Ralph Nader: Critical Exposés Everywhere as the Corporate State Worsens

Despite many books being published on corporate crooks, there have been no corporate crime law reforms, no additional prosecutions of these CEOs, not even comprehensive congressional or state legislative hearing. What gives?
[Michael Coghlan / CC BY-SA 2.0]

By Ralph Nader

Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his 1938 message to Congress warned that when private power becomes stronger than the democratic state itself, we have Fascism. There are many ways to witness the intensifying domination toward a corporate state. One way is to compare exposé books in the 1960s and the present.

Within a span of five years, there were three books in the sixties that put forces in motion leading to significant reordering of our society’s priorities. They were Silent Spring by Rachel Carson (1962), my Unsafe at Any Speed (1965), and The Other America by Michael Harrington (1962).

The message of these bestselling books was expanded by authors going on national TV and radio shows. They spoke around the country, before large audiences at colleges/universities and even high schools. An aroused citizenry prompted congressional hearings, legislation, and the establishment of federal agencies to deal with the problems of toxic chemicals, unsafe motor vehicles, and deep poverty in the U.S.

By stark contrast, now the volume of muckraking indictments of corporate crime, fraud, and tyranny is at least ten-fold that of the nineteen sixties. Books and blogs, documentaries and podcasts are pouring out daily with far less impact and in many cases no effect, for change.

Take a look at 65 recent searing books about corporate violence and malfeasance, crushing influence over our electoral and political systems, and expanding immunities from law enforcement and public accountability.

  1. Corporate Crime and Punishment: The Crisis of Underenforcement by John Coffee
  2. Mass Tort Deals: Backroom Bargaining in Multidistrict Litigation by Elizabeth Burch
  3. Why Not Jail? Industrial Catastrophes, Corporate Malfeasance … by Rena Steinzor
  4. Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe
  5. Closing Death’s Door: Legal Innovations to End the Epidemic of Healthcare Harm by Michael J. Saks and Stephan Landsman
  6. Who Poisoned Your Bacon Sandwich?… by Guillaume Coudray
  7. The Monsanto Papers: Deadly Secrets, Corporate Corruption… by Carey Gillam
  8. The Age of Addiction: How Bad Habits Became Big Business by David Courtwright
  9. Frankie: How One Woman Prevented a Pharmaceutical Disaster by James Essinger and Sandra Koutzenko
  10. Killer Airbags by Jerry Cox
  11. Making the World Safe for Coke by Susan Greenhalgh
  12. Big Dirty Money by Jennifer Taub
  13. Business and Human Rights by Ellen Hertz
  14. Industrial-Strength Denial by Barbara Freese
  15. Baseless: My Search for Secrets in the Ruins of the Freedom of Information Act by Nicholson Baker
  16. Too Big to Jail: How Prosecutors Compromise with Corporations by Brandon L. Garrett
  17. Capital Offenses: Business Crime and Punishment in America’s Corporate Age by Samuel W. Buell
  18. Profiteering, Corruption and Fraud in U.S. Health Care by John Geyman
  19. Monopolized: Life in the Age of Corporate Power by David Dayen
  20. Global Banks on Trial by Pierre-Hugues Verdier
  21. Triumph of Doubt: Dark Money and the Science of Deception by David Michaels
  22. Murder, Inc.: How Unregulated Industry Kills or Injures Thousands of Americans Every Year…And What You Can Do About It by Gerald Goldhaber
  23. Paradise Lost at Sea: Rethinking Cruise Vacations by Ross A. Klein
  24. Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy by Matt Stoller
  25. Crisis of Conscience: Whistleblowing in An Age of Fraud by Tom Mueller
  26. Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom by Katherine Eban
  27. GMOs Decoded: A Skeptic’s View of Genetically Modified Foods by Sheldon Krimsky and Marion Nestle
  28. GM: Paint it Red: Inside General Motors’ Culture of Failure by Nicholas Kachman
  29. The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives by Jesse Eisinger
  30. Watchdog: How Protecting Consumers Can Save Our Families, Our Economy, and Our Democracy by Richard Cordray
  31. First Class: The U.S. Postal Service, Democracy, and the Corporate Threat by Christopher Shaw
  32. Un-American: A Soldier’s Reckoning of Our Longest War by Erik Edstrom
  33. Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War by Samuel Moyn
  34. Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America by Eyal Press
  35. Why Do We Still Have the Electoral College? by Alexander Keyssar
  36. Public Citizens by Paul Sabin
  37. The United States of War by David Vine
  38. The Wealth Hoarders: How Billionaires Pay Millions to Hide Trillions by Chuck Collins
  39. Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America by Alec MacGillis
  40. The Case Against George W. Bush by Steven C. Markoff
  41. Tax the Rich: How Lies, Loopholes, and Lobbyists Make the Rich Even Richer by Erica Payne and Morris Pearl
  42. Salt Wars: The Battle Over the Biggest Killer in the American Diet by Dr. Michael Jacobson
  43. Unrig: How to Fix Our Broken Democracy by Daniel G. Newman
  44. Plaintiff in Chief: A Portrait of Donald Trump in 3,500 Lawsuits by James D. Zirin
  45. Stealing Our Democracy by Don Siegelman
  46. Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor by Steven Greenhouse
  47. All the President’s Women: Donald Trump and the Making of a Predator by Monique El-Faizy and Barry Levine
  48. Money, Power, and the People: The American Struggle to Make Banking Democratic by Christopher Shaw
  49. Troubled Water: What’s Wrong with What We Drink by Seth M. Siegel
  50. Disrupt, Discredit, and Divide: How the New FBI Damages Democracy by Mike German
  51. United States of Distraction: Media Manipulation in Post-Truth America… by Mickey Huff and Nolan Higdon
  52. The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age by Tim Wu
  53. The End of Ice by Dahr Jamail
  54. Confessions of a Rogue Nuclear Regulator by Dr. Gregory Jaczko
  55. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff
  56. America, Democracy & You: Where Have All the Citizens Gone? by Ronald R. Fraser
  57. Unsettled (on Purdue Pharma and the Sackler Family) by Ryan Hampton
  58. Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas
  59. China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine by Rosemary Gibson and Janardan Prasad Singh
  60. Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World by Nomi Prins
  61. Attention All Passengers: The Airlines’ Dangerous Descent and What You Can Do To Reclaim Our Skies by William McGee
  62. Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science by Carey Gillam
  63. The CEO Pay Machine: How it Trashes America and How to Stop It by Steven Clifford
  64. World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech by Franklin Foer
  65. The Golden Passport: Harvard Business School, …. and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite by Duff McDonald

Despite the many books on corporate crooks, there have been no corporate crime law reforms, no additional prosecutions of these CEOs, not even comprehensive congressional or state legislative hearings. The corporate crooks at the top of giant companies still get away with profiting from their corporate crime wave. None of the top Wells Fargo executives or Opioid’s promoters or the sellers of dangerous products and chemicals are facing prosecution. You have to steal a loaf of bread or get caught with a miniscule amount of heroin or cocaine to be incarcerated.

The massive fatality toll annually (about 400,000) from preventable problems in hospitals and clinics gets exposed yet nobody stirs in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, state departments of health, or the state legislatures. That’s almost 8000 Americans losing their lives a week!

Profiteering, corruption, and fraud in the health industry are documented by many specialists, including Dr. John Geyman’s many books, but the exposés do not result in any calls for law and order by the politicians or even hearings in Congress.

Access to justice by victims faces increasingly closed courtroom doors and limits on tort laws for wrongful injury.

Meanwhile, the institutions we are expected to rely on to make a difference, with too few exceptions, are asleep at the wheel. These include the legal, medical, and accounting professions, the law enforcement agencies (there is no corporate crime index in the U.S. Justice Department), the toady legislatures, the corporate-owned media, the timid, often compromised labor unions, college campuses, and the silent corporatized organized religious institutions.

Our democracy is in serious decay. The information is readily available about what to do about it, while citizens argue among themselves, having been divided and ruled by corporate propaganda and politicians indentured to corporate supremacists.

Most active people seem unable to coalesce over their common interests at the community level. Remember, less than one percent of citizens stepping forward can turn the tide! (See

For some reflections on our Auto Safety work over the past 55 years later visit


  1. Mr. Nader’s latest column and the bibliography it contains is a great resource of information and education for all who are contending with the increasingly challenging realities of these times.

  2. May I add to the list by the late Paul Hellyer, “The Money Mafia”.
    A great book on who runs the world.

  3. There is clearly a conspiratorial planned totalitarian fascist transformation being executed. If you look at the owner of virtually every nation’s federal bank, you would see Rothschild. Blackrock and Vanguard own almost every major corporation, but while their ownership is guardedly secret, Rockefeller and Rothschild are highly suspect. We see the signs of fascism=private military forces, privatized prisons, privatized schools, libraries, medicare, and more. We perceive global mandates for vaccines and the deliberate and intentional transfer of wealth from the middle class to the wealthy in the totally useless and unecessary closure of economies. What more evidence is needed? If you don’t smell conspiracy and global moves towards a world totalitarian fascist police state, you are either uninformed, or stupid.

    1. Love it… in the same sentence as fascism… “if you don’t agree with me you’re stupid”.

      I don’t agree with you… You put too much stock in human ability to cooperate with conspiratorial theories. Yes the rich get richer and continue to do so. And loosely converge on the system in a decentralized way to all line their own pockets. But you think the massive egos who go home to swim in their own private Scrooge McDuck pools of gold are actually capable of a) Conjuring up a vision of the future and b) Actually playing nice together to achieve it then clearly you haven’t actually met anyone who lives in that strata, or truly understand the human heart of darkness.

  4. You left out Robert F Kennedy Jr’s “The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill gates, Big Pharma and the Global War in Democracy and Public Health.”

    If this book doesn’t provoke outright anger and disgust emerging as a movement to smash the system and replace it with something better and humane — with Fauci’s cruel Azt/Aids medical experiments on helpless orphan children and pregnant mothers in Uganda, NYC, Cameroon and South Central Los Angeles — then all is lost.

    Fauci is the American Mengele and this system of profit, corruption and abuse allows horrible sociopaths to take power in all American institutions.

    Kennedy’s book reads like a Nuremberg indictment.

    Read it!

    1. Thomas + Prentice – You need to research a bit more about Dr. Fauci because your information about him is patently false. Google him and the supposed experiments you claim he was involved in. You will find that your information is not true.

      1. Goolag is invested in and tied to the Pharmafia just as Don Fauci. So are its algorithmically prioritized fact-checkers and infomercial sites spinning and revising all the ‘misinformation’ about him.

      2. If you trust Google, even Wikipedia, then your filters are clogged. In 1997, in my country, Canada, John Ralston Saul, the husband of one of our former Governor Generals and likely the most intelligent and gifted living academics stated: “What we are witnessing is a slow-moving corporate coup d’etat.” Many of us outside the States looking in, would say it is now complete, with factions in our countries moving fast to consolidate, such as our once vaunted CBC.

      3. Joan Prentice: there is no arguing with conspiracy theory adherents (see also Michael Lewis Kahn above). Your words are wasted. You might as well try to argue with those pitiful Mormon kids showing up on your doorstep to tell you their ‘truth’ (at eighteen years old, with their jacket and their seven white shirts and seven pairs of socks in their suitcases, and one phonecall home, on Mother’s Day, and a badge on their lapel that reads ‘Elder So-and-so’). Americans’ tendency towards paranoia and distrust of real intellectual effort is destroying their country. It’s a real pity.

      4. I meant “Joan Clark” in my earlier message. Could you kindly fix that for me, moderator? I’d appreciate it.

      5. Read the book, read the book, read the book!

        Do not trust Google. Do not trust Google. Do not trust Google,

        Look up Kennedy’s 2200 footnotes.

        Wake the fuck up!

    2. Yes! Read or listen to this book, if only the last chapter, and you will agree that Fauci is the J. Edgar Hoover of public health! For those of us who are too poor to buy the book, here’s links to the two-part audio version:

      The reader has a voice that’s almost monotone, so you might want to get a hard copy from a library. In any case, at least listen to part two at 08:09:57 (chapter 12.) It would be sweet karma if RFK Jr’s book is so widely read that it plays a part in taking down the national security state…

  5. You are a slave. You will not like reading that. In fact you will hate me more for writing it then those who oppress and enslave you.

    You should ask yourself why that is.

    For me life without freedom is a living death. But apparently I am the exception and not the rule.

    1. Tell me about your freedom. How do you manage to escape the machinery that keeps the rest of us enslaved? I’m genuinely curious.

  6. Ralph Nader to me is a saint!!!! How he can remain positive and committed after so many of his wonderful “exposés”, books, talks, constant help to our understanding of what “the society” needs, are cast aside or ignored as we march on to disaster, I cannot even start to comprehend. To think that he was forced to try standing as an independent candidate for POTUS because the Democratic Party chose someone else(!) and then he was vilified as a “spoiler”. The US population obviously does not deserve a person of his quality. Look at what they have been lumbered with ever since the 1960s!!!

    1. My vote for Mr. Nader in the presidential election (year ?) was the most satisfying vote for a candidate that I’ve ever cast and unlikely to be replaced by any other before my dying day. As horrible as the Republican Party is, the Democratic Party remains the lesser of two evils and not one I am likely to ever support again.

  7. Ralph Nader is a man among men; every American should be grateful for his tireless work in protecting them from the ravages of unregulated corporate greed. The fact that he’s essentially banned from the corporate media speaks to the current sociopathic zeitgeist that defines US politics and journalism. It’s worth noting that those who oppose regulations on corporations insist that their business transactions are heavily regulated.

  8. There’s no need to ban books when people stop reading. Disastrous decline in literacy, or normalization of functional illiteracy, helps account for why publications pass by the public unnoticed.

    What’s taken over since the 60s, when television programming was still young and works like those cited by Nader above contributed to public debate and action, is an electronic matrix of mass media deploying state-of-the-art engineering and techniques for population control, from dumbing down people on frequencies inducing dream states to forming digital addictions to echo chambers and hive minds.

    If people are reading, let alone learning, it’s often at atrophied levels of attention and comprehension, indicating possibly irreversible arrested development of both cognition and empathy from being raised by machines designed to data-mine us more than provide any coherent knowledge.

    Such technological enslavement goes far in turning citizens into passive, indifferent consumers of illusion and delusion who are “asleep at the wheel” while “the institutions we are expected to rely on to make a difference” have been captured by the corporate class criminals running roughshod over the body politic with their slow motion fascist coup (now being brought to completion with biodigital convergence whereby human consciousness will no longer need to be controlled because it will have been replaced by AI).

  9. > You have to steal a loaf of bread
    > or get caught with a miniscule [sic]
    > amount of heroin or cocaine
    > to be incarcerated.

    “Laws are like spider webs, which catch little flies, but cannot hold big ones.” — Anacharsis (sixth century BCE!)

  10. Like a dangerous sociopath with so many problems they are uncountable, it all leads back to one thing. The capitalist system is unable to change anymore. .. except backwards. All those myriad community, union and political groups working on their one or two issues – need to unite in a Left Front to have any impact. Clearly books, no matter how well researched, how well written, how true – do not matter much in the realm of the rulers.

    1. I am literally a card-carrying member of the Socialist Party, but even I must admit that the Left has lost. Forever. Three more generations or so of Capitalist exploitation of absolutely everything on behalf of the very, very few, and then mankind will be done for. It’s a pity really.

      I cling to my little red card the way a lapsed Catholic may occasionally reach for his rosary: in despair, knowing it’ll do no good, but unwilling to relinquish completely what was once a beautiful dream.

  11. I nominate Ralph Nader for the title of greatest living USA citizen.
    He already occupies the position.
    There are other individuals worthy of mention, but who has done more for the people of the USA than Ralph?
    If Ralph runs for office, again, I will vote for him again.
    And, I would love to get down and dirty with the oligarchs’bitches’ out on the trail.
    If not, can you recommend some local, state, federal candidates to support.
    Or is it time to burn down the polling stations?

    And, to the moderators at Scheerpost, I have made no threats, used no vulgarity, and defamed no one.
    If this is not a place to exchange ideas, then shut this information control operation down, and quit pretending to be an advocate for the common people.
    Then you are working for empire.

    1. You are on somebody else’s website. This is not the public square. Get a grip on yourself. Be courteous.

  12. I saw Ralph Nader speak at the University of Houston in 2000, when we was running for President. I voted twice for him in 1996 and 2000. He was very thoughtful during the question and answer period. I think he’s great!

  13. Is there a single corner in our society (including mine) that is not
    criminal in nature? Can anybody name one?

  14. Ralph,

    We’re not the same society today as in the 1950s or at the start of the 20th century: the labor movement fought terrible conditions of child labor, lack of safety causing sickness or death, etc. People today, even the poor in North America, are trying to attain as much affluence and convenience as they can.

    Society has become more individualistic, with smaller, atomized families, and the common good has in some ways become common services (at least where I live), where people work to provide a good living and the city provides common services like garbage collection or street and sewer repairs. I sometimes think the goal of modern living is to become like a minor nobility, where you live in a grand, palatial home and the rest of society exists to provide for your wants and needs, except in modern times this amounts to the many businesses that can cater to you, if you have the desire and money.

    When enough people are pushed out of affluence and convenience, and suffer severe deprivation, there will be reason to organize and fight for change against an entrenched upper class. As it is, there are too many distractions, bread and circuses, and the idea of active citizenship has not been cultivated in our education system. I agree with you that if enough informed and active citizens organized to participate in government, essentially creating democracy by demanding better from society, that the corruption you speak of would be reversed.

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