Corporatocracy/Talk

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Corporotocracy Talk (moved from Corporotocracy/Talk)

Thanks for the editorial diligence Zundark :)

The 'governing body' of a company is usually self-appointed, and in the case of many private companies, largely self-perpetuating. The democratic aspect referred to only generally applies to public companies...

No, the governing body of directors is always democratically elected, even with a private company. Under all forms of western corporation law, each share gets one vote in the election of the directors and chairman/president. (To be fair, Islamic law differs in some regards). Public and private only refers to how shares are owned and distributed. Specifically a publicly traded company has its shares traded on a Stock Exchange. A private company will still have shareholders, and they will elect a governing body. Anyone can in principle become a shareholder of a private company if they persuade an existing shareholder to part with their shares in a private transaction. Alternatively a public company may have a 51% shareholder, effectively meaning that the company is under one person's control.

the 'only the wealthy' can influence policy has to be moderated by referring to the gadfly shareholders (though under whatever name they call themselves) - you know, nuns who buy a share of a major corporation and then drive through continual motions for corporate responsibility. They *may* not influence policy, but they get lots of press coverage and may have a long term effect. They are at the least an example of one-citizen influence, which this busy entry-starter is denying the existence of in America or in corporations. Another direction of expansion is the increasing institutional-control of American corporations: not wealthy individuals but huge mutual funds. There's lots of speculation already about what that means to corporations, but it's not coming from anti-gloablizers. We'd have to get someone for whom the syllables 'coporo' are not the equivalent of 'porno' to add to the entry, which the current tone would perhaps not attract. --MichaelTinkler



Corporatocracy Talk

Validity of the term discussion Google turned up over 200 - mostly biased articles of political motivation. Hence I described it as perjorative. Go here [[1]]

Thanks for the reference. But at the same time google gives 8100 hits for Plutocracy (40 : 1 ratio). And metacrawler still gives no results and I don't think this rather recent term merits a full blown entry. A short explanatory sentence and a reference to Plutocracy should be done at most. Adding a term like this gives additonal credibility and helps to proliferate it. Using not well established terms degrades the quality of an encyclopedia. So perhaps instead of deleting I will just shorten it considerably and move the rest to Plutocracy. Is this OK for you?

Yeah, I agree with your thinking. Truncating and linking to plutocracy would seem to be the best idea. MMGB


Here are some notes:

  • governments exert control through force (or indirectly, through the threat of force); traditionally, governments have used the force of violence (e.g. military, police, jails); corporatocracies use economic force (e.g. employment, monopoly/oligopoly) in conjunction with agreements which tie economic force to governmental authority (e.g. DMCA, WTO) and thus to the force of violence.
  • anti-globalization is a perjorative term as well, and isn't the best word to describe those who use the word corporatocracy.
  • What would allow corporatocracy now when it wasn't possible before? Some points:
    • The legal authority of corporations is relatively new; the concept of the "corporate citizen", granted Constitutional protections, is 20th-century
    • Dependent on global network, computing
    • commoditization, etc.

I think if at all possible someone should add some notes on how often the less-affluent-person-influence thing comes up. Right now the page seems to imply that it happens enough to make the idea of corporatocracy a moot point, but if it is a rare occurence this is not true. If on the other hand it is common the page should explicitly state so, and how much so.


Sorry, but "democratically elected" means one-person-one-vote, not one-share-one-vote, so it's fine to say that corporations have elected boards, but not democratically elected boards. --LDC


"No, the governing body of directors is always democratically elected, even with a private company. Under all forms of western corporation law, each share gets one vote in the election of the directors and chairman/president."

Formally you are right. But effectively the shareholder may not have enough knowledge to sensibly take part in the elections - the director almost always has much larger knowledge than shareholder about company- so it may be difficult for him/her to check whether the management of his firm acts in the interests of owners or in its own interest. (it is the problem which in economics is called 'the principal-agent problem', see for example David Begg et al "Microeconomics" chapter 4, or the book of John Kenneth Galbraith from 1973 "Economics and the Public Purpose").

Kazik