Three professions dominate the highest tier of Corporate Citizenship. Lawyers, Accountants and Economists. Other professions can be present – more on that later. Accountants as the technocrats, lawyers as the enablers and protectors while economists as the priests, prophets and oracles. All that is missing is an actual royalty. The CEO or Managing Director will play these roles though like many royal dynasties they may be in conflict about who is really in control. They are not directly responsible for the production of anything but they control the production of everything in the corporate world. Others may gain entry either by successful entrepreneurial activity or ownership however they will come to rely on these court attendants and in time will likely be replaced by them. Occasional entry is earned by other professional groups such as engineers and IT professionals though increasingly they are expected to have been socialized through an MBA program making them pseudo lawyers, accountants and economists etc.
Business journalists love corporate royalty. Particularly where there is an intergenerational dynasty such as the Packer, Murdoch and Fairfax families etcetera. Here there is the direct sound of the ‘born to rule’ meme while for the appointed CEO or MD there is the leadership memes of ‘leadership’ and ‘visionary’. There actions will of course be different. A dynasty can afford to look long term while a CEO has but a few years to demonstrate performance and perhaps scuttle as much wealth and influence from the company as they can keep. Journalists will write books about dynastic families, their politics and relationships while they will help successful CEO’s write books about themselves, their business philosophy and successful leadership strategies.
As politics becomes more corporatized expect the same – more lawyers, economists and accountants. Just the content differs. Expect that most government issues will be framed through the lens of the ‘corporate’ classes and the need to retain power. Also expect Australia to do ‘good things’ when it is financially and economically expedient to do so. Put another way expect that Australia is capable of ’bad things’ when it is financially and economically expedient to do so and that it can be argued that it is legal.
Largely the ‘corporate class’ will be cosmopolitan and reflect cosmopolitan social values, though this is not necessarily the case. See http://www.class.org.au/NewClass.htm .
The Corporate Classes and their political power as we experience it in Australia is not the same elsewhere. Other classes can be at the negotiating table of power such as the military (include police and secret service agencies here), intellectual (include religious ideologues in here) – see Russia, Iran, Egypt, US and lots more. Thus their decisions and our reactions to them can seem at odds.