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Reinventing Aristocracy in the Age of Woke Capital

Author(s): Andrew Fraser

How honourable WASP elites could rescue our civilisation from bad governance by irresponsible corporate plutocrats.

Andrew Fraser’s socio-legal study resurrects the original conception of the modern American business corporation as a little republic. Well into the nineteenth century, the idea of the corporation as a civil body politic played a significant role in the constitutional genesis of civic authority. In our time too, republican ideas can challenge the dictatorship of the economic in corporate governance.

The author’s republican model of corporate governance looks beyond managerial accountability to shareholders. He highlights the responsibility of shareholders for risks imposed upon society at large by the corporations they own. Political responsibility for the adverse consequences of corporate activity must be vested in a new political class of shareholders. A self-selecting aristocracy of substantial shareholders can constitute senatorial elites with the authority to balance the otherwise irresponsible power of corporate managers.

In exploring the contemporary relevance of republicanism to corporate governance, the author discusses the nature of aristocracy and democracy in the era of reflexive modernization; corporations and the economic logic of efficiency; as well as the relationship between risk, responsibility, and the political realities of corporate power.

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Foreword: An Aristocracy of Industry?



Introduction to the Second Edition: On Reinventing a Ruling Class

Corporations in the Early American Republic

The Managerial Revolution and Corporate Plutocracy

Resurrecting the Corporation as a Civil Body Politic

Woke Capital as Corporate Neo-Communism

The Restoration of a WASP Patriciate

Chapter 1

Aristocracy and Democracy in the Era of Reflexive Modernisation


The Revolt of the Elites

The End of the Democratic Revolution

Civilising Capitalism

Corporate Governance and Republican Political Theory

Chapter 2

Corporations and the Economic Logic of Efficiency


The Erosion Thesis

The Inherence Thesis

Democratic Capitalism and the Legalised Flight from Responsibility

The Economic Interpretation of the Corporate Constitution

Agency Theory and Corporate Social Responsibility

Economic Behaviour and Political Freedom

Dual-Class Common Stock and the Reinvention of Aristocracy

Constitutional Choices

Chapter 3

Corporations and the Political Realities of Power


The Politics of Corporate Finance

The Populist Fragmentation of Finance Capital

Accountability versus Responsibility

The Power Model of the Corporation

Corporations and the Public Policymaking Process

Power and Legitimacy in Corporate Governance

The Reflexive Modernisation of Corporate Power

The Risks of Re-feudalisation

Shareholders versus Stakeholders

Chapter 4

Corporations and the Constitutional Genesis of Civic Authority


The Evolutionary Thesis

The Separation of Power and Authority

Law’s Aristocratic Republic

The Republican Reformation of the Legal Profession

One, Two, Many Little Republics

Beyond the Left-Right Dichotomy

The Limits on Civil Society: The Progressive Version

Limits on Civil Society: The Conservative Version

Corporate Property and Civic Virtue


The Rebel in Paradise Ltd.




Andrew Fraser









Number Of Pages


Publication Date



Arktos Media Ltd


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