1st Edition

The Corporate State Technopoly, Privatization and Corporate Predation

By Robert Orrange Copyright 2020

    This book critically examines key features of the contemporary organizational landscape by focusing on major beneficiaries of recent historical politicalcultural transformations involving the embrace of market fundamentalism and a market society: corporations, those who direct them, and those who use them for their own benefit.

    Part I examines the big US-based tech firms (i.e., Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon), highlighting numerous tensions and contradictions between their highly cultivated, flattering, yet unwarranted public images and the reality of how they operate as extremely competitive, at times deceptive, profitseeking entities. A focus on these firms also highlights just how dramatically the economic realm has been transformed over the past few decades due to accelerating advances in information technology and corporate-managed globalization. Part II explores how the state has been pushed back via privatization and corporate predation in such areas as health care, military/security, criminal justice, philanthropy, and education and concludes by looking forward with a vision of a knowledge-caring society that must rebalance corporate-managed market fundamentalism.

    Through the use of clear cases that bring the theory to life for students, the book is ideal as a supplementary text for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in a range of coursework in the fields of organizational theory and behavior, leadership in organizations, and management responsibility and business ethics. It will also be of great interest to students of sociology, specifically in the areas of complex organizations, economic sociology, theory, political sociology, and law and society.




    1 Facebook: Let the Hacking Begin!

    2 Monopoly: Google it!

    3 Apple: Alas, Something is Rotten in Cupertino

    4 Amazon: Our Faustian Bargain



    5 Corporations and the State: Legal-Political Environment

    6 From the Not-So-Affordable Care Act to the Opioid Crisis:An Overdose of Corporate Influence

    7 Ideological Backdrop: Attacks on State Bureaucracy

    8 Privatization of the Military and the Rise of Corporate Warriors

    9 Privatization and the Prison Industrial Complex: The New Keynesianism

    10 Administering Democracy and the Non-Prophets of Civil Society: The Rise of the Charitable Industrial Complex

    11 Education Reform without Educators and the Philanthrocapitalism of Corporate Elites

    12 Looking Forward: Confronting Risk Society and Envisioning a Countersystem of Care




    Robert M. Orrange is Professor of Sociology at Eastern Michigan University. He is the author of Work, Family, and Leisure: Uncertainty in a Risk Society and Social Structure: Organizations and Institutions.

    "In this insightful and timely book, Robert M. Orrange captures the growing challenges of powerful corporations, the elites who direct them, and corporate interests privatizing government services, education, and other institutions, including the military, security, and criminal justice systems. His is a compelling case for rebalancing state and market relations in ways that promote the common good."

    Phyllis Moen, PhD, Founding Director, University of Minnesota Advanced Careers Initiative (UMAC)


    "Robert M. Orrange offers a sweeping view of recent economic history that goes beyond the military-industrial complex to describe the corporate state.  Orrange analyzes the development of new digital products and services and the companies that produce them.  He shows how the forces of oligopoly are at work even for companies that pride themselves on having being born in a garage.  The implications for democracy — let alone capitalism — are important."

    Teresa Sullivan, President Emerita and University Professor, University of Virginia


    "This rollicking critique of techno-capitalism explains how the wizards behind Google, Amazon, and Facebook morphed into monopolistic bullies that are posing a serious threat to democracy. These immense companies are changing our economy and society in ways we cannot imagine, obsessed as we are with the boundless consumer pleasures they stimulate. Drawing on traditions of pragmatism and human rights theory, Robert M. Orrange offers a fresh perspective on the dangers of market fundamentalism and offers hope for a future caring society."

    Christine Williams, Professor of Sociology, University of Texas at Austin