medium which delivers a certain type of consumer-base. 3) The sourcing of mass media news. There is a symbiotic relationship between large news-producers and media. For instance, a medium will rely upon certain news-producers (and those which have huge public relations sections) for readily-accessible and inexpensive news gathering. 4) 'Flak'. A medium will not want to attract negative responses to a statement or programme, for this undermines the consumer base so attractive to advertisers (see 2. above). State and corporate communications power tends to assist supportive media, and attack those which are unsupportive. 5) Anti-communism. This one is sadly obvious, really. The state-corporate machine requires an evil empire to frighten us into acquiescence. Since the thawing of the Cold War other demons have emerged, such as Saddam. -- David Edwards, The Five Reality Filters, in Free to be Human: Intellectual Self-Defence in an Age of Illusions, (filters identified by Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman)

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According to the propaganda model, the media will tend to emphasize and ignore news according to its appropriateness for state and above all corporate ends.Thus, for example, human rights offences committed by clients of the United States supporting US corporate aims will tend to be downplayed or overlooked, while offences by states deemed to be unsupportive or enemies-of US corporate interests will tend to be vigorously emphasized. -- David Edwards, Burning All Illusions

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Business, as exercised by modern companies, is a matter of generating maximum profits at minimum cost in minimum time. This is their absolute goal. I use the word 'absolute' advisedly: maximum profit generation, for the modern company, is the final, unconditional reason for being. By implication this means that all other goals are secondary, and justifiable only in terms of their contribution to the absolute goal of profit. Thus all recruitment, training, accommodation, administration, advertising, production, storage, profit-sharing -all aspects of company activity-are justifiable only to the extent to which they contribute to the absolute goal. Any activity compromising or conflicting with that goal is not, in corporate terms, justifiable. As we have discussed, this logic applies as much to human behavior as it does to everything else. All human behavior at work is justifiable only to the extent to which it serves the absolute goal: generating revenue, minimizing costs, cutting time, in order to generate more profit. The point is that there is no room for compromise in the essentially fanatical system of profit-orientation. Indeed, given the (economically logical) indifference with which corporations maintain 'a good investment climate' at the expense of human life in the Third World, it is more accurate to describe the corporate system as essentially psychopathic. -- David Edwards, The Pathology of Profit, from "Burning All Illusions", South End Press, 1996

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The problem in defense is how far you can go [in military spending] without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without. -- President Dwight Eisenhower, 1953

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[T]he corporate ownership of the country has absolute control of the populist pulpit - 'the media' - as well as of the schoolroom. -- Gore Vidal The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

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To the fervent proponents of ruthless corporate capitalism I say: make a millionaire CEO live as a poor sweatshop worker in Indonesia for one month and then ask him about the merits of the world economic system. -- Vassilis Epaminondou

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Before NAFTA we thought corporations could only buy Southern governments. Now we see they also buy Northern governments. -- Ignacio Peon Escalante, Mexican Action Network on Free Trade

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Aerosol DU (Depleted Uranium) exposures to soldiers on the battlefield could be significant with potential radiological and toxicological effects. [...] Under combat conditions, the most exposed individuals are probably ground troops that re- enter a battlefield following the exchange of armour-piercing munitions. [...] We are simply highlighting the potential for levels of DU exposure to military personnel during combat that would be unacceptable during peacetime operations. [...DU is..]... a low level alpha radiation emitter which is linked to cancer when exposures are internal, [and] chemical toxicity causing kidney damage. [...] Short term effects of high doses can result in death, while long term effects of low doses have been linked to cancer. [...] Our conclusion regarding the health and environmental acceptability of DU penetrators assume both controlled use and the presence of excellent health physics management practices. Combat conditions will lead to the uncontrolled release of DU. [...] The conditions of the battlefield, and the long term health risks to natives and combat veterans may become issues in the acceptability of the continued use of DU kinetic penetrators for military applications. -- Excerpts from the July 1990 Science and Applications International Corporation report: ' Kinetic Energy Penetrator Environment and Health Considerations', as included in Appenix D - US Army Armaments, Munitions and Chemical Command report: 'Kinetic Energy Penetrator Long Term Strategy Study, July 1990' These documents state clearly and equivocally that the US army was well aware of the radioactive and toxic dangers of Depleted Uranium ammunition long before the first shots of the war were fired.

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We pretend not to understand the linkages between our comfortable standard of living and the dictatorships we impose and protect through an international military presence. -- Jerry Fresia, author of Toward an American Revolution

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To me, film right now is dormant. It's a sleeping giant. It's the plaything of corporations. The people who determine what American film is today are no different from high rollers who go to Las Vegas. They just want to take all the money and put it on one big number and roll the dice on that number and if it craps out, next number. Next case. -- William Friedkin

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One major constraint on the corporate political system is that, because its operation does not fall within the purview of the democratic ideology, much of what it does must be, and is, kept secret. In addition, a good deal of fraud and corruption take place within the corporate political system and in its interactions with the individual political system, mostly because of the realities of the politics of property and the democratic creed are quite far apart from each other. The role of policy-planning groups, of interest groups, of government advisory councils, and of the many direct relationships between business and government are hidden from most of us and only surface form time to time when a scandal is particularly obvious. Most Americans prefer to believe that the democratic creed is the sole influence in the governmental process, mainly because it is, in principle, obviously more just, more equal, and, at the simplest level, more easily understood. -- Creel Froman, from The Two American Political Systems 1984

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Rankism occurs when rank-holders use the power of their position to secure unwarranted advantages or benefits for themselves. It typically takes the form of self-aggrandizement and exploitation of subordinates. It is the opposite of service. Good leaders eschew rankism; bad ones indulge in it. It can be found in governments, businesses, families, workplaces, schools and universities, as well as religious, nonprofit and healthcare organizations. It distorts personal relationships, erodes the will to learn, fosters disease, taxes productivity, undermines public trust, stokes ethnic hatred and incites revenge. Recent front-page examples of rankism include corporate and philanthropic corruption, sexual abuse by clergy, school hazing and abuse of elders. -- Robert Fuller

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The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy: that is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith, economist and author

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Today the State more often than not protects not the right to food but those who violate the right to food. This is the case in countries in the First or Third Worlds which are governed on behalf of banks, corporations or the landholding classes; where the rights of property always supersede the right to eat. -- Susan George

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What is not fair now is that corporations pay less and less tax, which means that you and I pay more because we're rooted somewhere, they've got our address, right? -- Susan George

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All experience has shown that large accumulations of property in hands likely to keep it intact for a long period are dangerous to the public weal. Having perpetual succession, any kind of corporation has peculiar facilities for such accumulations, and most governments have found it necessary to exercise caution in their grants of corporate charters. Even religious corporations, professing and in the main, truly, nothing but the general good, have proven obnoxious to this objection, so that in England it was long ago found necessary to restrict them in their powers of acquiring real estate. Freed,as such bodies are, from the sure bounds-the grave-to the schemes of individuals they are able to add field to field, and power to power, until they become entirely too strong for that society which is made of up those whose plans are limited by a single life." -- Supreme Court of Georgia, Railroad v. Collins, 40 GA 582

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I think people in this country and around the world are against a U.S. invasion of Iraq. The media will sometimes show a picture of a target on Saddam Hussein's forehead. I think it would be much more accurate to show a target on the forehead of a little Iraqi girl because that's who dies in war. The majority of people who die in war are innocent civilians. And there are people all over in this country in those protests holding signs that say things like how many lives per gallon and no blood for oil. They don't think that little Iraqi girls should die for their gas tank. Another thing - I often refer to the Bush administration as the "Oiligarchy-" look at who we have there - we have George Bush who was an oil man. You have Dick Cheney the vice president former head of the largest oil services corporation in the world. You have Condoleezza Rice. She had a Chevron Oil tanker named off her the Condoleezza Rice. And they represent a force that people are beginning to very clearly understand. And they are saying no to it. -- Amy Goodman, Host of Democracy Now!, on the Charlie Rose show, 12 Mar 2003

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One of the major accomplihments of the [American] revolution was to kick private corporations out of this country, to kick some out (like the Hudson Bay Company), which were very powerful private corporations of the day, and to transform what had been private stock corporations chartered by the king. Massachusetts Bay Corporation ..., the Virginia Corporation, the Carolina Corporation, the Maryland Corporation, the Pennsylvania Corporation, these were business corporations that settled and created the 13 colonies. They were dictatorships, there was no pretense. The people who ran those companies decided what you could grow, where you had to ship your products, what kind of work you did. They could conscript you into the militia. They were dictatorships. The revolution fundamentally transformed those companies into constitutional states. Not perfect by any means. But it shifted the source of political power. It shifted the nature of sovereignty so that there became institutional processes for making decisions: legislatures, the courts, separation of powers, terms of office for those holding office.... So in effect, by force of arms, the colonists transferred the sovereignty that had set with the King of England to the people. The king was the sovereign; he got his sovereignty allegedly from God. All his rulers ruled in his name. That sovereignty, with the revolution, passed to "the people". -- Richard Grossman, Revoking the Corporation

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One of the major accomplishments of the [American] revolution was to kick private corporations out of this country, to kick some out (like the Hudson Bay Company), which were very powerful private corporations of the day, and to transform what had been private stock corporations chartered by the king. Massachusetts Bay Corporation ..., the Virginia Corporation, the Carolina Corporation, the Maryland Corporation, the Pennsylvania Corporation, these were business corporations that settled and created the 13 colonies. They were dictatorships, there was no pretense. The people who ran those companies decided what you could grow, where you had to ship your products, what kind of work you did. They could conscript you into the militia. They were dictatorships. The revolution fundamentally transformed those companies into constitutional states. Not perfect by any means. But it shifted the source of political power. It shifted the nature of sovereignty so that there became institutional processes for making decisions: legislatures, the courts, separation of powers, terms of office for those holding office.... So in effect, by force of arms, the colonists transferred the sovereignty that had set with the King of England to the people. The king was the sovereign; he got his sovereignty allegedly from God. All his rulers ruled in his name. That sovereignty, with the revolution, passed to "the people." -- Richard Grossman, Revoking the Corporation

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Today's business corporation is an artificial creation, shielding owners and managers while preserving corporate privilege and existence. Artificial or not, corporations have won more rights under the law than people have - rights which government has protected with armed force. -- Richard Grossman, and Frank Adams

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For almost two years I went against everything I ever believed in by selling out to the McDonald's corporate juggernaut by playing Ronald McDonald to thousands of innocent, trusting children. -- Geoffrey Guiliano, former Ronald McDonald actor, from a public statement

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Results from animal tests are not transferable between species, and therefore cannot guarantee product safety for humans...In reality these tests do not provide protection for consumers from unsafe products, but rather they are used to protect corporations from legal liability. -- Herbert Gundersheimer, M.D., member, PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine), Baltimore, Maryland, 1988

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"Journalism is deeply flawed," McChesney said, "due to the way the media system is set up." In a genuine democracy, he pointed out, the role of journalism is critical from three different angles. First, journalists are the "serious watchdogs" over what people are doing [or not doing]. Furthermore, they can be depended upon to provide reliable facts and information. And, finally, they offer a range of opinions - informed opinions that stimulates debate. In combination, good journalism gives citizens access to issues that propel a healthy democratic society. The failure of journalism in the United States, McChesney states, reflects the pressures from an industrial structure, which is coalescing into fewer, larger corporations whose primary interest is the bottom line - profits. To promote democracy, the situation must change, he offered. [In this lecture, the process of change was not the topic.] -- Pamela Hammond, Editor, Dominguez Hills Dateline (CSU newspaper), http://www.csudh.edu/univadv/2001/Dateline/312Dateline.htm#p2

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But what "professional journalism" bred was an objectivity sapped of any editorializing - listening, researching, weighing information and coming to an albeit subjective but informed report. A journalist's (or reporter's) code grew carrying crucial biases that narrowed what was news and those who shaped it. McChesney described three biases. First is a dependence upon "official sources", which removes controversy out of reporting and even influences the selection of the story, he noted. "This gave official sources," he said, "lots of influence." The second bias is fear of context, providing the ideological background to stories and researching the context. "Avoid the problem" is the directive, said McChesney. Futhermore, if there are no "news pegs" for the story, it does not become a story, he noted, mentioning "racism" and "urban sprawl" as outside the preferred context. If a reporter breaks out of these biases, his work is labeled "opinionated" and possibly controversial, nothing that today's editor/publisher wants to deal with. Stories become stripped of meaning and repel debate, incorporating the guiding values for today's reporter, McChesney said. We see a preponderance of vapid personality-driven stories, accidents and weather disasters, stories that do not interfere with the interests of the elite. The plight of the poor, powerless and disenfranchised do not enter the mix, he noted, because they are not players on the corporate balance sheet. -- Pamela Hammond, Editor, Dominguez Hills Dateline (CSU newspaper), http://www.csudh.edu/univadv/2001/Dateline/312Dateline.htm#p5

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By removing the context and ideas out of journalism, a public relations industry has been born to fill the news holes, McChesney said. "Forty to 60 percent of news is filled by public relations painted like journalism." The result is a media controlled largely by a conglomerate corporate structure, which indeed owns the media. It is ruled by a business mentality looking for profits and little interference, and a government not far behind in the desire to control the news. In the meantime, as the numbers of reporters have dwindled, public relations programs have swelled, and the independent-minded journalist has practically disappeared from the map. -- Pamela Hammond, Editor, Dominguez Hills Dateline (CSU newspaper), http://www.csudh.edu/univadv/2001/Dateline/312Dateline.htm#p6

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Obviously we're a consumer nation and you have the power to influence these big corporations who are running the world right now through what you chose to, or not to, purchase. -- Daryl Hannah

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And also, more and more businesses really want to do the right thing. They feel better about themselves, their workers feel better, and so do their customers. I think this is equally true in the transnational corporations, but it is harder to express in those situations. -- Paul Hawken

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If [corporations] believe they are in business to serve people, to help solve problems, to use and employ the ingenuity of their workers to improve the lives of people around them by learning from the nature that gives us life, we have a chance. -- Paul Hawken

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The financial capital is being concentrated by corporations, institutional investors, and even our pension funds, and being reinvested in companies that repeat this process because it provides the highest return on that financial capital. -- Paul Hawken

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Failure by the people, media and government to face the reality of high crimes and cover-ups is corrupting the heart and soul of America. Our nation is dying of its own cowardice. ... How has the CIA-crack story of Gary Webb at the San Jose Mercury News of August 1996 already begun to drift into the fog of DC and Wall Street daily scandals? Because America is losing its mind. ... Only impoverished presses like the PFP, some talk radio and the Internet are yet outside the hegemonic power of transnational corporate fascism. However, when the Imperial pigs succeed in driving 80 percent of the world into the new serfdom, they will probably wish they had not let their greed glands run wild. -- Ace R. Hayes, New York Mob at Mena, Portland Free Press, January/February 1997

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Shall the railroads govern the country or shall the people govern the railroads? ... This is a government of the people, by the people and for the people no longer. It is a government of corporations, by corporations and for corporations. -- President Rutherford B. Hayes, 1876 (former lawyer for the railroads)

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April is tax month. If you are having trouble filing your taxes, then you should hire an accountant. They'll give you the same advice that they've given hundreds of corporations - taxes are for douche bags. -- Ed Helms

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It would be easy for us, if we do not learn to understand the world and appreciate the rights, privileges and duties of all other countries and peoples, to represent in our power the same danger to the world that Fascism did. -- Ernest Hemingway

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As human rights conditions deteriorate, factors affecting the "climate of investment," like the tax laws and labor repression, improve from the viewpoint of the multinational corporation. This suggests an important line of causation, military dictatorships tend to improve the investment climate... The multinational corporate community and the U.S. government are very sensitive to this factor. Military dictators enter into a tacit joint venture arrangement with Free World leaders: They will keep the masses quiet, maintain an open door to multinational investment, and provide bases and otherwise serve as loyal clients. In exchange, they will be aided and protected against their own people, and allowed to loot public property. -- Edward Herman

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The United States is not only number one in military power but also in the effectiveness of its propaganda system. -- Edward S. Herman, political economist and author

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Whoever is controlling the flow of information is controlling the global mental environment. The corporate media limits, it constricts... People don't feel they can participate. It's not democratic. It puts us straight into the context of consumerism. -- Sheri Herndon

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The corporations don't have to lobby the government anymore. They are the government. -- Jim Hightower

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Become an internationalist and learn to respect all life. Make war on machines, and in particular the sterile machines of corporate death and the robots that guard them. -- Abbie Hoffman, Steal This Book

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Groups are corporations now. They have pension plans. Musicians have saw the daylight. -- John Lee Hooker

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I believe that the temperate and boreal forests that were the source of the paper used by the McDonald's Corporation in 1989/1990 are and were not fully sustainable, and specifically, were not ecologically sustainable. -- Theo Hopkins, from his McLibel witness statement

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Barnett and Muller interviewed a large number of the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of these corporations and quote them frequently. These corporate visionaries made no secret of their perspective and ambitions. The authors conclude from their first-hand research that "the world's leading corporate managers now see the nation-state, once the mid-wife of the Industrial Revolution, as the chief obstacle to planetary development." (p. 18) Quoting these high placed corporate chieftains, they report that the nation state is seen as "a very old fashioned idea and badly adapted to our present complex world." -- Initiative & Referendum Institute, www.iandrinstitute.org

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Although it is true that only about 20 percent of American workers are in unions, that 20 percent sets the standards across the board in salaries, benefits and working conditions. If you are making a decent salary in a non-union company, you owe that to the unions. One thing that corporations do not do is give out money out of the goodness of their hearts. -- Molly Ivins

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Mischief springs from the power which the moneyed interest derives from a paper currency which they are able to control, from the multitude of corporations with exclusive privileges... which are employed altogether for their benefit. -- Andrew Jackson

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The mischief springs from the power which the monied interest derives from a paper currency which they are able to control, from the multitude of corporations with exclusive privileges which they have succeeded in obtaining...and unless you become more watchful in your states and check this spirit of monopoly and thirst for exclusive privileges you will in the end find that the most important powers of government have been given or bartered away. -- Andrew Jackson, Farewell Address, 1837

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Unless you become more watchful in your states and check the spirit of monopoly and thirst for exclusive privileges you will in the end find that... the control over your dearest interests has passed into the hands of these corporations. -- Andrew Jackson

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I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country. -- Thomas Jefferson, People's Bicentennial Commission, The Voices of the American Revolution

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The country is governed for the richest, for the corporations, the bankers, the land speculators, and for the exploiters of labor. -- Helen Keller

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There are four ways to change the Constitution: first is by revolution; a second was mentioned above; the third is through a Constitutional convention which can be called by two-thirds of the states; and the fourth is by a process called judge-made law. A good example of judge-made law is the Santa Clara case of 1886, in which the Supreme Court ruled that a corporation is a person under the law and is therefore entitled to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment. An earlier example of judge-made law is the Dartmouth College case of 1819. The word corporation is not mentioned in the Constitution or in any of its 27 amendments. However, Article 1, Section 10 of the US Constitution, known as the Contracts Clause, declares that no state shall make any "Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts . . ." Chief Justice Marshall, writing for the majority in the Dartmouth case, stated in reference to the corporate status of the college that; "The Opinion of the Court, after mature deliberation, is, that this is a contract, the obligation of which cannot be impaired, without violating the Constitution of the United States." That is, a corporation is a contract and therefore is protected by the Constitution. -- Peter Kellman, "You've Heard of Santa Clara, Now Meet Dartmouth", By What Authority (Vol. 2, No. 2 - Spring 2000) from the PROGRAM ON CORPORATIONS, LAW & DEMOCRACY

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In a time of serious budget deficits, immense war costs and a sluggish economy, we cannot afford to grant such outlandish subsidies to some of our Nation's largest corporations. -- Ron Kind

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America was born of a revolution against the abusive power of the British kings. The corporate charter was an institutional instrument of that abuse. Chartered corporations were used by England to maintain control over colonial economies. In addition to such well-known corporations as the East India Company and the Hudson's Bay Company, many American colonies were themselves chartered as corporations. The corporations of that day were chartered by the king and functioned as extensions of the power of the crown. Generally, these corporations were granted monopoly powers over territories and industries that were considered critical to the interests of the English state. -- David Korten, When Corporations Rule the World

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At a minimum, [advertising] should not be deductible as an expense and should be taxed at a rate of at least 50 percent. A portion of the proceeds of such a tax should be used to finance consumer education on healthy, satisfying, sustainable lifestyles. "Product placements" or brand-name plugs in movies and videos should be prohibited. Radio and TV might be partially funded by tax revenues on a matching basis with user subscribtions or contributions. Product information might be provided on a user-fee basis through product directories, including on-demand directories that are accessable through computer services and interactive TV. -- David Korten, When Corporations Rule the World, p311

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In classical market economics, the role of business is to respond to market demand, not create it. Tax deductions for advertising provide a public subsidy for hundreds of billions of dollars a year in corporate advertising aimed at enticing people to buy things that they neither want nor need and creating a consumer culture that is alien to the needs of healthy societies. Advertising, other then purely informative advertising based on verifiable facts, is not in the public interest. Ideally, it should be prohibited. -- David Korten, When Corporations Rule the World, p311

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In the 1980s capitalism triumphed over communism. In the l990s it triumphed over democracy. -- David Korten, The Post-Corporate World

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Ironically we must conclude that the victory of global capitalism is not a victory of the market as much as it is a victory for central planning. Capitalism has simply shifted the planning function from governments which at least in theory are accountable to all citizens to corporations which are even in theory accountable only to their shareholders. -- David Korten

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Our existing global economy creates islands of power and privilege in a large sea of poverty. The fortunate hoard and squander resources on frivolous consumption, while others are denied a basic means of living. Furthermore, those who control the creation and allocation of money use this power to generate speculative profits. These profits increase the claims of the speculators to the wealth created through the labor and creative effort of others - while contributing nothing in return to the wealth creation process. -- David Korten, The Post-Corporate World, YES! magazine, Spring 1999

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Political advertising on television should be prohibited. It is enormously expensive, often misleading, and rarely informative. Its eliminiation would dramatically reduce the cost of running a successful campaign and the consequent dependence on special-interest funding. This might improve the quality of public debate as well. -- David Korten, When Corporations Rule the World, p310

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Schools should be declared advertising-free zones, administration of public schools should remain a public-sector function, and corporate-sponsored teaching modules should be banned from the classroom use under the ban on in-school advertising. -- David Korten, When Corporations Rule the World, p312

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Special antitrust legislation for the media should establish that it is prima facie evidence of monopolistic intent for a single corporation to own more than one major public media outlet, whether it be a newspaper, radio station, TV station, or home cable service. Furthermore the operation of a media outlet should be the primary business of the corporation that owns it. This would ensure that the outlet is not used primarily as a means to advance other corporate interests. No individual should be able to have a majority holding in more than one such media corporation. This would enhance the free-speech rights of the public by limiting the ability of a few powerful individuals and corporations to dominate access to the major means of public communications. -- David Korten, When Corporations Rule the World, p311

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System theorists, who concern themselves with understanding the dynamics of complex, self-regulating systems, would say that the economic system is providing these decision-makers with positive feedback-rewarding them for decisions that upset the system's dynamic equilibrium and cause the system to oscillate out of control, risking eventual collapse. Stable systems depend on negative feedback signals that provide incentives to correct errant behavior and move the system back toward equillibrium. -- David Korten, When Corporations Rule the World, page 115

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The corporation is not a person and it does not live. It is a lifeless bundle of legally protected financial rights and relationships brilliantly designed to serve money and its imperatives. It is money that flows in its veins, not blood. The corporation has neither soul nor conscience. -- David Korten, The Post-Corporate World

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There is a huge shift taking place in the global awareness in the last 5 years with strong views about globalization and the power structures of major corporations. -- David Korten

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[T]he economy internal to a corporation is centrally planned and directed by top management, not to serve the whole of the society on which its existence depends, but rather to maximize the capture and flow of money to its top managers and shareholders. -- David Korten, The Post-Corporate World, in YES! A Journal of Positive Futures, Spring 1999

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[T]he global corporation, which is programmed by its internal structures to respond to the incessant demand of financial markets to seek its own unlimited growth, behaves much like a cancerous tumor. -- David Korten, The Post-Corporate World, in YES! A Journal of Positive Futures, Spring 1999

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[T]he more environmentally burdensome ways of meeting a given need are generally those that contribute most to the gross national product (GNP). For example, driving a mile in a car contributes more to GNP than riding a mile on a bicycle. Turning on an air-conditioner adds more than opening a window. Relying on processed packaged food adds more than using natural foods purchased in bulk in reusable containers. We might say that GNP, technically a measure at which money is flowing through the economy, might also be described as a measure of the rate at which we are turning resources into garbage. -- David Korten, When Corporations Rule the World

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The alarming development and aggressiveness of great capitalists and corporations, unless unchecked, will inevitably lead to the pauperization and hopeless degradation of the toiling masses. It is imperative, if we desire to enjoy the full blessings of life, that a check be placed upon unjust accumulation and the power for evil of aggregated wealth. -- Constitution of the Knights of Labor, 1869

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When "The Media Monopoly" first appeared in 1983, [Ben] Bagdikian was alarmed that more than half of the media outlets in this country were controlled by 50 corporations. By the 1997 edition of his book, that number had dropped to 10. Today it stands at six (AOL Time Warner, Viacom, News Corp., Disney, General Electric and Bertelsmann). The result is a landscape of media giants whose political clout in Washington should raise alarm about their collective power as well as concerns about the independent watchdog role that the news media play in covering the federal government. -- J.D. Lasica, Online Journalism Review, 5/23/2003

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TV that people will never see, that giant international corporations will never touch, will never pay your salary. -- Norman Lear

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Each party [Democratic and Republican] has assumed the mantle of fiscal responsibility while accusing the other of reckless spending. Yet both parties have proposed irresponsibly high levels of military spending at the expense of programs that meet the needs of society's most vulnerable members. -- Friends Committee on National Legislation

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These characteristics - growth at the expense of the whole and top-down centralized planning - represent what [David] Korten describes as "serious violations of the principle of cooperative self-organization in the service of life." Given that the largest corporations are now bigger than the economies of most nation-states, he emphasizes that the undemocratic structure of the corporation is cause for urgent global concern. Indeed, 52 of the 100 largest economies in the world are now corporations, according to a recent report issued by the International Forum on Globalization (IFG). -- Aaron G. Lehmer, Corporate Globalization: Big Business's Silent Takeover of Democracy

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In the steel industry the corporations generally have accepted collective bargaining and negotiated wage agreements with the Committee for Industrial Organization. -- John L. Lewis

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"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money-power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed." -- Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States

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Corporations have been enthroned .... An era of corruption in high places will follow and the money power will endeavor to prolong its reign by working on the prejudices of the people... until wealth is aggregated in a few hands ... and the Republic is destroyed. -- Abraham Lincoln

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I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country...corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. -- Abraham Lincoln

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We may congratulate ourselves that this cruel war is nearing its end. It has cost a vast amount of treasure and blood.... It has indeed been a trying hour for the Republic; but I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, *corporations have been enthroned* and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless. -- Abraham Lincoln, in a letter to Col. William Elkins, Nov. 21, 1864.

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People like me have to have the discipline only to work for clients, corporations, political people, products, services, networks that we believe in and we want to see succeed. -- Frank Luntz

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There is an evil which ought to be guarded against in the indefinite accumulation of property from the capacity of holding it in perpetuity by ... corporations. The power of all corporations ought to be limited in this respect. The growing wealth acquired by them never fails to be a source of abuse -- James Madison, one of the authors of the United States Constitution

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We now live in a state of permanent war - a global arms industry, apparently the largest single international business, must have its products used up so more can be sold. There must be profits for the capitalists and jobs for the proles... Are we not still in Caligula's Rome? -- New Internationalist magazine

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By its ability to implant identical images into the minds of millions of people, TV can homogenize perspectives, knowledge, tastes, and desires, to make them resemble the tastes and interests of the people who transmit the imagery. In our world, the transmitters of the images are corporations whose ideal of life is technologically oriented, commodity oriented, materialistic, and hostile to nature. And satellite communications is the mechanism by which television is delivered into parts of the planet that have, until recently, been spared this assault. -- Jerry Mander, In the Abscence of the Sacred, 1991

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[A] corporation is an artificial being, invisible, intangible, and existing only in contemplation of law. Being the mere creature of law, it possesses only those properties which the charter of its creation confers upon it, either expressly, or as incidental to its very existence. -- Chief Justice John Marshall, Dartmouth College v. Woodward

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A corporation is not, in its corporate capacity, a citizen, within the meaning of the Constitution. -- Liverpool Insurance Co. v. Massachusetts, 10 Wall. 566, 573;

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2. Strengthen public broadcasting: Public broadcasting today is really a system of nonprofit commercial broadcasting, serving a sliver of the population. What we need is a system of real public broadcasting, with no advertising, one that accepts no grants from corporations or private bodies, one that serves the entire population, not merely those who have high-brow tastes and disposable income to contribute during pledge drives. A new system should include more national networks, local stations, fully utilized and subsidized public access television, and independent community radio stations. Every community should also have a stratum of low-power television and micropower radio stations. Where will the funds come from to pay for such a service? At present, the federal government provides $260 million annually. The public system I envision-which would put per capita U.S. spending in a league with Britain's and Japan's-may well cost $5 billion to $10 billion annually. I have no qualms about drawing the funds from general revenues. A system of genuinely nonprofit, noncommercial, and public broadcasting is essential if we are to be not just consumers but citizens, too. -- Robert McChesney, "Oligopoly, The Big Media Game Has Fewer and Fewer Players", The Progressive (1999), 4 steps to media reform

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3. Toughen regulation: Media reformers have long been active in this arena, if only because the public ownership of the airwaves gives the Federal Communications Commission a clear legal right to negotiate terms with the chosen few who get broadcast licenses. Still, broadcast regulation has largely been toothless, with the desires of powerful corporations and advertisers rarely challenged. In my view, commercial broadcasters should be granted licenses only on the following terms: First, they will not air any paid political advertising during electoral campaigns unless every candidate on the ballot is given equal time, free of charge, immediately following the paid spot of a rival. This would go a long way toward clearing up the campaign spending mess that is destroying electoral democracy in the United States. Second, we should follow the lead of Sweden and ban advertising to children under twelve. Likewise, we should remove advertising from TV news broadcasts. ??Third, broadcasters should donate some percentage of their revenues to subsidize several hours per day of noncommercial children's and news/public affairs programming. Educators and artists should control the children's programming; journalists the news programming. -- Robert McChesney, "Oligopoly, The Big Media Game Has Fewer and Fewer Players", The Progressive (1999), 4 steps to media reform

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A long-term problem of local commercial media - notably daily newspapers and television broadcasters - is their consistent reluctance to provide critical investigations of the most important and powerful local commercial interests. Professional standards notwithstanding, there has been a kind of "Eleventh Commandment" in the commercial news media: Thou Shalt Not Cover Big Local Companies and Billionaires' Critically. This makes very good economic sense, as the local powers are often major advertisers. It makes sense politically and socially too, as the media owners and managers run in the same circles as the major shareholders and executives of the local corporate powerhouses. They are not the sort of people or institutions that smart businesses wish to antagonize - and the media are businesses no less than any other profit-maximizing firms. This is truer than ever in an era when investigative journalism of any sort is generally frowned upon as too expensive and bad for profits. -- Robert McChesney, "Rich Media, Poor Democracy", from the preface to the paperback edition

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Although U.S. public broadcasting has produced much good fare, and employs many talented and dedicated proponents of public service broadcasting, the system has been supremely compromised by its structure, and it is unimpressive in comparison to the great public service systems of Europe. Indeed, in international discussions of public broadcasting, the term "PBS-style system'' refers to a public system that is marginal and ineffective. It is the fate that the BBC, CBC and others wish to avoid. The funding system is the primary culprit. With the government providing only about 15 percent of their revenues, the public stations depend on corporate donations, foundation grants and listener/viewer contributions for the bulk of their support. In effect, this has made PBS and NPR stations commercial enterprises. Contrary to the fundamental principles of public broadcasting, large corporations through their underwriting have tremendous influence in determining what programming can be funded. And cash-poor stations tend to chosen programs that appeal to an affluent rather than working-class audiences, since they have far more disposable income to contribute. If the federal subsidy is fully eliminated, the bias toward corporate interests ("enhanced underwriting'') and an upper-income target audience will be magnified. -- Robert McChesney, "Why Public Broadcasting?", March 1995 at the University of California, San Diego, http://www.current.org/why/why514m.html

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Commercial corporations' domination of U.S. communication was not always taken as a given, or as something innately benevolent, American and democratic. When radio broadcasting first emerged in the 1920s, few thought it had any commercial potential and most regarded it as a promising means of public education. The pioneers of broadcasting in the 1920s were nonprofit broadcasters every bit as much as commercial enterprises; colleges and universities launched more than 200 stations between 1920 and 1926. And when commercial interests finally realized the profit potential of U.S. broadcasting and seized control, they were met by public opposition to the corporate exploitation of radio. -- Robert McChesney, "Why Public Broadcasting?", March 1995 at the University of California, San Diego, http://www.current.org/why/why514m.html

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Even among those who deplore conglomeration, hypercommercialism, and the decline of public interest journalism, there is a fatalistic sense that this is the way it must be. But the U.S. media system is the result of a series of political decisions, not natural law or holy mandate. The U.S. government and the citizens of the United States did not-and do not-have to turn over the broadcast spectrum to nine mega-corporations interested only in maximizing profit. At any time in the last century, the American people might have chosen to establish a truly nonprofit and noncommercial radio and television system; they have always had the constitutional right to do so. The first major law for U.S. broadcasting was the Communications Act of 1934; the second was the Telecommunications Act of 1996. In 1934, there was considerable opposition to corporate domination of radio broadcasting, but those who led the opposition had barely any influence in Washington. In 1996, there was nowhere near the organized opposition that existed in 1934, and the communications lobbies pushed the law through at breakneck speed. The striking feature of U.S. media policy-making is how singularly undemocratic it has been-and remains. Crucial decisions are made by the few for the few behind closed doors. Public participation has been minuscule. That has got to change. We, as citizens, need to let our voices be heard. The airwaves belong to the people. We should demand a democratic media, not one that is controlled by Time Warner, Rupert Murdoch, Disney, GE, and Viacom/CBS. -- Robert McChesney, "Oligopoly, The Big Media Game Has Fewer and Fewer Players"

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Even with noncommercial broadcasting relegated to the backwaters of the FM and UHF bands in many cities, the commercial broadcasters fought it tooth and nail well into the 1960s. After many halting starts, Congress passed the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, which led to the creation of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and soon thereafter PBS and NPR. The commercial broadcasters finally agreed not to oppose public broadcasting, primarily because they believed the new public system could be responsible for doing the unprofitable cultural and public affairs programming that critics were constantly lambasting them for neglecting. There was a catch, however. Government dropped the initial Carnegie Commission plan to have CPB funded by a tax on receivers, similar to the BBC method, depriving public broadcasting of a stable source of income necessary for planning as well as editorial autonomy. From its outset the public system would be severely handicapped. This was the only public system the commercial broadcasters would permit. -- Robert McChesney, "Why Public Broadcasting?", March 1995 at the University of California, San Diego, http://www.current.org/why/why514m.html

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In fact, their much-pronounced principle that the government should not interfere in markets is hollow rhetoric as applied to the electronic media. The entire process by which the government has licensed the publicly owned airwaves at no charge to commercial broadcasters for the past 70 years has been a massive subsidy to the owners of a multi-billion-dollar industry. Adding insult to injury, these private companies have been able to sell these freely acquired licenses to other corporations and pocket the proceeds. Indeed, the entire history of communications in the United States is one of repeated direct and indirect government subsidies to a small category of private business owners. These same corporate interests will benefit if the crippled public broadcasting system is encouraged to sell off valuable frequencies to keep operating, as some members of Congress have suggested. But even if there were no corporate interest in dismantling the public system, the right wing still would be attacking PBS and NPR. The reason is that it wants to disband publicly subsidized journalism and investigative reporting. The right is obsessed with what it regards as the liberal, even left-wing, bias of U.S. journalism and it detects this bias most often on PBS and NPR. -- Robert McChesney, "Why Public Broadcasting?", March 1995 at the University of California, San Diego, http://www.current.org/why/why514m.html

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In many respects, we now live in a society that is only formally democratic, as the great mass of citizens have minimal say on the major public issues of the day, and such issues are scarcely debated at all in any meaningful sense in the electoral arena. In our society, corporations and the wealthy enjoy a power every bit as immense as that assumed to have been enjoyed by the lords and royalty of feudal times. -- Robert W. McChesney, Rich Media, Poor Democracy

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Journalism is the oxygen of democracy. Our journalism is a flop. It's a very poor watchdog. It's a media system that works against democracy. It's part of the problem, and in a democracy it should be part of the solution. -- Robert McChesney, "Corporate Journalism and the Bogus State of U.S. Democracy", lecture given at Illinois State University, April 25, 2002

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Not only is media ownership becoming concentrated into ever fewer extremely large conglomerates, the denigration of journalism continues unabated. By journalism I mean both the product of the commercial news media as well as the journalism of NPR and PBS. After two decades of conservative criticism and corporate inroads, the public system is now fully within the same ideological confines that come naturally to a profit-driven, advertising-supported system. -- Robert McChesney, "Rich Media, Poor Democracy", from the introduction to the paperback edition.

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Now, the next question: who is sending these images? Is somebody in control? Here's the most shocking thing you'll hear today, at least from me. Global television transmission, as well as most of film, radio, publishing, entertainment, and even Internet facilities, are owned and operated by an unbelievably small number of gigantic global corporations, all of whom are getting bigger daily, through mergers and acquisitions which are directly assisted by the rules of global bureaucracies that grease the path for such investment and takeover. Fewer than 10 global corporations now control roughly 75% These mega-media giants have been able to grow like this because global rules now make it virtually impossible to keep out foreign media investment over domestic media, leaving pathetically little chance for local values and cultures to be there. Amy Goodman is not broadcast by Time-Warner.... The net result is that this pathetic handful of media billionaires in New York, Hollywood, London, and one or two other places, are able to implant the brains of nearly the entire global population with a fantastically concentrated, non-stop dose of highly powerful imagery that tell people to hate where they live, to be ashamed of their own cultures, to worship McDonalds and Coca-Cola, and to believe that corporations are the answers to their problems. -- Jerry Mander, in a talk hosted by the Lanman Foundation, June 29, 2001, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. www.lanman.org % of the population watches at least some television every day. The average home has the TV going for more than 8 hours. The average adult viewer watches about 4 hours daily. The average child, age 8 - 13, watches about 4 hours. At age 2-4, they're watching nearly 3 hours per day. These are amazing statistics. It means that roughly half the population is watching more than 4 hours per day. How is it even possible? In the U.S., people watch more television than they do anything else besides sleep or work or go to school. You have to say that television is the main thing Americans do. It has replaced community life, family life, culture. It has replaced the environment. It has become the environment that people interact with daily. It has become the culture, too, and I'm not talking so-called popular culture, which sounds somehow democratic. This is corporate culture and very few corporations at that, as we'll see. Actually, about 100 corporations control about 85% 1. Shore up nonprofit and noncommercial radio: The starting point for media reform is to shore up a viable nonprofit, noncommercial media sector. Such a sector currently exists in the United States and produces much of value, but it's woefully small and underfunded. This sector is unbeholden to corporations, and its views are undistorted by the profit motive. It thus has the inclination to air stories that run counter to the interests of the huge corporations; it publishes viewpoints on national issues that get short-shrift elsewhere, and it engages in the kind of public-spirited debates that we need more of in our democracy. Foundations and organized labor could and should contribute far more to nonprofit media. And government itself should foster this sector. It could extend lower mailing costs for a wide range of nonprofit publications. Or it could permit tax deductions for contributions to nonprofit media. To leave the nonprofit, noncommercial sector to starve as the commercial sector gets fatter and fatter makes no sense at all. -- Robert McChesney, "Oligopoly, The Big Media Game Has Fewer and Fewer Players", The Progressive (1999), 4 steps to media reform

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The case for media reform is based on two propositions. First, media perform essential political, social, economic, and cultural functions in modern democracies. In such societies, media are the principal source of political information and access to public debate, and the key to an informed, participating, self-governing citizenry. Democracy requires a media system that provides people with a wide range of opinion and analysis and debate on important issues, reflects the diversity of citizens, and promotes public accountability of the powers-that-be and the powers-that-want-to-be. In short, the media in a democracy must foster deliberation and diversity, and ensure accountability. Second, media organization-patterns of ownership, management, regulation, and subsidy- i s a central determinant of media content. This proposition is familiar from discussions of media in China and the former Soviet Union. For those countries, the idea that the media could promote deliberation, diversity, and accountability, while being effectively owned and controlled by the Communist Party, was not even worth refuting. Similarly, we are not surprised to hear that when cronies of the Mexican government owned the country's only TV station, television news coverage was especially favorable to the ruling party. In the United States, in contrast, analysis of the implications of private ownership and advertising support for media content has been limited. For much of the second half of the twentieth century, Americans have heard that we have no reason to be concerned about corporate ownership of media or dependence on commercial advertising because market competition forces commercial media to "give the people what they want," and journalistic professionalism protects the news from the biases of owners and advertisers as well as journalists themselves. Such views now seem very dubious. -- Robert W. McChesney, "Making Media Democratic", Summer 1998 issue of Boston Review

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The corporate media giants, advertisers, and other powerful forces that benefit by the status quo have no interest in encouraging the discussion. It is quite all right to bash the media for its alleged "liberal" bias; indeed, our airwaves are dominated by millionaire right-wingers who constantly assert such claims with no sense of irony. But it is strictly forbidden for there to be a candid analysis of the implications of corporate media control on our journalism, culture and democracy. It is not purely a coincidence, for example, that there was virtually no coverage of the crucial 1996 Telecommunications Act in the news media. This monumental law, which gave the green light to corporate media mergers and said to hell with notions of public service, was only covered in the business press, where it was presented as an issue of importance to investors, not the general public. Likewise, don't expect any time soon to see broadcast news covering the FCC's 1997 giveaway of the airwaves to the media giants for digital broadcasting. -- Robert McChesney, from the Forward of "The More You Watch, the Less You Know", by Danny Schechter

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The critical question facing us is whether the new technologies can rejuvenate journalism and political democracy or whether commercial corporations' domination of the communication industries will be able to continue in their current path by absorbing the new technologies within their profit net. Though this question is critical to the future of democracy, it comes up only briefly when huge mergers are announced, as in the case of the Disney-ABC combination, but it is not a prominent, ongoing issue in U.S. political culture. To the contrary, the notion that corporations seeking maximum profit should rule both old and new communication technologies is sacrosanct. -- Robert McChesney, "Why Public Broadcasting?", March 1995 at the University of California, San Diego, http://www.current.org/why/why514m.html

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The most significant source of censorship for our media and our journalism is based on its corporate ownership and commercial support. Professional journalism is best viewed in this context. While it permits a degree of journalistic autonomy from media owners and advertisers as well as the personal biases of journalists, media professionalism also internalizes many of the commercial values of the corporate media and permits journalists to be oblivious to the compromises with authority they are constantly making. Second, these corporations increasingly find that the traditional practice of journalism is unprofitable or less profitable than they would like. The relative amount of resources devoted to journalism has fallen in the past 15 years, judging from recent books by former Chicago Tribune editor Jim Squires, Penn Kimball, John McMannes and Doug Underwood. Our news media are increasingly prey to sophisticated public relations campaigns serving corporate America, and commercial pressures to provide inexpensive, unthreatening schlock journalism centering on entertainers, athletes and royal families. The collapse of journalism - even by mainstream standards - is startling. In short, journalistic excellence and autonomy are direct casualties of the insatiable need for maximized profit that rules our media system and our economy. And this trend stands in stark contrast to the promise of the new information and communication technologies to break down barriers and contribute to the democratization of society. -- Robert McChesney, "Why Public Broadcasting?", March 1995 at the University of California, San Diego, http://www.current.org/why/why514m.html

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The reasons for [the flawed media coverage after the stolen election of 2000, and after 9/11] can be located in two places: the weaknesses in the manner professional journalism has been practiced in the United States; and the ultimate control of our major news media by a very small number of very large and powerful profit-seeking corporations. Professional journalism emerged around 100 years ago, propelled by the need of monopoly newspaper owners to offer a credible "nonpartisan" journalism so that their business enterprises would not be undermined. Professional journalism is outstanding for its emphasis on factual accuracy and fairness, but deeply flawed by conventions that allow it to avoid the inevitable controversies inherent to journalism. To avoid the taint of partisanship, professionalism makes official or credentialed sources the basis for news stories. This tends to give the news an establishment bias. When a journalist reports what elites are saying, or debating, she is professional. When she steps outside this range of official debate, she is no longer being professional. Likewise, professional journalism tends to avoid contextualization like the plague, and what contextualization it does provide tends to conform to elite premises. So it is that on those stories that receive the most coverage, like the Middle East, Americans tend to be every bit as, if not more, ignorant than on those subjects that receive far less coverage. Coverage tends to be a barrage of disconnected facts. -- Robert McChesney, Editorial: "Media too influenced by their corporate owners" in the Captial Times, Madison WI, September 20, 2001

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The right realizes that the marketplace implicitly censors commercially supported journalism to keep it within a range they can accept, and is angered by journalism that is not so well controlled. Although much of the public broadcasting journalism and public affairs programming is indistinguishable from commercial journalism, occasional stories and programs get produced that would never clear the political hurdle in the commercial media. This is precisely why it is so important for those who believe in journalism, free expression and democracy to make the fight on behalf of public broadcasting. It is now more necessary than ever for public policy to mandate a well-funded, independent journalism and communication system. Once the principle of publicly funded broadcasting is abandoned, it will be ever more difficult to reinstate it. The right-wing assault on public broadcasting is not an isolated or exceptional phenomenon. It is part of a wholesale attack on all institutions that have some autonomy from the marketplace and its owners. Thus public libraries and public education-two institutions far more significant than public broadcasting in U.S. culture - are being primed for privatization. Advertising-supported schools and schooling-for-profit, notions regarded as obscene only a decade ago, are moving to the center of education policy debates. To the extent that corporate interests take control of the universities, the country will lose its ability to generate a democratic and critical civic debate. The reign of wealth will become entrenched and commercial values unassailable. -- Robert McChesney, "Why Public Broadcasting?", March 1995 at the University of California, San Diego, http://www.current.org/why/why514m.html

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There are many reasons to be alarmed by this oligopolistic control. Every theory of democracy worth the paper it is written on recognizes that independent journalism is necessary to provide the informed participating citizenry that is the foundation of a self-government. But these enormous corporations find this type of journalism controversial and expensive, and often damaging to their political and economic interests. This is hardly a new phenomenon; it has been a major tension in profit-driven commercial journalism since its emergence in the 19th century. It is only magnified by increased corporate control. -- Robert McChesney, "Why Public Broadcasting?", March 1995 at the University of California, San Diego, http://www.current.org/why/why514m.html

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Though the federal contribution to public broadcasting is being extended, if at a reduced rate, for two or three more years, the handwriting is on the wall: there may be no more government subsidized broadcasting in the United States by the end of the decade. I believe that it is very much in the public interest for the nonprofit, noncommercial media to be expanding instead. This article puts the fight over U.S. public broadcasting in historical context and explains the relative weakness of contemporary U.S. public broadcasting. The current right-wing assault on U.S. public broadcasting may best be regarded as one more instance of the corporate attack on democratic institutions, seeking to limit Americans' ability to examine and debate the way their society is ruled. In the process, the market is becoming the unquestioned regulator of all aspects of social life, wherever profits can be found - a process I believe to have dubious moral implications. -- Robert McChesney, "Why Public Broadcasting?", March 1995 at the University of California, San Diego, http://www.current.org/why/why514m.html

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Two related trends bear on the debates concerning the future of public service broadcasting. First, the current offensive against public-service broadcasting comes during an era of nearly unprecedented technological revolutions in communication and information. By all accounts they are central to a dramatic restructuring of human societies. One need only consider the rapid development of the Internet to appreciate the dimensions of what lies before us. Though some proponents of the communication technologies assert they will provide immense new competition in the marketplace of ideas, rendering moot the need for publicly subsidized media, the dominant trend in journalism and communication is for media industries increasingly to fall under oligopolistic corporate control. Ben Bagdikian is the best known chronicler of how approximately 20 enormous corporations now control global communication and almost all of U.S. journalism. That figure has shrunken in the past decade, and the trend is accelerating with the recent merger activities of Disney, Gannett and Westinghouse. -- Robert McChesney, "Why Public Broadcasting?", March 1995 at the University of California, San Diego, http://www.current.org/why/why514m.html

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What united these broadcast reformers was their thorough distrust of and distaste for commercial broadcasting. They thought it absurd and irresponsible to permit commercial values to rule broadcasting as they did so many other areas of American life, particularly in view of its revolutionary potential to reach into every American home. They characterized commercial broadcasting as "the dollar sign's mightiest megaphone.'' If a handful of corporations dominated U.S. broadcasting, and if their primary motivation was profit, the reformers knew they would never hear the type of journalism and controversial public affairs programming that radio could produce. "There are those profess to fear the censorship of radio stations operated by the ... government,'' noted leading reformer Joy Elmer Morgan in 1931. "Do they fail to realize we already have a censorship-a censorship not applied by government, which is elected and maintained by the people and responsible to their control, but a censorship maintained by powerful private interests who are responsible to no one but their own selfish interests?'' -- Robert McChesney, "Why Public Broadcasting?", March 1995 at the University of California, San Diego, http://www.current.org/why/why514m.html

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With the defeat of the ambitious frequency reservation proposal and the passage of the Communications Act of 1934, the fundamental structural questions about the electronic media had been thoroughly marginalized. Since 1935 all broadcast and communication policy debates have been predicated upon the notion that the needs of the private sector come first, and that these are largely compatible with the public interest. There has been virtually no public debate over how best to develop FM radio, television, cable or the information highway. With media corporations holding first and unobstructed claim to the public spectrum, they were able to write large sections of the recently passed Communications Act. This consolidation of the status quo after 1935 was accomplished with breathtaking speed. There have been dissidents on the FCC, but they have been mostly ineffectual. When structural reform became off-limits, the only legitimate manner to criticize U.S. broadcasting became to state that it was uncompetitive, and therefore needed aggressive regulation. -- Robert McChesney, "Why Public Broadcasting?", March 1995 at the University of California, San Diego, http://www.current.org/why/why514m.html

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[W]e now hold, that a corporation is not a citizen within the meaning of the constitutional provision that 'the citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states' -- Blake v. McClung, 172 U.S. 239 (1898)

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Following the same course that virtually every other major industry has in the last two decades, a relentless series of mergers and corporate takeovers has consolidated control of the media into the hands of a few corporate behemoths. The result has been that an increasingly authoritarian agenda has been sold to the American people by a massive, multi-tentacled media machine that has become, for all intents and purposes, a propaganda organ of the state. -- David McGowan, Derailing Democracy

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Ever since John Lennon sent shock waves around the globe by proclaiming the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ, we've been aware of the power of popular culture and consumerism to fill a spiritual void in our lives. Today the Nike "swoosh" and Coca-Cola logo are more recognizable than any religious icon, carrying with them connotations of progress and global conquest. But as trade barriers around the world continue to fall and transnational corporations rake in record profits, some argue a new faith has taken hold, and with it a fundamentalist doctrine more dangerous than anything we've seen before. At the centre of this faith, or so the doctrine implies, is a benign spirit spreading wealth from within an unfettered free market. If left alone to work its magic, this late 20th century version of Adam Smith's "invisible hand" will eventually close the gap between rich and poor. The Rt. Rev. Bill Phipps, chief moderator of the United Church of Canada, is only one of many on the political left convinced "market theology" will lead to nothing but devastating results, namely the "concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands" and a world economy that "ignores pollution, infrastructure, literacy rates, social dislocation and disease." His concerns are echoed in Dr. John McMurtry's book, Unequal Freedoms: the Global Market as an Ethical System. "The market is not now seen as a structure to serve society," he writes. "Rather, society is seen as an aggregate of resources to serve the global market.No traditional religion has declared more absolutely the universality and necessity of its laws and commandments than the proponents of the global market doctrine." -- Geoff McMaster, "The deification of the 'invisble hand': Market theology and the global economy", Focus, March 12, 1999

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

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So Indian policy has become institutionalized and the result has been that American people have become more dependent on government and that the American people have become more dependent on corporations. -- Russell Means

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The 1st Amendment "does not intend to guarantee men freedom to say what some private interest pays them to say for its own advantage. It intends only to make men free to say what, as citizens, they think." -- Alexander Meiklejohn, Philosopher & Educator (1872-1964)

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Give tax breaks to large corporations, so that money can trickle down to the general public, in the form of extra jobs. -- Andrew Mellon

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Of all the cartel's dangerous consequences for American society and culture, the worst is its corrosive influence on journalism. Under AOL Time Warner, GE, Viacom et al., the news is, with a few exceptions, yet another version of the entertainment that the cartel also vends nonstop. This is also nothing new-consider the newsreels of yesteryear-but the gigantic scale and thoroughness of the corporate concentration has made a world of difference, and so has made this world a very different place. -- Mark Crispin Miller, NYU professor of Culture and Communications

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When a huge corporation decides to use its resources to prosecute a few people for distributing a few leaflets by hand, something seems wrong to me. -- Adrian Mitchell, from his McLibel witness statement

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We don't separate out men and women working together in corporations. -- Susan Molinari

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The motivation for war is simple. The U.S. government started the war with Iraq in order to make it easy for U.S. corporations to do business in other countries. They intend to use cheap labor in those countries, which will make Americans rich. -- Michael Moore

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It's like Pravda... It's a capitalist consolidation of the press - with consequences the same as Pravda: Horrifying distortion and sabotage! -- Toni Morrison, author, decryng the corporate media's silence about the disenfrancisement of thousands of black voters in Florida during the 2000 presidential election

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We need to develop a new constituency for public broadcasting that will call us back to the ideal of serving the public interest... Corporate funders increasingly are determining what gets on the public airwaves. Jerry Starr and his associates are the only citizens' group I know of that is attempting on a national level to reverse these trends. -- Bill Moyers, Public Affairs Television, Inc., speaking about the Citizens for Independent Public Broadcasting

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The great corporations of this country were not founded by ordinary people. They were founded by people with extraordinary intelligence, ambition, and aggressiveness. -- Daniel P. Moynihan

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The men who run the global corporations are the first in history with the organization, technology, money, and ideology to make a credible try at managing the world as an integrated unit.... What they are demanding in essence is the right to transcend the nation-state, and in the process, transform it. -- Richard J. Barnet and Ronald E. Muller

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Sometimes there is a clash between the public interest and the corporate interest. -- Edward R. Murrow, Keynote Address, Radio and Television News Directors' Association (RTNDA), annual meeting in Chicago, October 15, 1958

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Why should not each of the twenty or thirty big corporations which dominate radio and television decide that they will give up one or two of their regularly scheduled programs each year, turn the time over to the networks, and say in effect, This is a tiny tithe, just a little bit of our profits. On this particular night we aren't going to try to sell cigarettes or automobiles; this is merely a gesture to indicate our belief in the importance of ideas.... the premise upon which our pluralistic society rests... is that if the people are given sufficient undiluted information, they will then somehow, even after long, sober second thoughts, reach the right decision...Just once in a while let us exalt the importance of ideas and information. Let us dream to the extent of saying that on a given Sunday night the time normally occupied by Ed Sullivan is given over to a clinical survey of the state of American education, and a week or two later the time normally used by Steve Allen is devoted to a thoroughgoing study of American policy in the Middle East. Would the corporate image of their respective sponsors be damaged? Would the stockholders rise up in their wrath and complain? Would anything happen other than that a few million people would have received a little illumination on subjects that may well determine the future of this country? -- Edward R. Murrow, CBS correspondent, in a speech to the Radio and Television News Directors Association, 1958

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Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power. -- Benito Mussolini, Fascist Dictator of Italy

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Corporations have taken over the government and turned it against its own people. -- Ralph Nader

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I don't think meals have any business being deductible. I'm for separation of calories and corporations. -- Ralph Nader

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The only difference between Bush and Gore is the velocity with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock at the door. -- Ralph Nader, 2000 election.

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The only difference between the Republican and Democratic parties is the velocities with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock on their door. That's the only difference. -- Ralph Nader

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These laws are designed to chill free speech. -- Ralph Nader, on ABC, re: the 13 states with corporate libel laws (such as Texas Cattlemen's Beef Assn is trying to use against Oprah)

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This (George W. Bush's) administration is not sympathetic to corporations, it is indentured to corporations. -- Ralph Nader

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We own the public airwaves. That's federal law, approved by the Supreme Court of the United States. We are the owners, we are the landlords. The Federal Communications Commission is our real estate agent. It licenses portions of the spectrum to corporate broadcasting TV and radio stations-they are the tenants.They pay nothing for the rent of a TV station. Some of the greatest fortunes in American history have been made by television and other electronic communication company executives- -tens of millions of dollars-using public property free of charge. The tenant pays the landlord nothing, decides who says what on radio and TV, and laughs all the way to the bank, and because we grow up corporate, we don't even *think* of challenging it because we never *heard* of it. We never reflected on it. Our courses never *talked* about it. We never majored in it. And therefore, we're anesthetized. It's a controlling process. -- Ralph Nader

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Marilyn Waring, former member of the Australian Parliament, in her video Sex, Lives, and Global Economics, cites one example of a GDP bonanza-the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska which spread a huge oil slick, killing many birds, temporarily destroying the fishing grounds, and larding the shores with miles of black ooze. Waring calls the Exxon Valdez "the most productive oil tanker voyage ever launched on the face of the planet." Ramming your tanker into an iceberg produces fantastic growth-the insurance costs and the new tanker, then the civil, legal, and criminal proceedings, followed by the cleanup operations, then compensations to fisherpeople and to the tourist industry, then television rights, the media exercises. A fantastic oil production voyage! See what I mean? It all adds to growth. Nobody says, "Better subtract that disaster from the national income account." As long as activity passes through the market, it is good for growth, good for the GNP. It may not be good for the citizens or for the planet, but it's good for the credit of a nation. That's the way our society is assessed today-by money, by profit, not by the life quality of its citizens, not by the unpaid labor of women or mothers with children. All such are disregarded in our new corporate-controlled, bank-controlled society. -- Loise Neville, Bizarre Bazaar

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In the United States, both the Republican and Democratic Parties, with only a few prominent exceptions, have been and are in the pay of the corporate media and communication giants. -- John Nichols, and Robert McChesney

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I was endorsed by many corporations to work with their people. Since I had several hundred successful case histories, I realized that it was really valuable and everybody should have access to the information, so I started teaching seminars to groups of people. -- Leonard Orr

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And we've become very doubtful of our information sources, because they're all controlled by these huge multilateral corporations. -- Brian De Palma

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It surely cannot be that government, state or federal, is able to evade the most solemn obligations imposed in the constitution by simply resorting to the corporate form. ..." -- Lebron v. National Railroad Passenger Corp. (1995), 513 U.S. 574, 130 L.Ed.2d 902, 914-923, 115 S.Ct. 961.

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We are going through tough economic times but things are looking up, and the indicators are improving not only for large corporations but also for small business. -- George Pataki

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I am able to show the link between the expansion of the biggest fast food chain, the worldwide expanding corporation McDonald's (McD) and the escalation of the hunger in the world. Whereas in Brazil about half of the population suffers of hunger. Soya is not been sold or distributed to the people. But is for export where it will be fed to McD cattle. -- Siegfried Pater, Third World Expert, from his McLibel witness statement

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To survive, men and business and corporations must serve. -- John Henry Patterson

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And that's why I wrote the book, because our country really needs to understand, if people in this nation understood what our foreign policy is really about, what foreign aid is about, how our corporations work, where our tax money goes, I know we will demand change. -- John Perkins

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Basically, what Economic Hit Men are trained to do is to build up the American empire. To create situations where as many resources as possible flow into this country, to our corporations, and our government, and in fact we've been very successful. -- John Perkins

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I was initially recruited while I was in business school back in the late sixties by the National Security Agency, the nation's largest and least understood spy organization; but ultimately I worked for private corporations. -- John Perkins

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Why is it that our society continues to pour investment into punishing humans for crimes, instead of investin in educating to prevent crimes and/or pinpoint what causes these crimes in the first place? The ACA (American Correctional Association) is the pinnacle of our social disease, and as humans we need to confront this disease with a grassroots community decision making body of voices. The government has made it clear that they aren't invested in our concerns and are only making it extremely easy for profit-hungry corporations to benefit from incarceration. Every prisoner is a political prisoner. -- Floyd Peterson, Anarchist Black Cross

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Media corporations have a civic responsibility not only to prevent fraud and financial abuse, but also to not corrupt or degrade our culture. -- Charles W. Pickering

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Why do otherwise sane, competent, strong men, men who can wrestle bears or raid corporations, shrink away in horror at the thought of washing a dish or changing a diaper? -- Frank Pittman

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In the absence of a coherent alternative, the transnational corporations carry on inexorably. Increasingly flagless and stateless, they weave global webs of production, commerce, culture and finance virtually unopposed. They expand, invest and grow, concentrating ever more wealth in a limited number of hands. They work in coalition to influence local, national and international institutions and laws. And together with the governments of their home countries in Europe, North America and Japan, as well as international institutions such as the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and increasingly, the United Nations, they are molding an international system in which they can trade and invest even more freely-a world where they are less and less accountable to the cultures, communities and nation-states in which they operate. Underpinning this effort is not the historical inevitability of an evolving, enlightened civilization, but rather the unavoidable reality of the overriding corporate purpose: the maximization of profits. -- The Corporate Planet (Sierra Club Books)

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There were some entrepreneurial du Ponts that are a little different from the heads of the corporations today. -- Pete du Pont

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The larger the state, the more callous it becomes... the colder its heart. It is also true that the bigger the corporation, the more callous its heart. But unlike the state, corporations have competition and have no police powers. -- Dennis Prager

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The problem... is emblematic of what hasn't changed during the equal opportunity revolution of the last 20 years. Doors opened; opportunities evolved. Law, institutions, corporations moved forward. But many minds did not. -- Anna Quindlen

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The abstract idea of a corporation, the legal entity, the impalpable and intangible creation of human thought, is itself a fiction, and has been appropriately described as a figure of speech -- PEOPLE V. NORTH RIVER SUGAR REFINING CORP., 24 N. E. 834 (New York 1890)

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The life of a corporation is, indeed, less than that of the humblest citizen, and yet it envelopes great accumulations of property, moves and carries in large volume the business and enterprise of the people -- PEOPLE V. NORTH RIVER SUGAR REFINING CORP., 24 N. E. 834, (New York 1890)

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The state permits in many ways an aggression of capital, but, mindful of the possible dangers to the people, overbalancing the benefits, keeps upon it a restraining hand, and maintains over it a prudent supervision, where such aggregation depends upon its permission and grows out of its corporate grants -- PEOPLE V. NORTH RIVER SUGAR REFINING CORP., 24 N. E. 834, (New York 1890)

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The state, by the creation of the artificial persons constituting the elements of the combination and failing to limit and restrain their powers, becomes itself the responsible creator, the voluntary cause, of an aggregation of capital -- PEOPLE V. NORTH RIVER SUGAR REFINING CORP., 24 N. E. 834, (New York 1890)

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[T]he blessing of potentially perpetual life and limited liability, so beneficial [sic-R.G.] in the economic sphere, poses special dangers in the political sphere. -- Chief Justice Rehnquist, dissenting, in a 1978 case, First National Bank of Boston v. Belotti

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The corporations..have successfully lever aged economic power into political power that undercuts the Constitution. -- Charles Reich

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We recommend that Congress provide the federal funds required by the Corporation through a manufacturer's excise tax on television sets (beginning at 2 percent and rising to a ceiling of 5 percent). The revenues should be made available to the Corporation through a trust fund. In this manner a stable source of financial support would be assured. We would free the Corporation to the highest degree from the annual governmental budgeting and appropriations procedures: the goal we seek is an instrument for the free communication of ideas in a free society. -- Carnegie Commission Report, Jan 26, 1967, proposal for "public television"

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Almost all media that reach a large audience in the United States are owned by for-profit corporations-institutions that by law are obligated to put the profits of their investors ahead of all other considerations. The goal of maximizing profits is often in conflict with the practice of responsible journalism. Not only are most major media owned by corporations, these companies are becoming larger and fewer in number as the biggest ones absorb their rivals. This concentration of ownership tends to reduce the diversity of media voices and puts great power in the hands of a few companies. As news outlets fall into the hands of large conglomerates with holdings in many industries, conflicts of interest inevitably interfere with newsgathering. FAIR believes that independent media are essential to a democratic society, and that aggressive antitrust action must be taken to break up monopolistic media conglomerates. At the same time, non-corporate, alternative media outlets need to be promoted by both the government and the non-profit sector. -- Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR), "Corporate Ownership" webpage, www.fair.org

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Most of the income of for-profit media outlets comes not from their audiences, but from commercial advertisers who are interested in selling products to that audience. Although people sometimes defend commercial media by arguing that the market gives people what they want, the fact is that the most important transaction in the media marketplace-the only transaction, in the case of broadcast television and radio-does not involve media companies selling content to audiences, but rather media companies selling audiences to sponsors. This gives corporate sponsors a disproportionate influence over what people get to see or read. Most obviously, they don't want to support media that regularly criticizes their products or discusses corporate wrongdoing. More generally, they would rather support media that puts audiences in a passive, non-critical state of mind-making them easier to sell things to. Advertisers typically find affluent audiences more attractive than poorer ones, and pay a premium for young, white, male consumers-factors that end up skewing the range of content offered to the public. It is becoming harder and harder to escape from the propagandistic effects of advertising. Many students are now forced to watch commercials in school on Channel One. Even supposedly "noncommercial" outlets like PBS and NPR run ads-euphemistically known as "underwriter announcements." FAIR believes that commercial advertising should be taxed, with the proceeds earmarked to fund truly noncommercial media. -- Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR), "Advertiser Influence" webpage, www.fair.org

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In this point of the case the question is distinctly presented whether the people of the United States are to govern through representatives chosen by their unbiased suffrages or whether the money and power of a great corporation are to be secretly exerted to influence their judgment and control their decisions -- President Andrew Jackson, on his address to Congress December 3, 1833. (He explicitly demanded that the banks cease its political activities or receive a corporate death sentence--revocation of its corporate charter)

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You are murdering the young men, You, The hyena with polished face & bow tie, In the office of a billion dollar Corporation devoted to service; The vulture dripping with carrion, Carefully & carelessly robed in imported tweeds, Lecturing on the Age of Abundance; The jackal in the double-breasted gabardine, Barking by remote control, In the United Nations, The Superego in a thousand uniforms, You, the finger man of the behemoth, The murderer of the young men.... -- Kenneth Rexroth

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They're putting McDonald's in Ethiopia, Kentucky Fried Chicken in Egypt, and yes, Baskin-Robbins around the world. That represents the globalization of the U.S. corporate agenda, not an answer for addressing world hunger or malnutrition. -- John Robbins

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I suspect that many corporations have begun to understand that they have an important role to play in the lives of their communities, and that allocating funds to support local groups helps them discharge that function and also burnish their image. -- David Rockefeller

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Most of the services staff is for the larger corporations, not so much for small and medium businesses because they cannot afford an extensive services army. -- Kevin Rollins

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The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to the point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group or any controlling private power. -- President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, on the threat to democracy by corporate power

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Great corporations exist only because they are created and safeguarded by our institutions; and it is therefore our right and our duty to see that they work in harmony with those institutions. -- Theodore Roosevelt, 1901, first annual message to Congress.

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There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. -- Theodore Roosevelt

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We all know that, as things actually are, many of the most influential and most highly remunerated members of the Bar in every center of wealth, make it their special task to work out bold and ingenious schemes by which their wealthy clients, individual or corporate, can evade the laws which were made to regulate, in the interests of the public, the uses of great wealth. -- Theodore Roosevelt, 1905, at his Harvard Commencement address.

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Where a trust becomes a monopoly the state has an immediate right to interfere. -- Theodore Roosevelt, speech to New York legislature, Jan. 3, 1900.

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Bernays liked to think of himself as a kind of psychoanalyst to troubled corporations. -- Irwin Ross, speaking of Edward L. Bernays, the father of American Public Relations (propaganda)

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What has happened with Enron is that it has exposed the rot and the lie in this whole issue of privatisation. The whole business of privatisation as the alternative to a corrupt, inefficient state is such a piece of nonesense. Because really there was nothing private about Enron. The only thing that was private were the profits. All the risks were public; all the money that Enron put in, all the loans it took was underwritten by [public] financial institutions. -- Arundhati Roy, March 4 2002

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But the real issue goes beyond the question of suppressing competing pharmaceuticals and deals with the very nature of modern corporate capitalism. Modern capitalism is centered around the production, sale and consumption of commodities, physical items which, through advertising, are promised to provide satisfaction to various human needs and wants--sexual attractiveness, status, security, etc. For example, advertisements for luxury automobiles emphasize that they are a symbol of power to the possessor. Of course, the reality is that these commodities do not provide lasting satisfaction, so the consumer must continue the cycle of buying in hopes of attaining the promised mental or physical state. The threat that drugs pose is that drugs are not commodities in this sense. Drugs provide an experience that is not material--the drug experience is internal and transcends whatever can be provided by commodity capitalism. Indeed, many of the proponents of the drug "revolution" of the 1960s, such as Timothy Leary, promoted drug usage precisely on these grounds, that it was a way to break free of the worldview that accepted the production-consumption cycle of commodity capitalism as the natural order of the universe.(26) And this more than anything else is why the corporate sector has allied itself with the state to suppress illegal drugs. The ultimate objective in the war on drugs is, as in any war, political: to seize and maintain power. In the final analysis, the drug war is a politically efficacious use of American men-at-arms. By exploiting public fears, media disinformation, and visible (rather than efficient) police tactics, the drug war's initiators in government are able to boast a law-and-order reputation. Meanwhile, their allied corporations gain from the suppression of the competition. -- Joseph Miranda and Timothy Sandefur, "War on Drugs: The New Opium War?"

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"There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part; and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop." -- Mario Savio

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Like blackbirds in flight, packs of reporters darken the sky, moving in swarms at the same speed and in predictable trajectory. When one lands, they all land. When one leaves, they all leave. The programmers and channel controllers from all the stations are part of the same well-paid elite, steeped in the same values, committed to the mission of maximizing audience share and profits. They are chosen for their ability to play the game and not challenge the audience with too many controversial ideas or critical perspectives. It's no surprise that they circulate easily within the commanding heights of media power, moving from company to company and job to job. A kind of group think corporate consensus, steeped in market logic and deeply inbred by an un-brave news culture, breeds conscience-free conformity and self-censorship. This makes frightening sense in a globalized economy where consumerism is more desired than active citizenship, where power is increasingly concentrated and the public is increasingly unwelcome in a public discourse defined by the powerful. If your goal is to numb people and drive them away from active participation, then TV as "weapon of mass distraction" and wall to wall entertainment makes sense. Shut up and shop is the now the message, one that makes sense to advertiser dominated media outlets... -- Danny Schechter, Dung on all their Houses, Toward Freedom magazine, December / January 2000

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The programmers and channel controllers from all the stations are part of the same well-paid elite, steeped in the same values, committed to the mission of maximizing audience share and profits. They are chosen for their ability to play the game and not challenge the audience with too many controversial ideas or critical perspectives. It's no surprise that they circulate easily within the commanding heights of media power, moving from company to company and job to job. A kind of group think corporate consensus, steeped in market logic and deeply inbred by an un-brave news culture, breeds conscience-free conformity and self-censorship. This makes frightening sense in a globalized economy where consumerism is more desired than active citizenship, where power is increasingly concentrated and the public is increasingly unwelcome in a public discourse defined by the powerful. If your goal is to numb people and drive them away from active participation, then TV as "weapon of mass distraction" and wall to wall entertainment makes sense. Shut up and shop is the now the message, one that makes sense to advertiser dominated media outlets... " -- Danny Schechter, Dung on all their Houses, Toward Freedom magazine, December / January 2000

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This media war is being fought not with guns but with marketing strategies and corporate logos that value entertainment more than information, diversion more than democracy. No wonder that Larry Gelbart, the screenwriter who created M*A*S*H, reached for a military metaphor as the title of his 1997 TV drama skewering media moguls, calling it Weapons of Mass Distraction. Those weapons, he told Howard Rosenberg of the Los Angeles Times, "take our eye off the ball. We're more concerned with who is sleeping with whom, and who is having a baby. The real problems in America and in the world go unnoticed while the prurient side of us is appealed to." -- Danny Schechter, "The Many Fronts of the Media War", introduction of "The More You Watch, the Less You Know"

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Turning corporations loose and letting the profit motive run amok is not a prescription for a more livable world. -- Tom Scholz

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A criminal is a person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation. -- Howard Scott (sometimes attributed to Clarence Darrow)

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United States (crossed out) United Corporations -- Anti-War Protest sign, circa 2002-2003

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We've never gotten a corporatized journalist to admit that the use of the word 'gadfly' is a pejorative ... Your editor has frequently been called a gadfly and I always try to point out that the real insect likes to sit contentedly on piles of shit in a barnyard, something I have never done, literally or metaphorically. I gently try to steer the critic towards a more benign bovinal term, "maverick," which is a cow that wisely drinks upstream from the herd. -- Sam Smith, The Progressive Review

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We must start with the reality that corporations cannot guarantee anyone a lifetime job any more than corporations have a guarantee of immortality. -- John Snow

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Bom-Bom, rock the nation, take over television and radio station, Bom-Bom the truth shall come, give the corporation some complication! -- Michael Franti and Spearhead, "Rock the Nation", Stay Human

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...the blessing of potentially perpetual life and limited liability... so beneficial [sic--R.G.] in the economic sphere, poses special dangers in the political sphere. Chief Justice Rehnquist, dissenting opinion FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF BOSTON V. BELOTTI 435 US 765 (1978)

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One of our great concerns is that, by and large, PBS has failed to provide local programming that reflects the diversity of the community. The question becomes, 'Which corporation is going to be interested in a program like this?' rather than 'What does the public really need to be educated about?' -- Jerold "Jerry" Starr, Citizens for Idependent Public Broadcasting (Executive Director), cipbonline.org

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Journalism is in drastic decline. It's become a lousy profession. The commercial media are greed-driven enterprises dominated by a dozen transnational companies. Newsroom staffs have been downsized. Much of what you see on national and local TV news is actually video news releases prepared by public-relations firms and given free to TV stations and networks. News directors air these PR puff pieces disguised as news stories because it's a free way to fill air time and allows them to lay off reporters. Of course, it's not just television that's the problem. Academics who study public relations report that half or more of what appears in newspapers and magazines is lifted verbatim from press releases generated by public-relations firms. Not only this, they've become dependent on PR firms for the stories they do write. All journalists know, if you want to investigate a corporation, you eventually have to talk with someone there. Unless you belong to the same country club as the top executives, you're going to pick up the phone and get the "vice-president of communications" - i.e., a public-relations flack. You need this person's help. This probably isn't the last story you'll do on this corporation. If you write a hard-hitting piece, no one at that corporation will ever speak to you again. What's that going to do to your ability to write about that industry? What's it going to do to your career? Some PR companies - such as Carma International and Video Monitoring Service - specialize in monitoring news stories and journalists. They can immediately evaluate all print, radio, and television coverage of a subject to determine which stories were favorable to corporate interests, who the reporters were, who their bosses are, and so on. The PR firms then rank reporters as favorable or unfavorable to their clients' interests, and cultivate relationships with cooperative reporters while punishing those whose reporting is critical. Certain PR firms will provide dossiers on reporters so that, between the time a reporter makes an initial phone call and the time a company's vice-president of communications calls back, the company will have found out the name of the reporter's supervisor, all about the reporter's family and background, and other pertinent information. -- John Stauber

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It's an incredible con job when you think about it, to believe something now in exchange for something after death. Even corporations with their reward systems don't try to make it posthumous. -- Gloria Steinem

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The conceit that corporations must be treated identically to natural persons in the political sphere is not only inaccurate but also inadequate to justify the Court’s disposition of this case. ... In the context of election to public office, the distinction between corporate and human speakers is significant. Although... they make enormous contributions to our society, corporations are not actually members of it. They cannot vote or run for office. Because they may be managed and controlled by nonresidents, their interests may conflict in fundamental respects with the interests of eligible voters. The financial resources, legal structure, and instrumental orientation of corporations raise legitimate concerns about their role in the electoral process. Our lawmakers have a compelling constitutional basis, if not also a democratic duty, to take measures designed to guard against the potentially deleterious effects of corporate spending in local and national races. -- Justice Stevens, dissenting opinion, Citizens United v. FEC (2010)

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I am on the board of corporations who contribute both to environmental problems and their solutions. And I am on the NGO side: the Earth Council and other organizations. -- Maurice Strong

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Not to say that corporations are perfect today, but even grand corporations like Dupont have made immense progress in translating some of their past environmentally damaging practices into new profit opportunities. -- Maurice Strong

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This was recognized by the United States Supreme Court, which held, "[The First] Amendment rests on the assumption that the widest possible dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic sources is essential to the welfare of the public, that a free press is a condition of a free society. Surely a command that the government itself shall not impede the free flow of ideas does not afford non-governmental combinations a refuge if they impose restraints upon that constitutionally guaranteed freedom. Freedom to publish means freedom for all and not for some. Freedom to publish is guaranteed by the Constitution, but freedom to combine to keep others from publishing is not. Freedom of the press from governmental interference under the First Amendment does not sanction repression by private interests." Associated Press v. United States, 326 U.S. 1, 20 (1945).

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Even President Bush has cited the need to outlaw the practice of corporations making loans to their officers. Strangely enough, when the President was a corporate officer, he took out several loans from the company. -- Bennie Thompson

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Yet, individuals and corporations in Puerto Rico pay no federal income tax. -- Dick Thornburgh

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Corporations have no soul to save, no body to incarcerate. -- Baron Thurlow, quoted in the movie The Corporation (2006)

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Our constitutional rights were intended for real persons, not artificial creations. The Framers knew about corporations but chose not to mention these contrived entities in the Constitution. For them, the document shielded living beings from arbitrary government and endowed them with the right to speak, assemble, and petition. Today, however, corporations enjoy virtually the same umbrella of constitutional protections as individuals do. They have become in effect artificial persons with infinitely greater power than humans. This constitutional equivalence must end. -- Ralph Nader and Carl J. Mayer New York Times, April 9, 1988

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[I]t is impossible for the world economy to grow its way out of poverty and environmental degradation. In other words, sustainable growth is impossible. In its physical dimensions the economy is an open subsystem of the earth ecosystem, which is finite, nongrowing, and materially closed. As the economic subsystem grows it incorporates an ever greater proportion of the total ecosystem into itself and must reach a limit at 100 percent, if not before. Therefore its growth is not sustainable. The term "sustainable growth" when applied to the economy is a bad oxymoron, self-contradictory as prose, and unevocative as poetry. -- Herman E. Daly and Kenneth N. Townsend, Valuing The Earth: Economics, Ecology, Ethics (1993)

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A corporation is a legal fiction created by the express permission of the people . . . Interpretation of the U.S. Constitution by the Supreme Court justices to include corporations in the term `persons' has long wrought havoc with our democratic processes by endowing corporations with constitutional privileges intended solely to protect the citizens of the United States or natural persons within its borders; This judicial bestowal of civil and political rights upon corporations interferers with the administration of laws within Porter Township and usurps basic human and constitutional rights exercised by the people of Porter Township; . . . Buttressed by these constitutional rights, corporate wealth allows corporations to enjoy constitutional privileges to an extent beyond the reach of most citizens; Democracy means government by the people. Only citizens of Porter Township should be able to participate in the democratic process in Porter Township and enjoy a republican form of government therein; ... -- Porter Township (Pennsylvania) City Ordinance, December 9, 2002

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Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience ... Therefore [individual citizens] have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring. -- Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal, 1950

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Now you have people in Washington who have no interest in the country at all. They're interested in their companies, their corporations grabbing Caspian oil. -- Gore Vidal

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Only corporate America enjoys representation by the Congresses and presidents that it pays for in an arrangement where no one is entirely accountable because those who have bought the government also own the media. -- Gore Vidal, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace

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Our rulers for more than half a century have made sure that we are never to be told the truth about anything that our government has done to other people. -- Gore Vidal, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace

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The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity - much less dissent. Of course, it is possible for any citizen with time to spare, and a canny eye, to work out what is actually going on, but for the many there is not time, and the network news is the only news even though it may not be news at all but only a series of flashing fictions... -- Gore Vidal, The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

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To keep information from the public is the function of the corporate media. -- Gore Vidal, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace

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[W]hen our corporate rulers address us from their cathode pulpit... The level of the chat on those [news discussion] programs is about as low as it is possible to get without actually serving the viewers gin. The opinion expressed ranges from conservative to reactionary to joyous neofascist. -- Gore Vidal, The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

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"A corporation is not a citizen within the meaning of that provision of the Constitution, which declares that the citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens of the several States." -- Paul v. Virginia, 8 Wall (U.S.) 168; 19 L.Ed 357 (1868)

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A corporation is not a citizen within the meaning of that provision of the Constitution, which declares that the citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens of the several States. -- Paul v. Virginia, 8 Wall (U.S.) 168; 19 L.Ed 357 (1868)

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Corporations are citizens for the purposes of taxation but cannot be citizens for any other purpose. -- Paul v. Virginia, 8 Wall (U.S.) 168; 19 L.Ed 357 (1868)

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Large corporations and unions know the power of being big enough to bargain for better rates. -- Greg Walden

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So when I happened across information implicating an arm of the Central Intelligence Agency in the cocaine trade, I had no qualms about jumping onto it with both feet. What did I have to worry about? I was a newspaperman for a big city, take-no-prisoners newspaper. I had the First Amendment, a law firm, and a multi-million dollar corporation watching my back. Besides, this story was a fucking outrage. Right-wing Latin American drug dealers were helping finance a CIA-run covert war in Nicaragua by selling tons of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods in LA, who were turning it into crack and spreading it through black neighborhoods nationwide. And all the available evidence pointed to the sickening conclusion that elements of the US government had known of it and had either tacitly encouraged it or, at a minimum, done absolutely nothing to stop it. And that's when this strange thing happened. The national news media, instead of using its brute strength to force the truth from our government, decided that its time would be better spent investigating me and my reporting. They kicked me around pretty good, I have to admit. -- Gary Webb, Pulitzer Prize Awarded Journalist, http://www.whale.to/m/narco.html

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It has long been recognized, however, that the special status of corporations has placed them in a position to control vast amount of economic power which may, if not regulated, dominate not only the economy but also the very heart of our democracy, the electoral process... The State need not permit its own creation to consume it. -- Justices White, Brennan and Marshall, dissenting in a 1978 case, First National Bank of Boston v. Belotti

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The purpose of commercial [media] is to induce mass sales. For mass sales there must be a mass norm ... By suppressing the individual, the unique, the industry ... assures itself a standard product for mass consumption. -- John Whiting, writer, commenting on the homogenization of corporate media program content

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Is there a link between al Qaeda and Iraq? Look at CNN and MSNBC or any of the corporate media, you can see the women in Iraq going around with their bare faces hanging out. Do you think Osama bin Laden approves of that? Iraq's a very westernised country. They have no connection with al Qaeda at all. They are on opposite poles in the Moslem world. All these attempts to link them to al Qaeda are like trying to link the pope to Jerry Falwell. They are in the same general racket but they disagree with each other on every point of doctrine. There's no real connection between Iraq and al Qaeda. That's just the smoke screen they are putting up. It's the oil. Everything is oil until the oil runs out, and then they'll find something else to fight over. -- Robert Anton Wilson

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In most parts of our country men work, not for themselves, not as partners in the old way in which they used to work, but generally as employees, in a higher or lower grade, of great corporations. There was a time when corporations played a very minor part in our business affairs, but now they play the chief part, and most men are the servants of corporations. -- Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom - A Call for the Emancipation of the Generous Energies of a People

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Internet publishing can be more powerful than print journalism, given its immediacy and lack of corporate or governmental filters. -- Dave Winer

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[Fascism] is a system in which the government guides privately owned businesses towards order, unity, nationalism and success. Let us not mince words. Corporatism is fascism with a human face. -- R.E. Pahl and J. T. Winkler

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"[A corporation is] an artificial being, invisible, intangible and existing only in contemplation of the law. Being a mere creature of law, it possesses only those properties which the charter of its creation confers upon it" -- Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819)

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[A corporation is] an artificial being, invisible, intangible and existing only in contemplation of the law. Being a mere creature of law, it possesses only those properties which the charter of its creation confers upon it -- Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819)

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"[The people of the states have not] released their power over the artificial bodies which originate under the legislation of their representatives... Combinations of classes in society... united by the bond of a corporate spirit... unquestionably desire limitations upon the sovereignty of the people... But the framers of the Constitution were imbued with no desire to call into existence such combinations" -- Dodge v. Woolsey, 59 U.S. 331 (1855)).

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[The people of the states have not] released their power over the artificial bodies which originate under the legislation of their representatives... Combinations of classes in society... united by the bond of a corporate spirit... unquestionably desire limitations upon the sovereignty of the people... But the framers of the Constitution were imbued with no desire to call into existence such combinations. -- Dodge v. Woolsey, 59 U.S. 331 (1855)).

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Not since slavery has an entire American industry derived its profits exclusively from depriving human beings of their freedom - not, at least, until a handful of corporations and Wall Street investors realized they could make millions from what some critics call "dungeons for dollars." Since the 1980s, when privatization became the rage for many government services, companies like CCA and its rival, Wackenhut Corporation, have been luring elected officials with a worry-free solution to prison overcrowding. Claiming they can lock people up cheaper than government can, the companies build cells on speculation, then peddle the beds to whatever local or state government needs a quick fix for its growing criminal population. "It's a heady cocktail for politicians who are trying to show they're tough on crime and fiscally conservative at the same time," says Judith Greene, a senior justice fellow at the Open Society Institute, a foundation chaired by philanthropist George Soros. -- Barry Yeoman, "Steel Town Lockdown", Mother Jones Magazine, May/June 2000

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If envy were the cause of terrorism, Beverly Hills [and] Fifth Avenue ... would have become targets long ago. -- Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek

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The corporations and the media don't need power; they already have it. -- Jose Luis Rodreguez Zapatero

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If those in charge of our society - politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television - can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves. -- Howard Zinn, historian and author

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