The Green Institute Presents

People’s Rights before Corporate Rights

Building a Real Democracy Movement to Make it Happen

Featuring David Cobb

with assistance from Ben Manski

Where:          William Penn House, Cory Room, 515 East Capitol St, Washington, DC

When:            Saturday, June 24, 10am – 4pm


Green Institute sponsored a seminar to discuss a fundamental issue of
democracy: that a corporation should not have constitutional rights. If
democracy is the goal, then "good corporate citenzenship" is not what
we should seek, because a corporation is not a citizen. A corporation
is an artificial entity and a creation of the state. People have rights
that are acknowledged in the U.S. constitution because as people, those
rights are inalienable. Such rights are not inalienable to
artificial creations of the state, nor would the drafters of the
constitution or the founders of this country have seen it that way.


Major Topics:

Public vs. Private Institutions and the corporation

Sovereignty - Who rules in a democracy?

Legal "personhood"

Corporate charters

Defining corporations vs. regulating them


David Cobb is on the Green Institute Board of Directors. He is also on the Steering Committee of Democracy Unlimited Humboldt County and a Fellow with Liberty Tree FDR


day started with a 90 minute presentation on the development of the
corporation and how it fit into the public vs. private dichotomy as
defined in the constitution of the United States.


More specific discussion followed, including a description of the recently successful Measure T
initiative in Humboldt County, describing how the concept of corporate
personhood can be challenged by activism at the local level.


This concept of the corporation takes us far beyond corruption of corporate CEO's and examines their real role in our society.


Ben Manski, a lawyer and Fellow with the Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution.
He assisted the presentation by providing additional history of the
corporation and by focusing on the contrast between democratization of
society at all levels as opposed to corporatization.






Ben Manski



Read David Cobb's article on the Progressive Populist: A New Populist Uprising

This event was recorded for the Green Institute archives and for broadcast on public access TV.