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The Divine Right of Capital: Dethroning the Corporate Aristocracy

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  123 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Wealth inequity, corporate welfare, and industrial pollution are the symptoms of our sickened economy, Marjorie Kelly suggests. The underlying illness is shareholder primacy. In The Divine Right of Capital, she shows that the corporate drive to maximize shareholder profits at any cost is not only out of step with democratic and free-market principles, but is detrimental to ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 9th 2003 by Berrett-Koehler Publishers (first published October 1st 2001)
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Mark Desrosiers
May 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: economics
First off, I should mention that Marjorie Kelly is one of two Minnesotans (the other is Paul Wellstone) in Robert Shetterly's stunning Americans Who Tell the Truth portrait collection.

As for this particular book: those who think "shareholders" are an important and necessary economic force are in for a shock. She's pretty convincing that their economic gains are a sure sign that workers, neighbors, and other stakeholders are getting screwed. What I took away from this book is that shareholders a
Leroy Seat
In many ways, this is a significant book with many good ideas. And I agree with most of what the author says.

But I gave the book only three stars, mainly because it seems to contain wishful thinking for the most part. In the ten years since its publication, the nation has moved toward strengthening the corporate aristocracy, not dethroning it.

The kind of revolution Kelly talks about may occur sometime, but probably not during my lifetime (which may be less than twenty years) or even during the l
Beth Barnett
May 28, 2007 rated it liked it
The first half of this book is Great. It compares the economic and political positions and privileges of today's stock-owners to the aristocracy of earlier centuries, and compares today's un-invested laborers/employees to yesterday's feudal serfs. The thesis is an interesting and fresh interpretation. The second half isn't as compelling to me; it takes up the "what we should do about this" angle. Since I have no power to change policies in stocks and corporate structure in my current position, I ...more
Stevie  Rooster Scribe
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I didn't actually finish this book, but I got through enough of it. LEft the last 30 pages un read because they didn't seem necessary. I like the general premise. Kelley's idea is to change our indicators so we can alter what society values and how we measure success. This is inspiring, and for me a significant part of a change that needs to take place in economic models and accounting standards before we see a mroe equitable society. However, her solutions were less than inspiring. Many of my c ...more
Feb 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I'll get my criticism out of the way first: the book was repetitive in parts and needed more meat to hang on its bones. That being said, this is a must read for all of us as a primer to discussing economic justice. This isn't the end of the discussion by any means, but it's a great beginning. This might be the vision of an economy that we should build out of the ashes of the current "civilization". Hats off to Marjorie Kelly for this ground-breaking work. ...more
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Reading The Divine Right of Capital now. It is as much or more relevant today than it was in 2001 when it came out. It explains much about underlying assumptions in our systems that imbue corporations and wealth-holders with the same powers as feudal aristocracies and kings.
Highly recommended & very readable.
Mar 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you, sort of, instinctively support the "Occupy Movement" but can't quite articulate why, READ THIS BOOK. First published in 2001, it is even more realevant today. This is the how-to book for "Dethroning the Corporate Aristocracy" and replacing it with an Economic Democracy that is more inline with American values. ...more
Jan 30, 2015 rated it liked it
I confess I didn't finish this book. But, I got the gist after just a few chapters and pretty much agree with her premise. Just not sure what to do about it, and I wasn't crazy about the way it was written, so couldn't get myself to keep reading. But, she's right! ...more
Sep 22, 2007 rated it liked it
What the mainstream media won't tell you about corporations, ceos and recent corporate scandals. ...more
Matt M Perez
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy… Wow!

This is an extremely 1) well though out and 2) well researched book that also happens to be a training manual for revolutionaries.
Shonna Froebel
Some very good points
Jun 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
The arguments were interesting but pretty underdeveloped. I'd like the author to have directly addressed the obvious attacks/critiques from her opponents' camp. ...more
Eric Durant
Feb 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thorough historical research on the corporation and the emergence of capital as a force out of proportion in our particular variety of a market-based democracy.
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Made me rethink everything I knew about the economy.
Mostly just read the first half. Very thought-provoking, especially in the context of politics and economy. Bit drawn out, though.
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