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A deeply informed and unflinching look at the way corporations have slyly rebranded themselves as socially conscious entities ready to tackle society's problems, while CEO compensation soars, income inequality is at all-time highs, and democracy sits in a precarious situation.
"A very important book, an arresting study directed to a central issue of the times" (Noam Chomsky), from the author of The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power.
Over the last decade and a half, business leaders have been calling for a new kind of capitalism. With income inequality soaring, wages stagnating, and a climate crisis escalating, they realized that they had to make social and environmental values the very core of their messaging. The problem is corporations are still, first and foremost, concerned with their bottom line.
In lucid and engaging prose, Joel Bakan documents how increasing corporate freedom encroaches on individual liberty and democracy. Through deep research and interviews with both top executives and their sharpest critics, he exposes the inhumanity and destructive force of the current order - profit-driven privatization subverting the public good, governments neglecting duties to protect the environment, the increasing alienation we experience as every aspect of life is economized, and how the COVID-19 pandemic lays bare the unjust fault lines of our corporate-led society.
Beyond diagnosing major problems, in The New Corporation, Bakan narrates a hopeful path forward. He reveals how citizens around the world are fighting back and making gains in ways that bolster democracy and benefit ordinary citizens rather than the corporate elite.
What the critics say
“A rigorously argued manifesto against corporate capitalism.... Writing clearly and with minimal pleading to economic authority, the author closes by invoking the lessons of the pandemic, which tells us that corporate values are not those of ordinary people.” (Kirkus Reviews)
"Joel Bakan’s The Corporation woke up the world to how the construction of the corporation led to a pathological economy that destroyed nature and society. In The New Corporation, Bakan shows how the billionaires are using the rhetoric of serving society and nature to enclose the remaining commons, privatize public goods, and colonize our bodies and minds. The New Corporation is vital reading for all who are concerned to protect the public good, life, and freedom.” (Dr. Vandana Shiva author of Earth Democracy and Oneness vs the 1%)
“Impeccably researched and beautifully written, The New Corporation reveals the pillage of the planet, plunder of the poor, love of tax-cutting despots, throttling of democracy and raw crimes of today's economic behemoths. It makes clear why a new economic order is essential, and heralds the grassroots organizing that will bring it about.” (Wendy Brown, professor of political science at University of California, Berkeley, and author of In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Antidemocratic Politics in the West)
What listeners say about The New CorporationAverage Customer Ratings
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- Brandon S. Vance
Everyone needs to read this!!
Regardless of how you identify politically, I think this book is essential reading for the times we are living in. If you’re a mainstream “liberal” who thinks are all good, think again ... Mr. Bakan has a challenge for us all: Unbridled Corporate Capitalism is antithetical to democracy. Corporations are not designed to do “good” for society unless that also furthers their bottom-line ... increasing and protecting share holder value. Period. Corporations cannot effectively replace strong government social support systems, strong unions, and other public systems that provide for basic human needs and rights (e.g. water, affordable housing, education).
He also argues that direct participation in government by representatives of grassroots movements is an essential step in the process of making desired change happen. Getting out in the streets is important, but for real change to happen, we must also engage with the political engine as well (e.g. local city council member, or community organizer).