Truthout has an interview with Tom Hartmann about a new documentary he narrated called “Heist: Who stole the American dream in broad daylight?” The link below leads to an interview with Tom Hartmann, but I was struck by this quote by Donald Goldmacher claiming a memo sent in the early 1970’s symbolized the demise of any meaningful control by democratic processes over our own lives.
Lewis Powell was a corporate attorney from Virginia who was asked by his friend at the US Chamber of Commerce to write a secret strategy memorandum for the chamber in 1971. Two months later, Richard Nixon nominated him to the Supreme Court of the United States, where he served a number of years. The memo became a rallying cry among corporate executives for how to reassert corporate dominance over the American economy and its government, which it had lost during the era of the New Deal. The memo openly stated that corporations should punish their political enemies and should seek political power through both the law and politics. It encouraged challenges to what it saw as left-wing activities by people such as Ralph Nader and US academics. By 1978, the US Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable defeated pro-labor law reforms through a filibuster by Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, which signaled the demise of organized labor as a significant opponent of organized money. -Donald Goldmacher
I’m sure it’s not that simple, and there is a whole other conversation about the sanity of “The American Dream,” but perhaps it will be a good place for some to begin the necessary conversation about how to get control of our lives back from corporate control.