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Thu Apr 6, 2017, 10:58 AM

"The Blueprint for Corporate Rule" (The Powell Memorandum)

I had totally forgotten about this until I saw it mentioned in a Tweet today so I did a quick search for a refresher and thought I'd share this article here.

If you've ever wondered how we've gotten to where we are with the Chamber of Commerce and corporations having so much power, etc I think you might find learning about this memo interesting in a 'know your enemy' way. The HuffPo article is an older one but seems like as good place to start as any.


Forty years ago this week, Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., an attorney from Richmond, Virginia, drafted a confidential memorandum for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that described a strategy for the corporate takeover of the dominant public institutions of American society.


An astute observer of the business community and broader social trends, Powell was a former president of the American Bar Association and a board member of tobacco giant Philip Morris and other companies. In his memo, he detailed a series of possible “avenues of action” that the Chamber and the broader business community should take in response to fierce criticism in the media, campus-based protests, and new consumer and environmental laws.


Because it signaled the beginning of a major shift in American business culture, political power and law, the Powell memo essentially marks the beginning of the business community’s multi-decade collective takeover of the most important institutions of public opinion and democratic decision-making. At the very least, it is the first place where this broad agenda was compiled in one document.

That shift continues today, with corporate influence over policy and politics reaching unprecedented new dimensions. The decades-long drive to rethink legal doctrines and ultimately strike down the edifice of campaign finance laws - breaking radical new ground with the Roberts Court’s decision in Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission - continues apace.

More interesting info at the link above.

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