This essay serves as the Introduction to a book which has just appeared, entitled Reinventing Aristocracy in the Age of Woke Capital (London: Arktos, 2022).
New forms of corporate governance designed to produce not just power and profits, but legitimate constitutional authority as well are desperately needed. Corporate governance need not remain forever a domain ruled in the name of passive investors by their all-powerful managerial surrogates who listen only when money talks. By embedding the property interests of owners in a civic process of decision-making open to all active investors meeting a basic property qualification for the corporate franchise, a balance could be achieved between the self-interested pursuit of long-term share value and the responsible management of socially shared risks.
The reform of corporate governance cannot succeed without a political theory extending beyond the limits of state action. The reconstitution of the corporate sector must balance conformity to the laws of economics with a rebellious politics that creates new spaces for political action. Shareholder senates would become genuinely voluntary associations in the civil constitution of a modern republican society. If all those with a significant stake in a joint enterprise could gain entrance, on the basis of equality, to the corporate body politic, a new civic aristocracy could be selected or, as Hannah Arendt put it, ‘would select itself.’ Whatever authority members of the shareholder senates acquired would rest ‘on nothing but the confidence of their equals.’ The self-selecting membership of those governing councils would not support an attitude of mindless activism or knee-jerk opposition, but they would incite rebellion against managerialist norms of politics and business as usual.
The managerial revolution has subverted the constitutional principles of limited government. The survival of any form of republican government worthy of the name now depends on the ability to institutionalize modernized schemas of civic action within the supposedly sub-political corporate entities straddling the blurred boundary between the state and civil society.
Now that governmental powers have become detached from the formal constitutional structure of the federal polity and are lodged instead in formally ‘private’ forms of corporate enterprise, the constitutional guarantee of republican government should follow in their wake. The original understanding of Anglo-American republicanism is clearly ill-adapted to the operating constitution of the managerial regime. The vital question is whether the idea of the republic can be injected with fresh constitutional meaning in the sphere of corporate governance.
When the first edition of Reinventing Aristocracy appeared in 1998 such an argument was, to say the least, a bit off the beaten track.[i] To my surprise, however, several legal academics in Australia and the UK responded to the book with long review essays, praising the originality of its thesis and the “stylistic flair” with which the argument was presented. My reviewers were somewhat mystified by the book’s radical break from the conventional wisdom about corporate governance. Certainly, they did not see any immediate need, much less practical possibility, for a radical, republican reformation of corporate governance.[ii]
Like most academic specialists in corporate law twenty years ago, those reviewers were not enamoured of the credo of ‘greed is good’ openly celebrated within the corporate sector. But most reformist proposals involved little more than tinkering at the edges of an immensely powerful corporate system. No-one dared to upset a managerialist regime seen to be delivering on its promise of perpetual prosperity. Even the edgiest corporate law scholars at the time confined themselves to calls for the representation of ‘stakeholders’ on corporate boards of directors. [iii]
My reviewers probably agreed with the author of one popular critique of corporate power when he declared that ‘realism dictates presuming that the corporation’s constitution will remain much as it is: self-interested to the point of psychopathy.’ The most that progressive reform could achieve were improvements in ‘the legitimacy, effectiveness, and accountability of government regulation.’ [iv] Having myself taken such a long step outside the managerialist consensus, within and without the legal academy, it was not easy to find a publisher for Reinventing Aristocracy.
In the end, the simplest solution was to have the book published by Ashgate, a niche academic publishing house whose business model was based primarily on sales to university libraries. Little effort was put into marketing the book elsewhere. Indeed, there was little incentive for general readers to buy such a book in the late nineties. Almost no-one then took seriously the possibility that the unreformed model of Anglo-American corporate governance could precipitate systemic crisis and collapse on a global scale.
In the current annus horribilis, it is all-too evident that times have changed. The globalization of the managerial revolution has endowed the demonic power of revolutionary communism with a new lease on life. Progressives are now in bed with corporate oligarchies. Woke capital co-opts the insurgent energy of the left in the service of its own nation-destroying goals.
Having proposed a morally reasonable and spiritually compelling path of virtuous resistance to irresponsible corporate power, Reinventing Aristocracy has at long last become relevant to the most pressing and immediate concerns of the dissident, or, better, restorationist Right. For whites throughout the Anglosphere, the reformation of corporate governance has become a matter of civilizational, even demographic survival; our already abject dependence on globalist corporate élites threatens to become absolute. Let us pray that just such a constitutional crisis will help whites throughout the Anglosphere transcend the conventional left/right divide in political discourse.
Politics is grounded in the existential conflict between friend and enemy.[v] That being so, it is well past time for my own people, the WASPs, to recognize that we have enemies securely ensconced among the upper reaches of the plutocratic managerialist regime. Someone needs to tell the eternal Anglo that our rulers plan to absorb his progeny into a rootless, multiracial multitude of wage slaves and debt-ridden consumers, all held in perpetual bondage to a world-wide network of interlocking corporate fiefdoms.
Woke Capital as Corporate Neo-Communism
In the first edition of Reinventing Aristocracy, I emphasized the dangers of corporate neo-feudalism. No doubt re-feudalisation remains the preferred end state or goal of the globalist managerial revolution. But corporate neo-feudalism is not necessarily at loggerheads with a novel program of corporate neo-communism.
Until 1991, Soviet communism represented itself as more authentic, centrally planned alternative to both Tsarist aristocratic feudalism and the Anglo-American, corporatist model of modern managerialism. Having achieved absolute power, the party-state ruled through a modernized network of organizational fiefdoms. Eventually, the Leninist regime failed to deliver on its utopian promise of freedom and abundance. Instead, a top-heavy, increasingly decrepit, command economy erratically steered by a geriatric party élite simply sputtered to an ignominious standstill. Such stagnation was neither accidental nor unpredictable. After all, absolute power, not permanent revolution, was the true objective of the Soviet model of the managerial revolution.
The collapse of Soviet-style communism, removed the major obstacle to the expansion of the Anglo-American globalist system, driven as it was by an interlocking network of post-national corporate welfare states. Strangely enough, the corporatist drive to re-feudalise the global economy now styles itself as a progressive revolutionary movement striving to unite the whole of humanity under the banner of equality, diversity, and inclusivity. All races, religions, and gender identities (with the probable exception of white heterosexual men) are promised a share in the conspicuous consumption made possible by a borderless economy of perpetual growth engineered by the modern business corporation.
We are now well into the Age of Woke Capital. The business corporation is not simply a legal device to maximise shareholder wealth. Instead, the interlocking structures of corporate, governmental, and media power now pursue an ostensibly ‘humanitarian’ strategy. The crass credo of ‘greed is good’ has been replaced by novel forms of corporate neo-communism. The Leninist dictatorship of the proletariat has morphed into the cult of the Other. ‘Socialism in one country’ as managed by the party-state has been superseded by a globalist system of corporate capital upon which the wretched of the entire earth are to be rendered utterly dependent.
Even at the height of the Cold War, progressive American intellectuals such as John Kenneth Galbraith and Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. often remarked on the underlying convergence of the managerial mind-set shared by corporate and governmental élites, whether in charge of Soviet communism or of American corporate capitalism. In our own time, we can see a clear similarity in the long-term developmental trajectory of both regimes.
The first Leninist revolution was led by a radical party élite promoting unceasing cultural change and social upheaval to achieve their goal of absolute power. But, once Stalinist power was consolidated, the state became the servant of the party; stability was restored and enforced by a cohesive party oligarchy whose status depended upon the party leader.
At this point, the global hegemony of the Anglo-American corporate system is far from secure and unchallenged. Apart from geopolitical rivalry with China, corporate oligarchs clearly worry about the potential re-emergence of self-conscious racial and ethnic-national identities among the Anglo-American and European peoples.
To head off any such possibility, globalist media corporations openly stoke racial animosity towards whites among so-called ‘people of colour’. White people have been cast as the new kulaks in a global racial revolution. This time around, those charged with the management of the revolutionary process incite their dependent followers to attack the interests and even the persons of ordinary working- and middle-class whites. Corporate oligarchies ally themselves with the lower orders to squeeze the middle ranks of the status hierarchy. White European-descended peoples are still deemed to be capable of resisting globalist hegemony. Indeed, they provide the biocultural seedbed for a rival, counter-revolutionary ruling class.
We have been here before. An anonymous blogger, known as Spandrell, suggests that Soviet communism represented a crude caricature of the more sophisticated Anglo-American managerial revolution. True, American managers employ philanthropic foundations and the transnational corporate welfare state, rather than a totalitarian party apparatus as their primary organizational vehicles. But it was the Soviet party-state which pioneered the organising principle that is now being re-deployed by the hyper-modern, techno-financial forces of globalist, increasingly Woke, corporate capital. Spandrell describes that managerial technique as ‘biological Leninism,’ or ‘bioleninism’.[vi] It was and remains a means to an end; namely, absolute power.
In its original incarnation, bioleninism aimed to ‘exterminate the natural aristocracy of Russia and build a ruling class with a bunch of low status people’. Candidates aplenty were found among workers, peasants, Jews, Latvians, Ukrainians. In fact, ‘Lenin went out of his way to recruit everyone who had a grudge against Imperial Russian society. And, it worked, brilliantly’! Like the corporate plutocracy of our own time, the Bolsheviks of the ‘early Soviet Union promoted minorities, women, sexual deviants, atheists, cultists and every kind of weirdo.’
Bioleninism 2.0 enables the managerial overlords of the transnational corporate welfare state to deconstruct the traditions, mores, and folkways of every once-proudly white Anglo-Saxon Protestant society. Those who seek to replace the founding people of every White Anglo-Saxon nation have deployed the weapon of mass migration as a central feature of the current cultural revolution.[vii] Globalist élites tear down every barrier to the rising tide of colour. It is on the ruins of the WASP Ascendancy, wherever it once held sway, that Globohomo strives to construct its own dystopian system of corporate neo-feudalism.
The contemporary corporatist model of bioleninism has adapted to the circumstances of the modern Western world. Western societies in 1960 were very different from the society of 1860 in which Karl Marx plotted the communist revolution. His prediction that the proletariat of the advanced capitalist countries would unite to overthrow the bourgeoisie foundered in the affluent Western societies of the mid-twentieth century where most people worked only 8 hours a day, had cars and TVs, and girls who put out pretty easily. There was always a party on somewhere. Communist revolution just wasn’t much fun in the consumerist ‘society of the spectacle.’[viii] Eventually, however, leftist groups wised up and, more or less openly, allied with the commanding heights of the corporate economy in support of revolutionary social and cultural change. Their joint modus operandi is to agitate among low status people, life’s losers of all sorts, offering to enhance their status, at the expense, of course, of the middling ranks of more successful white people; particularly, white men.
Black Lives Matter this year; lower-case white lives never do. Trannies, fat-shamed feminists, even ‘furries’: who can keep track of the rapidly multiplying marginal identity groups (composed largely of ‘spiteful mutants’[ix]) included within the progressive stack? In 2020, we came to expect one unpleasant surprise after another amid lockdowns, the prospect of mass unemployment and, perhaps, another great depression. We may or may not be experiencing a deliberately engineered reset of the globalist system. Either way, it feels very much as if we are entering the early stages of what James Howard Kunstler calls ‘the long emergency.’[x] Almost day by day, the globalist phase of the managerial revolution becomes more irrational, if only because its systemic end-state, the absolute concentration of global power, remains, frustratingly, just beyond the Inner Party’s reach. Their problem seems insoluble in the absence of a woke Stalin empowered finally to freeze the fully consummated New World Order.
But all is not lost. Nobody really seems to know how to determine just what the ‘new normal’ will entail. It remains possible, therefore, to imagine a different future. The embryonic spirit of a new, counter-revolutionary, ruling class might already be stirring in our hearts and souls. White Anglo-Saxon Protestants can and should redeem themselves by playing a leading role in the reincarnation of a corporate bourgeoisie. As a people reborn, WASPs can derive inspiration from the principles and practices of their ancestral, distinctively Anglo-American republican tradition.
Any such palingenetic project entails much more than just another political campaign aiming at the recapture of state power. The goal must be to create public spaces for republican modes of civic action in both the corporate sector and civil society generally. Of course, the republican reformation of corporate governance will remain pie in the sky unless and until the wheels of the Woke capital juggernaut begin to wobble. But who knows? Multiplying catastrophes could converge, engulfing Globohomo in a systemic crisis.[xi] In such circumstances, the reformation of corporate governance will become an urgent necessity. So, take heart: while the idea of the corporation as a little republic is now beyond our ken, it most definitely represents the rational structure of actual political reality.
The Restoration of a WASP Patriciate
Clearly, any such ‘idea of reason’ is far from the minds of contemporary WASP men of property. Unlike the Jewish moneyed élites who bested them in the struggle for corporate control, WASPs are not yet ready, willing, or able to act in defence of their collective ethnic interests. Until Anglo-Saxon men reconnect, consciously and deliberately, with their ancestral aptitude for republican modes of civic activism, the republican resurrection of a patrician corporate élite must remain a nostalgic pipe dream. Anglo-American élites gave birth to the organizational Frankenstein monster known as the modern business corporation. It is altogether fitting, therefore, that their descendants recognize a collective duty to undo the damage done and limit the risks imposed upon the community-at-large by an irresponsible corporate plutocracy.
Just how can WASP men be roused from their slumber, awakened to a renewed consciousness of their collective ethno-religious identity and readied to assume their rightful political responsibilities? Needless to say, the restoration of anything resembling a WASP ruling class will require much more than the stand-alone reformation of corporate governance.
Clearly, the republican reformation of corporate governance can never become a practical political reality unless accompanied by the revival of WASP identity politics. No other race or ethnicity has such an in-born affinity for civic republicanism. Certainly, when the movement known to historians as ‘the Atlantic republican tradition’ first flowered between the seventeenth and early nineteenth century it was pretty much an exclusively Anglo-American phenomenon.[xii] Republican modes of civic action came naturally to white Anglo-Saxon Protestants in both England and America. Republicanism runs in the blood, as it were.[xiii] Insofar as WASPs will be competing with other racial, religious, and ethnic groups in struggles for corporate control, they may even possess a distinct evolutionary advantage. After all, we live in a corporatist society that earlier generations of WASP lawyers and businessmen conceived, created, and set in motion.
WASPs today should work within civil society to multiply modern public spaces open to the sort of natural aristocracy that their Anglo-American ancestors fostered in the early republic.[xiv] If only WASP men of property today were to recognize in-group solidarity as a virtue associated with nobility, they could restore key elements of the world we have lost.
Nowhere is it written that we are bound morally to accept the revolutionary transmogrification of the successful white Anglo-Saxon Protestant nations created by our ancestors. Globalist corporatism treats society as a soulless, polyglot perpetual innovation machine, populated by hybridized androids, and presided over by rootless and irresponsible corporate plutocracies.
One indispensable prerequisite for a renewed WASP ascendancy, therefore, is the concomitant rebirth of ethno-religious spirituality in a post-creedal Anglican church (and in its dissenting cousins). For far too long, the Church of England and its Anglican offshoots in the British dominions have sacrificed the spiritual and temporal interests of the Anglo-Saxon peoples on the altar of a fictive Universal Church. By contrast, churches in colonial and post-revolutionary New England belonged to a particular time, place, and political community; they received special corporate charters by legislative grant. Similarly, the European university was also conceived as a corporate entity, originally created by the church. The church and the university served as the intellectual and spiritual seedbed of the various European ruling classes.
In our own future, the restoration of a WASP patriciate will be inseparable from the corporate reformation of the Anglican church. University corporations, too, stand in need of reform. Whether founded by the state or by the church, almost all [i]the oldest universities throughout the Anglosphere have ceased to serve the white Anglo-Saxon Protestant peoples in whose name, and for the sake of whose posterity, they received their corporate charters. Harvard University, as discussed earlier, is a prime example. Universities incorporated in the past seventy-five years are, of course, altogether devoid of any distinctive ethnocultural identity. Instead, universities and churches, alike, have become little more than arms of the managerial therapeutic state.[xv]
To reverse the wholesale corruption of ecclesiastical and academic institutions, the corporate bodies of WASPs who pray must set out to establish rejuvenated, explicitly white Anglo-Saxon schools and colleges. Such autonomous ethno-religious institutions are essential to the growth and development of a WASP patriciate. Only when a cohesive, self-consciously Anglo-Saxon, élite holds modern business corporations responsible will global capital serve the collective well-being of British-descended peoples, at home and throughout the diaspora. Such a fusion of spiritual strength, ancestral identity, and temporal interests, embodied in a governing class drawn from their own kinfolk, will—at long last—empower deracinated WASPs to rediscover and reshape their shared destiny.
[i] Andrew Fraser, Reinventing Aristocracy: The Constitutional Reformation of Corporate Governance (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1998)
[ii] See, e.g. Joellen Riley, ‘Review of Reinventing Aristocracy,’ (1999) 21 Sydney Law Review 328; and Sally Wheeler, ‘Fraser and the Politics of Corporate Governance,’ (1999) 26(2) Journal of Law and Society 240.
[iii] See, e.g., David Campbell, ‘Towards a Less Irrelevant Socialism: Stakeholding as a “Reform” of the Capitalist Economy,’ (1997) 24(1) Journal of Law and Society 65.
[iv] Joel Bakan, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power (New York: Free Press, 2004).
[v] Carl Schmitt, The Concept of the Political trans. George Schwab (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1976), 26.
[vi] http://bioleninism.com/2017/11/14/biological-leninism/;Kerry Bolton provides much-needed flesh for the bare bones of Spandrell’s catchy ‘bioleninism’ label. See, especially, Revolution from Above: Manufacturing ‘Dissent’ in the New World Order (London: Arktos Media, 2011); and Babel, Inc.: Multiculturalism and the New World Order (London: Black House, 2013).
[vii] Kelly M. Greenhill, Weapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement, Coercion, and Foreign Policy (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2010)
[viii] Guy Debord, ‘Society of the Spectacle,’ (1970) 4(5) Radical America.
[ix] See, Edward Dutton, Race Differences in Ethnocentrism (London: Arktos Media, 2019), 221.
[x] James Howard Kunstler, The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the 21st Century (London: Atlantic Books, 2005).
[xi] Cf., Guillaume Faye, Convergence of Catastrophes (London: Arktos Media, 2012).
[xii] J.G.A. Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1975).
[xiii] In support of that biocultural claim, see, Andrew Fraser, The Spirit of the Laws: Republicanism and the Unfinished Project of Modernity (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990); idem., The WASP Question: The Biocultural Evolution, Present Predicament, and the Future Prospects of the Invisible Race (London: Arktos Media, 2011); and idem., Dissident Dispatches: An Alt-Right Guide to Christian Theology (London: Arktos Media, 2017).
[xiv] See, e.g., Andrew Fraser, ‘Beyond the Charter Debate: Republicanism, Rights, and Civic Virtue in the Civil Constitution of Canadian Society,’ (1993) 1 Review of Constitutional Studies 27; available online at: https://ualawccsprod.srv.ualberta.ca/wp- content/uploads/2019/08/Review1.1.pdf
[xv] Paul Gottfried, Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt: Toward a Secular Theocracy (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2002).