All this doesn’t mean that we have to make peace with the status quo, however. In one of his more optimistic moments, Marx declared the modern corporation, owned by outside shareholders and run by their hired hands, “the abolition of the capitalist mode of production within the capitalist mode of production itself, and hence a self-abolishing contradiction” (Capital, vol.3, chapter 27.) That is, there’s no reason why such an enterprise has to be run for the benefit of its shareholders, and not by and for its workers, neighbors, and customers. It is now, but it doesn’t have to be that way forever. Of course, getting there from here isn’t one of those self-evident truths, but it’s a very enticing prospect to think about.
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