This book is partly about a kind of class warfare, but one continually waged within the free market system. On one side are forward-looking, competent executives who learn by experience and identify their own futures with that of the organizations to which they belong, whether they own a company, head a business association, or are just officers or employees. Their enemies are many: Executives who pursue personal goals, usually wealth, at the expense of the organizations to which they belong. Incompetent executives who have gained power by inheritance or by personal qualities that have no relation to executive ability. Executives who impede the adaptation of their organizations to new challenges. Executives who hire, promote, or favor less competent subordinates over more competent subordinates because of class, religion, race or sex. And otherwise competent executives who are blinded by their own arrogance as to what should be done.
But this book is not written to show that the victories of its heroes were and will be inevitable.
Nor is it written to show that individuals by their actions determine the outcomes that in restrospect we call history. It is written from the conviction that it is hard to tell what would have happened if the individual had not done what he did. One can only estimate degrees of likelihood.
Consider, for example, the actions of Dan Lufkin and his partners. They forced members of The New York Stock Exchange to allow their firm and other member-firms to sell shares in their firms to the general public. Its likely, given the economic need and desirability, that this