The numbers show the enormous power, the enormous resources, commanded by today’s corporations, which are the ultimate symbol of twenty-first century capitalism.
Yet here is the very contradiction: how can such organizations truly be regarded as representative of the spirit of capitalism itself? Capitalism is supposed to be the triumph of individual effort, of personal endeavour. It is this ‘triumph of the individual’ which made many people oppose communism, which insists on lumping everyone together in a socialist ideal.
But where is individualism to be found, where is personal endeavour to be found in the corporate, bland negation of individualism that is characteristic of the huge corporations that dominate society today?
Only one principle remains of the original ideals of capitalism, described by Adam Smith in his book The Wealth of Nations. That principle is the principle of ownership. We own that which we work for; that which we pay for. No-one would argue with that; except, perhaps, a die-hard Socialist.
This is a principle not only enshrined in capitalism, but, supposedly, protected by the rule of law, as enacted, and ultimately enforced, by Parliament, the cornerstone of British democracy.