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Corpocracy

Corpocracy: How CEOs and the Business Roundtable Hijacked the World’s Greatest Wealth Machine — And How to Get It Back Robert A. G. Monks Publisher ISBN: 978-0-470-14509-8 272 pages $29.95 http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0470145099.html

Corpocracy: Government by corporation. That form of government in which the sovereign power resides in corporations, and is exercised either directly by them, or by elected and appointed officials acting on their behalf.

Corpocracy is a hard-hitting work, and at the beginning we expected that the book was going to be an anti-modern corporation treatise. In fact, it is anything but. Rather, it is a champion of the ownership of the companies, but NOT of the insular imperial management. Corprocracy is a well-written book, and a knowledgeable and incisive view into the modern imperial corporation. Monks had us hooked in the preface.

The imperial corporations are accused of being aloof, which they are. And of not being good corporate citizens, which they aren’t.

Rarely are they challenged by competition: If they are challenged, they go to the government to legislate against the competition, either by over- regulation or through requiring new expensive procedures that large companies can afford and small companies cannot. They buy their way out of having to compete by fixing the race.

They have no need to be good citizens because we, the people and our government, have become their vassals. Further, since many multinationals have vastly larger resources than many countries, they can change flags of state when they choose. And since the management of these companies is responsible to no one but themselves – not government, not shareholders, not the public, not anyone – they are unconstrained in their actions. The author strikes a strong warning note regarding the outcome of this lack of corporate governance and responsibility.

Because Corpocracy is in tune with our thoughts on the seriousness of the issue, we have added it to our list of must-read books. Past must-read books are, in alphabetical order:

• All You Need Is Love, and Other Lies about Marriage by John W. Jacobs, M.D

• Better by Atul Gawande, M.D.

• Beyond Fear by Bruce Schneier

• The End of America, by Naomi Wolf

• Inside the Tornado by Geoffrey A. Moore

• Rediscover Your Native Fitness (PACE), by Al Sears, M.D.

• Reinventing the CFO by Jeremy Hope

• Taking Sex Differences Seriously by Steven E. Rhoads

• What Clients Love by Harry Beckwith

• With Winning in Mind by Lanny Bassham

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