Capitalism, Corporatism, the Ruling Class, and Us

We all know that our Representatives and Senators are not very responsive to us, their bosses. Actually they make the DMV personnel look responsive, with a very few exemptions.

Why? How about because they’ve made it to the upper (sometimes called ruling) class. There is a major conspiracy unsaid understanding amongst the high level bureaucrats, elected officials, corporate grandees, and lobbyists to maintain the status quo.

Why would they do this, aren’t they capitalists, at least on Wall Street? No, they aren’t. They got there not because of hard work (in fact, they disdain it), luck, or experience. They got there because of who they know. Ever notice how readily they switch back and forth amongst all four groups.

They are nearly all lawyers, my experience tells me that of all occupations, lawyers are the most risk averse. If what you want is difficult, they’ll fall back on their precious ethics (except the one about representing their client to the best of their ability).

Greedy this whole bunch is but, working (to them) is risky. Probably because you have to be competent. A couple of current examples: Steve Jobs never fit with them: He was a capitalist and an entrepreneur. His kids might make it if they try hard. Bill Gates made it to the lower upper class.

Michael O. Church had much to say about this yesterday and said far better than me.

One thing quickly learned when studying tyranny (and lesser , more gradual, failures of states and societies such as observed in the contemporary United States) is that the ideological leanings of tyrants are largely superficial. Those are stances taken to win popular support, not sincere moral positions. Beneath the veneer, tyrants are essentially the same, whether fascist, communist, religious, or centrist in nature. Supposedly “right-wing” fascists and Nazis would readily deploy “socialist” innovations such as large public works projects and social welfare programs if it kept society stable in a way they preferred, while the supposedly “communist” elites in the Soviet Union and China were self-protecting, deeply anti-populist, and brutal– not egalitarian or sincerely socialist in the least. The U.S. upper class is a different beast from these and, thus far, less malevolent than the communist or fascist elites (although if they are unchecked, this will change). It probably shares the most in common with the French aristocracy of the late 18th-century, being slightly right-of-center and half-hearted in its authoritarianism, but deeply negligent and self-indulgent. For a more recent comparison, I’m going to point out an obvious and increasing similarity between the “boardroom elite” (of individuals who receive high-positions in established corporations despite no evidence of high talent or hard work) and an unlikely companion: the elite of the Soviet Union.

Consider the Soviet Union. Did political and economic elites disappear when “business” was made illegal? No, not at all. Did the failings of large human organizations suddenly have less of a pernicious effect on human life? No; the opposite occurred. What was outlawed, effectively, was not the corporation (corporate power existed in the government) but small-scale entrepreneurship– a necessary social function. Certainly, elitism and favoritism didn’t go away. Instead, money (which was subject to tight controls) faded in importance in favor of blat, an intangible social commodity describing social connection as well as the peddling of influence and favors. With the money economy hamstrung by capitalism’s illegality, blat became a medium of exchange and a mechanism of bribery. People who were successful at accumulating and using social resources were called blatnoys. The blatnoy elite drove their society into corruption and, ultimately, failure. But… that’s irrelevant to American capitalism, right?

Continue reading.

We need to quit referring to anything these leeches do as capitalism; it’s not. At best it’s crony capitalism, mostly it’s corporatism, or worse

I’ve written about the elegant nature of capitalism several times, such as here and here and here and others. My point is that capitalism is the only way to maintain freedom as well as providing the greatest good for the greatest number, as they earn it.

Stubborn facts over at Grassroots in Nebraska is talking about this and how it relates to the whole #Occupy (Wherever) movement. By the way they have their own movement going, which I support Occupy Reason)

A lot of people are talking about the Occupy Wall Street movement and we did publish an article about the OccupyLincoln movement this weekend.

One of the central themes one can detect within this movement regards “corporate greed”, and it started with a specific criticism of the corporate greed on Wall Street and its influences on politics. Some of the participants in these occupation groups say government is being run by corporations.

The participants in this movement charge that corporate influence should be heavily taxed, heavily regulated and banished entirely from the political process. Apparently, removal of corporate influence will solve all problems.

Some members of the Occupy movement are actually blaming capitalism and say it is a failed system.

Such philosophy is inherently flawed because it leaves out a huge factor – government and the politicians who run it.

In a 1979 appearance on the Phil Donahue show, economist Milton Friedman addressed this whole subject, articulating it better than, perhaps, anyone else before or since.

Continue Reading (and don’t miss the videos either).

So there you have it. Before we condemn capitalism we really should give it a try. We built this country on it and look where it brought us, do we really want to throw away “Man’s last best hope”.

About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

7 Responses to Capitalism, Corporatism, the Ruling Class, and Us

  1. Here, here! Love to see as many articulations of the true difference between capitalism and corporatism going as far and wide as possible. To right the ship of state we need to elect representatives who have other things to do besides become career politicians – in other words they are capitalists themselves. It would be great to see true capitalism restored, along with a Constitutional Republic. Thanks for sharing the Michael O. Church piece – very well said.

    Thanks for linking to our Occupy Lincoln article – more to come over there. Our first couple of rounds didn’t dive all that deep on the specifics of the Lincoln group. Unfortunately, too many seem to think the very people who aid and abet their cronies are the ones who can fix things. *Sigh*

    Let’s keep up the fight!

    Shelli a.k.a. Stubborn_Facts


  2. Shelli, Your timing was perfect with your article as was Michael’s. I’d been trying for a while to articulate it and you both helped (a lot).

    I’ve been over at your site this morning working my way through your series on Nebraska government which is completely in line with my experience. Keep it up. I thought I was the only one who remembered what Norris was all about.

    That’s the problem with the Occupy folk all right, they think the cause of the problem is the solution. Huh?

    Keep up the fight, you bet!!


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