Remembering Richards work and life
Richard Grossman said: “.. corporations don’t have rights. Rights are for people. Corporations only have privileges, and only those that we the people bestow on them.” In a nutshell that was the essence of his research and teaching for the last 20 years. Richard died of melanoma on November 22nd, 2011, at a hospital in New York City, where he was born sixty-eight years earlier.
Ralph Nader called him the “preeminent historian of corporations” and a new, inspiring reading of history was his special gift. Richard said that the American revolution was fought less against the crown but against the crown corporations. And he believed that it’s time to remember that fight and assert sovereignty of the people over the corporate state and ask: Why should the many be governed by the few?” In the last 15 years he had been an important member of POCLAD, the Project on Corporations, Law and Democracy and CELDF, the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund. His lasting legacy are the Democracy Schools that continue to be taught across the country, and a pamphlet: Taking Care of Business describes the process of de-chartering corporations. http://www.ratical.org/corporations/TCoB.html
Two important projects that Richard Grossman initiated in the last months of his life do not receive enough notice in the obituaries about his work: Upstate New York, where he lived in a small town, is in the cross hairs of natural gas exploration and hydrofracking. Richard Grossman became active in the Sovereign People’s Action Network (SPAN). He presented, at the August 2011 Green Fest in New York City, the draft of a law to not just regulate or limit the practice but to formally criminalize the procedure in an amendment to the penal code. http://corporatecrimereporter.com/documents/fracking.pdf
The second legacy of Richard Grossman’s work that he formalized as draft just 4 weeks before he died is An Act To Criminalize Chartered, Incorporated Business Entities as a class.<GrossmanActToCriminalize.html> Several Obituaries refer to that Act by name without offering a link to the text. It seems as if those who want to remember Richard shy away from presenting his most radical proposal. But Richard himself wanted it to be seen. It is his contribution to the Occupy movement.
This is a re-broadcast of the first in a two hour tribute to this passionate and erudite man, beginning with this recording of a 1995 presentation to a planning meeting with the members of the International Forum on Globalization.