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Their long-term focus began paying off handsomely in the 1980s, in coordination with the Reagan Administration’s “hands-off business” philosophy. There always have been some who opposed the American system, and preferred socialism or some form of statism (communism or fascism).

Most notable about these institutions was their focus on education, shifting values, and movement-building — a focus we share, though often with sharply contrasting goals.* (See our endnote for more on this.) So did Powell’s political views influence his judicial decisions? Powell did embrace expansion of corporate privilege and wrote the majority opinion in , a 1978 decision that effectively invented a First Amendment “right” for corporations to influence ballot questions. Also, there always have been critics of the system, whose criticism has been wholesome and constructive so long as the objective was to improve rather than to subvert or destroy.

This setting of the “rich” against the “poor,” of business against the people, is the cheapest and most dangerous kind of politics.

What has been the response of business to this massive assault upon its fundamental economics, upon its philosophy, upon its right to continue to manage its own affairs, and indeed upon its integrity?

In 1971, Lewis Powell, then a corporate lawyer and member of the boards of 11 corporations, wrote a memo to his friend Eugene Sydnor, Jr., the Director of the U. Anderson cautioned that Powell “might use his position on the Supreme Court to put his ideas into practice…in behalf of business interests.” Though Powell’s memo was not the sole influence, the Chamber and corporate activists took his advice to heart and began building a powerful array of institutions designed to shift public attitudes and beliefs over the course of years and decades. Booth (executive vice president) and others at the U. No thoughtful person can question that the American economic system is under broad attack.

The memorandum was dated August 23, 1971, two months prior to Powell’s nomination by President Nixon to the U. It was leaked to Jack Anderson, a liberal syndicated columnist, who stirred interest in the document when he cited it as reason to doubt Powell’s legal objectivity. This memorandum is submitted at your request as a basis for the discussion on August 24 with Mr. The purpose is to identify the problem, and suggest possible avenues of action for further consideration.

He emphasizes that he is not talking just about ‘fly-by-night hucksters’ but the top management of blue chip business.”7 A frontal assault was made on our government, our system of justice, and the free enterprise system by Yale Professor Charles Reich in his widely publicized book: “The Greening of America,” published last winter.

There are, of course, many exceptions to this sweeping generalization.Yet, these often are the most articulate, the most vocal, the most prolific in their writing and speaking.Moreover, much of the media-for varying motives and in varying degrees-either voluntarily accords unique publicity to these “attackers,” or at least allows them to exploit the media for their purposes.There are countless examples of rifle shots which undermine confidence and confuse the public.Favorite current targets are proposals for tax incentives through changes in depreciation rates and investment credits.

There are, of course, many exceptions to this sweeping generalization.

Yet, these often are the most articulate, the most vocal, the most prolific in their writing and speaking.

Moreover, much of the media-for varying motives and in varying degrees-either voluntarily accords unique publicity to these “attackers,” or at least allows them to exploit the media for their purposes.

There are countless examples of rifle shots which undermine confidence and confuse the public.

Favorite current targets are proposals for tax incentives through changes in depreciation rates and investment credits.

This is especially true of television, which now plays such a predominant role in shaping the thinking, attitudes and emotions of our people.