By America's most popular progressive radio host
Updated throughout, including analysis of recent critical Supreme Court decisions
Reveals how corporations achieved their current near-imperial status and what we can do to change it
Unequal taxes, unequal accountability for crime, unequal influence, unequal control of the media, unequal access to natural resources -- corporations have gained these privileges and more by exploiting their legal status as persons and by winning special protections that enable them to avoid the responsibilities that come with these rights. How did something so illogical and unjust become the law of the land? Is there a way for American citizens to recover democracy of, by, and for the people? Thom Hartmann takes on these difficult questions and tells a startling story that will forever change your understanding of American history.
Americans have been struggling with the role of corporations since before the birth of the republic. Hartmann uncovers evidence that the Boston Tea Party was actually a protest against actions of the East India Company - the world's first modern corporation - making it the great-great-granddaddy of today's World Trade Organization protests. But eventually the corporations won. Hartmann tells the astonishing story of how an offhand comment by a Supreme Court justice led to the Fourteenth Amendment -- originally passed to grant basic rights to freed slaves -- becoming the justification for changing the status of corporations from "artificial persons" with limited rights to persons entitled to the same rights granted to human beings.
Unequal Protection details the deeply destructive results. Corporations now enjoy extraordinary priveleges that make them virtually independent kingdoms. This new feudalism is not what our founders intended. Hartmann proposes specific legal remedies that could truly save the world from political, economic, and ecological disaster. It's time for "we, the people" to take back our lives.
With huge corporations now benefiting from massive taxpayer-funded bailouts, Hartmann's hard-hitting critique of corporate personhood is more timely than ever. This new edition has been thoroughly updated and features Hartmann's analysis of two recent critical Supreme Court corporate speech cases.