Monday, March 12, 2012

100th Anniversary of William Jennings Bryan Ohio Speech -- on Corporations, etc.

This is what three-time Presidential candidate and populist William Jennings Bryan said about corporations exactly a century ago. This is what Presidential candidates should be saying today...

"The first thing to understand is the difference between the natural person and the fictitious person called a corporation. They differ in the purpose for which they are created, in the strength which they possess, and in the restraints under which they act. Man is the handiwork of God and was placed upon earth to carry out a Divine purpose; the corporation is the handiwork of man and created to carry out a money-making policy. There is comparatively little difference in the strength of men; a corporation may be one hundred, one thousand, or even one million times stronger than the average man. Man acts under the restraints of conscience, and is influenced also by a belief in a future life. A corporation has no soul and cares nothing about the hereafter."

--William Jennings Bryan, "People's Law" speech, Ohio Constitutional Convention, March 12, 1912, Columbus, Ohio


  1. Some things never change--unless of course we change it, which we will. :-)

  2. Seems so obvious. It makes me wonder about the IQ level of our Supreme Court Justices.

  3. There was a mayor of Detroit named Hazen Pingree back around 1893. He said similar things about corporate influence. During an economic downturn (Panic of 1893), they called him Potato Patch Pingree because he personally assisted citizens with raising their own food (sold his best horse to buy farming tools for them). There is a monument to him, a statue of him, in downtown Detroit in the same park where OccupyDetroit set up camp last year.

    The plaque on the front of the monument reads: “The citizens of Michigan erect this monument to the cherished memory of Hazen S. Pingree. A gallant soldier, an enterprising and successful citizen, four times elected mayor of Detroit, twice governor of Michigan. He was the first to warn the people of the great danger threatened by powerful private corporations. And the first to awake to the great inequalities in taxation and to initiate steps for reform. The idol of the people. He died June 18, MDCCCI, aged 60 years.” (

    Short memories we have.

    Nice blog, anyway. Keep it up! :)