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ClassWarrior's Journal
Posted by ClassWarrior in General Discussion: Presidency
Fri Sep 02nd 2011, 10:37 AM
"The very idea that there is a 'center' marginalizes progressives, and sees them as extremists, when they simply share fundamental American values. The term 'center' suggests there is a 'mainstream' where most people are and that there is a single set of views held by that mainstream. That is false.

"The fallacy matters in terms of Democratic electoral strategy. The Democratic base consists of people who are mostly or totally progressive, just as the Republican base consists of people who are mostly or totally conservative. How does the Democratic Party as a whole, and how do Democratic candidates in particular, speak to those who are biconceptual?

"I am a cognitive scientist and believe that people's brains play a significant role in elections. From the perspective of brain science, the answer is a no-brainer. (Sorry, I couldn't resist!) You speak to biconceptuals the same way you speak to your base: you discuss progressive values, and if you are talking to folks with both progressive and conservative values, you mainly talk about the issues where they share progressive values. What that does is evoke and strengthen the progressive values already there in the minds of biconceptuals...

"The losing strategy is to move to the right, to assume with Republicans that American values are mainly conservative and that the Democratic party has to move away from its base and adopt conservative values. When you do that, you help activate conservative values in people's brains (thus helping the other side), you offend your base (thus hurting yourself), and you give the impression that you are expressing no consistent set of values, which is true! Why should the American people trust somebody who does not have clear values, and who may be trying to deceive them about the values he and his party's base hold?..."


Read more at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/george-lakof...

NGU.

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Posted by ClassWarrior in General Discussion: Presidency
Mon Aug 29th 2011, 08:12 PM
How could anyone possibly believe that bullying, berating and belittling others will ever be an effective way to promote unity and support ?

Seriously.

NGU.

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Posted by ClassWarrior in General Discussion: Presidency
Sun Aug 28th 2011, 11:53 AM
It's obvious to anyone who's been on political message boards for a long time that trolls play both sides of the street. In the current environment, that means some trolls pretend to be lefty opponents of President Obama, and others pretend to be diehard supporters of him.

"But why would trolls pretend to be Obama supporters?" I've been asked, incredulously. "Surely they don't want it to appear that the President has support!"

Because by pretending to be super-supporters, trolls can demean, diminish and ridicule real Obama supporters who have legitimate concerns and criticisms about the President's actions, thus driving a wedge between the President and some of his own staunchest supporters.

I don't believe that all hardcore Obama supporters are trolls, by any means. But I've been around long enough to know that, if there's a wedge to be driven, the trolls are working it from ALL the angles.

NGU.

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Posted by ClassWarrior in General Discussion: Presidency
Tue Mar 15th 2011, 10:32 PM
It's a trap. "Centrism" is a myth.

No Center, No Centrists
by George Lakoff

"Centrism" is the creation of an inaccurate self-serving metaphor, and it is time to bury it.

There is no left to right linear spectrum in the American political life. There are two systems of values and modes of thought -- call them progressive and conservative (or nurturant and strict, as I have). There are total progressives, who use a progressive mode of thought on all issues. And total conservatives. And there are lots of folks who are what I've called "biconceptuals": progressive on certain issue areas and conservative on others. But they don't form a linear scale. They are all over the place: progressive on domestic policy, conservative on foreign policy; conservative on economic policy, progressive on foreign policy and social issues; conservative on religion, but progressive on social issues and foreign policy; and on and on. No linear scale. No single set of values defining a "center." Indeed many of such folks are not moderate in their views; they can be quite passionate about both their progressive and conservative views.

Barack Obama has it right: Get rid of the very idea of the right and the left and the center. American ideas are fundamentally progressive ideas -- the ideas this country was founded on and that carry forth that spirit. Progressives care about people and the earth, and act with responsibility and strength on that care...


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/george-lakof...

NGU.

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Posted by ClassWarrior in General Discussion: Presidency
Sun Jan 02nd 2011, 02:41 PM
I believe that progressive values are traditional American values, that progressive principles are fundamental American principles, and that progressive policy directions point the way to where most Americans really want our country to go. The job of unifying progressives is really the job of bringing our country together around its finest traditional values.

CONSERVATIVES believe in...
STRONG DEFENSE
FREE MARKETS
LOWER TAXES
SMALLER GOVERNMENT
FAMILY VALUES

PROGRESSIVES believe in...
STRONGER AMERICA
BROAD PROSPERITY
BETTER FUTURE
EFFECTIVE GOVERNMENT
MUTUAL RESPONSIBILITY

» A stronger America is not just about defense, but about every dimension of strength: our effectiveness in the world, our economy, our educational system, our health care system, our families, our communities, our environment, and so forth.

» Broad prosperity is the effect that markets are supposed to bring about. But all markets are constructed for someone's benefit; no markets are completely free. Markets should be constructed for the broadest possible prosperity, and they haven't been.

» Americans want and deserve a better future — economically, educationally, environmentally, and in all other areas of life — for themselves and their children. Lowering taxes, primarily for the super-rich elite, has had the effect of defunding programs that would make a better future possible in all these areas. The proper goal is a better future for all Americans.

» Smaller government is, in conservative propaganda, supposed to eliminate waste. It is really about eliminating social programs. Effective government is what we need our government to accomplish to create a better future.

» Conservative family values are those of a strict father family — authoritarian, hierarchical, every man for himself, based around discipline and punishment. Progressives live by the best values of both families and communities: mutual responsibility, which is authoritative, equal, two-way, and based around caring, responsibility (both individual and social), and strength.

The remarkable thing is just how much progressives do agree on. These are just the things that voters tend to care about most: our values, our principles, and the direction in which we want to take the nation.


http://www.infoamerica.org/teoria_textos/m...

NGU.

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Posted by ClassWarrior in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu Jul 01st 2010, 01:41 PM
No Center, No Centrists
by George Lakoff

"Centrism" is the creation of an inaccurate self-serving metaphor, and it is time to bury it.

There is no left to right linear spectrum in the American political life. There are two systems of values and modes of thought -- call them progressive and conservative (or nurturant and strict, as I have). There are total progressives, who use a progressive mode of thought on all issues. And total conservatives. And there are lots of folks who are what I've called "biconceptuals": progressive on certain issue areas and conservative on others. But they don't form a linear scale. They are all over the place: progressive on domestic policy, conservative on foreign policy; conservative on economic policy, progressive on foreign policy and social issues; conservative on religion, but progressive on social issues and foreign policy; and on and on. No linear scale. No single set of values defining a "center." Indeed many of such folks are not moderate in their views; they can be quite passionate about both their progressive and conservative views.

Barack Obama has it right: Get rid of the very idea of the right and the left and the center. American ideas are fundamentally progressive ideas -- the ideas this country was founded on and that carry forth that spirit. Progressives care about people and the earth, and act with responsibility and strength on that care...


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/george-lakof...

NGU.

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Posted by ClassWarrior in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Tue Apr 15th 2008, 10:44 PM
From the Rockridge Nation web site, online home of framing guru George Lakoff:

1. What does a political candidate need to do to win voter confidence?
2. What are the traps that cause political candidates to lose credibility among the populace?

The short answer to the first question is that voters must identify with the candidate. Four things come together for this to happen. These things are values, connection, authenticity, and trust. The candidate must talk about values when discussing issues to consciously articulate the concerns that lead to political positions. The candidate must communicate values effectively to connect with people. This requires the speaker to always appear authentic so that they seem to believe what they say. A candidate who talks about values and connects with people in an authentic way will build trust, which encourages voters to select them over other candidates.

The second question can only be answered by understanding a few discoveries from the cognitive sciences about the human mind. It is not simply a matter of the policies a candidate supports. The merits of one policy over another will not win the hearts and minds of supporters who are looking for a leader that resonates with their hopes and protects them from their fears. No, what people look for in a leader is a moral connection...


http://www.rockridgenation.org/blog/archiv...

NGU.


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Posted by ClassWarrior in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sun Feb 10th 2008, 03:47 PM
CUNY Professor France Fox Piven, a guest on Democracy Now!'s Super Tuesday roundtable this week, had this to say about another charismatic candidate:

You know, in 1932, FDR didn’t run with a good program; he ran with the same program the Democrats had run with in 1924 and 1928, and that wasn’t a good program. But nevertheless, his rhetoric encouraged people who were suffering as a result of the Depression — working people, the unemployed — and helped to fuel the movements, which then forced FDR to support initiatives which he otherwise would not have supported, including the right to organize. And I think you can see the same pattern in JFK, LBJ...

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/2/6/super...

NGU.


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Posted by ClassWarrior in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Thu May 31st 2007, 10:47 PM
Not about the climate crisis, of course. I fully support President Gore’s efforts to save the planet.

But the title of his new book is “The Assault on Reason.” In recent television interviews, he’s been speaking out against the dumbing-down of the national discourse. And while I obviously agree with this point of view, I’m wondering if Gore’s thinking in this area is outdated.

To wit, political linguist George Lakoff and his colleagues state, in their powerful book “Thinking Points”:

The discovery of frames requires a reevaluation of rationalism, a 350-year-old theory of mind that arose during the Enlightenment. We say this with great admiration for the rationalist tradition. It is rationalism, after all, that provided the foundation for our democratic system. Rationalism says it is reason that makes us human, and all human beings are equally rational. That is why we can govern ourselves and do not have to rely upon a king or a pope to govern us. And since we are equally rational, the best form of government is a democracy. So far, so good.

But rationalism also comes with several false theories of mind.

• We know from cognitive science research that most thought is unconscious, but rationalism claims that all thought is conscious.

• We know that we think using mechanisms like frames and metaphors. Yet rationalism claims that all thought is literal, that it can directly fit the world; this rules out any effects of framing, metaphors, and worldviews.

• We know that people with different worldviews think differently and may reach completely different conclusions given the same facts. But rationalism claims that we all have the same universal reason. Some aspects of reason are universal, but many others are not—they differ from person to person based on their worldview and deep frames.

• We know that people reason using the logic of frames and metaphors, which falls outside of classical logic. But rationalism assumes that thought is logical and fits classical logic.

Rationalism says that people vote on the basis of their material self-interest, that they are conscious of why they voted, that they can tell a pollster what their most important concerns are, and that they will vote for the candidate who best addresses those concerns.

But we know from Wirthlin (see Chapter 1) that this is false. The rationalist theory of voters isn’t true. Yet progressive pollsters still act as if it is. And progressive candidates take their advice. They run on a laundry list of programs recommended by their pollsters and act as if Wirthlin had never made his discovery.

If you believed in rationalism, you would believe that the facts will set you free, that you just need to give people hard information, independent of any framing, and they will reason their way to the right conclusion. We know this is false, that if the facts don’t fit the frames people have, they will keep the frames (which are, after all, physically in their brains) and ignore, forget, or explain away the facts. The facts must be framed in a way to make sense in order to be accepted as a basis for further reasoning.


http://www.rockridgeinstitute.org

Is Gore wasting valuable face time condemning the “assault on reason,” when he really should be spending his airtime embracing, promoting, and using framing to promote his reasoning?

NGU.


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Posted by ClassWarrior in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Mon Oct 09th 2006, 11:49 AM
Eric Massa's current Diary posted at Daily Kos shows how to neatly connect Foley to the bigger picture of Rape-Publican corruption and negligence:

"NY-29:'They Were Warned and Did Nothing': Foley, 9/11, Iraq, etc.":
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/10/8/15...

For those who may not already know it, Eric Massa is the Democrat running to defeat a smarmy Rape-Publican incumbent in NY's 29th CD.

Thanks to DUer Tom Rinaldo for calling attention to this, here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discu...

NGU.


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Posted by ClassWarrior in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Thu Oct 05th 2006, 07:13 PM
Via email:

For progressives to succeed in taking back this country, we need to stay true to our values and communicate them effectively. To accomplish this mission, we need to be aware of the traps that have often tripped up progressives in the past.

In this preview of the new book, Thinking Points: Communicating Our American Values and Vision, A Progressive's Handbook by George Lakoff and the Rockridge Institute, we present twelve traps to avoid as we make our case to restore an America that is true to its best principles.

Twelve Traps to Avoid

(Excerpted from Chapter One of Thinking Points. The full chapter is available to download for free at http://www.rockridgeinstitute.org/thinking... .)

1. The Issue Trap

We hear it said all the time: Progressives won't unite behind any set of ideas. We all have different ideas and care about different issues. The truth is that progressives do agree at the level of values and that there is a real basis for progressive unity. Progressive values cut across issues. So do principles and forms of argument. Conservatives argue conservatism, no matter what the issue. Progressives should argue progressivism. We need to get out of issue silos that isolate arguments and keep us from the values and principles that define an overall progressive vision.

2. The Poll Trap

Many progressives slavishly follow polls. The job of leaders is to lead, not follow. Besides, contrary to popular belief, polls in themselves do not present accurate empirical evidence. Polls are only as accurate as the framing of their questions, which is often inadequate. Real leaders don't use polls to find out what positions to take; they lead people to new positions.

3. The Laundry List Trap

Progressives tend to believe that people vote on the basis of lists of programs and policies. In fact, people vote based on values, connection, authenticity, trust, and identity.

4. The Rationalism Trap

There is a commonplace--and false--theory that reason is completely conscious, literal (applies directly to the objective world), logical, universal, and unemotional. Cognitive science has shown that every one of these assumptions is false. These assumptions lead progressives into other traps: assuming that hard facts will persuade voters, that voters are "rational" and vote in their self-interest and on the issues, and that negating a frame is an effective way to argue against it.

5. The No-Framing-Necessary Trap

Progressives often argue that "truth doesn't need to be framed" and that the "facts speak for themselves." People use frames--deep-seated mental structures about how the world works--to understand facts. Frames are in our brains and define our common sense. It is impossible to think or communicate without activating frames, and so which frame is activated is of crucial importance. Truths need to be framed appropriately to be seen as truths. Facts need a context.

6. The Policies-Are-Values Trap

Progressives regularly mistake policies with values, which are ethical ideas like empathy, responsibility, fairness, freedom, justice, and so on. Policies are not themselves values, though they are, or should be, based on values. Thus, Social Security and universal health insurance are not values; they are policies meant to reflect and codify the values of human dignity, the common good, fairness, and equality.

7. The Centrist Trap

There is a common belief that there is an ideological "center"--a large group of voters either with a consistent ideology of their own or lined up left to right on the issues or forming a "mainstream," all with the same positions on issues. In fact, the so-called center is actually made up of biconceptuals, people who are conservative in some aspects of life and progressive in others. Voters who self-identify as "conservative" often have significant progressive values in important areas of life. We should address these "partial progressive" biconceptuals through their progressive identities, which are often systematic and extensive.

A common mistaken ideology has convinced many progressives that they must "move to the right" to get more votes. In reality, this is counterproductive. By moving to the right, progressives actually help activate the right's values and give up on their own. In the process, they also alienate their base.

8. The "Misunderestimating" Trap

Too many progressives think that people who vote conservative are just stupid, especially those who vote against their economic self-interest. Progressives believe that we only have to tell them the real economic facts, and they will change the way they vote. The reality is that those who vote conservative have their reasons, and we had better understand them. Conservative populism is cultural--not economic--in nature. Conservative populists see themselves as oppressed by elitist liberals who look down their noses at them, when they are just ordinary, moral, right-thinking folks. They see liberals as trying to impose an immoral "political correctness" on them, and they are angry about it.

Progressives also paint conservative leaders as incompetent and not very smart, based on a misunderstanding of the conservative agenda. This results from looking at conservative goals through progressive values. Looking at conservative goals through conservative values yields insight and shows just how effective conservatives really are.

9. The Reactive Trap

For the most part, we have been letting conservatives frame the debate. Conservatives are taking the initiative on policy making and getting their ideas out to the public. When progressives react, we echo the conservative frames and values, so our message is not heard or, even worse, reinforces their ideas. Progressives need a collection of proactive policies and communication techniques to get our own values out on our own terms. "War rooms" and "truth squads" must change frames, not reinforce conservative frames. But even then, they are not nearly enough. Progressive leaders, outside of any party, must come together in an ongoing, long-term, organized national campaign that honestly conveys progressive values to the public--day after day, week after week, year after year, no matter what the specific issues of the day are.

10. The Spin Trap

Some progressives believe that winning elections or getting public support is a matter of clever spin and catchy slogans--what we call "surface framing." Surface framing is meaningless without deep framing--our deepest moral convictions and political principles. Framing, used honestly at both the deep and surface levels, is needed to make the truth visible and our values clear. Spin, on the other hand, is the dishonest use of surface linguistic frames to hide the truth. And progressive values and principles--the deep frames--must be in place before slogans can have an effect; slogans alone accomplish nothing. Conservative slogans work because they have been communicating their deep frames for decades.

11. The Policyspeak Trap

Progressives consistently use legislative jargon and bureaucratic solutions, like "Medicare prescription drug benefits," to speak to the public about their positions. Instead, progressives should speak in terms of the common concerns of voters--for instance, how a policy will let you send your daughter to college, or how it will let you launch your own business.

12. The Blame Game Trap

It is convenient to blame our problems on the media and on conservative lies. Yes, conservative leaders have regularly lied and used Orwellian language to distort the truth, and yes, the media have been lax, repeating the conservatives' frames. But we have little control over that. We can control only how we communicate. Simply correcting a lie with the truth is not enough. We must reframe from our moral perspective so that the truth can be understood. This reframing is needed to get our deep frames into public discourse. If enough people around the country honestly, effectively, and regularly express a progressive vision, the media will be much more likely to adopt our frames.

You can now download the complete chapter in which this excerpt appears (as well as the preface and introduction) at the Thinking Points section of the Rockridge Institute's website.


NGU.


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Posted by ClassWarrior in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Wed Aug 23rd 2006, 10:19 PM
Seems a Minnesota peace group has found a little-known clause in the Constitution that allows ordinary citizens to file articles of IMPEACHMENT themselves. (Thanks Thom Jefferson!!)

I've done it. You should too. Check out the DIY IMPEACHMENT Page, with step-by-step instructions, downloadable forms, etc.:

http://impeachforpeace.org/ImpeachNow.html

Visualize it. Then DO something to make it happen.

NGU.


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Posted by ClassWarrior in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Wed Aug 09th 2006, 11:26 AM
Arguments Against Bush Impeachment...

• If we impeach Bush, we’ll get President Cheney!
Initiating the impeachment process would lead to an investigation that would implicate lots of people in the Bush administration who are guilty of committing crimes, including Cheney.

In addition, no matter who we get to replace Bush, we’ll be showing those in power that anyone who breaks the law will be held accountable.

• We should wait to promote impeachment until after Democrats gain majority status after the November elections, or else we'll seem too “extreme.”
The best way to get congress members in favor of impeachment elected is to shine a light on Bush’s crimes and the Republican Party’s (and many of the Democrats') complicity in them. Demanding impeachment is one effective way of doing that. (We need a majority in congress of people supporting impeachment in order to get subpoena power. This will allow us to finally investigate the crimes that this administration has been committing, which will lead, in turn, to impeachment.)

Secondly, demanding that crimes be investigated is NOT extreme.

Waiting until November, besides reducing the chances of getting impeachment friendly politicians elected, will also leave us complicit in any further crimes Bush commits. The Union of Concerned Scientists has estimated that the death toll from a "tactical" nuclear weapon of the kind Bush is contemplating using in Iran would be at minimum 3 million men, women, and children. The path of death would stretch across country boundaries into India.

Also, there's no guarantee that impeachment friendly politicians will gain majority status after the November elections. So our strategy shouldn't rely upon it.

• Impeachment will never happen. The Republicans will block it.
Today's impossibility is tomorrow's reality. All we need is for a few Republican Congress members to realize that tying their political future to Bush reduces their chances of getting elected. Remember, one way or another, Bush is gone by 2009— but members of Congress may retain their offices beyond that date. Bush's poll numbers are extremely low, and most Americans support impeachment. This is a bipartisan movement. This means that if we make the pressure unbearable for Members of Congress, they'll turn on him to keep their own seats (like they did with Nixon). It's already starting to happen. While many Members of Congress have behaved unethically in the last few years, it's important to understand that this is related to their warped view of what's in their self-interest. Let's wake them up to their true self-interest (impeaching the president), by showing them our support for impeachment now!

Finally, making sure you can look back and be proud of your opposition to this tyranny is priceless.

• It hurts the democracy to go through a presidential impeachment.
Holding government officials accountable for their actions strengthens our democracy. Letting lawlessness stand weakens it.

• If we don't support our president, we aid the terrorists.
We support terrorism when we fail to deal with its root causes (poverty, lack of education, support of dictatorships, etc.). We also support it by enabling a president who creates breeding grounds for terrorists — like Iraq has now become, thanks to our invasion and occupation.

Middle Eastern countries upset with the oppressive international policies of the past and current administration might think better of the U.S. if we appeared to learn from our mistakes by impeaching a president who has been so instrumental in that oppression.

• Impeachment is the wrong approach. Our government is tyrannical, and needs to be overthrown through a popular revolution.

If our government fell today, I wouldn't want the government that this population would create in it's place. Revolution only makes sense once the people understand the problem. The people don't (thanks to a complicit media). So, first we must help the majority to understand the situation we're in. We don't do that by pushing them away with what appears to be extremism. We must use skillful means to reveal the tyranny of this administration (or government in general). I believe the best way to do this is to make reasonable requests (investigations of likely wrong doing), and when we're denied, the people see that. Some do anyway, and more every time it happens (especially when we take to the streets each time). And slowly we get enough people onboard to EITHER reform the system, or replace it all together. Regardless of your goal (fixing the system or revolution), the path is the same. First, you try to CHANGE the system. When the system shows itself to be tyrannical, that influences the PEOPLE to move closer to revolution. IF the system changes instead, well, you just won a victory (and maybe the theory that the system is hopelessly tyrannical is flawed). Regardless, the path is the same. It's a process. We must have the resolve to see it through. We can't bend to the MTV generation pressures of needing perfection today. Because that isn't and can't be a reality. Ultimately, that attitude is just a cop-out for failing to do the real hard work of changing the system.

Side note:
Some Democratic Members of Congress have indicated that they're not currently pursuing Bush's impeachment. While this is upsetting, they percieve it to be in their (and the Democratic Party's) political best interest, at least until the political pressure builds. There are other reasons they're waiting as well, and one of those things is us. They (as well as Republican members) need us to legitimize their support for the process. Having millions of ImpeachForPeace.org's "Do-It-Yourself Impeachment" arrive at their door is one powerful tool toward making that happen.


See http://impeachforpeace.org /.

And if you want to initiate IMPEACHMENT proceedings yourself as a citizen, visit http://impeachforpeace.org/ImpeachNow.html

Visualize IMPEACHMENT.

Then DO something to make it happen.

NGU.


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Posted by ClassWarrior in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Mon Jul 03rd 2006, 01:47 PM
Four words: Judiciary Chairman John Conyers

NGU.


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Posted by ClassWarrior in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sat Apr 08th 2006, 09:43 PM
How Corporate Law Inhibits Social Responsibility
by Robert Hinkley (originally published at www.commondreams.org )

<snip>

In Maine, where I live, this duty of directors is in Section 716 of the business corporation act, which reads:

...the directors and officers of a corporation shall exercise their powers and discharge their duties with a view to the interests of the corporation and of the shareholders...

Although the wording of this provision differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, its legal effect does not. This provision is the motive behind all corporate actions everywhere in the world. Distilled to its essence, it says that the people who run corporations have a legal duty to shareholders, and that duty is to make money. Failing this duty can leave directors and officers open to being sued by shareholders.

<snip>

The specific change I suggest is simple: add 26 words to corporate law and thus create what I call the "Code for Corporate Citizenship." In Maine, this would mean amending section 716 to add the following clause. Directors and officers would still have a duty to make money for shareholders,

...but not at the expense of the environment, human rights, the public safety, the communities in which the corporation operates or the dignity of its employees.

This simple amendment would effect a dramatic change in the underlying mechanism that drives corporate malfeasance.

<snip>


http://www.business-ethics.com/constitEcon... (second article down)

NGU.


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