We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Click here to access a 53.5 minute audio recording of an interview with Alyssa Katz, author of The Influence Machine: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Corporate Capture of American Life featured on Against the Grain program of KPFA, a listener sponsored radio station in Berkeley, California.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a primary advocacy non-profit organization promoting the interests of corporations that operate mostly within the United States. This organization also serves corporations by mediating disputes among corporations in order to influence government legislation that favors business interests within the US. Katz explains how this organization differs from other such groups like the Business Roundtable and the National Association of Manufacturers, details about its role in promoting corporations, and its history from its origin in 1912.

In the past I have posted many articles about leading capitalist non-profit think tanks, such as Brookings and the Council on Foreign Relations, that function to influence foreign policies (known generally as "neoliberalism") on behalf of transnational financial and industrial corporations. I have also presented a rather tentative theory about a growing contest between nation-based capitalists and transnational capitalists (see especially this, this, and this) in which the latter are winning whenever there are conflicts of interests. 

This contest is played out in various arenas, one of which is revealed in the current election campaigns. Noticeable in corporate media is their bias in favor of Hillary Clinton who represents neoliberal capitalists and against other candidates, especially against Donald Trump who is an uncontrollable maverick capitalist that has much more of a nation-based view of US foreign policies. The fact that corporate media favor Clinton is another bit of evidence that neoliberals are the dominant faction within the US ruling class.

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