Monday, November 5, 2012

This image may as well be on the back of a milk carton


On Wednesday, November 7, we will look forward to the potential return of that political animal we will call the anti-corporatist populist as they seem to have been absent from the scene the past 4 years.

We are speaking of people like lib-talker, Thom Hartmann, who back in 2004, penned a book titled, What Would Jefferson Do?: A Return to Democracy. Being written when it was and given the political leanings of Hartmann, though there was a lot of good historical perspective provided, it was ostensibly a hit piece on his perception of then-President George W. Bush's politics and economic policies.

Here's what he had to say with respect to the cozy relationship enjoyed between the federal government and the private sector and, specifically, corporations/big business.

Beware: Tight control can look very good at first.

When Germany faced the last depression, its government turned to a hand-in-glove partnership with corporations (including some American corporations, as has been shown in recent years) to solidify its power over its own people and to wage war on others.

When Benito Mussolini named this new form of corporate/state partnership “fascism” referring to the Roman fasces or bundle of sticks held together with a rope, that was the Caesars’ symbol of power, he said that the bundle represented the police and military powers of the state combined with the economic power of industry. The fascist system was adopted by Italy, Spain, Japan and Germany.

Mussolini also said, "Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." Advocates speak of the advantage of running things in a businesslike fashion, managing for results. And in the early days of fascist Italy, Mussolini (like many business leaders) had a reputation for getting things done: a common remark was, “He made the trains run on time.”

Indeed, the results of fascism can look very good, at first; in Germany it brought such dramatic changes to that nation ravaged by World War I and crushed by the Treaty of Versailles that Adolf Hitler was named Time magazine’s Man of the Year on February 2, 1939.

It speaks volumes that the Obama administration can’t even get their own brand of corporatism/fascism/Peronism to work even on an initial basis.

But that’s not why we're here. What we’re here to do is put out an APB on folks like Thom Hartmann who have been entirely absent the scene for the past 4 years. If Hartmann is offering an explicit critique on G.W. Bush and warning of the dangers of fascism then what the heck did he think of Porkulus, ObamaCare and the government –engineered bankruptcy cramdowns of General Motors and Chrysler (while still owning a significant chunk of GM stock)?

Do not these policies and legislation represent the very cozy hand-in-hand relationship between the government and the private sector that Hartmann warned against? And the argument of “things were so bad, Obama had to do what he had to do to save the country” is intellectually lazy and unprincipled as that was most likely how Mussolini’s and Hitler’s fascism was sold to the public (We want to make it 100% clear we are in no way comparing the person of Barack Obama to the two aforementioned monsters.)

Besides, rather than being stop-gap emergency measures, the President has not given any indication that he is willing to try anything other than his brand of Keynesian corporatism; a 4 year record of pursuing nothing but does not lie.

We said it before and we will say it again, these populist anti-corporate Bush-bashers, like Hartmann, that were finger-wagging from 2001-2008 but have remained silent as their guy has grossly exceeded the economic fascism of his predecessor have proven themselves to be the biggest hypocrites we have witnessed since we’ve started really following politics some 20-25 years ago.


1 comment:

Doo Doo Econ said...

Excellent post!

Progressives and partisans in general are opportunists who are looking for convenient truths. They are the sunshine patriots of intellectual pursuits.

Let's not forget that it was TARP that opened the eyes of conservatives. TARP is what aligned the forces of the Tea Party back toward the Constitution. Everyone is biased, the question is whether one can recognize truth when it becomes obvious.

A question for this Election Day.