Richard Grossman, an extremely articulate, insightful
historian, visionary, and teacher, who as my wife has
observed, was gifted in the art of listening, died in
New York City on 22 November 2011. His journey on earth
had run across 68 years.
Take a moment and consider the NOTES section from a work-in-progress
Richard was engaged in this past fall titled,
Act To Criminalize Chartered, Incorporated Business
As the 19th Century began, constitutions, laws and customs in the
new United States denied the overwhelming majority of humans
standing and equality before the law, along with authority to vote.
As the 19th Century ended, legislative laws, judge-made laws,
propaganda, armed might and persistent violence by the corporate
class had transformed the United States from a minority-ruled Slave
Nation into a minority-ruled Corporate Nation. This despite valiant
mass resistance and magnificent people’s struggles. The emerging
Corporate State – like the previous Slave State – was impressively
In a Corporate State, law, culture, contrived celebration and
tradition illegitimately clothe directors and executive officers of
chartered, incorporated businesses in governing authority. This is
usurpation. A Corporate State nurtures, enables and expedites such
illegitimate governing authority by violence enforced by courts, jails,
police and military force, and by historians. Less-overtly ferocious
institutions – forprofit and nonprofit – routinely reinforce that
In a Corporate State, law, culture and tradition enable corporate
directors and executive officers to deny true self-governing authority
to majorities of sovereign people, despite people assembling over
and over and over again to petition governments in village squares
and marbled halls.
Like kings and tyrants before them, corporate directors and their
operatives wield the law of the land, constitutions, elections,
lawmaking, jurisprudence, education and “legal” violence
to rule the many. They lord over all species, rivers, oceans,
mountains, Earth materials, biological and natural systems.
Elected and appointed officials in villages, towns, counties,
cities and states and the United States administer this Corporate State
on behalf of the nation’s minuscule corporate class. They do not
have our consent.
Neither do they represent the majority of life that is non-human
– flying people, standing people, crawling people, flowing people,
creeping people. They do not represent Earth’s biological or natural
systems. By aiding, abetting and enabling corporate directors and
executives, public officials are complicit in denial of Earth’s living
realities. Like corporate directors and executive officers, these
government officials have been acting beyond their legitimate
authority. They are usurpers.
Corporate directors and executives, in consort with public
officials, have long been denying sovereign people access to justice;
access to commensurate legal, electoral, and judicial remedies. They
have long been denying people’s sovereign authority to govern our
communities, states and nation.
Generation after generation, this tiny minority has trained the
rest of us not to see, not to think, not to act commensurate with
Earth’s – and our – realities. This Act To
Criminalize Chartered, Incorporated Business Entities is offered as
a step toward changing how we see, think, organize.
Toward changing ourselves.
I met Richard Grossman in 1996 when he and
gave a presentation on Revoking
The Corporation in Palo Alto, California on January 26.
The scope and depth of the frame each man expressed was
breath-taking. I had not encountered such far-ranging
understanding before of the history of the corporate form
before, and especially, after the American Revolution.
I spoke with Richard afterwards and collected printouts
they were offering. Reading and learning more about what
Richard and Ward had presented, I was inspired to begin
building this section of rat
haus reality on
After reading the materials from their presentation, I got
a copy of the 1993 work, co-authored with Frank Adams,
Business - Citizenship
and the Charter of Incorporation.” This jewel
was a formative cornerstone in the foundation of
understanding of, among other things, how the definition
of “the common good” was altered by the courts
“to mean corporate use of humans and the earth for
maximum production and profit.” Describing the parameters of
Hostile Takeover,” the authors explained how
property rights were granted by judges to corporate entities
that far exceeded the rights human beings enjoyed in their
Constitution makes no mention of corporations. Yet the
history of constitutional law is, as former Supreme Court
Justice Felix Frankfurter said, “the history of the impact of
the modern corporation upon the American scene.”
Today's business corporation is an artificial creation,
shielding owners and managers while preserving corporate
privilege and existence. Artificial or not, corporations have
won more rights under law than people have—rights which
government has protected with armed force.
Investment and production decisions that shape our communities
and rule our lives are made in boardrooms, regulatory agencies,
and courtrooms. Judges and legislators have made it possible for
business to keep decisions about money, production, work and
ownership beyond the reach of democracy. They have created a
corporate system under law.
This is not what many early Americans had in mind.
People were determined to keep investment and production
decisions local and democratic. They believed corporations were
neither inevitable nor always appropriate. Our history is filled
with successful worker-owned enterprises, cooperatives and
neighborhood shops, efficient businesses owned by cities and
towns. For a long time, even chartered corporations functioned
well under sovereign citizen control.
But while they were weakening charter laws, corporate leaders
also were manipulating the legal system to take our property
rights. “Corporations confronted the law at every point. They
hired lawyers and created whole law firms,” according to law
professor Lawrence M. Friedman. “They bought and sold
In law, property is not merely a piece of land, a house, a
bicycle. Property is a bundle of rights; property law determines
who uses those rights. As legal scholar Morris Raphael Cohen
said, property is “what each of us shall receive from our work,
and from the natural resources of the earth . . . the ownership of
land and machinery, with the rights of drawing rent, interest,
etc., [which] determine the future distribution of the goods . . .”
Under pressure from industrialists and bankers, a handful of
19th century judges gave corporations more rights in property
than human beings enjoyed in their persons. Reverend Reverdy
Ransom, himself once a slave treated as property, was among the
many to object, declaring “that the rights of men are more
sacred than the rights of property.”
Undeterred by such common sense, judges redefined corporate
profits as property. Corporations got courts to assume that
huge, wealthy corporations competed on equal terms with
neighborhood businesses or with individuals. The courts declared
corporate contracts, and the rate of return on investment, were
property that could not be meddled with by citizens or by their
Within a few decades, judges redefined the common good to mean
corporate use of humans and the earth for maximum production and
profit. Workers, cities and towns, states and nature were left
with fewer and fewer rights corporations were bound to respect.
Wielding property rights through laws backed by government
became an effective, reliable strategy to build and to sustain
Richard generously responded to queries I sent him with
other writings and references. His knowledge and study of
history was and remains extremely compelling. I am repeatedly
struck by his masterful articulation of the root causes
of things as well as his encyclopedic understanding of
the trends and formations of historical processes,
particularly how jurisprudence came to be redefined
by legally trained humans serving corporate interests.
In 2004 my wife and I attended a three day symposium of the
Pennock Democracy School presented by Richard and Thomas
Linzey Esq., the Founder and Executive Director of the
Community Environmental Legal
Defense Fund (CELDF). A great deal of U.S. history was
explored and discussed. We looked across the centuries at
the evolution and rise of the corporate form in America.
Richard traced out some of the elements of how the rights
of property were given a superior status over the rights
of people beginning with slavery being written into the
Constitution and sanctioned in law.
The property class wrote their class bias into the
Constitution in many ways. It's logical. That's what you
do. Whenever property rights (up to this day, as expanded
and expanded by the courts) then clash with human rights
in our Constitutional framework it's no contest. We can
trace down the history of labor rights, of worker rights,
of slaves and indentured servants, and then even the
history of the
Amendments coming up against property and the mechanisms
of decision-making put into the
so that to this day, the bias in the Constitution around
property and whatever the courts define as property, when
that clashes with the fundamental human rights as expressed in the
of Independence and the United Nations international
Human Rights, whenever there's a conflict, our law
and our institutions and our culture, in all of the
tangible and intangible forces of the culture, say
property rights prevail. . . .
Slavery was written in to the
The return of bonded workers, whether they were white servants or
black slaves was written into the Constitution. It was
legal. The force of law would enforce slavery. From the
very beginning the tradition was that property rights
trump human rights. . . .
[However,] early on, the corporation as a governing
instrument of the ruling men of property was not that
important because they had written the
They governed through the Constitution. Eighty percent of the
people, of the human beings who were in the thirteen states,
had no rights. Twenty percent were able to write a
Constitution that denied the rights of eighty percent. So
the rule of law, the coercive force of law was done through
the state and they did not need the corporation as a major,
powerful vehicle which they did after the Civil War. 
That's one point.
The second point is think what was happening over the
previous 300 years. There were feudal societies in western
Europe and monarchy societies where the few governed the
many. We don't have to know an awful lot about the history
to know that the few ruled the many. And there was a lot
of struggle, a lot of revolts in England, particularly in
the 1600 and 1700s over the incredibly violent and vicious
rule of the nobility. People were excluded from their own
land. The common lands were being closed down. People
couldn't make a living. There was the coming of factories
and people having no choice but losing their independence
as artisans and going into the factories.
So there was an extraordinary culture where the majority
of people were under the gun all the time in the most
physical and violent, clear and apparent way. Everything
didn't have to be intermediated through the New York
Times and talk shows. People understood what was
going on. And that was replicated in the thirteen states.
The same ruling class people came over and their
descendants ended up in Philadelphia writing the
Twenty percent of the people here were African-Americans,
mostly slaves, brought by force. One-third to one-half of
all the whites, except for the people who came with the
Puritans, were indentured servants. A majority of the
people basically were slaves whether white or black slaves,
they were treated as slaves. They could not control their
work. They could not quit. They could not travel. They
had no rights. Plus women, plus native people, plus white
men without property.
There was a culture here where people could understand what
was going on. The language reflected that. It hadn't been
sundered by 200 years of propaganda and nonsense. As it
was stated in The Alarm
people understood the various forces that were going against them.
It's not because they were so advanced. It was because (in my
opinion) it was the culture that reinforced that. That
people still talked, working class people wrote pamphletts
Paine's pamphlett was the largest selling
pamphlett in the history of the world at that point, even
though there were a lot more illiterate people than there
are today. So people talked, people conversed about this
The majority got the shaft from the beginning. As we go
along I would like to trace the thread of the corporation
as it gained its rights. They didn't need the corporation
to have all these rights because they had the law and
most people didn't have rights. What we're going to trace
is, increasingly, as they needed the corporation -- because
more and more people started to struggle and gain their
rights and forced their way into the law and begin to
change the dynamics -- men of property decided (and we
can trace this out after the Civil War) that they're going
to make the corporation their principle governing
instrument, along with the state. The corporation is
going to be the means to control the state.
The corporation then is going to become the source of all
jobs, the source of all goodness, the source of all
progress, and the institution that's replicated throughout
our society. So when we form our environmental groups we
set them up just like a corporation, the same model, the
same laws, the same rules. They increasingly encompassed
us in their structure, in their ways of thinking, in their
set of relationships.
As we as a country get further and further away from the
revolutionary struggles, from that consciousness, from
the great struggles of the Abolitionist Movement, the
Anti-Segregation and Civil Rights Movement, the Labor
Movement (when it was really a movement -- when the
Labor Movement ceased to be a movement that was
challenging the property class for setting the values to
run this country, and became complicit as it did in the
late 1940s), then there is no big institution and
movement of people that is standing up and saying, We
are putting forth a different way of looking at the
world, of looking at ourselves, of looking at what kind
of country this should be, at what values should be
translated into law so that the law enforces our values.
Instead of that we're always on the
Another extraordinarily inspired document is the
Amici Curiae Brief to Eliminate Corporate Rights.
Published in 2003, Richard co-wrote this with Thomas Linzey and
Daniel E. Brannen, Jr., Esq. As stated in its Preface:
This Brief is intended to assist communities organizing to
challenge the United States government's gift of
constitutional powers to property organized as corporations.
Accordingly, this Brief is NOT about corporate responsibility,
corporate accountability, corporate ethics, corporate codes of
conduct, good corporate “citizenship,” corporate crime,
corporate reform, consumer protection, fixing regulatory
agencies, or stakeholders.
The Summary of Argument sets the frame through which we can
view the terms of the contest we as a sovereign people are
engaged in with subordinate public entities seeking to
usurp evermore of our sovereign, inalienable rights.
people of these United States created local, state, and federal
governments to protect, secure, and preserve the people's
inalienable rights, including their rights to life, liberty, and
the pursuit of happiness. It is axiomatic that the people of
these United States -- the source of all governing authority in
this nation -- created governments also to secure the people's
inalienable right that the many should govern, not the few. That
guarantee -- of a republican form of government -- provides the
foundation for securing people's other inalienable rights and
vindicates the actions of people and communities seeking to
secure those rights.
are created by State governments through the
chartering process. As such, corporations are subordinate,
public entities that cannot usurp the authority that the
sovereign people have delegated to the three branches of
government. Corporations thus lack the authority to deny
people's inalienable rights, including their right to a
republican form of government, and public officials lack the
authority to empower corporations to deny those rights.
the past 150 years, the Judiciary has "found" corporations
within the people's documents that establish a frame of
governance for this nation, including the
States Constitution. In doing so, Courts have illegitimately bestowed
upon corporations immense constitutional powers of the
Fifth Amendments, and the
expansive powers afforded by the
those constitutional rights and freedoms, corporations
regularly and illegitimately deny the people their inalienable
rights, including their most fundamental right to a republican
form of government. Such denials are beyond the authority of the
corporation to exercise.
denials are also beyond the authority of the Courts, or any
other branches of government, to confer.
the constitutional claims asserted by the [x
corporation] against [y government] must be dismissed because
those claims deny the people's rights to life and liberty, and
their fundamental right to self-governance.
Richard L. Grossman lived to honor and serve Life's needs.
The world is a more creative and life-affirming place for
his having lived in it. Consider the work-in-progress he was
engaged in this past fall:
Act To Criminalize Chartered, Incorporated Business
last interview conducted by Russell Mokhiber, on October 10,
Concerning the above law proposal,
There is no such thing as a silver bullet or a
magic fix. This draft law is a step to move to reality.
But it is also a step to open up different
conversations beyond “greed and corruption.” . . .
Why should sovereign people
aspiring to be self-governing bestow upon mere
creations of law eternal existence?
Why give them supreme authority – governing
powers – over their creators?
Why subsidize investors with the gift of limited
liability and other privileges galore?
If people want limited liability, let them buy
If people want to manufacture and offer
services, and they worry about being sued, let
them take extra caution not to cause devastations
Is it so hard to conceive of businesses as
businesses, and not as private dictatorships?
Not as deniers of human-ness? Not as pillagers of
We can also eliminate the permitting system so
that business people wouldn’t get permits legalizing
poisons and destructions – which is the purpose of
today's regulatory and administrative laws.
We could make sure that businesses could not
interfere in elections, lawmaking, debate over
values and public policy – in the writing of tax laws
and health laws and labor laws and laws conforming
our society's existence with fundamental Earth laws.
Richard goes into great detail about the stages he went
through of learning the facts of how our world works.
What's to be learned from
the past half-century of organizing and resistance
and electioneering and law-writing?
Here's how I see it. Like activists and radicals
of previous generations – we have been crushed. If
we admit to this, if we internalize that crushing as
reality – I believe people will find this incredibly
liberating. That's the case with me.
Because it enables me to abandon gobs of USA
mythology, the holiday celebration stuff, the liberal
versions of steady progress under a liberty-friendly,
governance structure where, it is claimed, here the
Generations and generations of bloody struggles
to end human slavery, to get the vote, to be seen by
the law, to be equal before the law, and on and on –
are regarded as glorious victories provided by the
exceptional liberty-loving American constitution
writers and law-makers and law-interpreters and
We were born into a structure that provides no
remedy to minority rule. We were lied to in grade
school and high school. Our energies and resources
and hopes have been channeled into making
symptoms of minority rule a little less devastating
while leaving every generation's minority rule
structures and institutions and accumulations
Once we grasp that nettle, we then can focus on
revealing and changing.
Since 1996 I have worked up copy of many of Richard's articles
as well letters he sent me copies of provoking questions to the
recipients. Included below are some points Richard
emphasized in various forms, followed by
listing of his writings on this site. An alphabetic
Three hundred years ago, the corporation was understood to
be a convenience devised by monarchs. merchants, explorers
and men of wealth. It was a legal device to gather up
resources and hold property, to exploit and dominate
people. After the American Revolution, it was generally
understood that the people were—and desired to
remain—sovereign over corporations. Accordingly, Americans
limited corporate existence to a set number of years and
spelled out rules each corporation had to follow.
who look beyond the corporate press can find tons of
informed opposition to the corporate global production and
trade agreements of the 1990s. Similarly, if we look, we can
find many perceptive critics of the US constitution in
1787-88. Loosely labeled "Anti-Federalists," they contested
the peddling of the constitution by Washington, Hamilton,
Madison, Jay and other Federalists fresh from the
Philadelphia convention at Independence Hall. . . . The fact
is, more people than most of us ever heard about in school
discussed, critiqued, debated -- and opposed -- the many
undemocratic features of the US constitution. . . .
are brief selections from Anti-Federalist thought:
constitution, writes Herbert Storing, editor of a 7 volume edition
of Anti-Federalist thought, "did not settle everything. It did not
finish the task of making the American polity." This is not what
most lawyers, judges, politicians, educators and editors say, but is
what millions and millions of people mobilizing against corporate
assaults need to believe. We will never "finish the task," but
the job of every generation is to pick up the struggle. And a clear leg
up over 1787 is that the classes of people which the constitution, the
Supreme Court and the culture had defined as property or non-existent
are now legal persons -- thanks to generations of their own vigorous
- Who had written the constitution, and who were working so
hard to rush the states to ratification?
- What were Federalist organizing and public relations
- Behind their "We the people . . ." generalities,
what were the real intentions of the Federalists?
- What kind of nation would result?
- What did the Anti-Federalists offer as alternative ways of
corporations wield the Constitution -- triggering the armed
might of the nation against people seeking to function as
self-governing -- they strip humans of our ability to govern
ourselves. When public officials enable corporations, these
public officials deny people's right to "self-governance." They
are usurpers. . . .
is because people's human right to self-governance has been
denied for so long by judges, legislators, executives and
corporate managers wielding the Constitution against the
people . . . by the armed forces, police, jails -- that the USA
became a global and legally
racist empire . . . that the USA's propertied and then
corporate class were able to create a society deriving wealth
and power from poisoning, destroying and exploiting people and
the Earth at home and abroad. . . .
after time, men of property and corporations dedicated to
building a global empire turned to the august justices of the
Supreme Court. They, too, invoked the Constitution. The justices
could have ruled to define these men of property and their
corporations as subservient to the body politic. But the
justices chose otherwise.
few times in over 200 years that federal judges sided with
the rabble, wasn't it because people had been mobilizing vast
movements for years and years and years . . . educating
themselves and one another, confronting and challenging
illegitimate power? Because people had been organizing despite
being beaten and jailed and killed by police in service to the
propertied? . . . .
Constitution was written by propertied men representing a
minority of other propertied men fearful of the decentralized
power and authority unleashed by the Revolution and written into
of Confederation. So they wrote a plan of
governance which made it easy for future generations of the
propertied to keep future masses in line
using "the rule of law" -- that is,
by "legally" employing state violence and other means to
shape people's values, thoughts and actions. Over time,
they got proficient at camouflaging their rule behind corporate
fairy tales and democratic myths. This work has of course been
aided by their control over the
training of lawyers.
purveyors of M-O-R-E want us to believe that human wants and
needs are self-evidently fulfilled by these goals and
strategies. People are not encouraged to inquire into the
nature of processes of M-O-R-E, to figure out what has brought
the good, to question popular theories of cause and effect, to
penetrate the rhetoric and illusions of growth.
growth is IT. Growth has brought us our fantastic wealth. It
will do the same again and again for us, and for anyone. It will
eradicate undesirable isms, free the oppressed, restore the
environment. It will stimulate the arts, save our cities,
decrease human reproduction, save our farms.
purpose of this essay is not to rail against growth, not to
offer an alternative to growth, not to suggest growth reform.
Rather, I urge the expunging of the language of growth and the
system of growth from the hearts and minds of those seeking
democracy, fairer sharing of the world's wealth, and the
integration of ecological principles into our lives and works. . . .
Schumacher, urging us to use our ingenuity with regard to
our productive capacity, challenged the principal proposition of
the metaphor of growth. Do you remember the opening lines of
Small Is Beautiful (1975)? "One of the most fateful
errors of our age is the belief that the `problem of production'
has been solved."
did not suppress his incredulities. "I am not
part of the growth debate. To talk against growth or to talk in
favor of growth is emptiness." Instead, he chose to talk of
people. Of community. Of appropriateness. Of ownership. Of
empowerment. Of choosing. Of peace. He spoke the language of
quality and accountability. The language of people.
corporate leaders received a head start from the men of
property who wrote the Constitution.
the overwhelmingly white male voters of the thirteen states
ratified the Constitution, the "rule of law" they adopted
defined the majority of human beings in those states as
property, or as invisible. Contrary to the democratic ideals
unleashed by the American Revolution, the law in this
newly-formed republic denied rights to women, African American
slaves, indentured servants, Native peoples, and white males
these human beings were written out of
"We the people."
represented their needs and aspirations? Not the men meeting
behind closed doors in Philadelphia's Constitution Hall that hot
summer of 1787. These men not only denied rights to the majority but
also built barriers to democratic processes into their Constitution:
indirect election of the president through the electoral college,
indirect election of US senators by state legislators,
contracts clause, an appointed
Supreme Court as an eternal closed-door constitutional
convention, to name a few. . . .
do corporations get away with it? Because with few
exceptions, civic activists have not looked closely at this
history. They have not contested the nation's corporate class
over its grab of governing
So let's look more closely at how the nation got into this mess.
cannot do justice here to the false assumptions, half-truths,
distortions and manipulations upon which
speech is constructed. Adrienne Rich has written that we
cannot understand ourselves unless we understand the assumptions
in which we are all "drenched." Can it be any different for a
devotes only a few lines to
Constitution and the
Founding Fathers -- saying nothing about what these Fathers
designed the nation's plan of governance to be, to do. He does
declare that "for all the rhetoric about `life, liberty and the
pursuit of happiness,' it took a civil war to free the slaves
and another hundred years to invest their freedom with meaning.
Women only gained the right to vote in my mother's time. New
ages don't arrive overnight, or without `blood, sweat and
tears.' You know this."
true. But Moyers does not explain why it has been
extraordinarily difficult for the majority to bring about
changes in fundamental rights; why it has been
difficult for the majority to govern.
is because people organizing for rights, seeking to define
the nation's money, work and commerce, seeking to build
institutions and mechanisms of governance, and trying to have a
real say in deciding war and peace, always ran smack into
the minority controlling the law of the
land . . . into a minority directing the armed might of the
is the governing system the
Founders' Constitution put in place. . . .
history tells us that the "norm" for sane and logical
societal change -- for shifting the force of government and law
from the oppressors to the oppressed -- is generations and
generations of struggle. Don't worry about the structure of
governance -- keep doing what you've been doing. No need to
rethink history or law -- do more of the same . . . just try
by lumping Populism with Progressivism, by extolling the
Progressive Era's legacy of regulatory and administrative law,
he joins countless 20th century leaders and historians in
denying the Populist Movement. What they all work so hard to
deny, alas, is the largest democratic mass movement in US
history, a massing devoted to building upon the
ideals of the American Revolution and the
Independence. . . .
All to say: Populism was the last people's movement which told
the truth about past and present -- told the truth about the
present in order to unlock the past; unlocked the past in order
to see the truth about the present. Populism was not about
ending "corruption" or "excess." It was about ending private
governance which had been the rule -- private governance first
by a slave owning class, and then by a corporate class. It was
about stopping public officials from using law and armed
force to enable the few to deny the many. So the reason a
"resurgent conservatism" in the late 1970s galloped so quickly
and successfully was that the New Deal, and then the Fair
Deal -- along with post WWII liberal theology and civic
organizing -- did not contest the corporate class'
authority to use the law of the land to govern.
The two Deals did not set out to strip men of property and their
corporations of the illegitimate privileges and constitutional
powers they had seized from the Revolution on. They did not
talk about such matters. Those who dared to raise such
issues were disappeared during the great corporate+government
The New Deal and Fair Deal and New Frontier and the Great
Society changed many people's lives for the better. But they
left the history, language and constitutional doctrines of
minority rule -- and the institutions of minority rule --
intact. They did not provide succeeding generations with tools
to see or to confront the greatest concentration of wealth and
power of all time.
Year after year, corporate operatives drove their wealth and
power into the Constitution, into state corporation laws, into
building corporate and government institutions of propaganda,
persuasion and coercion. Year after year, they enriched a
corporate class under color of law. Year after year, liberals
and progressives poured their energies into resisting assaults
one at a time over and over again . . . splintering into single
issue groups easily channeled into one-struggle-at-a time, few
of which were about "rights," and most of which promoted false
histories, polluted language and glorified seriously-compromised
quarter century after a great
anti-nuke-safe energy movement
stopped 850 nuclear plants, why is the nation no closer to a
solar transition? For how many decades have large numbers of
dedicated, well-organized people been trying to "protect"
To set in motion sane transitions in every industry, from
health care to food, to media to transportation to forestry to
mining to banking? Why have activist "victories" provided few
tools to challenge the illegitimate power and authority which
corporate managers wield against people, communities and the
natural world? Why was it
easy for the Bush government to invade Iraq
in the face of massive, well-organized and visible
opposition in the US?
history says to activists: you've got the correct
understanding of the past, embrace it, the USA is a democracy,
you've been doing all the right things; keep marshaling
information and organizing and trying to enforce the laws
progressives and liberals have already passed. And just accept
that for every single issue you are working on, the best you can
do is make the problem a little less bad . . . and it will take you
50 years to accomplish some compromise you can then celebrate as
is no alternative.
does not help people today understand that "Once defeated,
[Populists] lost what cultural autonomy they had amassed and
surrendered their progeny to the training camps of the conquering
folks harbor dreams and visions of a nation characterized
by democratic self-governance, no special privilege, and public
officials dedicated to nurturing democratic institutions and
democratic processes. But We the People can't get there from
Moyers' tall tales.
growing numbers (not limited to old lefties and graying
hippies) are realizing that Progressive-New Deal-liberal
explanations do not help people understand what's going on today
in this country. As cosmologist
has written: "The deepest crises experienced by any society are
those moments of change when the story becomes inadequate for
meeting the survival demands of the present
Richard Grossman's writings on rat haus reality,
The Song And Dance Of The 1990 Clean Air `Act', Winter 1991
DEFIANCE!, An Open Letter, April 1991
- Citizenship and the Charter of Incorporation, 1993
Review of Taking Care of Business: Citizenship and the Charter of Incorporation, Earth Island Journal, Spring 1993
Taking Care of Business, The Corporate Crunch in Vermont, Multinational Monitor, July/August 1993
Justice For Sale: Shortchanging the Public Interest for Private Gain, Fall 1993
Ending Corporate Governance, San Diego Review, 10/1/94
The Struggle for Democratic Control of Corporations: Taking the Offensive, from the Program on Corporations, Law, & Democracy
Asserting Democratic Control Over Corporations: A Call To Lawyers, 1995
Playing By Whose Rules? A Challenge to Environmental, Civil Rights and Other Activists, 1995
Defining THE PEOPLE, letter to the Progressive's Editor, 5/95
Minorities, the Poor & Ending Corporate Rule, 9/95
January '96 letter re: 1996 Public Interest Environmental Law Conference
Transcript: "Revoking The Corporation", a discussion w/R. Grossman & W. Morehouse, 1/29/96
Letter to Ralph Nader from Program On Corporations, Law & Democracy, 2/96
International Dairy Foods Association ET AL V. Attorney General of Vermont, on rBST labelling, 8/96
Corporations, Lawyers, Democracy, Justice & The Law, 9 Seminars, 1996 Public Interest Environmental Law Conference
A Quick Look at What Happened in New Mexico, 1997
Corporate Crime Reporter 11/97 interview with POCLAD's Richard Grossman
The Saturation of the South, Summer 1988
Letter to Akhil Reed Amar on Amar's book, The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction, 12/30/98
Uprooting "Growth" as Metaphor: 20th Century Reflections for the 21st, 1999
Anti-Federalists Speak: Property vs. Democracy in 1787, Fall 1999
The WTO, The US Constitution, and Self-Government, Fall 1999
Rumors of USA Democracy Discovered to be Counterfeit, Fall 2000
Revolutionizing Corporate Law, 2001
The Strategy for Electricity is Democracy, 1/30/01
How Long Shall We Grovel?, A Memo for the Record, 4/4/01
On the USA Patriot Act and the Rule of Law, 12/11/01
When Corporations Wield the Constitution, November 2002
Letter to Joan Mulhern - Earthjustice, 4/22/02
Letter to Ralph Nader, 9/10/02
Letter to Sarah Ruth van Gelder, 11/25/02
Letter to The Nation on "Liberalizing The Law" by Alexander Wohl, 6/11/03
Who Were the Populists? - Richard Grossman on Bill Moyers Speech, 6/24/03
Model Amici Curiae Brief to Eliminate Corporate Rights, 9/23/03
on "Antigloblism's Jewish Problem" by Mark Strauss, 12/23/03
Letter to Morris Dickstein on Upton Sinclair & Beef Corps, 1/2/04
American Tragedy: The Codification & Institutionalization of Violence, 1/8/04
Shifting into a Different Gear: Empowering Communities, Protecting the Environment, and Building Democracy by Asserting Local Control Over Factory Farm and Sludge Corporations in Pennsylvania, with Thomas Linzey, Esq., 2/15/04
Confronting the Corporate Constitution in Pennsylvania, 6/04
Richard Grossman Letter To An Environmental Filmmaker, 8/6/04
Richard Grossman Letter To Nancy Jack Todd, 9/18/04
Uncolonizing Our Minds - On the Supreme Court, 4/16/10
Law to Criminalize Fracking, Aug 2011 DRAFT conceived by Sovereign People Action Network (SPAN) of Ulster and Green Counties
Richard Grossman on Usurpation and the Corporation as Crime, 10/06/11
Grossman Says Citizens United, Personhood Fetish, Greed and Corruption Are Diversions, 10/17/11
Corporate Crime Reporter interview with Richard Grossman, 10/17/11
An Act To Criminalize Chartered, Incorporated Business Entities - a work in progress, October 2011