Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Corporate Power and the corporate aristocracy

" Wealth privilege remains embedded in the ancient institution of the corporation. It is a privilege out of step with market ideals, which has led to wealth disparities that threaten our political ideals. We can never really have political democracy without economic democracy"
Marjorie Kelly The Divine Right of Capital

I am currently re reading Majorie Kelly's devastating critique of the corporate economy and of corporations. Kelly exposes six aristocratic principles that corporations are built on, and shows how wealth bias is embedded in the structure and operations of corporations.

It is interesting to read Kelly's book in light of the recent failures by the Australian corporate regulator ASIC to prosecute corporate malfeasance and criminality. Recent cases pursued by ASIC against high profile corporations and corporate leaders have been thrown out of the courts.

ASIC seems more interested in pursuing individual culpability than in addressing the institutional and systemic causes of corporate malfeasance and corporate criminality.

Kelly's book is a reminder that it is the systemic dynamics of corporations and the corporate economy, rather than the action of individuals, that is the root cause of corporate collapses, corporate scandals, corporate criminality, massive executive salaries and remuneration, and the appalling behaviour of Australia's corporate elite.

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