About the Alliance for Democracy
noimage 1142 -AA About

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 world's population.

* 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, and elderly.

OK, how about action?