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Malcolm Mac Kinnon

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February 6, 2011
Reading #37 – One World Under Business by: Charles Derber
-Globalization enthrones three intertwined institutions.
1.The global financial markets and transnational companies at the heart of the world
2.National governments that are business-oriented regimes linked to each other in
economic and military alliances led by the United States.
3.Risingglobal governments such as the World Trade Organization, the International
Monetary Fund, and the World Bank, also strongly led from the White House.
-These three power centers increasingly operate as a system.
Global power lies in the system itself and the new corporate elites who seek to
manage it.
-This new world system can be called global corpocracy.
A combination of corporation and democracy.
It evokes a corporate-driven system that celebrates the idea of democracy more than
any earlier global order.
-The commanding role of business has become the key element of the new system.
This partly reflects the astonishing new size and global reach of transnational
The biggest corporations are each far larger than most countries in the world.
oOf the hundred biggest economies in the world—counting both corporations
and countries—51 are global corporations.
oThe top ten include GM, Wal-Mart, Ford, Exxon Mobil, Daimler Chrysler,
Toyota, GE, Royal Dutch/Shell, IBM, and BP Amoco.
In terms of sale, each of them are larger than about 140 of the 190
nations of the world.
The top five corporations are each bigger than 182 of 190 countries.
It globally joins these giant transnational companies and governments in an entangled
and unequal partnership.
In a robust democracy, there is a firewall between government and business that
ensures that people rather than business control the government and make the rules.
Business and government should communicate but a firewall must exist to act as a
check-and-balance system that limits the power of both and keeps business from
taking over.
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In corpocracy, the firewall between business and government is different than that of
democracy alone.
oThe firewall is chipped away.
oBusinesses start flooding money into the government all the while eroding
popular control.
oBusiness and government begin to form an intimate relationship, both within
the nation-state and the larger world order.
Government still wields sovereign authority, but sovereign power has
actually been transferred into partnership increasingly dominated in
times of peace by the business sector.
The business and government partners maintain separate identities but also join to
create a new system.
oBusiness increasingly wields more influence, but there are serious power
e.g. September 11, 2001; military and political leaders exercised their
-The combination of business and governments makes governments act more like corporations
and corporations act more like governments.
Governments act to protect profits.
Corporations speak the language of social responsibility and democracy.
Business takes on planning and rule-making roles of government.
Governments become increasingly about money.
-In order for globalization to become a truly democratizing force, it must acknowledge and
reconstruct the relation between business and government.
-The new union of global business with U.S. –led constitutional democracies and “world
government creates the aura of a new global constitutionalism.
oThey now speak a global language of transparency and accountability.
oIts leaders call for a more democratic world.
oMany see hope in the rise of a more lawful commercial world and the practice
of global corporate responsibility.
Corporate responsibility cannot replace government as a basis for law
or a way to ensure that business serves public needs.
The marriage of business and government undermines the hope that people can rely
on the political system to serve their needs.
-After the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
Governments and business continued alliances with repressive regimes that deliver
valuable goods.
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