BY RALPH NADER
The organizers of the spreading Occupy initiative are taking their awareness and moral indignation right to corporate territory – Wall Street, the corporate lobbies in Washington, DC and their likes around the nation. The denizens of corporate territory have taken notice, with varying degrees of alarm, hoping that wintry weather will thin out the encampments.
But the corporate plunderers have not changed their behavior, continuing to dominate, outsource labor, deceive, pump the war machine, pollute, demand taxpayer bailouts, and guarantee and provide open checkbooks for the election campaigns of their indentured politicians.
When the long-simmering public sentiment finally cries out for justice, honesty and fair play, when it begins to produce a rumble for an awakening citizenry, the climate for the next stage of action to overcome corporatism will be upon us.
Getting Steamed to Overcome Corporatism is the title of my new book [Common Courage Press]. It was prepared before Occupy Wall Street actions, but it’s fortuitously well timed for turning knowledgeable people with fire in their bellies into an effective sustained movement to counter the corporate supremacists and subordinate them to the sovereignty of the people.
Once you read through the fast-paced pages summarizing about 200 mostly ongoing corporate outrages adversely affecting the “99%” and remind yourself how these mega-corporate dominators are strip-mining our economic well-being, our political freedoms, our environmental, marketplace and workplace health and safety, and our nation’s peaceful status in the world, you will be ready for collaborative action.
Corporate predators see waste as greater sales, corruption as power, tax escapes and consumer penalties as profit centers, unilateral control as their birthright. Our political economy is out of control.
Polling shows that the American people are increasingly opposed to the privileges and immunities of giant corporations. They are aware that corporations have no allegiance to this country as they roam the world in search of serf labor and partnering oligarchs and dictators.
By 3-to-1 margins, polls show that people believe these corporate behemoths have too much control over their lives, too much power over government, too much corporate welfare and are too willing to abandon America and take its jobs and industries overseas.
If you believe that these multinational corporations, as artificial entities, should be our servants, not our masters, if you believe that they should not be able to take over the government so as to turn it against its own people imposing avaricious commercial values over civic values, then you may be ready for action.
There are nine major movements of corporate reform described in the book which involves dismantling overly concentrated corporate control as well as shifting power to people in their roles of consumer, worker, taxpayer and voters. The engine comes from one million coordinated citizens who pledge to raise or contribute $100 a year and at least 100 volunteer hours a year to achieve fundamental corporate reforms and initiate self-initiatory powers for the people to serve and protect themselves in their transformed political economy.
People are more likely to pledge such resources if they are convinced that other people are doing so at the same time. So the Steamed book invites activists to make a commitment at one of four levels of initiation. Your pledge [morally, not legally binding] will only be due when you are directly informed to your satisfaction that:
— 999 other Americans have signed the same pledge [the pioneers]
— 9,999 other Americans have signed the same pledge [the founders]
— 99,999 other Americans have signed the same pledge [the drivers]
— 999,999 other Americans have signed the same pledge [the critical massers]
You can order your copy of Getting Steamed to Overcome Corporatism by sending a check for $14.95 payable to CSRL.
PO Box 19367
Washington, DC 20036
To pledge and/or purchase Getting Steamed to Overcome Corporatism online visit: www.csrl.org/steamed
– Ralph Nader’s columns appear regularly in The Oklahoma Observer