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For-Profit DemocracyWhy the Government Is Losing the Trust of Rural America$
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Loka Ashwood

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780300215359

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300215359.001.0001

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The Moral Economy of Democracy

The Moral Economy of Democracy

(p.47) Three The Moral Economy of Democracy
For-Profit Democracy

Loka Ashwood

Yale University Press

This chapter argues that the private–public corporate combo created a fundamental challenge to people exerting their rights to private property according to their moral economy. The government's privileging of economic development and industrialization facilitated the rise of corporations as governmental authorities, but ones that failed to return profit to the public purse. To accommodate this process, the meaning of public use and public purpose changed dramatically. If the corporate expansion over public purpose and private profit stopped there, profit-seeking corporations might not be such a substantial affront to the moral economy of democracy. However, corporate powers have not stopped there. On top of awarding them public and profit rights, the judiciary recognizes corporations as people. Profit yet again played a key role in gaining corporations additional democratic rights. Profit made it seem as if the pursuit of more money was not only a human right, but the preeminent human right.

Keywords:   corporations, property rights, private property, moral economy, public purpose, democracy

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