The Powell Memorandum was written in 1971 by conservative attorney Lewis Powell. It is a recipe and a blueprint for organizing business executives and think tanks to further the conservative movement.
It is the source of the Culture War.
Everything the Republicans have done in the last 38 years is derived from this document. Every time poor people are convinced to side with tax cuts for the rich because of abortion or equal marriage, it's because of the tactics Powell dreamed up in 1971. (Full memo text here)
Powell's language was baldly militant. American business had to use "confrontational politics"..."to stop suffering in impotent silence, and launch a counter-attack." Business had to learn, he wrote, "that political power is necessary; that such power must be assiduously cultivated; and that, when necessary, it must be used aggressively..." As for Ralph Nader and his ilk, "There should be no reluctance to penalize politically those who oppose [the system]."
Powell singled out commercial television, "which now plays such a predominant role in shaping the thinking, attitudes, and emotions of our people." Despite this, in a "bewildering paradox," he complained, the "enterprise system tolerates, if not participates in, its own destruction." Powell emphasized the financial leverage that business interests held over universities, media, churches, and other power centers. After all, he suggested, business itself carries a big stick. It was a principal funder of these civic, religious institutions and mass communications enterprises. The threat of de-funding, Powell implied, could be used to achieve "balanced" re-education efforts. But the import of what he was suggesting, in terms of its implicit threat to academic freedom and Constitutional rights, is clear. . . .