Democracy School Curriculum


  • Arrival of Attendees
  • Welcome
  • Introductions of Attendees
  • Overview of the Curriculum
  • “Evolutions” of the Lecturers
  • Into the Curriculum


Section “A”

Our Work Within the Regulatory System: What is Law and How is it Used

Curriculum Selections

* Roanoke Times and World News, Smithfield Says State Miscounted the Extent of its Water Pollution (1997).
* Jane Anne Morris, Help! I’ve Been Colonized and I Can’t Get Up (1998).
* Edward Bernays, Propaganda (1928).
* Intro to Bernays.
* John C. Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, A R.O.S.E. By Any Other Name.
* Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production
* PennAg Industries Association, Changing Our Image of Farming.
* Regulatory Triangles.
* Gordon Lafer, Ph.D., Free and Fair? How Labor Law Fails U.S. Democratic Election Standards.
* Kazis and Grossman, Fear at Work (1982).
* Cyclopedic Law Dictionary: Definition of Law.
* J. Allen Smith, The Spirit of American Government.
* Philip S. Foner, Ph.D, The Complete Writings of Thomas Paine.
* The Putney Debates, The Levellers.


  1. The regulatory system guarantees that the environment will be damaged, that the system actually permits it to occur, and that the system is built to recognize certain constitutional constraints.
  2. Our “engaging in the regulatory system”, while limiting some of the harms done by corporations, cannot achieve the types of change we need, and that we are colonized to believe that it actually can.
  3. Our thinking is colonized not only by the law – which establishes certain constraints that deny us the goals of our activism – but that our thinking is colonized by a culture that is created by those who benefit from the way that the system operates.
  4. On the issue of land application of sewage sludge, we’ve been colonized that a bad is a good, through language used to frame the issue.
  5. On the issue of the corporatization of agriculture, we’ve been colonized that a bad is a good, through language used to frame the issue.
  6. Both the regulatory system of law and the culture produce a system of activism that cannot stop a corporate minority from governing community majorities, and that the regulatory system of law and culture effectively drives us like cattle down to a point of activism where we cannot win the issue that we’re working on.
  7. A regulatory system of law governs employer-employee relationships, and that regulatory system of law codifies the rights of the employer over the employee.
  8. Regulatory systems of law were created not to protect health, safety, and welfare, but as a governmental barrier to prevent majority governance.
  9. The traditional use of the regulatory system of law, and the operation of today’s regulatory agencies, are not mistakes or errors, but a logical use of the law to assert minority control over majorities.
  10. Law itself has a long history of being used by a minority to govern, that it was used by William the Conqueror to create an English structure of law; and that the mere existence of Constitutions does not guarantee democratic government.
  11. Throughout history, there have always been people who have seen that illegitimate structure of governance, and demanded something else, like the English Levelers and Diggers in the 1600’s.


Section “B”

Colonialism:  Replicating the English Structure of Law and Culture Across the Globe and in the American Colonies

Curriculum Selections

* W.E. DuBois, The World and Africa
* Ronald Segal, The Black Diaspora (Wealth of the Indies).
* The Bull Inter Caetera (Alexander VI), May 4, 1493.
* Charter of Charles II to William Penn  (March 4, 1681).
* Thomas Paine on Corporations and Charters in “The Right of Man”.
* Robert A. Williams, Jr., The American Indian in Western Legal Thought.
* Clarence J. Glacken, Traces on the Rhodian Shore
* Professor Laxman D. Satya, The British Empire, Ecology and Famines in the Late 19th Century Central India
* Printed by John More, Esq, The Lawes Resolutions of Womens Rights: or, the Lawes Provision for Woemen
* Harvey Wish, American Slave Insurrections Before 1861.(Joanne Grant, Black Protest, History Documents, and Analyses).
* Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, and Jenifer Frank, Complicity.


  1. Western Europeans colonized other countries through various means of legally sanctioned violence and terror.
  2. The English colonized the Caribbean through various means of violence and terror.
  3. The Church intervened repeatedly to legalize and authorize state colonialism.
  4. The English colonized America through the use of corporate charters which transferred full governing authority to one or several men, and that charters are, in reality, instruments of exclusion.
  5. The English Structure of Law was positioned to recognize the legality of colonizing “discovered” lands, and that the American Indians were dispossessed of lands through that legal sanction.
  6. The English Structure of Law viewed nature as a resource to be used, and thus, that it was man’s rightful role to subjugate, dominate and manage nature; and that through colonialism, the English imposed that view and forcibly eliminated those cultures that sustainably used natural systems.
  7. The English Structure of Law treated African-Americans as property, leading to a system of slavery as the dominant economic institution both north and south, and that imposition of that understanding led to thousands of slave revolts prior to the Civil War in the United States.
  8. The English Structure of law treated women as property.


Section “C”

The American Revolutionaries Rebel Against the English Structure of Law and Culture

Curriculum Selections

* Sons of Liberty of New York, The ALARM (1773).
* Common Sense, Rights of Man, and Other Essential Writing of Thomas Paine [pdf].
* Declaration of Independence (1776).
* Ralph Barton Parry, Puritanism and Democracy (1964) (Earl Latham, The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution).
* Articles of Confederation (1777).


  1. Early colonists understood that English colonialism, carried out by multinational trading corporations chartered by England, resulted in the actions taken by Parliament against the American colonies.
  2. Some revolutionaries understood that solving their problem meant replacing the English structure of law and culture, and transforming the chartered corporate colonies from property to constitutionalized states, and that the corporate form must be subordinated to the governance of the people.
  3. That understanding led to the declaration of a new theory of governance, expounded as part of the Declaration of Independence, that people have inherent rights and create governments to secure and protect those rights, and that when government fails to secure and protect those rights, is the duty of people to abolish that government.
  4. The authorship and release of the Declaration of Independence was illegal.
  5. The colonists drafted a First Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, and those Articles envisioned a decentralized confederation of the States that retained local governing authority.
  6. Lack of a centralized, preemptive federal government created delays for those engaged in multi-state commerce, and that Washington’s incorporation of the Potomac Company spotlighted those problems.


Section “D”

Betraying the Revolution: A Minority Replicates the English Structure of Law Through the Adoption of the U.S. Constitution

Curriculum Selections

* Thomas P. Slaughter, The Whiskey Rebellion.
* The Mount Vernon Conference, The Annapolis Convention, and the End of the First Constitution. [pdf]
* Robert L. Schuyler, The Constitution of the United States (1923) (Earl Latham, The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution).
* Matt Wuerker and Peter Kellman, The Closed-Door Constitutional Convention (2001)
* Vernon Louis Parrington, Main Currents in American Thought (1927).
* Reported by James Madison, Notes of the Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787.
* Richard Grossman, Anti-Federalists Speak: Property vs. Democracy in 1787.
* The United States Constitution (1789).


  1. The Mount Vernon Conference was convened to solve the problems encountered by the Potomac Company, and the Conference led to the Annapolis Convention, which sent a report to Congress urging for a broader meeting to be held in Philadelphia.
  2. Delegates to the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention were a select group representing property-owning white males, that the proceedings were secret and sentries were positioned at the doors, that Madison and Randolph presented the Virginia Plan on the first day, and that minutes of the Convention were not released for over 53 years.
  3. Most of the delegates viewed democracy as rule by the rabble, and called for the crafting of a Constitution that enabled a minority to govern, and which protected the property of the minority from majority governance.
  4. There were a group of people called the anti-federalists who understood what the delegates were attempting, and attempted to stop the ratification of the Constitution.
  5. The Constitution is an anti-majoritarian, slave document that established a minority-rule, slave state.


Section “E”

The Second American Revolution: Abolitionists and Women’s Rights Agitators Lead a Revolt Against the Constitution

Curriculum Selections

* William Lloyd Garrison, Moral Law Higher Than the Constitution (The Perfectionists: Radical Social Thought in the North, 1815-1860).
* Truman Nelson, Documents of Upheaval.
* Henry Wilson, Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America.
* Howard Jay Graham, Everyman’s Constitution.
* Civil War Amendments.
* Michael Ken Curtis, Connecticut Law Review.
* W.E.B. DuBois, Black Reconstruction in America 1860-1880.
* Peter Kellman, Building Unions.
* Richard Grossman, Then What Happened?
* John R. Howard, The Shifting Wind.
* Civil Rights Cases.
* Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1874).
* Breaking Unjust Laws: An Account of the Proceedings on the Trial of Susan B. Anthony on the Charge of Illegal Voting.


  1. The Abolitionists launched a frontal attack on the Constitution as a slave document, and that the Abolitionists used the Declaration of Independence as the foundation for that attack.
  2. The Abolitionists were forced to dismantle the popular American Colonization Society, which called for the expatriation of slaves to slave colonies, because their goals were not the goals of the Abolitionists.
  3. The Abolitionists and Radical Republicans drove the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments into the Constitution following the Civil War.
  4. The Abolitionists saw those Amendments as the beginning of a constitutional revolution, to replace a slave Constitution with a rights Constitution.
  5. Southern and northern business interests reunited after the Civil War, and with the election of Hayes, pulled the federal troops out of the south and brought them north to put down labor uprisings.
  6. The United States Supreme Court concocted legal theories that withdrew the protections of the Amendments from African-Americans in the South.
  7. That women attempted to enforce the guarantees of those Amendments and were denied, and that suffragists broke the law as part of their efforts to drive universal suffrage into the Constitution.


Section “F”

Building a Corporate State: A Minority Uses the Constitution to Override Community Self-Government

Curriculum Selections

* Model Brief on Corporate “Rights”
* Jane Anne Morris, Gaveling Down The Rabble.
* Peter Kellman, You’ve Hard of Santa Clara, Now Meet Dartmouth.
* Dartmouth Chart
* Jon Teaford, Municipal Charters.
* John Forrest Dillion, LL.D., Commentaries on the Law of Municipal Corporations.
* Ben Price, The Corporate Counter-Revolution Chart.
* Arthur Selwyn Miller, The Modern Corporate State (1976).


  1. Accumulations of property and capital, in the form of the corporation, have been given constitutional “rights” and protections over the past one hundred and thirty years.
  2. As early as 1819, corporations were recognized as being protected by the Contracts Clause of the Constitution, making their corporate charters exempt from unilateral authority exercised by the State seeking to change the charter.
  3. Even though private corporations and municipal corporations are both corporations, that separate sets of law have evolved which empower private corporations but keep municipal corporations under very strict State control.
  4. The system of law guarantees that the rights of private corporations and their decisionmakers will almost always trump the rights of communities, even though municipal corporations ostensibly represent “we the people.”
  5. The system of law does not recognize a right of local self-government, but that municipalities are wholly controlled by State governments, as a parent/child relationship.
  6. The Commerce Clause has been used by corporations and the courts to strip state and municipal governments of lawmaking in the area of commerce, and that major environmental, labor, and civil rights laws were passed under the authority of that Clause.
  7. The accumulation of rights for corporate minorities combined with the corporate grip on culture, has resulted in the creation of a Corporate State.


Section “G”

Shaping a Movement: Communities Assert Local Self-Governance in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia and Beyond

Curriculum Selections

* The Pennsylvania Story
* Strategic “Boxes” – Reframing Single Issues, Adopting Rights-Based Local Law, Drawing the “right response” from the Corporate State, and Building larger Coalitions
* Home Rule, Local Constitutions, and Building Community Government from Rights, as a Foundation
* The Rights of Nature