6Wealth Reigns

THE PRINCIPLE OF SOVEREIGNTY

Corporations assert that they are private and the free marketwill self-regulate, much as feudal barons asserteda sovereignty independent of the Crown.

If economic liberty today remains the province of the few, the reason is a concept we might term economic sovereignty. Democratic freedoms stop at the company door, because inside the corporation the democratic polity is no longer sovereign. Here we see how private property and liberty combine into economic sovereignty: the sovereign power has liberty in its own private realm. Stockholders are sovereign because we believe they are the corporation, much as the medieval world believed the king was the state (L’état, c’est moi, in Louis XIV’s memorable utterance). ...

Get The Divine Right of Capital now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.