UNEQUAL PROTECTION: the Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights by Thom Hartmann (The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight) is different from the thundering herds of “it’s all corporate criminals” or “corporation shouldn’t be person” or “Bush wants a war to divert attention from his failures” books because:
1. The problem is not corporate crime or corporate criminals. It’s that corporations have stolen powers the Founders of this nation fought the Revolutionary War to withhold from them.
2. It’s not that the Supreme Court granted corporations human rights in 1886, like they teach in law school. It didn’t. It explicitly didn’t. Human rights were stolen by corporations through corrupting a man named J.C. Bancroft Davis, the court reporter of the Supreme Court—a crime exposed to the general public for the first time in this book.
3. The whole Iraq/war issue does, of course, keep the nation’s attention off the Bush administrations failures and crimes. And the most recent documents coming out of this administration seem to propose a Pax Americana much like the British Empire in the 1700s and the Roman Empire 2200 years ago. But, this time, something is very, very different. This empire will not be ruled by a king or a sovereign. It won’t even be ruled by a nation (although a nation - the US - will front for it). It will be ruled by a small handful of multinational corporations, who are already, in aggregate, more powerful than any nation on earth.
4. Thom and the book UNEQUAL PROTECTION also suggest specific, grass-roots-driven actions that can derail this theft of human rights and lust for empire now. It’s still possible to turn the tide.
Thom Hartmann’s new book UNEQUAL PROTECTION: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights (Rodale/October 2002) is an in-depth look into how corporations have hijacked democracy. Hartmann tracks the history of the modern corporation back to the founding of the East India Company in 1600, and the subsequent Boston Tea Party revolt against corporate dominance, through the 1886 Supreme Court case that erroneously led to corporate personhood and to what he calls the theft of human rights. UNEQUAL PROTECTION then offers specific actions that can be taken by citizens, courts, legislatures, and local communities, and tells the stories of how citizens across the country are already acting to take back democracy of, by, and for the people.