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Anti-corporate activism is activism directed against the private sector, particularly larger corporations. It is premised on the belief that the activities and impacts of big business are detrimental to the good of the public and democratic process.
International trade and financial deregulation facilitated corporate globalization. As more economies have embraced free markets and deregulation, the power and autonomy of corporations have grown.
Opponents of corporate globalization believe that governments need greater powers to control the market, limit or reduce corporate power, and eliminate rising income inequality. Usually on the political left, anti-corporate globalization activists rail against corporate power and advocate for reduced income gaps and improved economic equity.
Anti-corporate activists believe that large multinational corporations gained too much influence by hiring lobbyists to advance their political and economic agendas worldwide and to increase corporate profits.
The defenders of corporations, such as Ron Arnold, highlight that governments legislate in ways that restrict the actions of corporations and that lawbreaking companies and executives are routinely caught and punished, usually in the form of monetary fines.
Anti-corporate activists often ally with other activists, such as environmental activists or animal-rights activists, in condemning the business practices of organizations such as McDonald's Corporation (McLibel) and forestry company Gunns Limited (Gunns 20).
In recent years, the number of books (Naomi Klein's 2000 No Logo being a well-known example) and films on the subject has increased, such as The Corporation, which has to a certain extent supported anti-corporate politics.
An artist critical of sociopolitical agendas in business is conceptualist Hans Haacke.
In June 2008, Condé Nast Publications released an article entitled "The Secret Seven", which listed the top seven anti-corporate web sites. These included: WikiLeaks, Mini-Microsoft, Wal-Mart Watch, HomeOwners for Better Building, Brenda Priddy and Company (automotive spy photos), AppleInsider and MacRumors. In 2020, a group called "Save our Elders from Corporate Abuse" was formed on Facebook. The page tried to report and expose businesses that trap senior citizens into predatory loans, perpetual billing for products, or other schemes.
On November 30, 1999, nearly fifty thousand people protested the WTO meetings in Seattle, which disrupted and ended the meetings. Participants communicated their strategies through emails, websites, and other platforms. Some new anti-globalization networks have emerged.
In the United States, anti-corporate globalization movements reemerged after less attention was given to the war in Iraq, resulting in an increase in mass mobilizations.