Is a corporation a network of freely-contracting individuals, or is it more like a government, ruling over its ‘citizen’ workers? In the book review below, political theorist Abraham Singer reviews philosopher Elizabeth Anderson’s book on the topic. (Students will find this dense, but rewarding reading—and like many good book reviews, this one helps clarify the key points that the target author is trying to make.)
LINK: Book Review: Private Government: How Employers Rule our Lives (and Why We Don’t Talk about It) by Elizabeth Anderson (by Abraham Singer for LSE Review of Books)
In Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don’t Talk about It), Elizabeth Anderson argues that beneath the facades of market freedom and contractual equality, contemporary firms are actually akin to authoritarian private governments. While this is a compelling and provocative analysis that sheds important light on the coercive and hierarchical facets of modern workplaces, Abraham Singer wonders whether the rise of the gig economy might demand new concepts for understanding the firm today....
What do you think?