Strategies to Rein in Corporate Power – Tom Atlee

I am going to make a commitment to start reading Tom Atlee’s posts at his blog:

Random Communications from an Evolutionary Edge 

He has such a broad understanding of the dysfunction of our current political and economic system and helps us grasp the bigger picture.

This is a very recent post that Tom wrote titled:

Strategies to rein in corporate power?

Here is the first section from that post –


There are many emerging strategies to counter corporate control of our political life (quite in addition to efforts to counter their control of our economic lives). Seeing this as a necessity if we are to have effectively empowered public wisdom, I supported these initiatives in various ways. 

At first I focused on campaign finance reform. But that whole realm was largely made irrelevant by recent Supreme Court decisions. So several years ago I started promoting the movement challenging corporate personhood as the gold standard of such resistance. But in the last week I’ve seen a broader strategic landscape that makes me wonder. I’ve particularly been exposed to strategists who see corporate personhood as just one tactic in a larger – and, in fact, historic – strategic effort through which corporations claim and obtain “rights” that are superior to the rights of democratic citizens, communities, and processes. Some of these strategists even suggest that “corporate personhood” is a red herring to drain energy from broader, more sophisticated counter-strategies. From this perspective, corporations continually create new legal and political realities to which we then instinctively react – when what is actually needed is for us to take the initiative and change the game completely.

In particular, these critics urge us to stop trying to thwart corporations using the machinery of the federal government – the courts, Congress, the administration. They say, with much justice, that corporate interests already thoroughly control these institutions. We should simply declare our fundamental and independent rights as citizens and communities and, if countered, proceed anyway as a collective act of civil disobedience and justified rebellion. If we can get enough communities to do this, we will win. So what strategy is best? It seems to me this is a judgment call. Below is a list of strategies I’m aware of; I’m sure there are more. None of them seems to me to be unambiguously the Right Choice. All of them have good arguments for and against. Most depend on one’s sense of how urgent the matter is and how deep a transformation is necessary to meet our needs.

Can all anti-corporate domination activists gather around one strategy? Can they somehow synergize? Or are they, in their opposing views, doomed to drain attention and resources from each other?

My own preference, of course, would be to find a co-intelligent approach. I can imagine advocates of these various strategies coming together around one integral strategy – one that includes and/or effectively transcends most or all of the different strategies – a super strategy more powerful and wise than anything currently being proposed. If the diverse strategists cannot do this among themselves, perhaps someone could convene a deliberation in which the deliberators are dozens if not hundreds of the most influential activists and organizations whose work is impeded by corporate power. The advocates and opponents of the various strategies would then present their arguments to these powerful political players. With help – perhaps with Dynamic Facilitation – these leading activists and organizations would then discover or design a strategic vision they could all agree on, which embraced the values of all the approaches in a synergistic way.


For the full list of his strategies, here is the link again.

Tom has a powerful intellect and I’m so grateful that he is working for our side of progressive, liberal change for a healthy planet.


About Mare Cromwell

Referred to as “The Voice of Earth Mother” by a gifted Shoshone elder, Mare Cromwell is a multi-award-winning author, Medicine woman/Lightworker and healer. She has also been told by another gifted elder that her work with Earth Mother is in the prophecies. Her books include: "The Great Mother Bible"; "Messages from Mother.... Earth Mother"; and "If I gave you God’s phone number.... Searching for Spirituality in America". She has studied with Native American teachers for twenty-one years and sat on the World Council for Wisdom Gatherings for three years. Mare leads workshops on our Sacred Planet-Earth Mother, Womb Wisdom and Sacred Silliness and more. She is the visionary and producer of the 1000 Goddesses Gathering in Washington DC. Mare loves to be involved in Ceremony. She is also a former worm herder. She calls Western Maryland home.
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