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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg June 17, 2021

Is More Mittelstand the Answer? Firm Size and the Crisis of Democratic Capitalism

Sebastian Kohl EMAIL logo and Timur Ergen
From the journal Analyse & Kritik


Corporate concentration is currently being discussed as a core reason for the crisis of democratic capitalism. It is seen as a prime mover for wage stagnation and alienation, economic inequalities and discontent with democracy. A tacit coalition of progressive anti-monopoly critiques and small business promoters considers more deconcentrated corporate structures to be a panacea for the crisis of democratic capitalism, arguing that small firms in competition are better for employment, equality and democracy. This paper offers a brief outline of ideas of the anti-monopoly and small business ideal and critically evaluates whether a more deconcentrated economy may live up to these promises. While we agree that the plea for strengthened antitrust enforcement contains relevant and promising prospects for reform, our analysis concludes on a decidedly critical note. In particular, we caution against romanticized notions of the small capitalist firm.

Online erschienen: 2021-06-17
Erschienen im Druck: 2021-06-01

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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