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AMERICA 2.0: From Private Greed to Public Service

By Jay Hanson, 10/6/2009 (minor revisions on 4/29/2011)
This paper is hereby placed in the public domain and may be reprinted without further permission.
This file is archived at http://jayhanson.us/america.htm
A pdf version is at http://jayhanson.us/america.pdf
A word version is at http://jayhanson.us/america.doc

“As the name implies, ‘process politics’ emphasizes the adequacy and fairness of the rules governing the process of politics. If the process is fair, then, as in a trial conducted according to due process, the outcome is assumed to be just—or at least the best the system can achieve. By contrast, ‘systems politics’ is concerned primarily with desired outcomes; means are subordinated to predetermined ends.”
—William Ophuls, ECOLOGY AND THE POLITICS OF SCARCITY REVISITED, 1992

“There is no way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs.”
—Chris Hedges, 2011

“The aim of every political constitution is, or ought to be, first to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of the society; and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust.”
—James Madison, FEDERALIST #57, 1787

ABSTRACT: The Market is NOT Efficient

The “bad news” is that “peak oil” marks the beginning of the end of capitalism and market politics because many decades of declining “net energy” [1] will result in many decades of declining economic activity. And since capitalism can’t run backwards, a new method of distributing goods and services must be found. The “good news” is that our “market system” is not efficient! Americans could be wasting something like two billion tonnes (metric tons) of oil equivalent energy per year!!

In order to avoid anarchy, rebellion, civil war and global nuclear conflict, Americans must force a fundamental change in our political environment. We can keep the same political structures and people, but we must totally eliminate corporate-special interests from our political environment. A careful review of the progressive assault on laissez faire constitutionalism and neoclassical economics, from the 1880s through the 1930s, explains how this can be done legally and without violence. These early progressives showed how we can save our country. All that is lacking now is the political will. I call this adjustment of our political environment “America 2.0.”

The reason that America 2.0 is so important and should be implemented as the first in a series of many political reforms is because it’s “constitutional politics” (politics that changes politics). The modification that I am proposing would fundamentally alter the nature of politics in America.

To achieve America 2.0, we must first separate and isolate our political system from our economic system so that government can begin to actually address and solve societal problems rather than merely catering to corporate interests. The second step is to retire most working American citizens with an annuity sufficient for health and happiness, as government begins to eliminate the current enormous waste of vital resources by delivering goods and services directly. This would allow most adults to stay at home with their families but still receive the goods and services they need to enjoy life.

America 2.0 is based on the biological principle that organisms respond to environmental cues. If one changes an organism’s environmental cues, then one also changes an organism’s behavior. If the voting public and political decision-makers only receive cues designed to mitigate our crisis, then all choices they make will be aimed at mitigating that crisis. This is an extremely simple way to implement a science-based government.

After America 2.0 has been implemented, all the choices made by elected officials will be, by best calculations, “good” for the public. Officials will decide among a selection of public “goods.” Corporations will become the public utilities that they were before 1860.

PREFACE

“To the free man, the country is a collection of individuals who compose it ... He recognizes no national goal except as it is the consensus of the goals that the citizens severally serve. He recognizes no national purpose except as it is the consensus of the purposes for which the citizens severally strive.”
—Milton Friedman, CAPITALISM AND FREEDOM

“We may well call it ‘the tragedy of the commons,’ using the word ‘tragedy’ as the philosopher Whitehead used it: ‘The essence of dramatic tragedy is not unhappiness. It resides in the solemnity of the remorseless working of things.’”
—Garrett Hardin, THE TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS

The criterion of “profit” has shaped our political decisions since the founding of our country, but now that we are facing peak oil, new “scientific systems” criteria must replace “profit” or our civilization will “collapse” [2] like so many others have throughout history.

In order for America to survive this crisis, a moderate, “doable” modification to our political environment is required. This paper does not attempt to describe a complete system to replace state-sponsored capitalism and market politics. My modest goal here is to show a way forward which could avoid the worst.

THE BAD NEWS

 

“Net Energy Cliff” Which Leads To The End Of Capitalism

Our present “business-as-usual” model, which requires endless economic growth and endless job creation, is no longer physically possible because “net energy” will decline for many decades!. What is “net energy?”

One seldom thinks about the energy that is utilized in systems that supply energy—such as oil-fired power plants. But energy is also utilized when exploring for fuel, building the machinery to mine the fuel, mining the fuel, building and operating the power plants, building power lines to transmit the energy, decommissioning the plants, and so on. The difference between the total energy input (i.e., the energy value of the sought after energy) minus all of the energy utilized to run an energy supply system equals the “net energy” (in other words, the net amount of energy actually available to society to do useful work). For more on this, see netEnergy.pdf.

Prior to peak oil, producers could compensate for the falling net energy fraction (illustrated in the figure above) by simply pumping more conventional oil. However, conventional oil production "peaked" in 2005, so it is now physically impossible (thermodynamics) to increase net energy as we have in the past. In other words, producers are now geologically constrained and can no longer compensate by pumping more conventional oil. This means that the energy available for economic development will decline for decades!  How will decades of falling “net energy” impact the global economy?

Historians will say that “peak oil” marked the end of the second free trade episode. If we don’t abandon capitalism now, we will be forced into another global war over resources:

“By the fourth quarter of the nineteenth century, world commodity prices were the central reality in the lives of millions of Continental peasants; the repercussions of the London money market were daily noted by businessmen all over the world; and governments discussed plans for the future in light of the situation on the world capital markets. Only a madman would have doubted that the international economic system was the axis of the material existence of the race. Because this system needed peace in order to function, the balance of power was made to serve it. Take this economic system away and the peace interest would disappear from politics… By the end of the seventies the free trade episode (1846-79) was at an end… The origins of the cataclysm lay in the utopian endeavor of economic liberalism to set up a self-regulating market system.”
—Karl Polanyi

THE GOOD NEWS: The Market is Not Efficient

Yes, that is correct: The “market system” is NOT efficient! [4] Our present way of distributing goods and services wastes enormous amounts of natural resources, but gigantic resource savings are possible. As an illustration, let’s make a rough estimate of per capita food energy requirements and current waste:

If we wanted our government to distribute food directly instead of using the market, how much energy would be required to produce and deliver provisions to each and every American?

Adults need about 3,000 nutritional calories of food each day. Let’s allow 30,000 calories to produce and another 3,000 calories to deliver food to every American. That’s a total of 36,000 calories per day.

Just how much energy did the American “market system” actually consume? In 2006, Americans consumed an average of 231,008 calories per day, so 231,008 minus 36,000 equals 195,008 calories wasted each day. This simple calculation suggests that Americans could be wasting something like 2 billion tonnes of oil equivalent per year! [5]That’s FAR more oil wasted than all the oil produced in the Middle East!

If we change a few of our founding beliefs and assumptions—and reorganize politically—more than enough energy remains to mitigate the worst.

WHAT CHANGES?

America 2.0 is based on the biological principle that organisms respond to environmental cues. If one changes an organism’s environmental cues, then one also changes an organism’s behavior. If the voting public and political decision-makers only receive cues designed to mitigate our crisis, then all choices they make will be aimed at mitigating that crisis. This is an extremely simple way to implement a science-based government.

A simple Example (click to open)

Suppose you are out driving in the country and you are running low on gas. You come to a fork in the road. You see a sign which announcing a gas station down the right fork. You turn to the right expecting to encounter a gas station.

Now suppose that the sign would have indicated that the gas station was down the left fork? This time, you turn to the left instead of the right.

If we change the environmental cues, we change the behavior of people.

A more-realistic example (click to open)

It’s almost impossible for Americans to imagine how their government makes decisions unless they have actually been elected or appointed to a commission. It will come as a surprise to most Americans that appointed and elected members of government require neither formal education nor entrance exams. The appointed positions are handed out as political favors usually in return for helping elected officials win their contests.

The basic idea is that “ordinary citizens” are supposed to act as a counterbalance on government “employees” (the planning “department” below) to protect the common interest. 

Try to imagine the following scenario:

Assume you live in a small town with terrible traffic problems.  You are a house wife (before you were married, you worked as a waitress), that was appointed to your city’s planning “commission.” Every day, your friends and neighbors complain about the traffic! Your husband spends two hours, every day, stuck in traffic!   Every day sees an editorial in the local paper bitching about traffic!

Your town’s planning department has been studying the problem for years and has finally submitted a proposal to build a new traffic light. Today, your commission is taking testimony and then you are to must vote on it. You have personally read the executive summary written by the employees in your planning department and they are claiming that it will solve your town’s traffic problems.

The Chair opens the meeting for testimony.

No one offers testimony.

The Chair calls for discussion.

No discussion.

The Chair calls for a vote.

Your name is called first because your name is “Anderson.”  How will you vote?

“YES” means you do build the light.

“NO” means you do not build the light.

How will you vote? You vote YES!

What would have happened if the following testimony would have been submitted?

A representative of the National Society of Professional Engineers rises and introduces himself. He is sworn in and then states that the idiots in your town’s planning department made a fundamental error when they did their calculations!  Moreover, a team of his professional experts have calculated that the new light will actually make your traffic problems much WORSE.  Not only that, he has the proof with him and offers it into evidence.

This planning expert is saying that your planning department made a mistake. Your job is insuring they do not make a mistake. How will you vote? You vote NO to allow yourself more time to study the allegations made by the independent planning expert.

If we change the environmental cues, we change the vote.

If we change the environmental cues on the National level, we change the behavior of all Americans.

After America 2.0 has been implemented, all the choices made by elected officials will be, by best calculations, “good” for the public. Officials will decide among a selection of public “goods.” Corporations will become the public utilities that they were prior to 1860!

FOUNDED ON TRAGIC ASSUMPTIONS

The United States was founded on several assumptions. A key assumption, which led to several others, was that “the sum of individual interests” was equivalent to “the common interest.” In practical terms, this meant:

Today, we know that our founders were fundamentally wrong on this point. The lesson of “The Tragedy of the Commons”[6] is that “the sum of individual interests” is NOT  “the common interest.” In his 1968 classic, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Garrett Hardin illustrated why freedom in the commons brings ruin to all:

Visualize a pasture as a system that is open to everyone. The “carrying capacity” [7] of this pasture is ten animals. Ten herdsmen are each grazing one animal to fatten up for market. In other words, the ten animals are now consuming all the grass that the pasture can produce.

Harry (one of the herdsmen) will add one more animal to the pasture if he can make a profit. He subtracts the original cost of the new animal from the expected sales price of the fattened animal and then considers the cost of the food. Adding one more animal will mean less food for each of the present animals, but since Harry only has only 1/10 of the herd, he has to pay only 1/10 of the cost. Harry decides to exploit the commons and the other herdsmen, so he adds an animal and takes a profit.

Shrinking profit margins force the other herdsmen either to go out of business or continue the exploitation by adding more animals. This process of mutual exploitation continues until overgrazing and erosion destroy the pasture system, and all the herdsmen are driven out of business.

Most importantly, Hardin illustrates the critical flaw of freedom in the commons: all participants need to agree to conserve the commons, but any one can force the destruction of the commons. Although Hardin describes exploitation by humans in an unregulated public pasture, his commons and “grass” principle fit our entire society.

Private property is inextricably part of our commons because it is part of our life support and social systems. Owners alter the properties of our life support and social systems when they alter their land to “make a profit”—for example, when they cover land with corn or concrete.

Neighborhoods, cities and states are commons in the sense that no one is denied entry. Anyone may enter and lay claim to the common resources. One can compare profits to Hardin’s “grass” when any number of corporations—from anywhere in the world—drive down profits by competing with local businesses for customers.

One can see wages as Hardin’s “grass” when any number of workers—from anywhere in the world—can enter our community and drive down wages by competing with local workers for jobs. People themselves even become commons when they are exploited (are made the best use of) by other people and corporations. Everywhere one looks, one sees The Tragedy of the Commons. There is no technical solution to the problem of the commons, but governments can act to limit access to the commons, at which time they are no longer commons.

In the private-money based political system we have in America, everything (including people) becomes the commons because money is political power, and all political decisions are reduced to economic ones. In other words, we effectively have no political system, only an economic system—everything is for sale. Thus, America is presently one big commons that will be exploited until it is destroyed.

AMERICA 2.0: The Essence

“I hope we shall... crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government in a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”
— Thomas Jefferson, 1816

“Thomas Jefferson, along with James Madison worked assiduously to have an 11th Amendment included into our nation’s original Bill of Rights. This proposed Amendment would have prohibited ‘monopolies in commerce.’ The amendment would have made it illegal for corporations to own other corporations, or to give money to politicians, or to otherwise try to influence elections. Corporations would be chartered by the states for the primary purpose of ‘serving the public good.’ Corporations would possess the legal status not of natural persons but rather of ‘artificial persons.’ This means that they would have only those legal attributes which the state saw fit to grant to them. They would NOT; and indeed could NOT possess the same bundle of rights which actual flesh and blood persons enjoy. Under this proposed amendment neither the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution, nor any provision of that document would protect the artificial entities known of as corporations.”
—Dr. Michael P. Byron [8]

In order to prevent collapse on the downside of the net energy curve, Americans must force corporate-special interests completely out of our political environment. A careful review of the progressive assault on laissez faire constitutionalism and neoclassical economics, from the 1880s through the 1930s, explains how this can be done legally and without violence. [9] These early progressives showed how we can save our country. All that is lacking now is the political will. I call this adjustment of our political environment “America 2.0.”

The modification that I am proposing could reduce natural resource consumption by something like 90% and greatly reduce, or possibly eliminate, civil violence caused by the inevitable post-peak-oil-economic collapse.

Our present method of distributing goods and services works something like this:

The “market system” is the most-inefficient organization in the history of the planet!

Why not simply have government pay someone to pick up that loaf of bread at the bakery and deliver it to the consumer? This is a form of distribution that would eliminate the banks, most of the other businesses, and all the stores. Most Americans would no longer need a car to commute to work or run to the store! However, some private businesses that provide critical services would still be operated but at our government’s direction.

We could use the same efficient method of distribution for everything that Americans really “need.” Shoppers would order provisions online, in the same way that Amazon or Netflix works now, and then their orders would be delivered the next day. And a medical care caravan could regularly drive through neighborhoods, filling teeth, giving checkups, and so on.

But first we must separate and isolate our political system from our economic system so that government can begin to actually address and solve societal problems rather than merely catering to corporate interests. Besides wanting to sell their ephemeral products and services to an unsuspecting public, corporate-special interests also want to prevent the state from solving social pathologies because they can profit from treating the symptoms. These special interests can do no better because they are machines programmed to create profits! [10]

The second step is to retire most working American citizens with an annuity sufficient for health and happiness, [11] as government begins to eliminate the current enormous waste of vital resources by delivering goods and services directly. This would allow most adults to stay at home with their families but still receive the goods and services they need to enjoy life.

Unless something is done now to prevent it, America will face anarchy, rebellion, and civil war on the downside of the net energy cliff. In order to maintain public order, the state must do one thing: take corporate-special interests totally out of politics. [12]

The urgency, necessity, and practicality of this proposal should be apparent to all sectors of society if they could be brought to understand how our social systems are depleting our physical systems. I am convinced that if Americans were given the honest science and engineering behind what needs to be done, the vast majority would willingly make a peaceful transition to a “sustainable retreat.”

ALL corporate-special interests—even universities, charities, and churches—depend on perpetual economic growth for their budgets, but the laws of thermodynamics tell us that perpetual economic growth is physically impossible. Therefore, ALL corporate-special interests must be removed from the political environment.

The first simple step is to remove the “personhood” Constitutional protections from corporations, which could probably be done by the President acting alone, via his “police powers.” Certainly it could be done by the Supreme Court or Congress if they had the political will to do so. Once corporations are firmly under democratic control—in essence, “public utilities”—the federal government can begin correcting the abuses of capitalism as gracefully as possible. We want to preserve and include the great achievements of capitalism while removing its pathologies.

What follows are six political steps, listed in order of priority, that are designed to mitigate the societal disruptions of the net energy cliff:

  1. Remove the “personhood” Constitutional protections from corporations.
  2. Make it a federal crime for corporations to advocate anything (including, but not limited to, advertising) in the mass media.
  3. Make it a federal crime for anyone employed by a corporation to lobby elected or appointed officials directly or indirectly.
  4. Mandate public financing for elections.
  5. Assemble teams of the country’s best and brightest medical doctors, scientists, engineers and other thinkers—but no representatives of religious groups, economists, or other corporate-special interests—to recommend public policy. (We do not need a Manhattan Project for economics—on how to save the corporations and their outrageous profits; we need a Manhattan Project on how the country can survive the net energy cliff!)
  6. Encourage public debate on proposed changes.

(Number 5 above is the key difference that I am advocating. Public policy recommendations would come from medical doctors, engineers and scientists who are looking at the entire system instead of from a room full of fat salesman trying to sell worthless shit to an unsuspecting public. It’s based on the recognition that if one changes the environment in which political decisions are made, one changes the political decisions.)

 

NATIONAL GOAL: Healthy and Happy

The “goal” of our society should be to make our citizens healthy and happy while using as few natural resources as possible (especially energy). The methods needed to attain this goal can be determined by teams of medical doctors, scientists and engineers. Capitalism should be dismantled as gracefully as possible and any natural resources that are not required health and happiness, should left to nature.

With modern technology, probably less than 5% of the population could produce all the goods we really “need.” A certain number of qualified “producers” could be selected by a peer group to produce for five years. The rest can stay home and sleep, sing, dance, paint, read, write, pray, play, do minor repairs, work in the garden, and practice birth control.

SELF-DETERMINATION

Any number of alternative cultural, ethnic or religious communities could be established by popular vote. Religious communities could have public prayer in their schools, prohibit booze, allow no television to corrupt their kids, wear uniforms, whatever. Hippies could establish communities where free sex was the norm. Writers or painters could establish communities where bad taste would be against the law. Ethnic communities could be established to preserve language and customs. If residents didn’t like the rules in a particular community, they could move to another religious, cultural, or ethnic community of their choosing.

In short, the one big freedom that individuals would have to give up would be the freedom to destroy the commons (in its broadest sense). Couples would be allowed only one child. And in return, they would be given a guaranteed income for life and the freedom to live almost any way they choose.

What is the "Gross National Happiness"? (click to open)

TACTICS

 

“Mob In The Square in Romania” Which Led To The End Of Communism

The changes I am proposing can be accomplished without rewriting our Constitution or violence. The two quotes at the end suggest tactics that worked for the anti-Vietnam War and civil rights movements. Sign-carrying activists should fill the streets of D.C., “like the mob in the square in Romania,” [13] until the city is gridlocked. Activists should just stay there until the powers-that-be concede.

I expect that organizing this movement will take a few years. It’s asking a lot. It can’t happen overnight. We know that with “cliffing” net energy, our society is just going to keep getting worse and worse until something big changes.

Let’s hope the “big change” is something “progressive” instead of a new “President For Life,” who has a “prayer breakfast” every morning where he makes up lists of “evildoers” that are to be rounded up and shot. (That’s still my most-likely scenario. We came close with “W.”)

No progress is possible until we can GET THE CORPORATE-SPECIAL INTERESTS—ALL OF THEM—OUT OF OUR POLITICS AND OUT OF THE MASS MEDIA!

Jay— http://jayhanson.us  http://www.dieoff.com 


“You don’t communicate with anyone purely on the rational facts or ethics of an issue... It is only when the other party is concerned or feels threatened that he will listen—in the arena of action, a threat or a crisis becomes almost a precondition to communication... No one can negotiate without the power to compel negotiation... To attempt to operate on a good-will basis rather than on a power basis would be to attempt something that the world has not yet experienced.”
—Saul Alinsky, RULES FOR RADICALS

“The big corporations, our clients, are scared shitless of the environmental movement. They sense that there’s a majority out there and that the emotions are all on the other side—if they can be heard. They think the politicians are going to yield to the emotions. I think the corporations are wrong about that. I think the companies will have to give in only at insignificant levels. Because the companies are too strong, they’re the establishment. The environmentalists are going to have to be like the mob in the square in Romania before they prevail.”
—William Greider, WHO WILL TELL THE PEOPLE

“‘Capitalism’ is a money-based political system which creates dissatisfaction, while converting natural resources into garbage, in exchange for IOUs, which will be worthless when the oil peaks and the country goes up in flames.”
—Jay Hanson


[1]Life on Earth conforms to universal thermodynamic laws. We mine our minerals and fossil fuels from the Earth’s crust. The deeper we dig, the greater the minimum energy requirements. The most concentrated and most accessible fuels and minerals are mined first; thereafter, more and more energy is required to mine and refine poorer and poorer quality resources. New technologies can, on a short-term basis, decrease energy costs, but neither technology nor “prices” can repeal the laws of thermodynamics:

Decreasing net energy sets up a positive feedback loop: since oil is used directly or indirectly in everything, as the energy costs of oil increase, the energy costs of everything else increase too—including other forms of energy. For example, oil provides about 50% of the fuel used in coal extraction. Every day, about 85 million barrels of oil are burnt.[ http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/ene_oil_con-energy-oil-consumption ] Every day, less oil exists on planet Earth than the day before. The handwriting is on the wall: “capitalism” is running out of energy! Here is a small, silent animation which will illustrate the “net energy” principle: http://jayhanson.us/oil.html

 

Imagine having a motor scooter with a five-gallon tank, but the nearest gas station is six gallons away. You cannot fill your tank with trips to the gas station because you burn more than you can bring back—it’s impossible for you to cover your overhead (the size of your bankroll and the price of the gas are irrelevant). You might as well put your scooter up on blocks because you are “out of gas”—forever. It’s the same with the American economy: if we must spend more-than-one unit of energy to produce enough goods and services to buy one unit of energy, it will be impossible for us to cover our overhead. At that point, America’s economic machine is “out of gas”—forever. More on energy basics at http://dieoff.org/page175.htm

[2] http://dieoff.org/page134.htm

[3] This net energy graph is an “educated guess” to illustrate the the fall in net energy. Precision here is impossible because the data is not available. Several oil drum pieces on net energy can be found at: http://netenergy.theoildrum.com/

[4] Although economists claim the market is “efficient,” they actually mean “efficient distribution” of benifits—NOT the “efficient use” of materials. “Economic efficiency” is completely different than “materials efficiency.”

[5] Here is an oversimplified example to give us an idea of how incredibly inefficient the “market system” really is. Suppose that the only thing Americans had to do was to eat. How much energy would be required to feed them?

In 2006, Americans consumed about 334,600,000 Btu per capita, per year. [ http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/international/iealf/tablee1c.xls ] This converts to about 84,317,785 nutritional calories equivalent per year [ http://www.onlineconversion.com/energy.htm ] or 84,317,785 / 365 = 231,008 calories per day. But adults only require something like 3,000 calories of food energy per day to survive, so it seems we, very roughly, waste something like 231,008 - 3,000 = 228,008 calories per day, per capita.

Studies show that food grains produced with modern, high-yield methods (including packaging and delivery) now contain between four and ten calories of fossil fuel for every calorie of solar energy. So we will allow ten calories of energy to grow and process each calorie of food delivered, so 3,000 * 10 = 30,000 calories per day is required to keep an adult alive. Thus, 228,008 - 30,000 = approximately 198,008 calories are still being wasted each and every day, by every American.

Let’s allow the equivalent of 3,000 nutritional calories (about 1/10 gallon of gas) per day, per capita to collect and deliver food and water to each and every household in the country, so 198,008 - 3,000 = 195,008 calorie equivalent wasted per day, per capita in the US.

The estimated population of America on Sept 22 2009 was 307,511,668, [ http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html ] so 195,008 *307,511,668 * 365 = 21,887,999,529,837,200 nutritional calories wasted every year in the US, or 2,188,799,953 tonnes—over two billion tonnes—of oil equivalent are wasted each year in the US feeding people! (In 2006, oil production in the Middle East was only 1,221,900,000 tonnes! [ http://tinyurl.com/mfwndm ])

Every year, the “market system” in the United States, wastes almost a billion tonnes more oil than is produced in the Middle East! Obviously, there is more to life than eating, but equally-obviously, the market system is the most inefficient organization in human history!!

 

[ Link to Excel spreadsheet. ] [ Link to high resolution image. ]

[6] http://tinyurl.com/ycg7wss

[7] An environment’s “carrying capacity” is its maximum persistently supportable load (Catton 1986). If the load exceeds capacity, then the environment is damaged and carrying capacity is reduced. http://dieoff.org/page74.htm

[8] http://tinyurl.com/c28c87

GANGS OF AMERICA: The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of America,
Ted Nace, 2003,2005, http://www.amazon.com/Gangs-America-Corporate-Disabling-Democracy/dp/1576753190

Differences Between the Classic Corporation (Before 1860) and the Modern Corporation (After 1900)
ATTRIBUTE
CLASSIC CORPORATION
MODERN CORPORATION
Birth Difficult: requires a custom charter issued by a state legislature Easy: general incorporation charter allows automatic chartering
Life span Limited terms No limits
“Shape-shifting” Corporations not allowed to own stock in other companies; restricted to activities specified in charter Corporations free to pursue acquisitions and spin-offs;
Mobility Usually restricted to home state No restrictions
Adaptability Restricted to activities specified in charter Allowed to pursue multiple specified lines of business and initiate or acquire new ones at company’s discretion
“Conscience” Actions constrained by shareholder liability and by threat of charter revocation Fewer constraints due to limited liability, disuse of charter revocation, and tort reforms
“Will” Managerial action hampered by legal status of minority shareholders and of corporate agents Legal revisions enable consolidation of management’s power
Size Limited by charter restrictions Asset limits removed; antitrust laws generally not effective
Constitutional rights Functional only Steady acquisition of constitutional rights


http://jayhanson.us/gangsOfAmerica.pdf
http://jayhanson.us/Gangs_2.pdf

Here are some organizations, books, and web resources that share the same goal -- ending corporate governance: http://www.ratical.org/corporations/ReadingLinks.html

This timeline of corporate personhood (the gain and loss of rights and powers) is particularly interesting: http://www.ratical.org/corporations/ToPRaP.html

[9] The “Progressives” are still making constitutional changes. THE SECOND BILL OF RIGHTS: FD’s Unfinished Revolution—And Why We Need It More Than Ever, Cass Sunstein, 2006;
http://www.amazon.com/Second-Bill-Rights-Unfinished-Revolution/dp/0465083331

THE PROGRESSIVE ASSAULT ON LAISSEZ FAIRE: Robert Hale and the First Law and Economics Movement, Barbra H. Fried, Harvard University Press, 1998;
http://www.amazon.com/Progressive-Assault-Laissez-Faire-Economics/dp/0674775279

THURMAN ARNOLD, SOCIAL CRITIC: The Satirical Challenge to Orthodoxy, by Edward N. Kearny; http://jayhanson.us/thurmanArnoldSocialCritic.pdf

THE FOLKLORE OF CAPITALISM, Thurman W. Arnold, Yale University Press 1937, CHAPTER VIII: The Personification of Corporation http://jayhanson.us/thePersonificationOfCorporation.pdf

REACHING FOR HEAVEN ON EARTH: The Theological Meaning of Economics, Robert H. Nelson, 1991; http://www.amazon.com/Reaching-Heaven-Earth-Theological-Economics/dp/0847676641
http://jayhanson.us/_Economics/gospelOfEfficiency.pdf
http://jayhanson.us/haleAll.pdf

[10] http://jayhanson.us/c1.html

[11] Human health and happiness are the products of our biology and environment.

[12] In order to understand why people act as they do, at a minimum, one must understand “politics” among social animals. See http://jayhanson.us/p1.html

[13] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanian_Revolution_of_1989

This paper is hereby placed in the public domain and may be reprinted without further permission.

This paper is the culmination of almost 20 years of study—working almost full time—to understand why our civilization is self-destructing. My brevity here is not due to my lack of understanding or scholarship.

This file is archived at http://jayhanson.us/america.htm
A no graphics version is archived at http://jayhanson.us/americaNG.htm

Jay Hanson, October, 6, 2009