Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I've been swapping some ideas with Darius in the last few weeks, thinking of an essay on "what is politics?"

We were considering the alleged fact that the senior managers of companies seemed to be gaining at the expense of the shareholders - awarding themselves ever larger bonuses and the like.

If this is true, rather than a media myth, is it a good counter-example to a Marxist theory that would predict that capital (ownership) tends to trump labour (even the most senior).

Darius thought that James Burnam's "Managerialism" might be relevant, but I (naturally) started wondering if Netocracy isn't the better frame of thinking.

Why would this phenomenon be yet another symptom of a shift to a netocratic society?

Because the managers who are (allegedly) rooking their shareholders are not succeeding in this due to either subterfuge or ability in their jobs. Instead they succeed because of a network of inter-supportive compensation committees.


dariush sokolov said...

very good ... but while you work on the essay you can yet make that rough comment on my blog no?!

anyways re re-t-re-at of the state stuff, wanted to send you this link:

zby said...

"suggest that
capitalist ownership of the individual corporation is a myth, in the sense that a particular corporation is the property of its stockholders (or preferred stockholders with voting
rights) in any real sense.
Instead, the corporation is an agglomeration of unowned capital, under the control of a self-perpetuating managerial oligarchy." from Chapter Eight. Managerialism: Irrationality and Authoritarianism in the large organization - intrigued by your post I directly jumped to that chapter (I don't remember where I've got that link to Studies in the Anarchist Theory of Organizational Behavior originally - was that you?).

albertde said...

Management has control of widely listed companies because the shareholders are generally passive. For smaller unlisted companies and listed companies with dominant shareholders, the shareholders / owners play a more active role due to the increased perceived risk involved and also because the owners may have to inject more capital into operations from time to time. The Board of Directors tend to be passive until problems arise (and then it may be too late) and also because of interlinking directorships (an A executive A is on B's board and a B executive is on A's board). This has been true way before the net was even thought of. It has been true since I started working (and before).