REAL Democracy History Calendar: April 17 – 23

realdem

April 17

1905 – Lochner v. New York [198 U.S. 45] Supreme Court decision – use of the 14th Amendment to invalidate government regulation of corporations
The decision was one of the most controversial in the history of the Court. It concluded that “liberty of contract” was inferred in the “due process” clause of the 14th Amendment (originally intended to apply to freed black slaves). The specific case involved the state of New York seeking to limit working hours to 10 per day and 60 each week. The Court rejected the claim that the law was needed to protect the health of workers, asserting that the labor law was an “”unreasonable, unnecessary and arbitrary interference with the right and liberty of the individual to contract.” In other words, the majority of Justices felt that the law inhibited the constitutional right of workers and employers to make contracts freely.

The implications were devastating. The decision shielded corporations from vast forms of government regulation. The Court invalidated approximately 200 economic regulations from 1905 until the mid-1930’s passed by legislators — usually under this interpretation of the due process clause of the 14th Amendment

April 18

1996 – Publication this month of “Corporations for the Seventh Generation: Changing the Ground Rules, Part 1” by Jane Anne Morris, corporate anthropologist and POCLAD principal

“What if…
• corporations were required to have a clear purpose, to be fulfilled but not exceeded;
• corporations’ licenses to do business were revocable by the state legislature if they exceeded or did not fulfill their chartered purpose(s);
• the state legislature could revoke a corporation’s charter for a particular reason, or for no reason at all;
• the act of incorporation did not relieve corporate management or stockholders/owners of responsibility or liability for corporate acts;
• as a matter of course, corporation officers, directors, or agents could be held criminally liable for violating the law;
• state (not federal) courts heard cases where corporations or their agents were accused of breaking the law or harming the public;
• directors of the corporation were required to come from among stockholders;
• corporations had to have their headquarters and meetings in the state where their principal place of business was located;
• corporation charters were granted for a specific period of time, like 20 or 30 years (instead of being granted “in perpetuity,” as is now the practice);
• corporations were prohibited from owning stock in other corporations in order to prevent them from extending their power inappropriately;
• corporations’ real estate holdings were limited to what was necessary to carry out their specific purpose(s);
• corporations were prohibited from making any political contributions, direct or indirect;
• corporations were prohibited from making charitable or civic donations outside of their specific purposes;
• state legislatures set the rates that corporations could charge for their products or services;
• all corporation records and documents were open to the legislature or the state attorney general?

All of these provisions were once law in the state of Wisconsin. And similar ones existed in most other states.”
From http://poclad.org/BWA/1996/BWA_1996_APR.html

April 19

1775 – Revolutionary War Begins
Shots fired and the subsequent battles of Lexington and Concord were the first military engagements of the American Revolutionary War. Colonists sought independence not only from the Crown (King), but also from the Crown’s military arm (Redcoats, which oppressed the colonists) and from the Crown’s economic/governing arms (Crown corporations, chartered by the King to conduct the King’s affairs in the colonies – which also oppressed). Examples included the Massachusetts Bay Company, the Carolina Company, the Maryland Company and the Virginia Company. The Revolution constitutionalized these corporations, transforming them into states or commonwealths. It also democratized “sovereignty” from rule by a single person to in principle We the People. In practice, only white, male property owners assumed power and rule.

2012 – Vermont Becomes First State to Call for Amendment Removing Corporations From Constitution
“[Other states] have passed resolutions against the Citizens United v. FEC ruling by the Supreme Court, but the Vermont resolution goes beyond simply overturning that case and aims to remove corporations from the constitution altogether and make clear that money is not speech and that campaign spending and political contributions can be regulated by government.”
http://movetoamend.org/press-release/vermont-legislature-calls-constitutional-amendment-end-corporate-personhood-and

April 20

1868 – Birth of John Hylan, New York City Mayor – corporations and their leaders like a giant octopus
Hylan was Mayor of New York from 1918-1925. He said, “The real menace of our republic is this invisible government, which, like a giant octopus, sprawls its slimy length over city, state and nation. Like the octopus of real life, it operates under cover of a self created screen…At the head of this octopus are the Rockefeller Standard Oil interests and a small group of powerful banking houses generally referred to as international bankers. The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes. They practically control both political parties.”

1920 – Birth of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens
In his 2014 book, “Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution,” Stevens proposed the following Constitutional Amendment:
“Neither the First Amendment nor any other provision of this Constitution shall be construed to prohibit the Congress or any state from imposing reasonable limits on the amount of money that candidates for public office, or their supporters, may spend in election campaigns.”

April 21

1796 – Birth of Thomas Earle, U.S. journalist and lawyer – on power of Supreme Court
Many citizens were outraged by the power of the Supreme Court, which they considered to be a direct  attack on the sovereignty of “We the People.”  In one protest pamphlet, journalist Thomas Earle penned:

“It is aristocracy and despotism, to have a body of officers, whose decisions are, for a long time, beyond the control of the people. The freemen of America ought not to rest contented, so long as their Supreme Court is a body of that character.”

April 22

1970 – Earth Day, birth of environmental movement
An estimated 20 million people took part across the US in marches, rallies, teach-ins and other public events to demonstrate support for the environment. Much of the environment’s deterioration/destruction from toxic and radioactive dumps, pesticides, wildlife extinction, air pollution, oil spills, raw sewage, wilderness loss and freeways came from corporate actions – that were ignored, sanctioned or subsidized by the government.  The day led to the creation of organizations and massive grassroots pressure leading to the establishment of the EPA and federal laws addressing clean air, water and wildlife protection.

Earth Day went global in 1990. More than 200 million people in over 140 countries took part in activities and sparked a global movement, which continues today against these same issues as well as climate change.

Corporate entities remain a major cause of environmental destruction.

2011 – Students call for constitutional amendment abolishing corporate personhood
The Associated Students organization of Humboldt State University in California pass a resolution supporting the Move to Amend campaign and calling for a constitutional amendment to abolish corporate personhood. The resolution was proposed by a group of students working with Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County (DUHC).

April 23

2001 – Publication this month of “How Long Shall We Grovel: A Memo for the Record” by Richard Grossman, POCLAD co-founder
“…ANYONE who chooses to look will find massive evidence of chemical corporation murder, pillage & lies extending over a century. ANYONE who chooses to look will see persistent corporate denial of people’s constitutional and human rights, & government complicity. This country exalts the platitude “all political authority is inherent in the people.”

But our great corporations have long been protected by the rule of law … empowered by our own constitution and bill of rights. Our society has bestowed upon chemical corporation leaders, as upon top officials of all giant corporations, the highest rewards & honors, & great wealth.
Great corporations have been exalted by legislators & judges, presidents & governors, police and national guards, by local, state & federal governments.

How long shall we authorize chemical corporate officials to kill? How long shall we beg them to tell the truth? To make the earth’s air, water and soil, our foods and our jobs, a little less deadly? To please “give us” the right to know? How long shall we grovel before our elected public servants? Other species are counting on us to do more than regulate the destruction of the planet. What do YOU think we the people should do now?” http://poclad.org/BWA/2001/BWA_2001_APR.html

MONETARY HISTORY CALENDAR April 16-22

Greenbackk

APRIL 16

1804 – BIRTH OF WILLIAM MACLAY, SENATOR OF PENNSLYVANIA IN THE 18TH CENTURY
“Bank bills are promissory notes, and, of course, not money. I see no objection in this quarter.”

1915 – DEATH OF NELSON ALDRICH, LEADER OF REPUBLICAN PARTY IN THE US SENATE
Aldrich was a key proponent of the Aldrich-Vreeland Act, a bill creating a National Monetary Commission in 1908, which studied the problem of monetary instability following the financial Panic of 1907. The Commission played a pivotal role in calling for “rform” of the US monetary system. The Act also established the “Aldrich-Vreeland system” which through the Comptroller of the Currency authorized some banks to issue new money. This helped the US deal with the financial crisis associated with WWI. The expanded money power of the government, however, was meant to be short-lived. The final volume of the Commission’s report called for a privately owned central bank, the “National Reserve Association,” in which “[c]ontrol was to be exercised completely by private bankers.” Passage of this Act was a stepping-stone to passage of the Federal Reserve Act in 1913.

APRIL 17

1790 – DEATH OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
Franklin printed the paper money for several of the American colonies, most of which developed their own currency – separate from British money. This was an important revolutionary step toward independence, as well as essential to conduct economic transactions in the colonies since British money was in short supply.

1837- BIRTH OF JP MORGAN, US FINANCIER AND BANKER
John Pierpont Morgan dominated corporate finance and industrial consolidation during his time. His empire consisted of banks but also hundreds of other corporations via interlocking corporate directors and financial investments. The “House of Morgan” was also one of the key players in organizing politically and backing financially the campaign to pass the Federal Reserve Act in 1913, creating the largely private Federal Reserve System.

APRIL 18

2012 – PUBLICATION OF DAILY CENSORED ARTICLE “CARL HERMAN EXPLAINS WORKING WITH THE CRIMINAL 1%: TWO UN SUMMITS, MONETARY REFORM”
“The 99% must achieve factual command of the basic facts how money and credit are created, or else continue their debt-damned existence under an oligarchic and Robber Baron-era structure.
Monetary and credit reform can be understood with three simple areas of facts that are taught in basic economics and easily verified:
1. The US does not have a money supply; we have its Orwellian opposite as a debt supply. This is because the US leading banks won legal right through passage of the 1913 Federal Reserve Act to have private banks and the Fed create debt for what we use as money, and then charge the 99% for its use.
2. The policy choice of a debt supply compounded with interest cause ever-increasing aggregate debt that can never be repaid….
3. Monetary reform creates debt-free money that extinguishes the debt, and allows government to become employer of last resort for infrastructure investment (hard and soft….
Obviously, monetary and credit reform benefits 100% of humanity because it guarantees full employment, optimal infrastructure, and no government debt/interest cost…
Americans cannot be responsible citizens without understanding this fundamental structure of money.”
http://www.dailycensored.com/carl-herman-explains-working-with-criminal-1-two-un-summits-monetary-reform/

APRIL 19

1776 – AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY WAR OF INDEPENDENCE FROM ENGLAND BEGINS
“In one year (after the Coinage Act of 1764), the conditions were so reversed that the era of prosperity ended, and a depression set in, to such an extent that the streets of the colonies were filled with the unemployed…The colonies would gladly have borne the little tax on tea and other matters had it not been that England took away from the colonies their money which created unemployment and dissatisfaction.  The viability of the colonists to get power to issue their own money permanently out of the hands of King George III and the international bankers was the prime reason for the revolutionary war.”
– Benjamin Franklin in his autobiography/memoirs

2014 – STATEMENT OF ANDREI KOSTIN, PRESIDENT AND CHAIRMAN OF THE POWERFUL RUSSIAN VTB BANK
“It is time to change the entire international financial system that considers the dollar the key reserve currency…The world has changed. [China’s] Yuan and [the Russian] Ruble have to take their place in international transactions.”

APRIL 20

1868 – BIRTH OF JOHN HYLAN, MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY, 1918-1925
“The real menace of our republic is this invisible government, which, like a giant octopus, sprawls its slimy length over city, state and nation. Like the octopus of real life, it operates under cover of a self created screen….At the head of this octopus are the Rockefeller Standard Oil interests and a small group of powerful banking houses generally referred to as international bankers. The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes. They practically control both political parties.”

2010 – PUBLISHED ARTICLE, “BANKING REFORM SELLS BETTER WHEN ‘WALL STREET’ IS MENTIONED”
“Americans are about evenly divided on the merits of giving the federal government new powers to regulate large banks and major financial institutions; however, they offer greater support when the issue is more specifically framed as regulating “Wall Street banks.” http://www.gallup.com/poll/127448/banking-reform-sells-better-wall-street-mentioned.aspx

APRIL 21

1910 – DEATH OF MARK TWAIN, AUTHOR
“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”
”I wasn’t worth a cent two years ago, and now I owe two million dollars.””
Classic Twain.

1946 – DEATH OF JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES, BRITISH ECONOMIST
Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some…Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”

APRIL 22

EARTH DAY – CREE INDIAN PROVERB
“Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish been caught, will we realize we cannot eat money.” Seems an appropriate quote on this day.

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Why this calendar? Many people have questions about the root causes of our economic problems. Some questions involve money, banks and debt. How is money created? Why do banks control its quantity? How has the money system been used to liberate (not often) and oppress (most often) us? And how can the money system be “democratized” to rebuild our economy and society, create jobs and reduce debt? Our goal is to inform, intrigue and inspire through bite size weekly postings listing important events and quotes from prominent individuals (both past and present) on money, banking and how the money system can help people and the planet. We hope the sharing of bits of buried history will illuminate monetary and banking issues and empower you with others to create real economic and political justice. This calendar is a project of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee. Adele Looney, Phyllis Titus, Donna Schall, Leah Davis, Alice Francini, Deb Jose and Greg Coleridge helped in its development. Please forward this to others and encourage them to subscribe. To subscribe/unsubscribe or to comment on any entry, email monetarycalendar@yahoo.com
To see the calendar year-to-date, go to https://monetarycalendar.wordpress.com/
A second historical calendar, the REAL Democracy History Calendar, in many ways complements this calendar. For information, go to https://realdemocracyhistorycalendar.wordpress.com/about/

Progressive populism

Populism

The debate over the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the US Supreme Court has increased the opportunity for the rise of a more progressive populism promoting justice, peace and real self-determination/democracy. It’s a very positive development for those who’ve been in an uphill struggle for years, if not decades, to shed light on the growing political influence of the super wealthy and corporations. It marks yet another turning point in the growing awareness that our government has been increasingly hijacked by corporate interests and the super rich. It also has expanded growing public awareness that the problem extends beyond a certain politician, political party, law or regulation. The fundamental problem is the governing rules thanks to activist Supreme Court decisions anointing corporations greater never-intended constitutional rights and equating money as free speech.

Liberation from past oppressions of women and people of color have occurred when social movements have formed to force constitutional changes. Overcoming the political oppression that literally the 99% face today will only happen if we follow the same recipe — the formation of a broad based, multiracial, intergeneration and transpartisan movement to force constitutional change via an amendment abolishing corporate personhood and money as speech.

It’s not easy. Past movements weren’t either. Yet they ultimately prevailed. So shall we.

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Democrats use Trump’s populism against him in fight over Gorsuch nomination
USA TODAY  |  April 5, 2017
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/04/05/democrats-use-trumps-populism-against-him-fight-over-gorsuch-nomination/100052604/