How to Overthrow Corporations in 5 Not-so-easy Steps
Compiled by Walter Sorochan

Posted January 01, 2010

Resources and information on fighting corporate power, democratizing our government and freeing people's time.

Many people are spending a lot of their time volunteering to stop specific environmental threats, to address a specific labor issue, or to stop various other corporate abuses to our communities. The number of problems seems endless. Isn't there a faster way to save the world?

This page is devoted to those who are interested in getting to the root of society's problems. How nice would it be if our government wasn't answering to their corporate masters, but to community concerns? How much easier would our efforts be if people weren't so overworked and had more time to volunteer? Wouldn't it be great to have the media reporting critically on serious community issues rather than pandering to the the interests of their wealthy owners and advertizers?

These are the reforms that make other reforms possible. If fighting for institutional change is too difficult for you, jump down to the section on personal things you can do to consume less.

1. Take away their money:

    Stop privatization Re-socialize systems Privatized systems mean that corporations get to profit from providing important social services which could be provided by (hopefully democratically-controlled) public bodies. Get involved in efforts to stop privitization of schools, municipal water/sewer systems, trash collection or other social services. Better yet, get involved in efforts to put services like health care or electric power under public control. White Paper on Privatization
    Boycott / protest big corporations
    Withdraw your support from large corporations by consuming less and supporting local, small businesses when possible.

    Fight corporate "wealthfare"
    Get corporations off the public dole and work to stop subsidy abuse by opposing things like public funding for private stadiums, excessive and unneeded highway projects and other tax breaks, subsidies and bailouts which are not in the public interest. Welfare is for people, not corporations!

2. Electoral/democracy:

Instant Runoff Voting

Don't let the government make you pick the "lesser of two evils" when you vote. With instant runoff voting, you can vote your conscience without fear by picking your 1st, 2nd and 3rd choices (and so on). Start by putting this electoral process into practice on the local level - in your town, county or state. Instant Run-Off

Public financing of elections

Get corporate money out of our elections! Researching Your Politicians (info on who is funding your politicians plus resources on corporate control of elections)

Ballot access / 3rd parties
Support efforts to help 3rd parties get on the ballot and challenge the two corporate parties!

Initiative and Referendum

Put more decisions directly in the hands of the voters. If your state doesn't allow initiative and referendum, join others to pass a law to allow for it. If you already have it in your state, get involved with ballot initiatives and use it to press for further democracy measures.

Democratize media

The majority of all media in the U.S. is now owned by only six mega-corporations. Join movements to democratize media. Democracy is impossible without being able to hear voices of dissent.

Democratize your university

Colleges and universities are increasingly being controlled by corporate interests for their own gain. Work with others to pry education out of the corporate grip. 180: The Movement for Democracy and Education.

3. Structural attacks:

Local ordinances which attack corporate rights

Work on the local or state level to exert the rights of people over corporations. Challenging Corporate Authority

Getting corporations out of our grade schools

Throughout the U.S., local school boards are the easiest public office to run for and win. Take over your local school board if necessary and work to get corporate influence out of public schools.

Fighting global corporatization

Think globally, act locally! Build community awareness of "free trade" agreements and hold your congressperson and senators accountable for their votes. Pass "WTO-free zone" resolutions and other local expressions of opposition to trade agreements which would trump the rights of local and state governments to protect citizens from corporate abuses. If you can, act globally as well by gathering people to go with you to rallies and protests against major global corporatization conferences.

4. Human/worker rights:

    30 hour work week

    30 hours work for 40 hours pay! Thanks to union organizing in years past, we now have the weekend, 8 hour work-days and 40 hour work weeks. In 1933, the 30 hour work week nearly became law when both the U.S. Senate and House passed it only to have it vetoed by President Roosevelt (who later regretted doing so). Sharing the work reduces unemployment and gives working people more personal time, which can free people up for move civic engagement.

    Universal health care

    Make the 30 hour work week possible by making health care a right (covering all people through one "single-payer" governmental system), not a privilege (where just certain working people are covered through multiple bureaucratic insurance corporations) and removing the incentive for corporations to avoid hiring full time workers.

5. Re-design Corporations:

Take away their personhood; Roll back their rights and definitions; Revoke corporate charters.

Work toward the day when our states attorneys general revoke the charters of offending corporations and when state legislatures change their incorporation codes, rolling back the "rights" of corporations to where they used to be.

References:

Researching Your Politicians:Campaign Contribution and Voting Records: Researching politicians

Fixing Corporations--Part 1: Legacy Of The Founding Parents

Fixing Corporations--Part 2: Corporations For The Seventh Generation

Ending Corporate Governance