This chapter explores the origins, development, and organization of the main Portuguese capitalist groups throughout the fascist dictatorship, the Carnation Revolution, and the neoliberal European integration until the onset of the financial crisis of 2008. The Portuguese experience confirms that, far from the usual neoliberal view that presents the process of accumulation and concentration of capital as the result of fair market mechanisms, large capitalist groups emerge as a combination of three factors: privileged access to finance, State protection, and family inheritance. Furthermore, it is argued that, if capital is considered as embodiment of power relations and not as factor of production, the link between concentration/accumulation of capital and economic growth is appropriately lost. Concentration strategies can have a detrimental effect on the economy. In Portugal, the dominance of these large economic groups contributed to the development of a rentist economic structure that was contrary to the goals of productive and economic development.
Mortágua, M. (2019), "The Historical Course of Ownership Structures and Rentier Capitalism in Portugal", Class History and Class Practices in the Periphery of Capitalism (Research in Political Economy, Vol. 34), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 33-58. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0161-723020190000034004
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2019 Emerald Publishing Limited