Recently, I wrote about Queen Victoria, based on dramatization of her life. At one point in her early years of ruling during the 19th Century, Queen Victoria addressed protestors who were part of mobs attacking the palace where she lived. The scene depicted incendiary weapon of the time which was hurled through the windows of the palace. Those devices made one think of the “Molotov cocktails,” used in the 20th Century and derived the name from Vyacheslav Molotov. The name comes from a time period in which comes after the reign of Queen Victoria. When used in London during the queen’s reign, it approximates to the time of the residency of Karl Marx in London. Due to the time period, I come under criticism for using the words, Molotov Cocktail when they did not exist. People dwell too much on use of words and not on the fact that the name used in my writing referenced a weapon which was generic and could help understand what was actually used by the protestors.
Wording is so important when it comes to the false ideas passed down to our day from the likes of Karl Marx and Adam Smith of Scotland. Marx falsely claimed capitalism was “the problem” in the same way Reagan claimed “government is the problem.” People, particularly the lovers of Fox News, just grab at what was said and don’t give a damn about those of us who speak out about the false ideas which permeate the “herd” mentality from a Nazi propaganda machine like Fox News and other extreme right-wing news outlets.
Marx was wrong in blaming capitalism as a problem because capitalism was like a “new kid on the block” and barely understandable to others. The aristocracy grabbed at the ideas of Adam Smith with gratitude and simply twisted the ideas of capitalism to suit their ideas of aristocratic supply-side economics which disdains the demand side of the market. What would have happened if Marx had actually identified what the true problem was? What would have happened if the media of the day had revealed Adam Smith’s turnaround AGAINST the ideas of “free markets” because he felt humans did not have a natural human ethics and morality (The Theory of Moral Sentiments), so therefore there needs to be a “referee” with a third-party group regulating supply AND demand for the purposes of checks and balances in economics. (Also see Economics professor, Dr. Jonathan Wight’s book, Saving Adam Smith). After all, Adam Smith was a contemporary of the American Deists and Forefathers who saw a lack of chaos in the universe due to a Creator who worked with checks and balances, so they devised a political system and U.S. Constitution with checks and balances. Interesting to note that too many Americans grasp at Marx’s theory that “religion is the opioid of the masses” rather than what Jesus Christ said which applies to Adam Smith’s ideas about “moral sentiment.” Why? I ask. What if we changed this false notion? Shameful that human beings claim to follow Jesus Christ (as Smith was a Christian theologian, too), but really don’t grasp his notions.
Smith promoted the idea that ultimately, “free markets” end up giving us monopolies, regulation of an economy by autocratic big corporations (“deregulation,” as Reagan proclaimed) to their self-serving interests which destroy competition and small business. This is similar to what happened in Ancient China when the small business Mandarin class was destroyed and China imploded on itself (see Zakaria).
In stating, “business and politics are growing closer in America, with worrying consequences,” there is agreement with what is proposed in the text above. The fact that American business in the late 19th Century created a rich commerce for America makes quite a bit of sense. However, with J.P. Morgan and others in the 20th Century, America began to steer away from such a pathway. Teddy Roosevelt, the “trust buster,” worked to regulate the huge corporations. This continued after World War II, even as corporations became larger. International Business Machines (IBM) was created by Thomas J. Watson. However, he and the other executives at NCR where he originally was employed, worked to destroy competition and the government came down hard on them. In the process, Watson became a benevolent autocratic CEO at IBM and the company flourished. But once benevolent ones depart this life, they are often replaced with barbaric, ruthless, and vicious dictators. It is seen that IBM was later headed by such vicious men and this became the norm in America, as we watched as CEOs increased their salaries and bonuses so astronomically that it has been a 1000% rise since the 1970s. Ayn Rand and others promoted, with Reagan, supply-side economics and deregulation. Teams of lawyers in big corporations and the proliferation of so many lawyers in the American economy (creating jobs for themselves as ambulance-chasing vicious ones who attack one against the other in a destructive and greedy manner) meant corporations could better protect themselves than the small little business person. As with what happened to the Ancient Chinese Mandarin small business class, these people were put out of business. Fast food magnate like ruthless and vicious Ray Kroc hired people to scout areas with small mom and pop diners and place McDonald’s near those areas, for the purpose of destroying the competition, with the same regard as Republicans under Trump destroy and destroy and destroy, beginning with the ACA which has a goal of extending competition in health insurance in order to help lower the prices which are ripoffs and nickel and diming the demand-side of the capitalist market.
Rick Scott in the U.S. Senate is responsible for the Hospital Corporation of America which is a huge corporate conglomerate begun during the Reagan years with the purpose to destroy the “competition” of public health facilities. The loss of such public facilities really hurt the American people during this pandemic. People like Rick Scott, Jeb Bush, Ron DeSantis and Trump Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, had designs on creating big corporation in America which could be called “Education Corporation of America.”
Jeb Bush and other Republicans like him also privatized the prison system of Florida. The net result has been, to make a profit, by putting more people in jails (concentration camps?). Most of those people are black people who then are removed from the voting rolls. In a recent referendum in Florida, the voters of Florida voted to stop that type of treatment of those who served their time in jails by getting them back on the voting rolls. This applied to non-felony criminals or minor criminal activities, particularly possession of marijuana or cocaine, etc. This push to get black people in jails from these minor offenses is reminiscent of what was portrayed which happened to Billie Holiday when latent homosexual, J. Edgar Hoover, headed the FBI. (See the movie, The United States v. Billie Holiday).
It was very eloquently stated in The April 17 Economist article: “we also believe that concentrations of power are dangerous. Business people will always lobby for their own advantage, but the closer they get to the government, the more harm they threaten to both the economy and politics.” However, to frame this issue as “classic liberals” really puts this too much on the political spectrum, when I know many conservatives who support this ideal, too. As Dr. Howard Dean, one-time candidate for president of the USA, said, “we need to frame the issues to make them more acceptable to more people.” Putting in the word, liberal, sad to say in today’s world, gives ammunition to the fat cats of America who follow fascist Trump and push their own agenda with lies and the re-telling of lies. It is bad enough that they have ammunition with guns and the NRA, let alone words used as ammunition.
Speaking of Dr. Dean. He comes from a state which puts restrictions on big box corporate retailers, not allowing them to build in low density areas where they can become more monopolized by destroying the small business competition. Current U.S. Senator, Bernie Sanders, is from the same state and should nix what Rick Scott of Florida says in his fascist white racist business-loving, greedy, selfish way.
George W. Bush may have had SOME good ideas (i.e., use of switch grass as a renewable energy source). But the worst thing he said, as applied to this article in the Economist about the “political CEO,” “what’s good for business is good for America.” I am glad to read this article which does a good job at shooting holes in this asinine statement made by a former president.
The examples of successful challenges to the pandemic were in nations which were democracies which worked together in good alliances with business and health systems to defeat the “war” of the pandemic.
In the late 19th Century, one could have said, “what’s good for government is good for business.” Ronald Reagan, in his stupidity, destroyed that notion and we are being forced to live by such destruction. It needs to change and we need to rid our economic system of the words of individualist, selfish, greedy, lovers of money and materialism. We need to work on the same principles of checks and balances which our Forefathers used in setting up our political system.
There is evidence that Adam Smith recognized the same thing for our economic system, but the autocratic aristocrats in the monarchies of his day proclaimed they had a “divine right to rule” and grabbed and used Smith’s ideas to their own advantage. They twisted Smith’s ideas in order to keep the status quo of the system they controlled, while playing lip service to the Smith ideas about “capitalism.”
The result was that Karl Marx gave capitalism a bum rap rather than acknowledging how the system of supply-side economics was the problem. In essence, Lenin and Stalin set up the same type of centrally planned supply-side economic system in Russia. The Ancient Chinese did the same thing many years ago. These systems of supply-side economics failed. When will people recognize this?
Even General Douglas MacArthur, as Supreme Commander of Japan, following World War II, worked to destroy two things in Japan: (1) the communist party and (2) the aristocratic autocratic supply-side economic system which had existed for many years. This system made the Japanese so ruthless that they refused to abide by the international humane rules for POWs, often murdering American POWs and stuffing the genitalia down the throats of dead men (see Ken Burns documentary about World War II, The War).
If America does not wake up, learn and gain wisdom about these circumstances today, then the negative components is described in this article about the “political CEO” might happen.