The Corporation and the State form the worst synergism. Proponents would have you accept that Corporate Governance can direct, administer and control this alliance for the public good. Do-gooders and naive well-intentioned reformers lack the ability to learn the lessons of the corporate machine, the depths of human nature or the extent of government corruption. Without the semblance of a real free market economy, the merger of big business with unmitigated government is now the norm.
The American “TC” Saga progressively eliminates individual liberty, while securing the shackles of a regimented political and economic society. Daniel McCarthy, the Tory Anarchist, in the American Conservative agrees that the negative consequences of corporate parenthood led to sinister results. In Origins of the Corporate State, he reasons.
“Power fled the people in the states and was absorbed and amplified by the institutions of the federal government — first by the Supreme Court, to a lesser extent by Congress, but ultimately and to the greatest extent by the executive branch, whose agencies, in the name of rights, can now seize property (the DEA), kill (the CIA), interfere in business (the FTC), censor communications (the FCC), and manipulate elections (the FEC) with nary a thought to “representation” or the legislative process. The corporate state turns out to be the executive state — which probably in the end becomes the military-security state.”
The government of the United States was designed to be a republic with separations of power and states’ rights. To any objective observer, the notion of a balance or counterweight to executive federal administration is a myth. Congress is systemically irrelevant, the courts are statist enablers and individual states are feudal districts. As for citizens, their natural rights are ignored, while their subsistence becomes a reward for obedience.
The Axis of the Corporate/State concludes: “Now consider what happens when this governmental culture meets the monopolists? Their interests often are the same. Elimination of business competition allows for consolidation and dominance of the economy. Growth in big government expands control over the entire society. Both have the goal of dictating to the public. Setting prices and discouraging upstarts benefits corporate commerce, all the time with the blessing of the State. The government enlarges their roles and intensifies their regulation of business, while favoring their cabal collaborators and contributors. Power shifts from a diffused economic base and the consumer is served up as the main course on the dinner table of the manipulation feast.”
Executive branch agencies are the arbitrators of administration. Legislative codes are incidental guidelines and court decisions become bureaucratic refinements. Dominant corporation insiders, wired to political patronage through lobbyist policy formation, rule the political process. How is this system different from the classic definition of fascism?
If you think that holding shares in a corporation make you the owner of that business, you are vastly mistaken. Capitalist Owners of the Corporate Economy argues, “Those that adopt the culture of the Capitalist/State axis, surrender their independence of market competition, for the safety of a government approved protection racket. In the process, the owners of these companies are deposed from any effective control of the companies that they own.”
Then, who controls the corporations? The bureaucratic careerist provides the function of disciplinarian to upstart pretenders. Legislators bark at CEOs for the cameras, but never control the conglomerates. Corporations spend their way into opulence. Actual competition becomes extinct when the business plan is to be first in your industry. Finance is the key to market share success, and the ability to borrow is the path to economic dominance.
Since all elections are intended to crowd out all but the richest or the most beholding, it should be no surprise that most legislators are measly busboys for the corporate interests. Presidents can jawbone all they want, while the regulators dole out special favors to financial backers of every administration. The point is that the electoral franchise is no solution, since candidates are selected far in advance for their loyalty to the corporate charter.
Laurence W. Britt in, It’s the Corporate State, Stupid lists the following conditions of the corporate/state.
Power of corporations protected - Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests, especially in the repression of “have-not” citizens.
Power of labor suppressed or eliminated - Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless.
Rampant cronyism and corruption - Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves. This corruption worked both ways; the power elite would receive financial gifts and property from the economic elite, who in turn would gain the benefit of government favoritism.
Note that not all unions are equal. Public employee unions are foot soldiers of the state and produce little of material benefit. Trade unionists and blue-collar workers are subject to economic conditions and the needs of their corporate employers. Government employees are parasites of the productive, insulated from economic down turns.
Since government never creates wealth, privileged corporations must provide the cash flow to generate tax revenue to fund public employees. Tax policy is intended to suppress individuals and workers, while granting effective exemptions for transnational corporations.
Enforcement is essential for keeping the corrupt cronyism cycle going. The State uses its phony legitimacy dominance to feed the insatiable appetite of the fascist alliance. Law enforcement has little to do with keeping the peace, but has everything to do with paying homage to the system.
The “TC” face of the Corporate State does not need to have the look of Il Duce or the crudeness of Uncle Joe. Huey Long was correct when he said, “When Facism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the American flag.” The dramatic loss of civil liberties since 911 as seen in the sinister Patriot Act and the despotic Homeland Security agency are all examples of the Statist mindset that have drained all rational fidelity from the true purpose of this country.
State Capitalism is more commonly associated with the European experience, but is now entrenched on this side of the pond. Government in control of the economy always fails. Corporations in partnership with the State are less obvious in their despotism than the familiar totalitarian regimes. However, the collectivism of their control is just as pervasive.
Gerald Celente believes that the merger of corporate and government powers in modern America is plain and simple fascism. He predicts, “You’re gonna start see people taking to the streets, like they do in other countries. People have had it, they are fed up. They can’t afford it anymore. Look at what is going on. Ten major states are raising taxes again as people are losing their jobs, income is going down, they are losing their pensions, they are losing their investments – and the government is saying: more taxes, more taxes, more taxes…”
Will Americans really take to the streets and follow the Greek model for messing with their collectivist benefits? On the other hand, will Americans just adopt the lead of their stiff upper lip Brit cousins? The Corporate/State does not care either way. Government control thrives with social unrest and plugs along with silent desperation.
Obama, Bush Jr, Clinton or Papa Bush makes no difference, the axis advances and the evil empire expands. The Extinction of the Middle Class provides this account. “The federal tempest is far worse than any hurricane, foreign foes or imaginary bogymen. If the middle class ever gathers their individual dignity, their focus should be to re-establish the supremacy of local governance. Meaningful solutions start with local initiative based upon individual inventiveness. The unmistakable lesson of the last several years is that a dominant federal government is lethal. This same conclusion has been true for over two centuries, but today the extent and reach of the propaganda, destructive technology and widespread apathy allows the DC monster to trash any community. For the middle class to save itself urgent action is needed to renounce the heresy that Washington authoritarianism is a government for and by the people.”
The Corporate/State is a reality that cannot be ignored any longer.
SARTRE – May 16, 2010
"Proponents of corporate libertarianism regularly pay homage to Adam Smith as their intellectual patron saint… Smith had a strong dislike for both governments and corporations… The classical political economy of Adam Smith was a much broader, more humane subject than the economics that is taught in universities today."
-- David Korten, When Corporations Rule the World , 1995