We, the People
The Alliance for Democracy
THE ALLIANCE is a new Populist movement --- not a political party ---
setting forth to end the domination of our economy, our government, our culture, our media
and the environment by large corporations.
THE ALLIANCE brings people together to build a progressive populist
movement to end the corporate domination of our economy, our
government, our culture, our media and the environment. It is time to
end corporate rule.
WE AIM TO PROMOTE true democracy in our country and help achieve a
just society with a sustainable, equitable economy. We work together with other
organizations, both here and abroad, who share these goals.
WE ARE PEOPLE from every walk of life who have come together from
across the country, listened to each other, and united to end corporate rule. We are
committed to true democracy, with focus for the voice and will of the people; to social
and economic justice for all people; and to the building of alternative democratic,
human-sized economic systems.
WE PURSUE THESE GOALS with respect for the dignity of all people and,
in a nonviolent way, seek linkages with similar groups to form a new people's movement,
both in the United States and around the world.
Why another organization?
PIECEMEAL REFORM isn't enough anymore. The corporate system will
not permit us to win anything fundamental by politics as usual. We see our unique role as
seeking the deep systemic change we'll need to win our independence from corporate rule
and replace it with true democracy.
How did the Alliance begin?
IN AUGUST 1995, The Nation published Ronnie Dugger's "A Call to Citizens: Will Real Populists Please Stand Up."
Over 6000 people responded, 2500 joined, and more than 55 local Alliances were
formed nationwide. In late 1996 delegates from 30 states convened in Texas hill country
and the Alliance for Democracy was founded.
THE POPULISTS of the 1880s arose in those same Texas hills to
challenge banks and corporate trusts for control of the national wealth and spirit.
Uniting farm and factory workers for the first time, they set up cooperatives, educated
each other, published newspapers and books, and fielded 20,000 speakers to show the way to
cooperation, self-respect, and hope.
Yes, but those first populists . . .
THEY COMBATTED RACISM and anti-Semitism more
effectively than any social movement before the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, as
demonstrated by historian C. Vann Woodward. Even so, a number of Populists shared the
prejudices of that time. We, 21st century Populists, are committed to the equal importance
of every person, no matter the person's race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation,
politics, or nation of origin.
What is the situation now?
MAJOR CORPORATIONS dominate our lives, our government, our work, our
health care and our food supply. Media conglomerates control the course and set the limits
of public discussion, commercialize and debase our national consciousness, and manipulate
mainstream public opinion.
EVERYWHERE THE NATURAL WORLD is threatened. Yet people worldwide are
exhorted to consume more and buy more in the name of "progress" so big
corporations can get bigger.
* The combined assets of 358 billionaires equal the combined assets of almost half the
* The courts have given corporations the basic Constitutional rights of persons, but
workers lose those rights on entering the workplace.
* The new World Trade Organization effectively gives corporations veto power over our
U.S. environmental and labor laws, weakening our right to protect ourselves and our land
by our legislation.
* Of the world's 100 largest economies, 50 are now global corporations.
* The corporate share of taxes paid has fallen from 33 percent in the 1940s to 15
percent today. Individuals' share of taxes has risen from 44 to 73 percent.
* The richest 1 percent of Americans own 40 percent of U.S. assets.
How does the Alliance work?
IN LOCAL CHAPTERS, our basic operating units, members
are educating each other, studying the corporate system and corporate power in their
communities, acting against local corporate abuses, and making inventories of local
alternative economic and media resources. Our biennial conventions elect a national council,
which oversees the organization, its campaigns, and our national office. The chapters are self-governing
in accordance with agreements between them and the national organization.
Our organizational Constitution and Bylaws are here.
What do Alliance members believe?
WE COME FROM all across the political spectrum, so our beliefs vary.
But most of us feel that no task is more important than taking back our democracy from
the unelected mega-corporations that, step by stealthy step, have stolen it from us..
WE UNDERSTAND the size of this task. But we are serious in our demand
for systemic change. All the changes we need and want we cannot have unless We, the
People, take back our power, this time for all of us.
IF WE DON'T, we will not have health care for everyone, or elections
not bought by the corporations and the wealthy, or a just tax system.
WE WILL NOT HAVE clean food and water, a healthy natural environment,
or safe cities and towns. We will not have good education for our children, equal
treatment for all people, full employment, or an adequate safety net for our poor, weak,
OK, how about action?