Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Neo Fascist Economy

We believe we live in a free market economy. But nothing could be further from the truth. The regulation by government 'market masters' is in fact Mussolini's definition of fascism

"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." ~~ Benito Mussolini. *

A posting on the Ayn Rand Center deals with the de facto command economy that exists in de Western world today. In the US as well as the EU corporatism or crony capitalism, passes for 'neo liberalism' for the antagonists and 'free markets' for the liberal protagonists. Neither is true: these highly regulated markets that ultimately depend on government permission, are neither liberal nor free. Contrary to what Leftists today believe, in the merger of state and corporations the economy, like everything else in a collective, exists for the sole purpose of that collective, the state. Precisely Mussolini's definition of fascism.

On the Wall Street Journal’s op-ed page today, Jeffrey N. Shane argues that the big merger between American Airlines and US Airways should be allowed to go through. One by one, Shane sorts through all the typical arguments trotted out in antitrust litigation—concerning 'consumer welfare', jobs, and competition—and shows why blocking this merger makes no economic sense. 
But Shane’s argument, while thorough and convincing as far as it goes, is ultimately futile, because it ignores an underlying dynamic of antitrust law. America’s antitrust laws are not designed to be obeyed. These inherently vague, elastic, non-objective laws are designed to leave businessmen in a chronic state of uncertainty, so that when major business decisions need to be made, executives must look to government for permission to do business. 
Shane seems genuinely puzzled about why three previous airline mergers were approved, whereas this one was targeted for elimination. The mistake is to assume that logic has anything to do with it. Quite the contrary: The absence of logic is crucial. Only if arbitrary enforcement makes obedience impossible can antitrust’s reign of quiet terror over businessmen be maintained. 
The Justice Department’s attack on this merger is perfectly consistent with making businesses understand that however hard they try, they act by permission, not by right. In the face of that imperative, all Shane’s arguments about economics, consumers, jobs, and competition amount to nothing. The airlines themselves seem to understand these realities better than Shane does. 
Settlement negotiations have reportedly begun, with the airlines offering to surrender valuable gate slots at important airports like Reagan National in Washington, D.C., in exchange for an end to the federal lawsuit that’s scheduled for trial starting November 25. Now we’re talking. That’s language regulators can understand. 
Whenever businesses show themselves willing to beg, crawl, give up, sacrifice, obey—that’s when the antitrust establishment can start to relax, secure in the smug certainty that its arbitrary power over the business world remains intact.

* Commentator Greg Yudenko on FB has contributed a posting on the Skeptical Libertarian on the source of the Mussolini quote. As it happens this is exactly what I understand corporate fascism to mean. Just like private citizens under fascism, the private company in itself has no right to existence. Its sole purpose is a tool of the collective. Its right to existence is limited to its usefulness to the state. 
The bottom line is that corporate groups meant classes of people in the economy, which were allegedly represented through appointments to the Council. The system was not about welfare for private companies, but rather about totalitarian central planning of the whole economy through legislation and regulation. Corporatism meant formally “incorporating” divergent interests under the state, which would resolve their differences through regulatory mechanisms. 
Economic fascism was direct state control and planning of the economy, not subsidies or special favors dished out by politicians in a democracy to businesses in an otherwise free market, which is what people in the United States mean by corporatism today. Fascism was not a business takeover of government but rather the opposite, and the fact that Ruppert is ignorant of what corporate bodies were and the structure of the corporative system makes me suspect he either made up the quote or doesn’t understand its historical context.