Saturday, October 3, 2009

Early Indicators:

... the conviction has grown that the corporation has become a system of private government, structured along hierarchical lines very much like a totalitarian state - lacking constitutional guidelines, many threatened to become lawless - their economic power and strength, and the strength of the nation, rested in the hands of a few thousand men in control of the corporate bureaucracy - in ranking the major US corporations and state governments by size of income or revenue, there were about eight private corporations that followed the federal government before any of the fifty states were reached.

In recent years a relatively small oligarchy from the same milieu, whose members deal almost exclusively with each other and possess no ownership relation of any sort, have come to represent "the" power center of the corporation - hence the hope expressed by some corporate defenders that the corporation could be constitutionalized to make it responsive to the wishes of its members, the stockholders, was a rather vain one ... large corporations had come to control a significant part of the economy and of society - indeed as society became increasingly dependent on the corporation, the latter's independence was correspondingly increased - corporate directives and decisions acquired the force of law, as accommodation to that law became the quintessence of adaptability - "self-appointed corporate guardians" emerged, responsible only to themselves - whatever motion they generated in their capacity as corporate managers became the way of validating their own exercise of power. -- [Ben B.Seligman, essay THE SEVENTIES: Problems and Proposals, 1972]

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