In Unequal Protection, author Thom Hartmann tells a compelling, can't-put-it-down story that
tracks the history of the loss of democracy in America. It starts with the birth of the modern corporation with
the founding of the East India Company in 1600, through the Boston Tea Party revolt against transnational
corporate domination of the early American economy, the rise of corporations during the Civil War, the ultimate
theft of human rights before the Supreme Court in 1886, and into the modern-day theft of human
rights in the US and worldwide by corporate interests and the politicians they own.
Because of a mistaken interpretation of a Supreme Court reporter's notes in an 1886 railroad tax case,
corporations are now legally considered "persons," equal to humans and entitled to many of the same
protections guaranteed only to humans by the Bill of Rights - a clear contradiction of the intent of the
Founders of the United States. The results of this "corporate personhood"
Unequal responsibility for crime
Unequal protection from risk
Unequal citizenship and access to the commons
To remedy the legal blunder of corporate personhood,
Hartmann offers specific action steps that can be taken by citizens, courts,
legislatures, and local communities.
---- Reviews & Commentaries ----
"If you wonder why the corporate world constantly lurches from malaise to
oppression to governmental corruption and back, Unequal Protection reveals the
untold story. Beneath the success and rise of American enterprise is an
untold history that is antithetical to every value Americans hold dear.
This is a seminal work, a godsend really, a clear message to every citizen about
the need to reform our country, laws, and companies."
--Paul Hawken, author,
"I am grateful for this gift. It should be in the hands of every thinking American. If we do not awaken soon,
democracy will be replaced by a new 'Third Reich' of corporate tyranny. To be aware of the danger is the responsibility
of each of us. No one has told us the truth better than Thom Hartmann. Read it!"
-- Gerry Spence, author,
Give Me Liberty!
"This extraordinary book combines meticulous historical and legal research with a clear and compelling
writing style to demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt the incompatibility of corporate personhood with democracy, the
market economy, and the well-being of society. Complete with a practical program for essential reform to restore
the rights of real persons - including model legislation - it is essential reading and an invaluable reference work
for every citizen who cares about democracy, justice, and the human future."
--David C. Korten, author,
When Corporations Rule The World
"Unequal Protection is a blueprint for revitalizing the spirit of American democracy. Sometimes you have
to understand the bad news in order to appreciate the good news. Thom Hartmann connects the dots in a way that is
a tremendous gift for our generation of Americans."
--Marianne Williamson, author,
Healing the Soul of America
"Essential reading for anyone concerned about the future of democracy, both here and abroad. With devastating
precision and well-reasoned passion, Thom Hartmann shows the reader precisely how the corporate entity gained such
a perilously dominant role in the life of a nation whose founders meant for its politics to respond to the concerns
of people and communities, not return-seeking corporations."
--Jeff Gates, president, Shared
Capitalism Institute, author,
Democracy At Risk
"We thought it was
only in science fiction that things created by humans could actually take
over what is inherently our human heritage. But Thom Hartmann shows
how we've already let that happen on a frightening scale - not in
Frankenstein's monsters or Kubrick's creeping computer Hal - but in the
corporations that present their friendly 'faces' to us as if we have nothing
to fear from this ultimate usurpation of our rights as real humans."
--Ed Ayres, Senior Editor at Worldwatch
and author, God's
"For years, Thom Hartmann has been asking the
important questions and inspiring people to act on their solutions.
Now he tackles one of the hardest - how democracy in America and worldwide
has been eroded by unaccountable corporate power. He looks at the
structures that encourage destructive behaviour and offers alternatives.
Fascinating history told engagingly. We need books like this to find a
of a Citizen
"Hartmann goes where no person has gone before - towards uncovering the true
history of how corporations and the wealthy people behind them transformed our law and culture to usurp democracy.
This book is an inspiration to all groups and communitites and explains why we must rethink our engagement in
single issue struggles and move towards the assertion of direct, democratic control over corporations."
--Thomas Linzey, Esq., Community Environmental
Legal Defense Fund
"Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of
Human Rights by Thom Hartmann traces the social and legal history of how
corporations hijack our government and control our lives. Hartmann
astutely focuses on the perverse legal doctrine of "corporate
personhood," which illegitimately clothes corporations with the
constitutional protections which are only properly claimed by human
persons--citizens like you!
Even better, Hartmann offers specific suggestions and actions to remedy
this usurpation of the sovereign right of "We the People" to govern
ourselves and the institutions we create. This book is essential
reading for every Green Party member." --David Cobb,
Green Party of the United States
"If you wonder why and when giant corporations got the power to reign
supreme over us, here's the story. Plus, Hartmann tell us what we need to
do to regain our people's sovereignty." -- Jim Hightower, America's #1 Populist
"Thom Hartmann's most recent book - UNEQUAL PROTECTION - goes beyond even
brilliance and courage. It is, in fact, the perfect handbook for today's
activist. We all need it in our backpack or briefcase as we set forth to rally
support and engage the real enemies of democracy." -- Robin Larsen author
Joseph Campbell: A Fire in the Mind
"Many consider Abraham Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address to be the
penultimate statement of our nation's spiritual mission. It's climactic
words resolve that 'government of the people, by the people, for the
people shall not perish from the earth.' But we are today allowing a
rise of corporate dominance that is producing a 'government of the
corporation, by the corporation, and for the corporation.' Our
government has lost track of its mandate to serve the public interest
and seems increasingly to do the bidding of corporate interests. The
consequences - for human rights, social justice, public health, and the
environment - are catastrophic. How has this come to pass? And most
critically, is there anything we can do about it? Unequal Protection is
nothing less than an act of compelling and heroic sanity. It is THE
book to read if you want to perceive corporate dominance clearly, become
more able to stand in its way, and more able to uphold the true values
of this nation." -- John Robbins, author
The Food Revolution, and
Diet For A New America
"Thom Hartmann has written an informative and important book on the rise of corporations in America and
their role in our lives. Thom shows us how corporations became recognized as people.
The problem, however, is that they are not people. Their boards value profit primarily,
without the concerns people share, leading them to make decisions
individual people of conscience wouldn't make. In my field of
health care, corporations have taken charge, rendering a valueless health care.
Proft has become more important than wellness. Thom gives us an understanding of
why this has happened and what can be done about it. I recommend this book strongly
as a great read, but also containing necessary information to help
us take charge of our lives in these days of multinational giants."
-- Lewis Mehl-Madrona M.D., author of
(c) Copyright 1996-2005,
Mythical Intelligence, Inc. and Thom Hartmann
Corporate personhood ordinances and constitutional amendments copyright CELDF
This site is for information purposes only and not intended to offer or substitute for legal advice.