Written by Alex Newman
The Rockefeller Foundation, mega-banks, and even taxpayers via the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have provided millions of dollars toward pushing a new type of “socially responsible” corporate structure known as the “benefit corporation.” More than 15 states have already signed on. Critics, however, say the scheme will further undermine what remains of the market system while promoting deeply controversial United Nations Agenda 21-linked notions of “sustainable development.”
Under the “benefit-corporation” agenda, companies would no longer be just responsible for producing shareholder profits. Instead, a firm that becomes a benefit corporation would also have to pursue other goals that appear noble at first glance — sustainability, social justice, environmentalism, social responsibility, and other alleged “public benefits.” Apparently, creating jobs for workers and profits for shareholders, as well as goods and services that consumers want to purchase, is no longer enough.
If and when companies decide to become benefit corporations, they would obtain significant advantages over traditional firms dedicated to maximizing value. After receiving certification from a Rockefeller-funded outfit known as “B-Labs,” which is at the heart of the nationwide push, B-Corps could become eligible to receive everything from major tax breaks to preferential access to lucrative government contracts.
State governments across America are under heavy pressure by powerful lobbyists to adopt legislation creating “benefit-corporations” within their jurisdictions. Along with Washington, D.C., at least 17 states have already passed the necessary laws — Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia. Another dozen states, meanwhile, have bills introduced in the legislature.
Because the vast majority of Americans know nothing about the benefit-corporation agenda, legislation to lay the foundations of the scheme has met with little resistance so far. In North Carolina, however, liberty-minded activists succeeded in stopping the effort in May — if only temporarily — by explaining the more sinister side of the plot to lawmakers.
One of the citizen activists responsible for defeating the bill, Wynne Coleman, told The New American that the real agenda behind the whole benefit-corporation concept was socialism and more power for the global establishment. After hearing about the scheme, Coleman began researching. What she found was deeply troubling.
“The main problem with benefit corporations is that they disrupt the free market system of the United States,” she explained. “They set socialistic precedents in economy, society, and environment that are incompatible with our free enterprise system.”
More specifically, Coleman pointed to a series of major issues she sees with the plan. For one, she said, benefit corporations would fundamentally transform the way business is done in the United States by shifting the focus away from shareholder profits — the single bottom line. Instead, resources would be diverted toward nebulous “social” and “environmental” causes — “economy, environment, society” or “People, Planet, Profits” — known as the so-called “triple bottom line.”
Benefit corporations also blur the lines between public, private, and non-profit sectors that should remain separate, Coleman continued. Meanwhile, she said, the scheme would establish a “certification” process by third-party rating agencies that, while voluntary for now, could eventually become mandatory.
Other problems include the imposition of “hazy moral social standards” that would force companies to pursue expensive environmental schemes based on “unproven scientific theory,” she added. Finally, benefit corporations would “normalize a socialist philosophy,” Coleman concluded, pointing to the highly controversial UN Sustainable Development agenda — a planetary plot backed by Big Business, Big Banks, Big Government, dictators, and more.
“Ultimately, the benefit corporation system’s design is to consolidate power for the global elites,” Coleman told The New American, citing a series of hard-hitting reports and presentations she prepared for lawmakers about the scheme. “The global elite in politics and finance use an unconstitutional arrangement of public-private partnerships, by which the force of government combines with the power of business to plunder the resources of society and dictate how people must live.”
While the words United Nations, Agenda 21, and sustainable development do not appear in the benefit-corporation legislation being promoted across America, Coleman and other critics said the link is unmistakable. According to the definition of benefit corporations, they must “create a material positive impact on society and the environment.” Taken together, those nice-sounding terms, along with the fact that corporations are involved in business and the economy, should be cause for alarm.
After summarizing the key points of UN Agenda 21 — environment, economy, and equity, the so-called 3 E’s — Coleman explained that the goals of benefit corporations are virtually identical: promoting government, “sustainability,” pseudo-environmentalism, the merger of state and corporate power, and more, all under the bogus guise of helping people. Reviewing information found throughout the websites of front-groups promoting benefit corporations, the link becomes even more clear.
“One must ask: If the genuine motive for creating a benefit corporation is to enable a corporation to use profits to accomplish charitable and good acts, why must these good acts be defined by the specific 3E terminology of sustainable development, so often used in United Nations documents and websites?” Coleman asked, saying businesses should be free to run themselves but government should not provide special favors to so-called “benefit corporations.”
Of course, looking at what organizations and individuals are financing the push for benefit corporations and legislation to create them reveals a great deal as well. One of the groups at the center of the entire agenda, known as B Lab, lists its major funders online. The top donor: The Rockefeller Foundation, which gave between $2.5 million and $5 million.
The Rockefeller family has a long history of pushing causes at odds with the free market system, national sovereignty, and more. Indeed, billionaire banker David Rockefeller — a top player in key groups associated with the global establishment such as the Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderberg, the Trilateral Commission, and others — has openly revealed where his sympathies are.
In a 1973 piece for the New York Times, for example, he praised the communist “social experiment in China under Chairman Mao’s leadership,” which killed tens of millions of people and enslaved over a billion, as “one of the most important and successful in history.”
More recently, David Rockefeller offered some insight into his views in his 2002 autobiography. “Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure — one world, if you will,” he wrote. “If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”
The Rockefellers are not alone in pushing benefit corporations, though. Donating between $1 million and $2.5 million were several entities. Among the most noteworthy, perhaps, is USAID, a taxpayer-funded federal agency mired in controversy that is supposedly charged with handing out foreign aid. The New American reached out to USAID to find out why tax dollars were funding such a scheme, but the outfit did not respond to requests for comment. It was not immediately clear what constitutional or statutory authority purportedly authorizes spending public funds on the push for benefit corporations.
With the notable exception of some segments of the alternative media, very little scrutiny has been offered about the agenda so far — partly because so few Americans are even aware of the plot. However, for critics, it is crucial that citizens get informed about benefit corporations and get to work stopping the enabling legislation at the state level.
Coleman, who played a central role in stopping the bill in North Carolina, said Americans in states without benefit-corporation laws must stay on high alert. Citizens in states that already have such laws on the books, she added, should work with their elected officials to get the bills repealed. Coleman believes legislators and even governors might not have understood what they were doing, so educating them could help.
Analysts and critics of benefit corporations, pointing to some recent developments such as the formation of the billionaire-dominated “B Team,” say the effort to foist the scheme on America is about to be ramped up — big time. However, opposition to the so-called “sustainability” agenda is exploding nationwide, with some states even banning UN Agenda 21 entirely. Whether the establishment will succeed in imposing even more centralized government control over Americans will almost certainly depend on the strength of grassroots efforts to stop it.
Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, politics, and more. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.