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market, corporations and the attractions to bigness.

by on April 5, 2010

People who criticize market forces I think are missing that it is corporations using markets through control that cause economic difficulties. The reason, I speculate is because they tend to be progressives who really like large scale organizational interventions, and being critical of markets appears to take head on the economic difficulties of our time, but really misses that it is self-serving large corporations that are the real source (not in isolation of course, they need markets to operate in) of economic exploitation nd inequality and the purchase of governments.

Just as conservatives are caught up in the right wing rhetoric, and so unheard, progressives who are also democratic and inclined to smaller scale go unheard.

see my The use of religious affiliation – a way of saying “No”? for an older but still relevant analysis.

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2 Comments
  1. There is a sad state of affairs in the Gulf of Mexico. An ecosystem is being ruined. There has got to be a better way than the unsustainable path we are so adamantly and recklessly pursuing now. Is this what wanton greed hath wrought?

    While Father Greed can be readily seen ravaging Mother Nature, it is just as easy to recognize that without Mother Nature’s abundant resources and viable ecosystem services all the overproducing, overconsuming and overpopulating activities spawned by Father Greed will lead to some sort of unimaginable, human-driven “crash”, the likes of which only Ozymandias has witnessed.

    Disgraceful, greed-mongering Masters of the Universe among us recently cratered the global economy.
    http://rwer.wordpress.com/2010/05/18/i-write-to-you-from-a-disgraced-profession/
    Now they are on the verge of risking the collapse of Earth’s ecology.

  2. Here’s my take on bigness, which may be rather controversial. I realize that it is problematic to talk about politics or religion in this context, but the overarching themes require that we expand our “System” broadly to understand the context of the human behavior we are attempting to address.

    I recently came across a fellow who asserted that Ayn Rand would be the biggest corporate critic these days, railing against how they distort and corrupt the market place and why powerful monopolies need to be decisively broken up by government. Without government action to break up the monopolies, there is no semblance of a free market or level playing field and we barrel towards corporate fascism and totalitarianism (via hyper-consumerism?.

    Since government’s job is to maintain balance (to be the parent), there is a populist tendency to blame government for everything that is wrong. Corporate monopolies and elites cleverly try to retain power by enhancing public mistrust of government to weaken government efforts to rein them in. This is why they fund the Tea Party movement and right-wing neoconservatives.

    Neoconservatives claim to demand small “government”, while downplaying the need for small “business” without monopolies. They represent the interests of elite and mega-corporations, while their anti-government rhetoric endears them to the religious and conservatives who are looking for someone to blame for the dysfunctional systems we have and declining personal liberties. They don’t particularly care that it is corporations, rather than government, that are dominating every aspect of human life. It is the job of government to protect the rights and interests of citizens.

    Progressives favor government that protects individual rights, but have traded away the power to protect the marketplace (and people’s rights) by breaking up monopolies. Progressives have fallen in love with bigness and seek bigger government in order to moderate (but not stop) corporate domination of the economy – and have ignored the historic necessity of government to aggressively break up monopolies (and simplify the complexity) so that both government and business stop making more and more demands upon our time and money. The Progressive love-affair with bigness and tolerance for corporate power is one of the reasons it is easy to stoke up anti-government emotion in the average American.

    In this way, one sees how Democrats have been asleep at the switch and have allowed the Corporatocracy to run amok (while profiting nicely). This is one of the reasons that “working class Americans” don’t trust Democrats any more than they trust Republicans – and why they are ready to elect anti-government demagogues. This analysis is somewhat based upon my growing realization that Bill Clinton, who championed NAFTA, may have been even more pro-corporate than Reagan.

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