“And its spent for very special reasons because corporations end up controlling the government.” Ron Paul (via LewRockwell) on overseas spending.
For a serious candidate to say something like this is flooring. How very natural for Ron Paul to assume the role of rebel candidate, opposed to the corporate forces that are censoring him.
But is he really for people first? When the chips are down will Ron Paul side with us or with the multinationals?
Neither. And the end effect of this is not unlike a zookeeper staying out of a dispute between a bengal tiger and a toddler. Who do you think has the power advantage? In effect Ron Paul’s policies would let corporations run wild.
As Thom Hartman notes (via Sara, emphasis mine):
The first myth Hartmann wants us to puncture is the myth of the free market, which has been elevated to the level of a religion. He invoked Grover Norquist — who famously said that he wanted to shrink government down to where he could drag it into the bathtub and drown it — and noted that New Orleans was what ended up getting drowned instead.
“Why does the Bush administration replace competent people with ideologues?” asked Hartmann. The answer lies in the essence of the conservative worldview. Conservatives believe that corporations are morally neutral; but human beings are essentially evil. Given that equation, it’s obvious that corporations are thus morally superior to human beings, and thus should be given greater rights and dominance. Government, on the other hand, expresses the will of the people — and since people are inherently evil, government is inherently evil as well.
Liberals, on the other hand, generally agree on the moral neutrality of corporations; but they believe that people are fundamentally good. “This is the fundamental cleavage between these two world views,” notes Hartmann, pointing out that this worldview is clearly reflected in the preamble to the Constitution. “Our founders’ six stated purposes reflect this belief — that government exists to lift people up to their highest potential.” We provide for the common defense in order to protect ourselves from the handful of bad apples in the bunch; but the rest of the document, asserts Hartmann, is about maximizing human opportunity.
On the other hand: “The free market is just a euphemism for large multinational corporations controlling the planet,” he concluded.
The appeal to a market utterly free of regulations and limits, the libertarian ideal, is a world where might makes right. What must be understood is that this world has existed before. As amor mundi observes (emphasis mine):
Ron Paul looks to me like the oldest story in the 20th Century American playbook: yet another market fundamentalist libertopian who believes civil libertarianism is compatible with corporate capitalism. If that is the new “21st Century Democracy” then the facile “friendly fascism” peddled to earnest saucer-eyed privileged Americans by Ayn Rand (“America’s Persecuted Minority: Big Business”), Ronald Reagan (“Government Is the Problem”), Bush I (“The New World Order”), Clinton (“The Era of Big Government Is Over,” NAFTA, workfare, deregulation), Bush II (“Our MBA President,” PNAC, the Unitary Executive) then the new 21st Century democracy looks an awful lot like the old Robber Baron “democracy” to me, but this time with the tools at its disposal to render the planet an uninhabitable radioactive, Greenhouse, pandemic sewer of goo.
There is a fundamental disconnect between an anti-corporation stance and support for the free market. You cannot be both. If you are truly going to stand up to the abuses of large multinationals, then you are talking about regulating the market. If you are going to let those multinationals continue without any checks to their power, you are at the very least unworthy of the anti-corporate populist mantel.
Ron Paul isn’t so much against a corporate state as he is against the state. If companies want to spend those same vast somes on “overseas spending”, would he regulate away the free market to prevent it? Or does the same action, if performed by individuals acting under the auspices of a corporate entity suddenly become unethical once it is government in the driver’s seat?
If Ron Paul were to win, he may very well act to decrease the influence of corporations on government. He would also reduce government to such an extend that corporations would no longer need to influence government to run the world their way.
The government envisioned when this country was founded, was one of the people, for the people, and by the people. To stand up to the corporations and politicians who have perverted that is noble, but the solution to a leaky roof isn’t to tear down the house and sleep in the rain. The solution is to either fix the damn roof, or build a better house.
We need to take our government back, and Ron Paul is not the candidate to help us do that. He’ll just crumple it up and throw it in the circular suggestion box.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Corporate, Corporations, Free Market, Government, Politics, Ron Paul | 54 Comments »