Organizing the 1%

How Corporate Power Works

By William K. Carroll and J.P. Sapinski  

Paperback $25.00

Canada is ruled by an organized minority of the 1%, a class of corporate owners, managers and bankers who amass wealth by controlling the large corporations at the core of the economy. But corporate power also reaches into civil society and politics in many ways that greatly constrain democracy.

In Organizing the 1%, William K. Carroll and J.P. Sapinski provide a unique, evidence-based perspective on corporate power in Canada and illustrate the various ways it directs and shapes economic, political and cultural life.

A highly accessible introduction to Marxist political economy, Carroll and Sapinski delve into the capitalist economic system at the root of corporate wealth and power and analyze the ways the capitalist class dominates over contemporary Canadian society. The authors illustrate how corporate power perpetuates inequality and injustice. They follow the development of corporate power through Canadian history, from its roots in settler-colonialism and the dispossession of Indigenous peoples from their land, to the concentration of capital into giant corporations in the late nineteenth century. More recently, capitalist globalization and the consolidation of a market-driven neoliberal regime have dramatically enhanced corporate power while exacerbating social and economic inequalities. The result is our current oligarchic order, where power is concentrated in a few corporations that are controlled by the super-wealthy and organized into a cohesive corporate elite.

Finally, Carroll and Sapinski offer possibilities for placing corporate power where it actually belongs: in the dustbin of history.

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Contents

  • What on Earth is Corporate Power? Corporations and Capitalism
  • From the Fur Trade to Big Oil: The Making of Corporate Power
  • Controlling the Corporation: The Operational Power of Management
  • Controlling the Capitalist Economy: Strategic Power and Capital Allocation
  • The Corporate Community: A Tangled Web of Oligarchic Power
  • When Ideas Become Common Sense: The Corporate Reach into Culture and Politics
  • Beyond Corporate Oligarchy: Resistance and Alternatives
  • References
  • Index

Authors

  • William K. Carroll

    University of Victoria

    William K. Carroll is Professor of Sociology at the University of Victoria, where he participates in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Cultural, Social and Political Thought. He is also a research associate at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and an associate editor of Socialist Studies. His current research includes a study of networks of corporate power, globally and in “Canada”, a study of anti-corporate globalization protests at the Summit of the Americas (Quebec, 2001) and a theoretical text on social movements. Dr. Carroll participates in the interdisciplinary graduate program in Cultural, Social and Political Thought and also has an active interest in emancipatory methods of social inquiry.

  • J.P. Sapinski

    J. P. Sapinski is an assistant professor of environmental studies at Université de Moncton. He is interested in how the structures of capitalism and corporate power mediate the social metabolism between human societies and the ecosphere, and how we can transform this relationship to make it just and sustainable. He is currently advancing projects on the carbon extractive industry in Canada, on fossil fuel divestment in universities, and on climate geoengineering, in which he develops a broad critique of ecological modernization and green capitalist perspectives. His work was published in Environmental Sociology, Global Networks, International Sociology, Critical Sociology, and the Journal of World-Systems Research.

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