Saturday, December 25, 2010
Can we stop corporate fascism?
Education, Organization and a Culture of Resistance Will Build an Independent Movement for Real Change
by Kevin Zeese
The power of concentrated corporate capital was on display in Washington last week, as it has been all year. The incoming Chair of the Congressional committee responsible for banking regulation, Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) says “my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks.” And, President Obama sat down with the CEOs of 20 large corporations to talk about how he could help Big Business increase their already record profits. And, in the Supreme Court, 13 of 16 business cases were ruled in favor of business interests.
These actions echo a year where Sen. Durbin complained the banks “own” the Congress and where President Obama worked with the health insurance industry to keep them in control of health care while claiming it was “reform,” and where the Supreme Court in Citizens United vastly increased corporate power in elections by allowing unlimited spending.
Corporate capital dominates the government and prevents the changes urgently needed in so many crisis issues for the nation and the world.
In the last year, through Prosperity Agenda I worked on many of these critical issues including the impact of corporate power on elections, providing health care to all Americans, restructuring finance regulation to prevent another economic collapse and reigning in spending on weapons and war. In all of these areas we had some impact, but in 2011 and beyond, much more will be needed.
Shifting power from concentrated corporate interests to the people is no easy task. It has taken years of work by those interests to gain the power that they have. It will take years of work to weaken the corporate stranglehold. The growing crises remind us of the urgency of our work and the need for a commitment to sustain and increase our efforts.
In preparing this article I looked back at a memo written by Lewis Powell two months before he was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Nixon. The memo was written in 1971 at a time when the business community felt it was rapidly losing power and that the capitalist system was under severe attack. Powell, a lawyer for the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, described as “the fundamental premise” of his paper that “business and the enterprise system are in deep trouble, and the hour is late.” They saw attacks coming in the colleges, in the media, on the streets, in bookstores and from politicians. Everywhere they looked they were under attack and on the verge of total defeat – the end of free markets and crony capitalism.