Progressives, supporters of American corporatism?

Art by Nyte Walka.
Art by Nyte Walka.

Veroniqe de Rugy in the attached article observes that progressives, for the most part are not enemies of corporatism. In fact to a large degree they are enablers of corporatism. With the expansion of the state comes the expansion of corporate power. And “progressives” it seems are always for expanding the state. As noted in a recent post it is terribly frustrating that progressives don’t see what they are doing. If they do they have no business saying they stand for anything like “progress.”

With each new government endeavor, with each new effort at social engineering, there is a new source of revenue for somebody. Sometimes it’s the corporations. Sometimes it’s the unions, Sometimes it’s players within the government itself. Sometimes it’s interest groups of other sorts. The aggregation of taxpayer dollars is like carrion on the plain, the jackals will always come.

In many respects I consider modern American “progressives” to be similar to progressives of another place and era, think Italy pre-World War 2. I dare say that many of the scarf and tattoo sleeve set would have happily fallen in line behind that pioneer of crony capitalism, Mussolini.

Progressive hero FDR and Mussolini had much in common. In fact FDR studied Mussolini’s programs and  Il Duce’s active participation in the economy. The Americans sent delegations to learn.

Of course now Mussolini is referred to as a “fascist” derisively but when he was on the rise the term did not have the negative connotations it does now. Lots of good, respectable, progressive, folks were happy fans.

Corporatism has a long and storied partnership with the “Left.” This should not be forgotten. Of course it has a history with the “Right” too. Truly, the only people who have consistently fought corporatism, crony capitalism, fascism light, in this country have been the classical liberals. The once small remnant of the Awakening which is now an emerging political force, the libertarians.

That should be remembered too.

(From The National Review)

But the other notion underlying Drum’s piece, that Democrats, and Elizabeth Warren in particular, are anti-corporation, is laughable.

Please. They talk the talk, but when it’s time to vote, they rarely walk the walk. In the end, not unlike a number of Republicans, Democrats rarely miss an opportunity to support big businesses. They support the Department of Energy’s 1705 loans, which mostly go to wealthy energy companies, and they never fail to join Republicans in saving other corporate energy subsidies; they support the reauthorization of OPIC, which mostly benefits large corporations; they support farm subsidies, which mostly benefit large agro-businesses at the expenses of small farms; they support Obamacare, which among other things amounts to a huge giveaway to the insurance industry; they support auto and bank bailouts; and for all their complaints about Wall Street, they managed to write a law, Dodd-Frank, that in some ways protects the big financial institutions that they claim to despise. (I’m forgetting plenty of examples — see here.)

Click here for the article.

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