Democracy Convention – Day 3

Arts and Democracy

Real democracy is achieved, in part, through skills and knowledge. The Convention has supplied plenty of both. But inspiration, creativity and joy essential for attracting and nurturing people over the long haul is supplied through the arts. There’s been many examples of artistic expressions and avenues for participation today and this week.

– The wonderful folk musician, Anne Feeney, is here. Two of her great songs are, “A corporation cannot pass the belly button test” and “End corporate welfare as we know it.”

– The Madison chapter of Raging Grannies brought the house down when they performed “Corporations are Persons Now!” Lyrics for the song are at

– Many conference attendees have participated in the daily “Solidarity Sing Alongs” held every weekday at the Wisconsin State Capital. Today, about 100 people participated.

– A wonderful play, “The Prosecution of Judge Waite,” was staged this evening. Morrison Waite (from Toledo, Ohio) was the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court at the time of the 1886 Santa Clara vs Southern Pacific Railroad ruling which first granting corporations constitutional rights…sort of. It was a clever medium for explaining the legal historical origins of corporate personhood.

– A woman in her 20’s at this evening’s plenary quoted at length from Lawrence Goodwyn’s “The Populist Moment” – the definitive work of the Populist movement of the 1870s-1890s. The section addressed one of Goodwyn’s key lessons behind the empowerment of the southern farmers for self-governance – their ability to develop radical self-respect

– Buttons, bumper stickers, t-shirts, and many other artistic forms of political expression are on most tables here.


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