The elephant in the room for at least three years has been “Why is the performance of Wall Street, which is roaring, so disconnected from the US economy, which is still sinking?”
The Government sector always represents a false economy, for obvious reason. It cannot create new money. It builds nothing. So if the corporate sector (big business) allies itself with the state’s false economy, it must, by operation of law, turn its back on the real economy, the private sector.
It cannot do both.
From the state’s point of view this is the final straw, for when the corporate sector flips it is laying itself at the feet of the state, acknowledging the primacy of the state, and that the private sector is henceforward subordinate to the state.
All that America has ever been, and has ever done, occurred because the reverse is true.
The Psychology of New Normals
So, you see, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men simply cannot connect these two contrary facts. Everyday we see that the stock market is nearing records highs, the Dow now pushing 15,000, while everyday we are also reminded (read this) that the economy Americans see everyday is horrible. And has been for over five years, with no end in sight. Most states have unemployment over 10%.
Official reports say unemployment is down (f you call 7.7% down) because the government keeps changing the rules as to just what “unemployment” is. Only today this a kind of ho hum news, for it’s been hovering in this range for five years. The new normal.
But if the stock market is up that must mean that good times are just around the corner. Right? At one time that was the case, but no longer. It’s a psychological brass ring, that’s all.
The only jobs sector that has grown has been the federal bureaucracy, while the welfare sector has had a boom.
Looking behind these numbers then, we find that “unemployment” does not include all those workers who have left the workplace entirely. These folks are no longer looking for work. Real unemployment is closer to 16%. And while workers who lose their jobs temporarily can get unemployment benefits for up to 99 weeks (almost 2 years), many of those who drop out permanently (because the stingy Republicans won’t feed the unemployment kitty anymore) can file for social security disability, (yes, disability) and go on the public dole permanently.
Apparently any ailment will do; a broken toe, being an LIV or a redneck or of-color with less than a high school diploma, or just generally being stupid enough to be in the unlucky bottom 20% of an economy the designers of this “new economy” had every intention of lopping off in the first place. These people are not so much collateral damage as they drew the short straw in an Obama’s triage. A statistic, not a tragedy (Stalin).
But look at this from the point of view of the government. When you intentionally do such a thing, your first mission is to make sure this small army (at least 14 million) doesn’t start building Obamaville tent cities and start conspiring against the bastards that put them in this condition. So they must throw them a life preserver, and maybe even gain a few gratitude votes in the process. After all, this has worked with American blacks for over fifty years, so the Democrats have a track record of success at being able to bribe their victims into compliance and complacency.
2012 proved this strategy worked.
Today the American labor market today is smaller than it was in 1979. That’s right, fewer Americans are in the labor force today than 35 years ago, when America had 82 million fewer citizens.
The reason? No jobs. And by no jobs, I mean they aren’t there anymore. It’s not that companies aren’t hiring anymore., but that the economy has shrunk by that much, so the companies themselves aren’t there. Almost 20% of the US economy has been lopped off, almost all in the small business sector.
And on purpose, so the government doesn’t plan on them ever returning, for reasons I laid out elsewhere in 2012. The archenemy of the State has always been small business.
We did a very poor job of getting this message out last year.
So then, how come Wall Street is just steaming along?
Well, in part, it’s because when 20% more of the US economy goes on welfare, the people who make and sell all the things the government dishes out to its new wards can become very rich(er). This is no different from other industry booms during wartime, building airplanes and guns. “Beware the Military-Industry complex”, Ike said in 1960. Today it’s Beware the Welfare-Corporate Complex and Beware the Enviro- Corporate Complex.
The real political news here is that the government gets to decide who the winners will be in this race to get all those new dollar now that there are government dollars putting that welfare food on the shelves instead of the price-market. You see, those government sales can be forever and that’s an equation the corporate board room must consider.
(I will explain here why they choose wrongly.)
How this works is that 1) the government gives a tease, that little come-hither seductive finger to the American corporate world, and 2) the heart of America’s corporate might begins shoving each other (and ethics) aside to become what the Manchus used to call the “Tai-tai” (No 1 wife) as the state’s primary purveyor of Vienna sausages for the WIC aisle at Food Lion.
(Just watch the opening reel of “Schindler’s List” to understand how many generals’ cheeks, Oskar Schindler had to kiss in order to get a contract to manufacture pots and pans for the Army.)
This is fascism, folks. Plain and simple.
Why? First because the notion of fair competition has been eliminated in the marketplace. Instead of silly laws about efficiency and price-value, the competition has been removed in the corporate bedrooms and casting couches, decided under the sheets, so to speak. You scratch my back…
Of course this is not new, as capitalism has always been filled with businesses willing to break the rules, and government agents willing to be bribed. But fascism implies a reversal of these rules, where it is the State that becomes the seductive honey-pot and the capitalists who are the ones actually being bribed, making a Mesphistophelian deal with the Devil to prolong life, only to find out in the end that an even deeper realm of Hell awaits for their treason.
Actually, all this it’s easy once certain conditions exist.
If you want to know if there can ever be a genuine healthy and natural relationship between the “the economy” and the stock market under statism, the answer is an unequivocal NO. It should come as no surprise then no surprise that until the Allied invasion of Europe in 1944, one year for the total crash of the Reich, the German stock market still looked real good on paper.
Fascism vs Socialism
Although fascism is just a form of socialism, I call this “fascism” and not socialism because it is the uglier of the two words, carrying a far greater stigma, especially since modern socialism in America is trying to ease into a kind of social respectability, as it now enjoys in Scandinavia, France and England.
I want American socialists out there to know that they are scumbag fascists, and their corporate allies are fascist lapdogs. I want the name to cause them to wince.
I understand, nit-pickers will say that “fascism” (from Mussolini’s Italian party) carries with it a kind of nationalistic xenophobia moderate European socialism doesn’t claim. I’ll even agree to a point, although that state-based xenophobia is just under the surface, and will rear its ugly head once those socialist “democracies” begin to come unraveled, each in their own inevitable good time. In my view all of Europe is fascist in aspect and always has been.
But the Bolsheviks of the 1930s called the fascists “middle class socialists” which just about fits what we’re seeing today to a tee.
This is especially so since the dalliance with fascism we are seeing in America is a kind of mating dance between government and the corporate world that never really existed anywhere in Europe except in Nazi Germany in the 1930s, when the state (the Reich) went out into the Germany corporate community with the express purpose of seducing them by setting them on one another, so as to be able to pick winners and losers entirely based on the corporation’s willingness to become supplicants to the Nazi leadership.
Corporate fascism is based entirely on a series of exchanges, both personal and public, between business people and government people, about granting certain certain exclusive rights (think protection here, maybe even monopoly) for certain expressions of allegiance above the table and certain display of appreciation beneath the table.
While this starts out as a mutual romance it quickly sinks into a relationship in which one party is always on top while the one is always on the bottom, but made to behave eternally grateful, ever mindful they can be replaced. This is not exactly the kind of quid pro quo most corporations have in mind when they enter into this affair, but it quickly become plain, like a battered housewife, that must keep their mouths shut, for they know the beast only comes around once in awhile, and humbles them only once in awhile, while the rest of the time they can still be lion-kings in their own lair.
To the Reich, it never matter that they were loyal Nazis or NINO’s (Nazis in name only), for once you have emasculated a board of directors, you own them. You may as well put a collar around their necks and walk them through the park, as Obama often does with glee, witness Exxon’s “Common Core” commercials during the recent Masters.
What we see here today in America is fascism because the purpose of this government is to achieve the same sort of control of the corporate sector (not alliance, but control) that Hitler wanted in his new Reich…
…but not just for the purpose of centralizing power, but also to destroy a prominent segment of the German economy, namely its small business sector. In the 1930s they were Jewish, today, they are largely Christian.
The Law of Generations
But rather than rant on I want to inquire, as the title asks, are Corporations fascist by nature?
In America, yes and no. In the rest of the world, yes.
This is what you need to understand. So, as a starting proposition, how we distinguish them is by understanding the law of generations.
Unlike the origins of capitalism in Europe, all American business began as small business. Usually in someone’s basement. There actually was both a Proctor and a Gamble who made a bar of soap in a garage, and then sent drummers around the country to sell it. John D Rockefeller, Henry Ford, Thomas Alva Edison, even the Scotsman, Alexander Graham Bell and two bicycle brothers in Dayton named Wright, all shared several things in common, besides hard work, and creativity and ideas. But they shared these not only with the great innovators such as themselves, but with the millions of Americans who only opened the first dry goods store in Omaha. All of them started out with a grand idea, an empty room and perspicacity. And a core of values I call an “ethic”. For two centuries, it never stopped. and it was always conducted on a toll-free road.
Now that road is filled with toll gates.
You’ll note I didn’t mention Bill Gates, who also invented a billion dollar business in his basement.
I single Gates out only because in his short bios I can find no sense that he was ever imbued with that vast inventory of “other stuff” most of the great and small American builders alike shared that got them past the hard years. He seems to be a man of character, but several elements are missing as to how deep it is.
You see, Gates was a kid from a wealthy family, his father a prominent lawyer and his grandfather a bank president, in Washington. (That’s three strikes, as I see it.) A genius, no doubt, and later a savvy business mind, it’s not clear that he ever was raised in an environment of any of the more noble American values; faith, integrity, ethics. These are sometimes hard to spot in a person, but profit, capitalism and self interest had the same interest to him as I think it does an Albanian. A hard worker, at least of the indoor variety, it’s also unclear that he ever rubbed elbows with what we call the working class, from whence the majority of small businesses have arisen, including the noble list I just mentioned. So, empathy, compassion, and a sense of “there but for the grace of God…”? I can’t say.
I just know that his philanthropy now is designed to buy protection from the government, for nothing in his charitable pursuits even seems even reasonably designed to actually fix any of mankind’s ills, but rather to get a little peace and quiet from the political pests, and to remind the Obama administration, that yes, you’re on the top and I worship at your feet. So please leave me alone.
So it really doesn’t matter that’s he a real fascist or a FINO, hes become a lap poodle for the State. His indifference to the shoulders he’s standing and the free market will be etched on his epitaph.
In fact, the ultimate treason of Bill Gates is that he has pissed all over those shoulders. Maybe he was raised to do just that all along. I can’t say.
On the flip side:
When I entered corporate industry in 1979, it was to witness the last days of the second generation of a grand old manufacturing company. In thirty years they had carried this company from a $100m/yr company to a billion/yr, and a spot on the Fortune 500. The first generation founder, a Hungarian Jew who came to America with $13 in his pockets, like Ben Franklin, still sat on the board of directors passing out gentle reminders of the original mission of the company. A 30,000-person company, they all knew the original 10,000 on a first name basis.
One of them gave me a 20-volume set of books from the Alexander Hamilton Institute about the manufacturing business, including one volume on Adam Smith economics and another on business ethics. In the 10 years I was there, sitting in on their councils, I can’t tell you how often I heard the phrase “we can’t do that, it’s wrong.”
In 1989 the third generation came on board, bringing in a new headquarters, 700 new front office employees, while the old class was put out to pasture. I left that same year. Then somewhere in the middle of Clinton’s term the company filed for Chapter 11 protection, although by that time, they had sky boxes at a nearby NFL franchise and major league stadium.
When you think of the modern third-generation corporation, think of the Republican Party today. Their upper management and boards of directors would gladly sacrifice half the corporate income and jobs in order to be guaranteed protection from the government against competition, and to be able to hold onto their safe positions with the company. If all they have to do is parade the company’s sacred brand and logo out two times a year pushing some silly government initiative such as polar bear protection, or transsexual locker rooms in the NFL…so be it.
Law: Successful first generation companies get there by hard work, with the help of all that ethical and moral baggage they brought along for the trip. And they usually say grace at every evening meal. And they will likely see that legacy carried on into the second generation, if they stay around to remind the new bosses of the principles that built they company. True, many unethical or amoral business succeed, but rarely into the second generation, and almost never into the third..
Without this strong “Ben Franklin”-like guidance in passing the corporation from one generation to the next, they become cold, dispassionate and soulless. They become just like Albanians and Chinese, with no fixed stars in the heavens to guide them, capable, sometimes even eager, of selling out to the highest bidder, for they never got into the corporation to pursue its best interests, but their own. (see Skillings and Fastow). And when raised without that central core of moral values anchored by religious faith and love of thy neighbor, even their pursuit of self-interest is narrow and hollow and short-lived
When that high bidder who eventually seduces them also controls the law, they become fascist, because they were born and raised fascists-in-waiting.
Finishing the equation then, American first generation corporations are not fascist, but by third generation corporations usually are. This is why it is the express purpose of the state to close up all those basement idea laboratories and shops, for it is there that God and moral values can still freely commingle with genius.
Obama’s timing here has been impeccable.