Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.75 shipping
+ Free Shipping
Corporation Nation: How Corporations are Taking Over Our Lives - and What We Can Do About It Paperback – April 10, 2000
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
“Sophisticated, vividly written, and convincing . . . A work of generous imagination that looks wisely to the future and lays out a sober plan of action for Americans committed to a truly just and equitable social order.” ―Jonathan Kozol, author of Amazing Grace and Savage Inequalities
“It would be difficult to overstate the importance of the issues addressed in this thoughtful and well-informed study of modern corporations. A substantial and very timely contribution.” ―Noam Chomsky
“An important book in the current economic boom, Corporation Nation will seem prophetic the next time the economy cycles into a recession or depression.” ―George Ritzer, author of The McDonaldization of America
“A valuable contribution, with concrete proposals for ordinary citizens to effect real change, strengthen our democracy, and reclaim our populist heritage.” ―Senator Paul Wellstone
“A rising tide should lift all boats. But too often in our modern society, as Charles Derber skillfully points out, millions of Americans are left out or left behind . . . Derber's analysis and recommendations should be read and heeded by all who believe that free enterprise can be fair enterprise too.” ―Senator Edward M. Kennedy
“An invaluable, on-target contribution to redefining the political debate. Corporation Nation provides a depth of data and analysis useful in building a case for change. A guiding beacon for those committed to restoring democracy and economic justice.” ―David Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World
“This exceptional book has the best description anywhere of how corporations erased from public memory the notion that the public can control them. Must reading.” ―Business Ethics
“Americas in deep trouble--corporate oligopoly is seizing our money and stealing our humanity, too. Derber (Sociology, Boston College) diagnoses the problem and prescribes a cure. Writing 100 years ago at the height of the Gilded Age, John P. Davis concluded his seminal study, Corporations, by noting that citizenship 'has been largely metamorphosed into membership in corporations and patriotism into fidelity to them.' Now the situation is no better, claims Derber. He says we've entered another Gilded Age at the turn of a century just as problematic as the last one. His tract compiles complaints against big business and how it blights our lives. Acquiescent politicians, autocratic CEOs, and huge mergers enable corporations to act as a new branch of government, and we confront businesses bigger than nations. The top 200 transnational companies enjoy more income than four fifths of the world's population; their combined income is greater than the combined economies of 182 countries. Corporate plunder thrives; countervailing forces are weak. It's time to rethink what a corporation is supposed to do beyond rewarding shareholders. It's time to fix things. Derber's answer: populism. But not the hayseed, xenophobic populism of William Jennings Bryan, nor the prejudiced populism of Father Coughlin, nor the reactionary populism of Pat Buchanan. Instead, the professors sermon considers and reconsiders what he calls 'positive populism.' This new version of an old idea is global, embracing labor, grassroots community groups, multiculturalism, and the environmentalist agenda in a broad movement where corporations must serve people, not the reverse.” ―Kirkus Reviews
From the Publisher
In Corporate Nation, Charles Derber goes beyond documenting the megacorporate power that rules America-which was not what America was supposed to become-and presents a unified agenda for a resurgent democracy that should appeal to progressives of many different causes and some conservatives who not corporatists as well.-RALPH NADER
"A rising tide should lift all boats. But too often in our modern society, as Charles Derber skillfully points out, millions of Americans are left out or left behind. Professor Derber's analysis and recommendations should be read and heeded by all who believe that free enterprise can be fair enterprise too."-SENATOR EDWARD M. KENNEDY
"It would be difficult to overstate the importance of the issues addressed in this thoughtful and well-informed study of modern corporations. A substantial and very timely contribution." -NOAM CHOMSKY
"A valuable contribution, with concrete proposals for ordinary citizens to effect real change, strengthen our democracy, and reclaim our populist heritage."-SENATOR PAUL WELLSTONE
"An invaluable, on-target contribution to redefining the political debate. Corporation Nation provides a depth of data and analysis useful in building a case for change. A guiding beacon for those committed to restoring democracy and economic justice."-DAVID KORTEN, author of When Corporations Rule the World
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Unlike Arianna Huffington's "Pigs at the Trough," which consists entirely of disjointed anecdotes on "what's bad," this book tackles the underlying reasons for WHY it's bad. Corporations have quietly and efficiently consolidated their economic muscle and merged it with political power--witness the everyday complaint that Special Interests hold sway in Washington. But as Derber shows, few are willing to make the obvious connection--that the problem is not simply government per se, but unrestrained corporate power.
And Derber is no hippie anti-capitalist wacko, either. He acknowledges that globalization is inevitable, but simply notes that we need to ensure it's the right KIND of globalization... the kind that's accountable to the public and that serves the public good. For all the conservative and libertarian whining about how the evil UN represents a "loss of U.S. sovereignty," notice that they never say a word about the WTO and similar business deals that have _already_ undermined our sovereignty, setting up arrangements that subordinate our laws to corporate profits--all with zero accountability to anyone but the executives and stockholders.
This books outlines real, practical solutions for putting the brakes on corporate power while still promoting economic growth and profitability. Environmentalists and unions don't HAVE to be at odds, not when they can unite against the common enemy and take positive action to force corporations into their proper, subordinate role to public government.
It's that depressing, folks.
Not the book, but what it speaks of.
He also does a decent job of describing how corporate power has been consolidated and is now so powerful that it holds an ever increasing dominance on public policy. With behemoths such as GM, GE, Disney, Microsoft and others holding vast amounts of power, Derber argues that government has become an unbalanced lackey of private enterprise and no longer is a trusted countervailing force to the private sector. As a prime example, Derber points to the merger activity in media companies which compelled the FCC to relax ownership constraints on media companies and has effective consolidated media power in the hands of very few companies. He rightly asks the question, how does this effect the quality and balance of news and information that the public receives and is this a threat to our political, economic freedoms.
He speaks of the corrupting power of contributions to political campaigns and how the legal fiction of the corporation as a person has allowed companies to wield undue influence in our political process. Derber does not make a significant distinction between Democrats and Republicans, arguing that both have become suckled to the corporate dollar, thereby diminishing their role as independent keepers of the public gate.
While Derber sees some silver lining in efforts by companies such as Ben & Jerry's, Tom's of Maine and others to practice corporate responsibility and bring a different set of values to corporate decision making, he believes these efforts will essentially fail to create fundamental change due to the divisive influence of financial markets, globalism and other pressures on companies to produce short-term profit for shareholders. Indeed, while Derber sees large financial institutions and money managers as potential harbingers of change due to their large ownership stake in companies, he doesn't think they will provide the type of change necessary to force companies to take into account, social, regional, environmental and other issues when making decisions.
Derber spends the final third of the book describing his antidote to this issue, however, while he consciously tries to evade sounding utopian and idealistic, that is exactly how he sounds. He puts his faith in a movement called 'positive populism' which looks to change their fundamental values while at the same time selling this idea to a skeptical public who may look upon it as threatening their own livelihood and security. He believes four separate movements can come together, labor, the 'third sector' of volunteer-based organizations associated with community, church, clubs, neighborhoods, etc., women's and civil rights movements and finally, environmental organizations. By demonstrating to all four their common goals and by shifting emphasis in labor from one of narrowly-defined interests to one of a broader social context, he believes they can be a powerful countervailing force to the corporate giant. While noble in theory, Derber gives very little direction on how this can happen. It seems he wills it to happen more than anything. As mentioned earlier, Derber has put his finger on a bedrock issue in today's world, but his solution has more to do with slinging arrows at Goliath.