The Attack on Big Business

The Attack on Big Business

The Attack on Big Business

The Attack on Big Business

Excerpt

Within the alloted span of a human life, America has gone through a revolution. How and where we live; how we work and what we work at; what we make and what we use -- all these things have been profoundly changed. Our population has increased more than three-fold. Our material production has increased more than eleven-fold. We were mostly a rural, agrarian people. Now we are mostly urban and industrial.

The end of this revolution is not yet in sight.

This revolution of ours may lack the dramatic fireworks of the French or Russian revolutions. Or even of the American Revolution of 1776. But it has had far more immediate, direct, tangible, and pervasive impact on the daily life and mode of living of ordinary individuals than any of them. The chapter in history most nearly comparable is England's Industrial Revolution of the 19th Century. The changes which swept over England captured the imagination of plain folk, politicians, and historians. They were deeply stirred, often shocked, and sometimes frightened by the extent and depth of these changes. But our own departure from things past has been far greater than was theirs.

This revolution of ours has not yet been named.

With no greater oversimplification than is common in historical labels, it could be called the Big Business Revolution.

For one of its outstanding distinguishing features has been the rise of the big business corporation as a commonplace. In mid-century there are thousands upon thousands of companies that are big businesses as compared with the "representative firm" of seventy years ago, or to what is common in most other countries today. The large business corporation . . .

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