Our country is no longer controlled by, and for, We the People, but instead by, and on behalf of, international banking and multinational corporate interests. While the gradual, almost imperceptible takeover of our government by this corporate fascism has been evolving by design for many decades, it is a coup d'etat nonetheless and has been disastrous for the vast majority of Americans. This blog is an exploration and discussion of how this occurred, and the damage it has done to our democratic processes.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Wall Street Occupies Our Government

Jefferson's Guardian at Freedom Plaza, October 8th
"If in the opinion of the People, the distribution or modification of the Constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed." .......GEORGE WASHINGTON, farewell address, Sept. 19, 1796
Attending and being a part of the Occupy DC movement the first four days, and also last weekend, it has become obvious to me that a true grassroots movement is taking hold and sprouting. Despite the mainstream media's (ABC) interviewing and airing of some fool's claim that "it's fabricated; it's not an authentic movement" during last weekend's Occupy Wall Street's (OWS) Times Square rally, it's obvious this is the real deal. The whole world is watching, and joining in against the corporatism that has invaded and infiltrated governments globally.
But protesting needs to be backed up with more than statements. Moving beyond why we're occupying, the next step is defining and redefining the demands that normally evolve from mass social movements. OWS recently published a list of user-suggested demands, that was not an official demand list, nor discussed or agreed upon by a collective NYC General Assembly, but reflects many of the concerns that are on the minds of Americans, and people of all western societies, right now. But the primary grievance, that's all-encompassing and in its totality, sums up what's happened to our country over the last few decades: Wall Street occupies our government. 
Matt Taibbi has contributed his own list of demands; items he'd like to see formally proposed and implemented. Right now, he sees the "movement's basic strategy – to build numbers and stay in the fight, rather than tying itself to any particular set of principles", to be in its best interest right now. But he also agrees, before too long, it'll be necessary to document its demands and offer sound solutions to the problems it has already listed.
Jim Hightower, in his October "Lowdown", although not specifically citing OWS, calls for grassroots action beginning with a National Week of Action starting today, October 23rd, to stem the flow of corporate money in politics, and to reel in and abolish corporate personhood. 
Others have proposed various demands, again none agreed upon by OWS, but certainly under a true democratic structure, welcomed and tabled and will be given due consideration. But all the thoughtfulness and careful deliberations will probably not go to the extent as proposed by Richard Grossman, "the father of the 'no to corporate personhood' movement", who has called for an across-the-board criminalization of the entity we call a corporation. Read what Mr. Grossman proposes from the Corporate Crime Reporter.
Richard Grossman on Usurpation and the Corporation as Crime
25 Corporate Crime Reporter 39, October 6, 2011

Richard Grossman says that Occupy Wall Street activists need to go beyond greed and corruption and focus on usurpation.

As in – illegal seizure of power.

As in – the corporation has usurped – illegally seized – power from the people.

He quotes Thomas Hobbes as saying that a corporation is merely a “chip off the old block of sovereignty.”

Grossman, the father of the “no to corporate personhood” movement, says the first step in taking back the power is to criminalize the corporation.

To that end, he has drafted a four page law – “An Act to Criminalize Chartered Incorporated Business Enterprises.”

“As of 12:01 a.m. on July 4, 2012, no incorporated business shall exist or operate within the United States and its territories, or with any State or municipality,” the draft law reads.

“As of 12:01 a.m. on July 4, 2012, all existing business corporation charters granted by the United States, and by all States, shall be null and void.”

“If people want to go into business, fine,” Grossman said. “But this law would strip away 500 years of Constitutional protections and privileges. No more limited liability for shareholders. No more perpetual life. No more Constitutional protections.”

Those local, state or federal officials “who fail to implement and sustain the prohibition – and criminalization – of chartered, incorporated business entities after 12:01 a.m. July 4, 2012, shall promptly be indicted and speedily tried for the crime of villainous usurpation – perfidious, felonious, illegitimate rule exceeding their proper authority – as well as for the crime of dereliction of duty.”

In a footnote to the draft law, Grossman writes that “in a corporate state, law, culture, contrived celebration and tradition illegitimately clothe directors and executive officers of chartered incorporated businesses in governing authority.”

“This is usurpation,” he writes. “A corporate state nurtures, enables and expedites such illegitimate governing authority by violence enforced by courts, jails, police and military force and by historians. Less-overtly ferocious institutions – for profit and non profit – routinely reinforce that reality.”


Anna Van Z said...

The time for action is definitely now. Massive, nationwide, citizen action. As wonderful a concept as Richard's is, it has zero chance of implementation until the revolution picks up far more citizen participation.

I went to the Hightower link and he had noted that:
"When this well-heeled seeker of the GOP presidential nod hopped atop a hay bale at the Iowa state fair in August, dressed in preppie-casual togs, he looked as natural as a goose in a tuxedo. But then, after a somewhat testy exchange with fairgoers who had challenged him to end corporate tax breaks rather than cut benefits for people, Romney punctuated his opposition to that idea by blurting out one of the stranger tenets of right-wing theology: "Corporations are people, my friend," Mitt said, with a little condescending chuckle..."

I wonder if, when those words escaped Romney's mouth he realized, even as it was too late to pull them back, that he had foolishly tipped his hand - or if it only occurred to him later?

Jefferson's Guardian said...

It's now or never, isn't it? If Occupy can hold on through the winter, I expect by spring there will be an avalanche of support from millions of Americans who, up to this time, haven't felt even a modicum of desire to hit the streets. Why? Because we're heading into totally uncharted waters regarding a derivatives crisis. If you've been reading anything about the potential ramifications of a collapse, which I know you have, things will start to unravel very quickly when the "thread" is finally pulled. The question remains: What will precipitate such an event?

As far as Romney's mother-of-all-gaffs, it's my guess the fool didn't have a clue until he was later hustled off stage by his handlers and told he was a moron. I believe if he had realized it right after the words left his mouth, he wouldn't have continued on with his stupidity.

Dave Dubya said...

There's no doubt corporate personhood is the greatest threat to our democracy. Thanks for the POCLAD.org clip. It's a good short presentation of the problem.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Thanks, Dave, and I agree -- that short video is a great primer.

If I've already recommended the following, please forgive me, but I suggest you read POCLAD's Defying Corporations, Defining History. Richard Grossman, Jane Anne Morris, and Ward Morehouse are just three of many authors featured in a compilation of articles and essays concerning the history of corporations in America, and how corporate personhood began and has since prospered.

S.W. Anderson said...

Grossman offers a tantalizing and bold remedy. Unfortunately, he might as well suggest a law prohibiting rainy weekends during summer.

What is doable, with the right constitutional amendment(s), is denying corporations personhood, spefifying that money is not speech, and outlawing corporate donations, direct or through PACs to political campaigns or for political purposes.

If this were to pass, I would want to got to D.C. so I could photograph Tom Donohue, head of the rabid U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as his head makes like Hiroshima on that fateful day in 1945.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Mr. Anderson, it surely is a tantalizing and bold remedy! As far as rainless weekends, I'm sure after this past summer many Texans would agree it's possible!

I totally agree with your thoughts about amendment additions. Those remedies all seem like the long sought after solutions we need right now. Depending upon circumstances, and what happens between now and Mr. Grossman's proposed mandate of next July 4th, it's entirely possible his ideas may not seem too daring and brazen by then.

Thanks for stopping by...

Twilight said...

I support OWS 100%, J'sG. That said, I'm starting to feel uneasy that things seem to be stagnating.
I understand the need and reasons behind their remaining leaderless and without specific demands, but do wonder how anything can ever change taking that approach.

You have been in touch with more Occupiers than I (our visit to Occupy OKC was badly timed, weather-wise, so didn't get a chance to chat to them.) So do you have a feel for which way they are intending to take things?

S.W. Anderson said...

"Wall Street occupies our government."

Bingo! And because of that, we the 99% are left with taxation without representation. Well, too many of us anyway. Sound familiar?

Ellis D., Esq. said...

What is needed now are MORE general strikes and well thought out and well planned boycotts of corporations goods and services. Diminishing the income of these parasites will send a message that are not fooling around anymore. Maybe then change will be possible.