The Corporate Overlords will be Kind: Campaign Finance, Representation and Corporate-led Democracy

by Radu George Dumitrescu (University of Bucharest, Romania)

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‘The Corporate Overlords will be Kind’ is a unique book in that it makes use of a multi-pronged approach – journalistic, legal, theoretical – to find, document, and explain instances in which well-known corporations such as Wal-Mart, Uber, McDonald’s, Airbnb, Gillette, Nike and others have involved themselves, as ‘artificial persons’, in political and social debates involving aspects such as gender, racism, sexual minorities, and gun ownership. This book argues that these transnational, multi-billion-dollar corporations that thrive in the globalized world market are forced to take explicitly political stances by the very environment in which they activate and by the consumers whom they serve, taking on the latter’s values and opinions and representing them to retain them as customers.

‘The Corporate Overlords will be Kind’ advances that corporations are now – and will increasingly be – the loudest voices in the political market square of the United States, but that such a situation is not necessarily a cause for concern. This book thus departs from the traditional scholarly views of Citizens United (the 2010 landmark decision of the Supreme Court which granted free speech to corporations as persons) as a woe to democracy, and argues that the ageless, deathless, genderless, nationless corporations will be the political representatives of the futures, not political parties.

This book will appeal to undergraduate and graduate students specializing in social sciences, particularly politics, history, sociology, and law. Political professionals and journalists may also be interested in the book, in addition to the general reader with interest in politics.


Chapter I The Company – Origins

Chapter II The Ruling

Chapter III Corporatist Theories

Chapter IV The Drafting of a False History

Chapter V Citizenship and the Corporation

Chapter VI Political Personhood

Chapter VII Parties, Corporations and Representation

Chapter VIII Partisan Industries and Campaign Contributions

Chapter IX Progressive Corporations
1. Corporations and Women’s Day
2. Corporations and Race
3. Gillette and Toxic Masculinity
4. Corporations and Morality
5. Barilla and LGBTQ inclusion
6. Chick-fil-A and Christianity
7. Target, Best Buy and consumer boycotts
8. Corporations and gun-ownership
9. Corporations and the Parkland Shooting
10. Uber & Lyft and the Muslim Ban
11. Airbnb and the West Bank
12. Tiffany’s and Transparency
13. Nike, Colin Kaepernick and the right to protest
14. Corporations and abortion
15. Danone and Social Responsibility
16. Peloton and Sexism

Chapter X Free Speech and Corporations

Chapter XI Trump vs. Corporations

Chapter XII China vs. Corporations

Legal Documents

A doctoral student in Political Science at the University of Bucharest, Romania, Radu George Dumitrescu is also the former editor in chief of The New Federalist, a Pan-European magazine that tackles topics relating to the European Union. In 2019, Radu was among the youngest nominees ever to make the European Press Prize list for his article ‘Use Article 7 against my country’.

Citizens United, corporate social responsibility, post-democracy, political theory, personhood, representation theory, free speech, consumer boycott

Bibliographic Information

Book Title
The Corporate Overlords will be Kind: Campaign Finance, Representation and Corporate-led Democracy
Number of pages
Physical size
236mm x 160mm
Publication date
July 2021