|Publisher:||Between the Lines||Published:||March 15th 2018|
A mugger to a stranger, "Give me your wallet or I will beat
you to pulp!" It is a crime.
An employer says to a worker: "Adding lung-saving ventilation
will reduce my profit. Give me back some of your wages and I will
let you keep your lungs!" This is not a crime.
Our assumptions about the world condition us to see these
situations as legally different from one another. But what if we,
the critics of corporate capitalism, instead insisted on taking
the spirit of law, rather than its letter, seriously? It would then be
possible to describe many of the daily practices of capitalists and
their corporations as criminal in nature, even if not always criminal
by the letter and formality of law.
In Capitalism: A Crime Story, Harry Glasbeek makes the case
that if the rules and doctrines of liberal law were applied as they
should be according to law's own pronouncements and methodology,
corporate capitalism would be much harder to defend.
Harry Glasbeek is Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University. He has also taught at the universities of Melbourne and Monash in Australia, and the University of Western Ontario. He is the author of ten books including Class Privilege: How Law Shelters Shareholders and Coddles Capitalism and Wealth by Stealth: Corporate Crime, Corporate Law, and the Perversion of Democracy.