Stakeholder Capitalism’s Left-Wing Agenda

Stakeholder Capitalism’s Left-Wing Agenda

This originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal on February 19, 2020 

Stakeholder Capitalism’s Left-Wing Agenda

In reality, stakeholder capitalism is nothing more than an extension of liberal-progressive activism. The only political or social positions these corporate leaders are permitted to take align precisely with progressive values.

The Wall Street Journal, 19 Feb 2020


Vivek Ramaswamy errs in his basic premise (“The ‘Stakeholders’ vs. the People,” op-ed, Feb. 13). He presumes stakeholder capitalism empowers capitalist leaders to “play a larger role in defining and implementing the country’s political and social values.”


In reality, stakeholder capitalism is nothing more than an extension of liberal-progressive activism. The only political or social positions these corporate leaders are permitted to take align precisely with progressive values.


If Milton Friedman’s concern was the deleterious effect on the corporation of imposing social agendas on it, Mr Ramaswamy’s concern is precisely the opposite: the effect on the state of corporations embracing social agendas. Businesses and governments operate in separate spheres, something akin to church and state. It’s when one side tries to operate on the other’s turf that we run into trouble. For the sake of God and country let’s keep them separate.


Prof. Mark Castelino


Rutgers Business School

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