In the previous post on the Masters in Black Supremacy being offered by UCL, one thing mentioned by one of the muddled-heads was control of education by “the hierarchies that dominate education, housing, health, and criminal justice, here in Britain.”
It then immediately speaks of redistribution of wealth, i.e. theft from ordinary people and how that’s a good thing but let’s leave that on hold for now and come back to these hierarchies.
Firstly, is it higher education, secondary or primary? Secondly, is it Arts or Science, Economics or Law? Because these hierarchies, if they mean corporations, are not remotely interested in an Arts graduate. An Arts graduate is one of the woolly-head left or someone who didn’t make the cut in one of the sciences or other faculties. Most student unrest comes from the Arts.
If, however, we’re looking at, say, engineering, then of course corporations are going to be interested, ditto with the sciences – there’s a vested interest in R&D and no one is going to put money up unless there’s some sort of result. In many cases [posts passim], the result is contrived, e.g. with climate change – Michael Mann.
Corporatism as “crony capitalism” or the corruption of public policy by special interests. This is the most common usage of “corporatism” in contemporary debate. Those who denounce the “corporatist wing” of the Democratic or Republican parties are objecting that policymakers are sacrificing the common good to the short-term objectives of particular businesses or industries.
As an epithet, “corporatism” fits into the worldview of Jeffersonian populists, for whom large corporations have always been suspect. And “corporatist” as an insult also makes sense when deployed by libertarians who insist that they are pro-market, not pro-business.
But progressives, including very left-wing social democrats, should think twice before wholeheartedly adopting the term “corporatism” to describe everything they dislike about modern American politics and political economy.
A strain of progressivism associated with Louis Brandeis shares the Jeffersonian populist suspicion of large corporations. But in practice, the mainstream of American progressivism since Theodore Roosevelt has viewed large corporations as permanent fixtures of the modern economic landscape. The mainstream agenda has been to check excessive corporate power by means of regulation and the “countervailing power” (the term is John Kenneth Galbraith’s) of labor unions and consumer lobbies — not to use anti-trust policy to break up all big firms into many tiny ones.
First, the new corporatism means using the state to radically limit freedom in particular segments of the economy (healthcare and higher education being good examples) while presenting oneself as market-friendly. Think, for instance, of the lengths to which some have gone to present Obamacare (“Welcome to theMarketplace!” proclaims the malfunctioning website) as not being what in fact it is: yet another command-and-control healthcare system.
The second dimension of the new corporatism is the way, Phelps writes, it has facilitated “the creation of a parallel economy” that exists alongside — and feeds off — the market economy. So what does this parallel economy look like? For Phelps, it primarily consists of those “lethargic, wasteful, unproductive and well-connected firms” that are propped up by what he calls a “tripartism” of government, organized business, and organized labor (the third being the weaker of the three in America) at virtually any cost.
For those who want evidence of the parallel economy, Phelps underlines just how great the costs of this new corporatism are. Among other things, they include: the bailing-out of dysfunctional corporations and banks; the low economic growth associated with shifting incentives away from entrepreneurial risk-taking and towards lobbying politicians; governments trying to borrow, tax, and spend their way towards the impossible-to-realize goal of economic-security-for-all via state-fiat; and, especially worryingly, the “increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of those connected enough to be on the right side of the corporatist deal.”
Despite the widespread assumption that a free market is the ideal economy for big business, and that regulation checks the power of big business, more often the opposite is true. Regulation, by adding to the cost of doing business, disproportionately hurts smaller business and acts as a barrier to entry, keeping out new competitors.
Likewise, government subsidies can be far more valuable, or at least more reliable, than income from consumers, for which businesses must continually fight with competitors. The dynamics of the lobbying game are crucial here. Bigger companies enjoy a greater advantage in Washington than they do in the market.
Not only can bigger companies hire the better lobbyists—former lawmakers or top administration aides—and hand out more in campaign contributions, but they also matter more to lawmakers. The more workers you employ and the more taxes you pay, the more lawmakers care about your well-being, desires, and wishes.
In short, big business has a strong motivation to support big government: profit. To use the terminology of economist Joseph Schumpeter, big government enables politicalentrepreneurs—those who influence government to grant subsidies or harm competitors through regulation—to succeed over market entrepreneurs.
Thus we frequently see big business–big government collusion, which goes by many names: rent-seeking, corporatism, corporate socialism, corporate welfare, regulatory robbery, and subsidy-suckling, to name a few. Indeed, throughout our country’s history, some of the greatest enemies of the free market have come from the big-business lobby.
Which to me comes back the inherent danger in using a simple word, e.g. corporatism, and thinking of entirely different things when using that word, rather than defining what it actually does mean and whom it includes and encompasses.
It’s also dangerous to attempt to say what The Man in the Street thinks but I’m going to have a stab at it.
Those families still functioning in society essentially want job, house, car, leisure, e.g. beer and fags and a holiday a year. I believe they’ll support any party or system which will enable that. Many in the west see the conservative side as ensuring that and the big-spending left side as killing off the economy. But to the left, the unions are the way to ensure take home pay and the unions are Labour and Labour is benefits.
In reality, the corporatist, PPI, PFI, stranglehold at the top produces regulation [see Phelps] and no guarantee of anything good for middle and lower society. So one can’t blame people for accusing one thing here and another over there and never finally coming to grips with how they cannot manage the household budget, why they go into debt all the time.
It was mentioned that most families are on the edge, financially, even the well economically managed. In other words, the system is ensuring they are always on the edge and the cost of things, from London homes to the price of milk heavily affects it, compared to take home pay.
Nowhere was this better illustrated than in post-communist Russia where not only was nothing guaranteed any more but homes now cost big money and goods in stores approached western prices. I once asked a minister about this and they hoped to get to price parity with the west within ten years. That is, the corporations needed this to be so.
Trouble was, with a teacher still on £100 a month, it was clear the Russian economy, its society, did not have the superstructure, the underpinning, to support such prices.
Unless, of course, a bank or corporation went into one of the new megastore complexes and offered sub-prime finance, loans, credit. That, to me, was one of the most criminal acts I saw while over there. People still in the extended family where one member largely supported the others, often working for the govt in some high area, saw feckless sons and daughters going along and cheerfully signing up for finance they had no way in hades of repaying.
Over here we call it Wonga and payday loans.
The various solutions don’t cut it. Many scream for more regulation but the regulation is always of us, not those we wish to see it upon – are three members of a club going to agree to regulation of each other?
Some call for communism, i.e. the State takes over all and it’s getting closer – the benefits society is the early days.
Some call for anti-Trust laws, e.g. those preceding Roosevelt, T.
Some call for communism in its fairytale, fantasy form – everyone happily local and producing for the local community. It’s fairytale because the power, Them, will never allow such a situation to exist and ordinary people will never combine, except in pointless revolution, which has always required leaders who later become the new oppressors [see The Who].
And we see crims at the top arranging the game for themselves and literally not giving a fig for anyone below, not caring, not happy to see starvation and depopulation but just not even thinking about it. Not forgetting the political agenda riding this, e.g. mass parachutism and even less chance of anything running well.
And in this context, what is revolution going to do when it doesn’t even know whom to actually attack? Killing off the useless pollies – is that going to put food into the mouths of the family? When the villains are Them, the mix of the elite behind the pollies and on whose bandwagon the greedy pollies tried to ride?
No doubt whatever the banks have it controlled, in their various forms, the moneylenders. In 1312, after the Council of Vienne, the Templars were dismantled and the Templars took their horde and sailed off for Scotland and other places. It solved nothing, it did not make Philippe richer, it removed finance.
Something like UKIP is trying to get back [in most members’ eyes], to job, house, car, leisure, e.g. beer and fags and a holiday a year for the ordinary Brit – that’s the dream. Yet the tribalists, the left, the statists, combine to try to block this for their various reasons. Ask Richard North why he opposes UKIP, the only chance the country has had in years.
And who are the majority? They’re the people who don’t vote. Ruled by those winning over 35% of those who vote or in other words, the party which 12-15% of the voting population supported. It’s insane. It’s no way to run a society. And by ‘run’, it means keeping sharks and wolves away from us and overseeing defence of the land.
Solution? The immediate solution is for everyone not to not vote but to actually vote for some local candidate not part of the Big Two and a Half. If people can’t stomach Farage, then vote for an independent small businessman. Anyone but the Big Two and a Half. But don’t not vote because then you’re not helping change anything.
What chance the voting population of this land can get this message?