31 January 2020

Marjorie Kelly: “It’s time to make the profit-maximising, shareholder-controlled corporation obsolete. In the perilous moment we face, with the crises of the climate emergency and spiralling inequality, the time is up on corporations acting as though serving financial shareholders is their highest duty. … What must change is the structural design and ownership of the corporation itself. We need to envisage and create an entirely new concept of the company — a just firm — designed from the inside out for a new mandate: to serve broad wellbeing and the public good. The just firm is the only kind that should ultimately be permitted to exist. The time is coming when society must end the corporation as we know it. … Control by capital is what pulls companies away from the living mission for which they exist… The purpose of economies is to meet human needs. When companies instead exist simply to spin off gains for capital, society is in peril.” Her proposal is for a shift away from the dominance of corporations towards “a rich diversity of designs”, including co-ops, credit unions, social enterprises, and state-owned companies.