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Resources on corporate privilege

Learn more about corporate privilege and ways citizens can work for change.
By Jane Greer And Tom Stites
May/June 2003 5.1.03

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The following books and Web sites are good sources of information about the subject of corporate privilege and the ways citizens can work for change.


Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights, by Thom Hartmann (Rodale, 2002; Berrett Koehler, 2009). Readable, measured, and comprehensive history of how corporations gained rights and power and its impact on American democracy.

When Corporations Rule the World, by David C. Korten (Kumarian Press, Second Edition 2001). Presents a global view of corporate influence and abuse as well as a broad analysis of the system that enables it, from the federal government to the World Bank.

Defying Corporations, Defining Democracy: A Book of History and Strategy, edited by Dean Ritz (POCLAD and Apex Press, 2001). Seventy-one essays and other short pieces by the thinkers who constitute the seminal prodemocracy group called Program on Corporations, Law, and Democracy (POCLAD) and like-minded activists. Available from Apex at (800) 316-2739.

100Fires.com is an on-line bookstore specializing in social change that lists hundreds of titles under its Corporate Rule/Capitalism heading.


Alliance for Democracy
760 Main Street
Waltham MA 02451 

(781) 894-1179

Progressive populist movement, founded in 1996, aims to end corporate domination, establish a political democracy, and build a just society with a sustainable economy. One of its campaigns is entitled Transform the Corporations. Site offers resources and contacts.

American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA)
1510 Fifth Street
Boulder CO 80302
(303) 402-1575

Provides a model for communities wishing to create an organization of small-business owners to promote patronage of local stores over chains. Offers workshops. Site has good list of books and articles.

Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF)
2859 Scotland Road
Chambersburg PA 17201

 (717) 709-0457

Grass roots organization providing legal assistance to communities working to change laws empowering corporations. Sponsors democracy school. Web site provides articles and practical advice, including model ordinances. Focused on Pennsylvania but valuable for other areas.

Positive Futures Network

 P.O. Box 10818

 Bainbridge Island WA 98110-0818

 (206) 842-0216

Organization founded in 1996 encouraging citizens to work for a just, sustainable, and compassionate world. Publishes quarterly Yes! A Journal of Positive Futures.

Program on Corporations, Law, and Democracy (POCLAD)

 P.O. Box 246

 South Yarmouth MA 02664-0246

 (508) 398-1145

Think tank founded to examine the historical and theoretical relationship between corporations and democracy. Web site provides many good articles on the history of corporate development and the need for systemic change.

Reclaim Democracy

 222 South Black Ave.

Bozeman MT 59715


Activist organization offers speakers and workshops. Site provides an array of articles on subjects including corporations, the media, labor and economics, and independent businesses.

Sierra Club
Clean Water and Factory Farms Issue [archived]

Longstanding environmental organization that has chosen factory farms as one of its issues of concern. Site provides extensive research. For information about presentations, contact Jim Price, Southeast Regional Staff Director, at Jim.Price@sierraclub.org.

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
Corporations v. Democracy
1213 Race Street
Philadelphia PA 19107-1691
(215) 563-7110

Women's peace organization, founded in 1915, including among its numerous campaigns, Challenge Corporate Power, Assert the People's Rights. The Web site has a ten-session study packet on this subject.

See sidebar for links to related resources, including other articles from our 2003 special issue on corporate personhood.

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