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Capitalism and the Rise of the Corporation Nation

Capitalism and the Rise of the Corporation Nation

Chapter:
(p.145) 6 Capitalism and the Rise of the Corporation Nation
Source:
Capitalism Takes Command
Author(s):
Robert E. Wright
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226977997.003.0007

Corporations are a well-established and the most prevalent economic institution in America. Incorporation was an effective method for coordinating physical capital, human capital, and money capital that made it possible to take advantage of economies of scale and influence prices. In addition, it is central to the development of a credit base for financing the market system in general. However, these “economic” advantages became a political liability. Critics translated effective control over capital into a risky concentration of power and influence. Due to popular protest, the existing rules of incorporation were replaced with general procedures so that everyone was now entitled to the special privileges traditionally enjoyed by corporations. Yet the result was a rise in competition that renewed the focus on management techniques, which in turn shielded the corporation from public oversight and accountability. Financial capital did not give rise to capitalism. Rather, its appearance and proliferation were caused by capitalism.

Keywords:   corporations, America, incorporation, capital, competition, management techniques, accountability, financial capital, capitalism

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