Source: Program on Corporations, Law &
- Revoking the charters of especially harmful or
abusive corporations under existing laws as in
New York, Washington, Wisconsin, Main. Most
states still have provisions in their corporation
such as Section 1101 of the New York Business
Corporation Law which specifies dissolution when
corporation act "contrary to the public
policy of the state."
- Rechartering corporations to limit their powers
and make them entities subordinate to the
sovereign people, by e.g., granting charters for
limited time periods requiring approval by
communities and workers to continue in existence,
making corporate managers and directors liable
for corporate harms, etc.
- Reducing the size of corporations by breaking
them up into smaller units with less power to
undermine elections, lawmaking, judicial
proceedings and education; restricting size and
capitalization of corporations; prohibiting one
corporation from owning another corporation (some
of which was accomplished by the Public Utility
Holding Company Act of 1935).
- Establishing worker and/or community control over
production units of corporations to protect the
"reliance interest" and other rights of
workers and communities. This can be done by
writing rules directly into corporate charters,
such as prohibiting the hiring of replacement
workers during strikes, requiring independent
health and safety audits by experts chosen by
workers and affected communities, and banning use
of deadly chemicals, such as chlorine.
- Initiating referendum campaigns, or taking action
through state legislatures--and in the courts--to
end constitutional protections for corporate
"person" and to require state attorneys
general to undertake charter revocation or
rechartering actions when petitioned by citizen
- Prohibiting corporations from making campaign
contributions to candidates in any
elections, and from lobbying any local,
state and federal government bodies.
- Stopping extortion and "subsidy abuse"
by which large corporations rake off billions of
dollars from human taxpayers through direct
payoffs and tax breaks.
- Launching campaigns to cap salaries of corporate
officials and tie them to a ratio of average
compensation levels of production workers (say,
5:1 or 10:1), to gain greater transparency in
corporate decision-making, and to end corporate
tax deductions for legal fees, advertising and
- Encouraging worker and community-owned and
-controlled cooperatives and other alternatives
to conventional limited liability profit-making
corporations by using law and the public
- Preparing a model state corporation code based on
the principle of citizen sovereignty and
campaigning for its adoption, state-by-state.
- Invigorating from the grassroots up a national
debate on the relationship between public
property, private property (including future
value), and the rights of natural persons,
communities and other species when they are in
conflict, and on the role of the law in resolving
such conflicts in a democracy.
For additional information contact:
Corporations, Law & Democracy