9. Corporate Power is ProtectedPosted: September 12, 2008 | |
This is where it all sums up. The entire purpose of the Libertarian movement is to protect corporate power. Both inhuman and inhumane, corporations already rule this country with an iron hand. Rather than depend on one single political movement as Henry Ford and Prescott Bush did with the Nazi Party, the American-based corporations had three waves of Fascism. First was the Republican party as represented by Barry Goldwater. Then came the religious right. About the same time that the late, unlamented Jerry Falwell was rising to the top of the septic tank, Karl Hess was founding his “New Left”. The term was co-opted from the free speech and civil rights groups of the Sixties. The only thing it has in common with the SDS and the Black Panthers is the name. Hess’s “New Left” was only Goldwater conservatism dressed up in a hippie wig.
Barry Goldwater was the darling of the pro-Vietnam war faction of the United States. As the governor of Arizona, he joined with Georgia governor Lester Maddox and Alabama governor George Wallace as champions of the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan Nation. The difference is that Goldwater was smarter than Maddox and Wallace and avoided racism in his rhetoric. Goldwater’s entire rationalization against civil rights was based on the Federalist Papers. That was the birth of the Libertarian movement.
The corporations had been taking a real beating since the FDR administration. There were federal watchdog agencies seeing to it that they conducted themselves in an ethical manner. There was no more selling on the margin for the stock brokerages, and the media could no longer pull con jobs on the public as Randolph Hearst so enjoyed doing. Legally protected collective bargaining assured even the humblest American his share of the American dream. Jim Crow guaranteed that corporations would have an excess labor pool which kept wages low and profits high. Civil rights destroyed that excess labor pool and removed wages from supply and demand. Wages would be set through collective bargaining instead.
The corporations had a brilliant friend in Goldwater’s scriptwriter, Karl Hess. He was a public relations expert who accurately predicted the rising popularity of Anarchy on the left. I suspect it was because he worked for the Black Panthers after he left the Goldwater camp. Hess came up with a “national anarchy” which was simply fascism with a new rhetoric. It was a rhetoric based on the Federalist Papers where the listeners were encouraged to identify with the Founders of the United States. It equated American freedom with free market capitalism. It rewrote history to forget that President Jackson had to bust the monopolies in order to preserve freedom. Hess promoted the myth of government spending as a means of preserving corporate profits and reducing the citizen’s ability to enforce corporate responsibility.
Human rights were reduced to the right to starve under a free market regime. Under Hess’s New Left, families and churches were responsible for the poor. Apparently Hess’s time with the Black Panthers failed to teach him that poor people generally have poor families, and anybody who walks through a major city will see how well the churches take care of the poor. Hess also promoted the Protestant Work Ethic and blamed the poor for America’s failure to maintain a minimal standard of living.
The most surprising thing is that nobody equated Karl Hess’s New Left with the rhetoric Ronald Reagan used when he took the White House and handed the nation over to the multinational corporations. The rhetoric was the same. Simply put, both Reagan and the New Left claimed that we had no responsibility for the state of our nation and our economy. We were supposed to let the mysterious force known as The Market Place take care of everything. This is the same as the Christianoids saying “let go and let God”.
The New Left has grown into the Libertarian Party, but remains true to its roots in Goldwater Conservatism. The Libertarian solution to everything is to ignore our responsibilities to our nation and our fellow citizens and let the corporations do anything they want without limit. Why they do this is found in the rhetoric that Libertarians use. We will look at this in tomorrow’s post.