Any discussion of “stakeholder capitalism” must begin by noting a paradox: like “neoliberalism,” its nemesis, “stakeholder capitalism” does not exist as such. There is no such economic system as “stakeholder capitalism,” just as there is no such economic system as “neoliberalism.” The two antipathetic twins are imaginary ghosts forever pitted against each other in a seemingly endless and frenzied tussle.
Instead of stakeholder capitalism and neoliberalism, there are authors who write about stakeholder capitalism and neoliberalism and companies that more or less subscribe to the view that companies have obligations to stakeholders in addition to shareholders. But if Klaus Schwab and the World Economic Forum (WEF) have their way, there will be governments that induce, by regulations and the threat of burdensome taxation, companies to subscribe to stakeholder redistribution.
Stakeholders consist of “customers, suppliers, employees, and local communities”1 in addition to shareholders. But for Klaus Schwab and the WEF, the framework of stakeholder capitalism must be globalized. A stakeholder is anyone or any group that stands to benefit or lose from any corporate behavior—other than competitors, we may presume. Since the primary pretext for the Great Reset is global climate change, anyone in the world can be considered a stakeholder in the corporate governance of any major corporation. And federal partnerships with corporations that do not “serve” their stakeholders, like the Keystone Pipeline project, for example, must be abandoned. Racial “equity,” the promotion of transgender agendas, and other such identity policies and politics, will also be injected into corporate sharing schemes.
If anything, stakeholder capitalism represents a consumptive worm set to burrow into and hollow out corporations from within, to the degree that the ideology and practice find hosts in corporate bodies. It represents a means of socialist wealth liquidation from within capitalist organizations themselves, using any number of criteria for redistribution of benefits and “externalities.”
But don’t take my word for it. Take one David Campbell, a British socialist (although non-Marxist) and author of The Failure of Marxism (1996). After declaring that Marxism had failed, Campbell began advocating stakeholder capitalism as a means to the same ends. His argument with the British orthodox Marxist Paddy Ireland represents an internecine squabble over the best means of achieving socialism, while also providing a looking glass into the minds of socialists determined to try other, presumably nonviolent tacks.2
Campbell castigated Ireland for his rejection of stakeholder capitalism. Ireland held—wrongly, Campbell asserted—that stakeholder capitalism is ultimately impossible. Nothing can interfere, for very long, with the inexorable market demand for profit. Market forces will inevitably overwhelm any such ethical considerations as stakeholders’ interests….[ ]
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