Not having gotten into the history yet, I can't do much about the body of the essay except express curiosity. But the section on framing modernity is problematic:
The human world, like physics, can be reduced to four fundamental forces: culture, politics, war and business. That is also roughly the order of decreasing strength, increasing legibility and partial subsumption of the four forces ... Culture is the most mysterious, illegible and powerful force. It includes such tricky things as race, language and religion. Business, like gravity in physics, is the weakest and most legible: it can be reduced to a few basic rules and principles...Maybe it's particularly modern to put race, art, and religion all under the same label, and it'll take a little more work to convince me that "culture" in this setting doesn't just mean "forces I can't easily analyze." If Christianity is true -- as whole cultures have believed it to be -- then God's interaction with mankind would presumably deserve a top-tier category of its own. It's hard to imagine the Greek philosophers accepting this particular ranking of politics, war, and business, and they weren't unobservant. And what about science and scholarship? This fourfold division is cute, but I don't find it all that useful.
But even though I find the overall framing a little silly, he's got a nice description of the way that the corporation form shifted its goal from spatial domination to ownership of time, and an interesting suggestion about the diminishing returns in this practice.