Depending on your media sources, you may have seen the news about the 40 year anniversary of ALEC – American Legislative Exchange Council. Well, ALEC and other conservative, pro-corporate governance of America, organizations were inspired by a document published 42 years ago. On August 23, 1971, attorney, and future Supreme Court Justice, Lewis F. Powell Jr, drafted a confidential memorandum for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that is now know as The Powell Memo. It “describes a strategy for the corporate takeover of the dominant public institutions of American society.”
Two years ago, on the 40th anniversary of The Powell Memo, Greenpeace posted a story about it:
“Historian Kim Phillips-Fein describes how “many who read the memo cited it afterward as inspiration for their political choices.” In fact, Powell’s Memo is widely credited for having helped catalyze a newbusiness activist movement, with numerous conservative family and corporate foundations (e.g. Coors, Olin, Bradley, Scaife, Koch and others) thereafter creating and sustaining powerful new voices to help push the corporate agenda, including the Business Roundtable (1972), the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC – 1973), Heritage Foundation (1973), the Cato Institute (1977), the Manhattan Institute (1978), Citizens for a Sound Economy (1984 – now Americans for Prosperity), Accuracy in Academe (1985), and others.”
What are we willing to pay for unlimited free enterprise – the loss of our representative government?