January 29, 2010
In a Firedoglake article on corporatism the author quotes FDR:
Liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself.
This is a classic misunderstanding. People seem to think that the public and private sectors are at war with each other, and as one gets bigger and more powerful, the other withers and dies.
It’s curious to see it in an article about corporatism, since corporatism is at its little-understood core the acknowledgement that special interests and government grow in power and influence concurrently.
The thrust of the article is that under corporatism, special interests not associated with large, money-making corporations will just fall in line with what the corporations want.
Apparently, “The Supreme Court has now explicitly authorized the use of private money to secure control of government. Now there will be no conflicts among interest groups.
Liberal groups and, to a much lesser extent, conservative groups, self-neuter to retain the personal power of their leaders.”
And the only cure is a curb on free speech, otherwise known as censorship.
Really, no conflicts among interest groups? Focus on the Family and NARAL are going to sit by the campfire and sing Kumbaya because of Citizens United? O-kay.
Besides that being a dumb idea, the author simply fails to mention the well-established counterargument to this view of corporatism. Most likely, the members of the aforementioned special interest groups would expel any leaders who stopped fighting for their ideologies. If the president of Focus on the Family stopped fighting for traditional marriage and started doing keg stands with the president of NARAL, the millions of churches who support Focus on the Family financially would simply stop sending checks, and the whole organization or the president would be replaced by a more strident one.
That’s how things work in a market. If something sucks, you replace it with something better. But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that a writer for Firedoglake doesn’t understand markets.