Statement on Enron

The following is a statement from the leadership team of WILPF's campaign to Challenge Corporate Power, Assert the People's Rights:

The focus of the Enron Corporation story belongs less on the individuals at the helm of the corporate entities involved and more on past and present public officials. Who else is responsible for creating and empowering corporate legal entities to amass enough power and wealth to virtually exercise governing powers over the people?

Since we the people are supposed to be sovereign -- the source of all legal and political authority in this country through elections, lawmaking and public policy -- why do we permit our public officials to give our authority away to these artificial entities?

The Bush Administration and congressional committees define therevelations of wrongdoing as a problem of "business." WILPF defines them,as should the US public, as a problem of governance. If our elected officials were serious about doing their job on the public's behalf, they would dig deep into US history to understand how corporate entities were once under the authority of elected state representatives, and how and by whom corporations' subordinate status was eroded. Only then could these representatives of the people focus on the right issues and ask the right questions. For instance:

  • How is it that many of Enron Corporation's violations against workers, shareholders and communities are LEGAL? What role have political contributions and lobbyists played in this and other corporations controlling legislators? In regulatory agencies and processes that serve corporations, not citizens?
  • Most important, how should we institutionalize the people's authority over the entities created to do our bidding?

This current corporate usurpation of the people's authority, like many before it, is not a question of business. It is one of democracy.

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