We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Capital and compensation
"Who are the capitalists?" the professor asks his students. I give the professor a "D" for his answer. Any definition has, of course, an element of arbitrariness to it, but this is especially true when dealing with amounts of income from capital, and even more-so when looking at compensation for boards of directors. I think I can do better. A capitalist is anyone whose income is substantially from the ownership of capital or property.
What I think he describes, if we focus on major financial as well as industrial corporations, is a capitalist ruling class. The amounts they receive on these boards is usually quite inconsequential to their total income. Often it is pocket change to them. Still I believe the subject is well worth thinking about.