First, some definitions:
State Capitalism wiki
State capitalism is usually described as an economic system in which commercial (i.e. for-profit) economic activity is undertaken by the state,
with management and organization of the means of production in a capitalist manner, including the system of wage labor and centralized
au·thor·i·tar·i·an adjective \ȯ-ˌthär-ə-ˈter-ē-ən, ə-, -ˌthȯr-\ : expecting or requiring people to obey rules or laws : not
allowing personal freedom
1 : of, relating to, or favoring blind submission to authority
2 : of, relating to, or favoring a concentration of power in a leader or an elite not constitutionally responsible to the people
I'd like to bring these two ideas together and discuss them as, more-or-less, the threat of our times.
I've been paying attention to these two ideas since the second Bush administration. Most of the administration were hyper-capitalist businessmen who
placed themselves outside of the sphere of public scrutiny and consequence and succeeded in committing some of the most heinous acts of the 21st
century. Then there came the crash of 2008, which was a direct result of policies from the Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II administrations/congresses.
Later, there came Citizens United, which is essentially a green-light to buy votes via shadowy propaganda. Add to this the immense effects of "buying
your own congressmen", and the resulting picture is quite alarming.
In the case of the U.S., it is my opinion that the people are at fault for all of this. However, unlike most, I wouldn't argue that the fault is due
to apathy. Political apathy is a symptom, not a disease. The disease is in part due to the authoritarian culture of our politicians, who by-and-large
are simple "yes" men for their corporate backers. This culture has trickled down to the common citizenry who, like their politicians, have become
simple "yes" men in regards to accepting the policies passed without once thinking about the consequences of them. There are other compounding
factors that add to this, such as the notion of "bread and circuses" which serve to distract U.S. citizens from their greatest threat: Corporate
servitude under a blanket of government authority.
In the U.S., and much of the western world, State Capitalism/Socialism (which are arguably the same idea painted different colors) is indirect, as
opposed to the direct State Capitalism/Socialism of China. In the case of the U.S./Western World, the fact that big business buys candidates that will
protect and further their interests is simply one step removed from the more direct case in China. It is obvious that U.S./Western world citizens live
much different and much better lives than the Chinese. However, how long will that last? How long will it be before all we have is the choice to be
"factory slaves" or starve?
I am hard-pressed to point to a solution. Small government seems to be one, but in reality it seems to be that large corporations are the true
threat. Having that much money (power) is the direct cause of the state we're in. If money is power in a country/world, then no matter what the
election results are, the little man loses, and his only choice will be to join the power structure or risk everything to fight against it and
inevitably lose because too many people will be apathetic to the true threat to their freedom.
I would go so far as to say that the very idea of a corporation is the threat. Making something that isn't into something that legally is is an
affront to logic on all levels. If unicorns were legislated into existence, we would all boggle at the idiocy of those who would decide this. But, I
do suppose, if those unicorns could protect certain people from consequences, those certain people would champion unicorns.
The notion of a free-market is one that I would like to point to as a solution as well. However, with history (19th century robber barons and
snake-oil salesmen) and literature (Sinclair's "The Jungle", among others) as our teachers, we should see clearly that the free-market has its own
caveats which can result in death, mutilation and sickness at an alarming rate.
I don't know the solution, and refuse to blindly follow something that "sounds good" without thinking through the potential consequences. What say
you, ATS denizens?
If you've made it this far, thank you for reading.