Economics/Class Relations

Professor Peter Phillips: 13 firms ran by 161 directors on their boards represent the financial core of the world’s transnational capitalist class

By Mohsen Abdelmoumen

America Herald Tribune

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Mohsen Abdelmoumen: In your writings, you qualify the XXI century, the century of Fascism. How did we get there?

Pr. Peter Phillips: 9/11 set the stage for a global war on terror and increased police state in the US and abroad. We face a century of fascism unless major social democracy movements intercede. The mechanism of state democracy and elections in the US and most other places are nothing more than theater on a grand scale.

You mention the TCC (transnational capitalist class), can you enlighten us about this concept?

The American ruling class has long been determined to be a mostly self-perpetuating elite that maintains its influence through policy-making institutions such as the National Association of Manufacturers, the US Chamber of Commerce, the Business Council, Business Roundtable, the Conference Board, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Council on Foreign Relations, and other business-centered policy groups. These associations have long dominated policy decisions within the US government.

Capitalist power elites exist around the world. The globalization of trade and capital brings the world’s elites into increasingly interconnected relationships—to the point that sociologists now theorize the development of a transnational capitalist class (TCC). In one of the path-breaking works in this field, The Transnational Capitalist Class (2000), Leslie Sklair argued that globalization elevated transnational corporations (TNC) to more influential international roles, with the result that nation-states became less significant than international argreements developed through the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other international institutions. Emerging from these multinational corporations was a transnational capitalist class, whose loyalties and interests, while still rooted in their corporations, was increasingly international in scope.

You mention a world government composed of 13 largest companies and 161 directors who manage $ 23 910 trillion and around which gravitate the G8, G20, WTO, World Bank, NATO and various organizations such as the Trilateral Commission, the Economic Forum, the Bank for International Settlements and the Bilderberg Group. Can we still speak of any sovereignty of States and their peoples? What is the purpose of parliaments and can we still talk about democracy?

In 2014, we decided to identify the people on the boards of directors of the top ten asset management firms and the top ten most centralized corporations. Because of overlaps, this is a total of thirteen firms, which collectively have 161 directors on their boards. We think that this group of 161 individuals represents the financial core of the world’s transnational capitalist class. They collectively manage $23.91 trillion (2014) in funds and operate in nearly every country in the world. They are the center of the financial capital that powers the global economic system. Western governments and international policy bodies work in the interests of this financial core to protect the free flow of capital investment anywhere in the world. Add a few thousand to this 161 and you find $100 trillion/ half the wealth in the world managed by this small concentrated set of people in the TCC.


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