Tag Archives: Crony socialism

USA 2021: Capitalism for the Powerless, Crony-Socialism for the Powerful, by Charles Hugh Smith

Hearing a crony socialist talk about the virtues of capitalism is like listening to an alcoholic preaching the virtues of temperance. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

The only dynamic that’s even faintly “capitalist” about America’s Crony-Socialism is the price of political corruption is still a “market.”

The supposed “choice” between “capitalism” and “socialism” is a useful fabrication masking the worst of all possible worlds we inhabit: Capitalism for the powerless and Crony-Socialism for the powerful. Capitalism’s primary dynamics are reserved solely for the powerless: market price of money, capital’s exploitive potential, free-for-all competition and creative destruction.

The powerful, on the other hand, bask in the warm glow of socialism: The Federal Reserve protects them from the market cost of money–financiers and the super-wealthy get their money for virtually nothing from the Fed, in virtually unlimited quantities–and the Treasury, Congress and the Executive branch protect them from any losses: their gains are private, but their losses are transferred to the public. The Supreme Court ensures the super-rich maintain this cozy crony-socialism by ensuring they can buy political power via lobbying and campaign contributions–under the laughable excuse of free speech.

Cronies get the best political system money can buy and you–well, you get to carry a sign on the street corner, just before you’re hauled off to jail for disturbing the peace (and you’re banned by social media/search Big Tech, i.e. privatized totalitarianism, for good measure).

The Federal Reserve is America’s financial Politburo: cronies get a free pass, the powerless get nothing. While the three billionaires who own more wealth than the bottom 165 million Americans can borrow unlimited sums for next to nothing thanks to the Fed (i.e. Crony-Socialist Politburo), the 165 million Americans pay exorbitant interest on payday loans, used car loans, student loans, credit cards and so on.

Continue reading→

The Plutocrats of Wall Street and Silicon Valley Are Scamming America, by Ryan McMaken

Very few ostensible capitalists have any ideological loyalty to capitalism. They’ll crawl into bed with government any time it’s in their interest to do so. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

In recent years, it seems that the nation’s CEOs and billionaires are increasingly willing to drop the pretense that they are politically neutral entrepreneurs who simply want to go about their business.

Last week, for example, more than a hundred CEOs met to plot ways to punish the people of Georgia by “stopping investments in states” that pass laws unapproved by the billionaire class.

This comes in the wake of a decision by Major League Baseball—a collection of billionaire-owned sports teams—to punish residents of Georgia for the fact a tiny number of politicians there passed legislation designed to lessen voter fraud. In retaliation, MLB decided to move the league’s all-star game so as to deny the residents of Atlanta the economic benefits of hosting the game.

This comes only a few years after Apple CEO Tim Cook led a corporate campaign to boycott Indiana after Cook and Marc Benioff (the CEO of Salesforce) demanded the people of Indiana be punished. This was because the Indiana legislature passed a law which some billionaires decided was insufficiently pro-LGBT.

Continue reading→

The Great Reset, Part II: Corporate Socialism, by Michael Rectenwald

There will be a few large, favored corporations, their oligarchs, and their political lackeys, and the rest of us can eat sh*t and die. From Michael Rectenwald at mises.org:

As I noted in the previous installment, the Great Reset, if its architects have their way, would involve transformations of nearly every aspect of life. Here, I will limit my discussion to the economics of the Great Reset as promoted by the World Economic Forum (WEF), as well as to recent developments that have advanced these plans.

As F.A. Hayek suggested in his introductory essay to Collectivist Economic Planning, socialism can be divided into two aspects: the ends and the means.1 The socialist means is collectivist planning, while the ends, at least under proletarian socialism, are the collective ownership of the means of production and the “equal” or “equitable” distribution of the end products. Distinguishing between these two aspects in order to set aside the question of the ends and to focus on the means, Hayek suggested that collectivist planning could be marshalled in the service of ends other than those associated with proletarian socialism: “An aristocratic dictatorship, for example, may use the same methods to further the interest of some racial or other elite or in the service of some other decidedly anti-equalitarian purpose.”2 Collectivist planning might or might not run into the calculation problem, depending upon whether or not a market in the factors of production is retained. If a market for the factors of production is maintained, then the calculation problem would not strictly apply.

The collectivist planners of the Great Reset do not aim at eliminating markets for the factors of production. Rather, they mean to drive ownership and control of the most important factors to those enrolled in “stakeholder capitalism.”3 The productive activities of said stakeholders, meanwhile, would be guided by the directives of a coalition of governments under a unified mission and set of policies, in particular those expounded by the WEF itself.

While these corporate stakeholders would not necessarily be monopolies per se, the goal of the WEF is to vest as much control over production and distribution in these corporate stakeholders as possible, with the goal of eliminating producers whose products or processes are deemed either unnecessary or inimical to the globalists’ desiderata for “a fairer, greener future.” Naturally, this would involve constraints on production and consumption and likewise an expanded role for governments in order to enforce such constraints—or, as Klaus Schwab has stated in the context of the covid crisis, “the return of big government”4—as if government hasn’t been big and growing bigger all the while.

Continue reading→

The Coming of Corporate Collectivism, by Jeff Thomas

Corporate collectivism, aka crony socialism, has already arrived. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

Benito Mussolini stated that “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.”

Quite so.

Interestingly, many, and perhaps most people today, lack an understanding as to the system under which they are ruled.

In the US in particular, most people who vote Republican take pride in believing that the US is a capitalist state.

Democrats, too, regard the US as a capitalist state, and take the view that that’s what’s wrong with America today. Increasingly, they seek a move in the socialist (or collectivist) direction to save them from the perceived evils of capitalism.

Interestingly, though, the evils to which they refer are the socio-economic inequalities that exist and the fact that those on the lower levels of society have decreasing opportunity to improve their lot in life. And, of course, since they believe they live under a capitalist system, they assume that capitalism must be the problem.

But this is not the case.

It can be said that the first major introduction of corporatist collectivism occurred in 1913, with the introduction of the Revenue Act and the Federal Reserve Act.

These were enacted under President Woodrow Wilson and were peddled to the American public as being anti-corporatist. The Revenue Act, which introduced income tax, was touted as creating a tax primarily for the rich, which would even out income disparities. The Federal Reserve was claimed to be a government agency that would ride herd over the greedy banking interests on Wall Street.

Continue reading→

Coronavirus Stimulus Spans Government Departments, Sectors, by Bill Bonner

Why would anyone think that if the government is giving out money that it would go anyplace other than to the best connected people and companies? From Bill Bonner at bonnerandpartners.com:

SAN MARTIN, ARGENTINA – As we pointed out last week, the C-virus seems to have set off the feds’ tendency towards jackassery.

That is, they always want to boss people around… to find an enemy… make war… spend money… rally gullible voters behind a Great National Cause…

…and rip off the public.

From MSN:

“We’re going to need really big thoughtful policies to put together to make it so that people are optimistic again,” White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett told reporters, warning that the U.S. jobless rate would likely hit 16% or higher this month.

“We hope to be talking to the president about it … to start to come up with the top five, six ideas that we want to take up with Congress,” he added.

Joe Biden in Politico:

The former vice president said that the next round of coronavirus stimulus needs to be “a hell of a lot bigger” than last month’s $2 trillion CARES Act, that it needs to include massive aid to states and cities to prevent them from “laying off a hell of a lot of teachers and cops and firefighters,” and that the administration is already “wasting a hell of a lot of money.”

Meanwhile…

War Economy

“This is a war,” says U.S. Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, “and we need to win this war and we need to spend what it takes to win the war.”

Win the war?

Continue reading

The Future of What’s Called “Capitalism”, by Charles Hugh Smith

What now gets labeled capitalism often is not capitalism at all, and sometimes its the opposite. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

The psychotic instability will resolve itself when the illusory officially sanctioned “capitalism” implodes.

Whatever definition of capitalism you use, the current system isn’t it so let’s call it “capitalism” in quotes to indicate it’s called “capitalism” but isn’t actually classical capitalism.

Try a few conventional definitions on for size:

Capitalism allocates capital to its most productive uses. Does the current system actually do this? You must be joking.

Capitalism is based on private labor and capital freely choosing where to invest time/assets. Does the current system actually do this? You must be joking.

Capitalism enables comparative advantages which enrich everyone. Does the current system actually do this? You must be joking.

Continue reading

The Sideshow That Never Leaves Town, by Butler Shaffer

Many of us have been trained to serve the state, and the training becomes more ingrained and pervasive with the young. From Butler Shaffer at lewrockwell.com:

“There is nothing more frightening than active ignorance.” 

– Wolfgang von Goethe                

Growing up in Nebraska, I was delighted each September, when the State Fair opened. I enjoyed walking the midway – accompanied by the spirit of P.T. Barnum – listening to sideshow barkers peddling their shows for “just ten cents, one thin dime.” Bearded and tattooed ladies, two-headed calves, and fortune-tellers were among the offerings.

With last week’s closing of the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus, a significant part of American culture has disappeared: circuses and carnivals. With the exception of 1950s era network television circuses, these extravaganzas were largely performed at the local level, abetted by the main street circus parades that brought us downtown and enticed us out to the circus grounds. With network television bringing so many of our demands for entertainment to the national level, traveling circuses, carnivals, and fairground midways have largely disappeared; although the sideshows have not. Freak shows have gravitated to television news networks, with anchors tantalizing us with the “breaking news” of assorted cranks and misfits waiting to challenge the suspension of our intelligence. “See the lady who can speak endlessly without saying anything;” or, “see the SUV that will bring the world to an end;” or “see the lady carrying a severed head.” H.L. Mencken was prophetic – as usual – in labeling politics as a “circus”, and a “carnival of buncombe.”

My understanding of history has led me to the view that Western Civilization is in its final stages. The structuring and regulation of life-sustaining processes have proved as fatal to our culture as cutting off a bird’s wings would seal its fate. To forcibly deprive individuals of their self-directed, self-interested nature in order to serve some mythical collective, has brought us to where we are. Beneficiaries of this herd-oriented mindset are institutional interests with a highly-concentrated presence that could not be maintained without the coercive force of the state restraining the development of competitive alternatives that would arise in a free market. Those interested in seeing how the business system has benefitted from this economic structuring, are invited to read my book In Restraint of Trade: The Business Campaign Against Competition, 1918-1938.

To continue reading: The Sideshow That Never Leaves Town