Corporate & Political Excessive Concentration of Power

"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of the moneyed corporations, which dare already challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country."
– Thomas Jefferson
3rd US President, architect and author
(1743-1826)

"Our safety, our liberty, depends upon preserving the Constitution of the United States as our Fathers made it inviolate. …The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution."
– Abraham Lincoln

"The penalty that good men pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by men worse than themselves."
– Plato

"Precedents are dangerous things; let the reins of government then be braced and held with a steady hand, and every violation of the Constitution be reprehended: If defective let it be amended, but not suffered to be trampled upon whilst it has an existence."
– George Washington

"Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac."
– Henry Kissinger

"… there are no limits to which powers of privilege will not go to keep the workers in slavery."
– Mother Jones

"If you set aside Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, the safety record of nuclear power really is good."
– Paul O'Neill,
Secretary of Treasury (Bush II)
as told to The Wall Street Journal

"We are writing the constitution of a single global economy."
– General Renato Ruggiero,
former WTO Director

"Established in 1995, the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a powerful
new global commerce agency, which transformed the General Agreement
on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) into an enforceable global commerce code.
The WTO is one of the main mechanisms of corporate globalization."

"My approach to Africa is in some ways like the Japanese approach to Asia, and my approach is not necessarily humanitarian. It is in the long-range interests of access to resources and the creation of markets for American goods and services."
– Andrew Young, as U.S. Ambassador
to the United Nations
under Pres. Jimmy Carter

"Under the guise of "National Security" our federal treasury is being raided and our democratic rights are being taken away while Congress feeds sympathetic campaign contributors at taxpayer expense, sends working people to fight, and leaves the unemployed, the disenfranchised, and American families to suffer."
– Ralph Nader
November, 2001

"They shrug at the pleas of workers whose health they destroy in order to save money. They hire experts—physicians and researchers—who purposely misdiagnose industrial diseases as the ordinary diseases of life, write biased reports, and divert research from vital questions. They fight against regulation as unnecessary and cry that it will bring ruination. They ravage the people as they have the land, causing millions to suffer needlessly and hundreds of thousands to die."
– Rachel Scott
Muscle and Blood

"In many respects, we now live in a society that is only formally democratic, as the great mass of citizens have minimal say on the major public issues of the day, and such issues are scarcely debated at all in any meaningful sense in the electoral arena. In our society, corporations and the wealthy enjoy a power every bit as immense as that assumed to have been enjoyed by the lords and royalty of feudal times."
– Robert W. McChesney,
Rich Media, Poor Democracy
1999

"CIA stands for Capitalism's Invisible Army."
– Buckminster Fuller

"In the 1980s capitalism triumphed over communism. In the l990s it triumphed over democracy."
– David Korten,
The Post-Corporate World

"They {the corporations} are counting on your patriotism to distract you from their plunder. They're counting on you to stand at attention with your hand over your heart, pledging allegiance to the flag, while they pick your pocket."
– Bill Moyers
2001

"We have a duty to look after each other. If we lose control of our government, then we lose our ability to dispense justice and human kindness. Our first priority today, then, is to defeat utterly those forces of greed and corruption that have come between us and our self-governance."
– Doris Haddock
(Granny D)

"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and it's issuance."
– James Madison

"I define globalization as the freedom of our corporations to invest where and when we want, to produce what we want, to buy and sell where we want, and to keep all the restrictions through labor law or other political regulations as slight as possible."
– Percy Barnevik, Vice President of the
Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum

"An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens."
– Thomas Jefferson

"I do not believe the word "person" in the 14th Amendment includes corporations."
– Hugo Black
Supreme Court Justice
1938

"There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will be neither a short nor an easy task, but it can be done."
– Theodore Roosevelt
US President

"The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable."
– George Orwell

"Bush, himself, the most intellectually backward American president of my political lifetime, is surrounded by advisors whose bellicosity is exceeded only by their political, military and diplomatic illiteracy."
– Gerald Kaufman
Former British Labor Minister
(referring to Bush the 2nd)

"The twentieth century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy; the growth of corporate power; and the growth of propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy."
– Alex Carey

"In the crescendo of news media praise for the genius of contemporary capitalism, it is almost unthinkable to criticize the economy as deeply flawed. To do so would seemingly reveal one as a candidate for an honorary position in the Flat-Earth Society. The Washington Post has gone so far as to describe ours as a nearly "perfect economy."
– Robert McChesney
Rich Media, Poor Democracy

"The corruption of journalistic integrity is always bad, but it becomes obscene under conditions of extreme media concentration as now exist."
– Robert McChesney
Rich Media, Poor Democracy
1999

"The corrupt nature of U.S. communication policy making continues on course. Vital decisions are made all the time concerning the future of our media system, but they are made behind closed doors to serve powerful special interests, with nonexistent public involvement and minuscule press coverage … the commercial broadcasters have effectively stolen control of digital television from the American people, with the support of their well-paid politicians. The one sop thrown to the public, the Gore Commission, which was to recommend suitable public-interest requirements for commercial broadcasters in return for the free gift of some $50-100 billion of public property, was a farce."
– Robert McChesney
Rich Media, Poor Democracy
1999

"… the corporate media system … generates a depoliticized society, one where the vast majority of people logically put little time or interest into social or political affairs."
– Robert McChesney
Rich Media, Poor Democracy
1999

"We are in precipitous times. The corporate media system is consolidating into the hands of fewer and fewer enormous firms at a rapid rate, providing a hypercommercialized fare suited to wealthy shareholders and advertisers, not citizens. At the same time, there is a budding movement for media reform which is part and parcel of a broader anti-corporate movement."
– Robert McChesney
Rich Media, Poor Democracy
1999

"The biggest difference between the Russians and Americans was that Russians recognized that "the Party Line" was propaganda from the ruling elite, and Americans who receive "the Mainstream Press" fail to recognize it as "propaganda from the ruling elite" and mistake it for "reality."
– Bill Moyer

"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right."
– Thomas Paine
(Introduction to Common Sense 1776)

"Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule — and both commonly succeed, and are right."
-H. L. Mencken
writer, editor and critic
(1880-1956)

"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."
– Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864
letter to Col. William F. Elkins

"If there is anything which it is the duty of the whole people to never entrust to any hands but their own – that thing is the preservation of their own liberties and institutions."
– Abraham Lincoln

"Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral."
– Paulo Freire
educator
(1921-1997)

"It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error.
It is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error."
– United States Supreme Court
in American Communications Association vs. Douds

"If the people will lead, The leaders will follow!"
– Bumper Sticker Slogan

"If those in charge of our society – politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television – can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves."
– Howard Zinn
Historian and author

"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against its government."
– Edward Abbey
naturalist and author 
(1927-1989)

"The time to guard against corruption and tyranny is before they shall have gotten hold on us."
– Thomas Jefferson

"When a country obtains great power, it becomes like the sea:
All streams run downward into it.
The more powerful it grows, the greater the need for humility.
Humility means trusting the Tao, thus never needing to be defensive."

"A great nation is like a great man:When he makes a mistake, he realizes it.
Having realized it, he admits it. Having admitted it, he corrects it.
He considers those who point out his faults as his most benevolent teachers.
He thinks of his enemy as the shadow that he himself casts."

"If a nation is centered in the Tao, if it nourishes its own people,
And doesn't meddle in the affairs of others, it will be a light to all nations in the world."
– Lao Tzu
Tao Te Ching

"The covert operators that I ran with would blow up a 747 with 300 people to kill one person. They are total sociopaths with no conscience whatsoever."
– Gene Wheaton
former Pentagon CID investigator

"Governments, in order to perpetuate themselves, will sacrifice 400-500 people without a second thought."
– Basil Abbott
14-year DEA veteran

"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."
– John F. Hylan
New York City Mayor, 1922

"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them (around the banks), will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."
– Thomas Jefferson

"How many cycles do we have to go through here? How long is the learning curve before we recognize that political parties are the problem? They're the problem! They're the ones who have turned our government over to the corporations, so they can say no to universal health insurance and no to a living wage and no to environmental sanity and no to renewable energy and no to a whole range of issues that corporations were never allowed to say no to 30, 40, 50 years ago. Things really have changed."
– Ralph Nader
2004

"Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you."
Pericles
Statesman 
(430 BCE)

"There are no persons capable of stooping so low as those who desire to rise in the world."
Marguerite Guardiner
writer 
(1789-1849)

"If you came and you found a strange man… teaching your kids to punch each other, or trying to sell them all kinds of products, you'd kick him right out of the house, but here you are; you come in and the TV is on, and you don't think twice about it."
– Jerome Singer

"There's something that stinks about this. It's fundamentally undemocratic. It's awfully close to corruption. There's something unhealthy about this. If this group can arbitrarily rule that a billionaire who gets 20 million votes and qualifies for $30 million in election funds can't participate then God help the rest of us."
– Jesse Jackson
after Perot was excluded from the 
presidential debates in 1996

"All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies."
– John Arbuthnot
writer and physician 
(1667-1735)

"If it is committed in the name of God or country, there is no crime so heinous that the public will not forgive it."
– Tom Robbins
writer
(1936)

"I believe that no government can exist for a single moment without the cooperation of the people, willing or forced, and if people suddenly withdraw their cooperation in every detail, the government will come to a standstill."
– Mohandas Gandhi 
Indian spiritual and political leader (1869-1948)
quoted in Jonathan Schell, The Unconquerable 
World: Power, Nonviolence, and
the Will of the People, 2003

"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."
– President Dwight D. Eisenhower
1952

"Power always has to be kept in check; power exercised in secret, especially under the cloak of national security, is doubly dangerous."
– William Proxmire, US senator, 
reformer (1915-2005)

"Our country has far more problems than it deserves and far more solutions than it applies. The reason: excessive concentration of power and wealth in a few hands. Instead of government of, by, and for the people, we have a government of the Exxons, by the General Motors, and for the DuPonts. Such concentration serves the interests of the few over the many. History has taught us the perils of this degree of concentrated power and wealth. This concentrated power in the service of greed, together with short-term thinking, prevents our country from foreseeing and forestalling looming problems on the horizon."
– Ralph Nader

"Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage."
– Dwight Eisenhower
1954

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