Eduardo Porter provides a nice summary of the history of what we now call corporate social responsibility. He chronicles the increasing power of shareholders and equity-compensated managers over the last 50 years and calls on government to make sure corporations are good citizens.
Unfortunately, government does not exist in a vacuum and has increasingly lost power and resources versus corporations. Shareholders (but primarily the senior corporate managers who control them) have used their additional power and money to fight government, labor , communities and all of the other stakeholders in our society. We are now seeing the fruits of this 50 year transition.