Corporate Capitalism and Political Philosophy
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This book is a political philosophical critique of corporate capitalism. Corporate capitalism is usually examined from a sociological or economic viewpoint, and this book breaks new ground in providing a thorough account of the mechanisms which define it from a philosophical perspective, revealing how these processes determine the way we live today. Marxist and other left-oriented political philosophies had ideological roots that were based, sometimes incongruously, on particular economic and sociological readings of the capitalist process. Political philosophies associated with conservatism and neo-liberalism have either been assimilated within capitalist discourses, or they have been designed to justify corporate capitalist processes. This book re-examines these issues with an unusually dispassionate approach, providing a systematic view of contemporary corporate capitalism in all its complexity, without expecting the reader to have a specialist knowledge of sociology or economics. It clarifies the scope of political philosophy by reflecting on its own methodology and practice, and offers a controversial conclusion--that within contemporary corporate capitalist modes of organisation there is actually no space left for political philosophy at all, as corporate capitalism systematically denies all political agents an ability to exercise their political will.
rigours of political philosophy – or any kind of theoretical analysis really. It consists of a series of unsubstantiated aphorisms (prescriptions, Peters calls them) which are presented with verve, and depend on the author’s authority and confidence to be persuasive. The prescriptive approach is inherited from other ‘gurus’ like Peter Drucker and Charles Handy. These prescriptions are usually given with a chatty self-evident sort of air which is reminiscent of certain sorts of religious and
aegis of corporate capitalism – and the fact that at least in the popular imagination excessive executive pay is symbolically linked to the larger inequities of ‘globalisation’ and ‘modernisation’ – present opportunities for generalisation which are invaluable from a political philosophical perspective. Indeed, it is no accident that when John Kaler (whose essay I have cited already) tries to demonstrate the link between micro and macro issues, he chooses to do this by focusing on the example of
thinking. Since this is illuminating for an understanding of the contemporary corporate capitalist state it is worth dwelling on. In fact there is one crucial assumption in the conceptualisation of the ‘corporatist’ ideal, and this is an assumption of balance – which is analogous in many ways to Marx’s assumption of an equilibrium in unravelling how the reproductive processes of industrial Corporatism and the Corporate Capitalist State 145 capitalism may conceivably carry on in an expanding
found in political theory and philosophy, which are primarily concerned with an internal or domestic situation, or consider such a situation to be of primary interest. The somewhat superlative term ‘anarchy’ of international politics is, I suspect, merely used to emphasise the difference and even oppositeness of this sphere of political conceptualisation, the stuff of which is ideology, order, organisation, etc. The international political theorist’s embracing of such a concept as anarchy is a
flux, a constant fluid movement. The flip side of this first principle is that all perceived order in the world, all efforts at rendering the world understandable, all modes of organisation that attend our existence in this world are primarily due to conceptual efforts. This should not be confused with any simplistic notion of the world existing in the mind or in concepts alone: for Mannheim the world, and we in the world, indubitably exist, but this existence of the world and of us within it is