Skip to comments.The Left-Wing Billionaire Collectivist Pigs
Posted on 09/27/2002 3:26:15 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
Corporatism Weds Transnational Progressivism
Do you stay up nights trying to figure out why so-called capitalists fund leftist causes or promote a collectivist agenda? Think of Stephen Rockefeller or the entire Rockefeller family, Ted Turner, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, George Soros, Maurice Strong, Enron, Ford Foundation, Pew Charitable Trust, the Nature Conservancy, the American Bar Association and the AMA.
Why did billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett come out against ending or reducing the death tax? Why do multimillionaire Stephen Rockefeller and the entire clan promote the most outrageous leftist globalist causes and malicious and inhumane programs in history? Why does the Rockefeller family actively promote a collectivist nightmare like the Earth Charter? Why did they fund the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in pre-war Nazi Germany?
Why are successful entrepreneurs such as Martha Stewart or Michael Bloomberg supporters of every leftist cause? Why do the trial lawyers of America or a financial guru such as Robert Rubin typically promote Democrats?
Do all these left-wing capitalists consider leftist/"progressive" ideas regarding life, death and taxes as being more meritorious for people and society and the world?
Or is there actually something else going on here?
There are two outstanding articles which may help you understand those questions. Additionally, they will shed light on the fact that we are in a "post-Constitution" and "post-American" world. The essays deal with the economic and political state of modern national and international geopolitics and society. They point to some of the factors that make so many capitalists favorable to collectivism and Marxism lite.
In that regard, Robert Locke's essay on "Corporatism" explains what has taken place economically and politically in the U.S. On the political and philosophical side, the Hudson Institute's John Fonte wrote a brilliant piece titled "The New Ideological War Within the West: Transnational Progressivism."(Both may be found at www.frontpagemag.com)
The Corporate Collectivist State
Leftist/"progressive" religious, cultural, political organizations and individuals rake in big bucks from government and business. Jesse Jacksons Rainbow Coalition is worth millions, much of which was obtained by suing or blackmailing corporate America. Yet neither Jackson nor his organization worry about an IRS audit or a visit from the FBI. His cause is based on group identity politics and grievances. Those are untouchable in modern society.
Environmental groups such as Sierra Club and Nature Conservancy receive disproportionate amounts of government grants and corporate money to fund efforts that are far removed from "saving" the environment. The tax-free status of this clique is unfair to individuals and groups who have no such free ride.
By taking money from a system they criticize and despise, they are free to use public money to destroy the system that allows them power and status. Their agenda has included placing off limits millions of acres of "public" lands to human or "public" use.
It also means the feudalization or collectivization of the landmass of the United States. Either way it allows an elite to maintain control.
Meanwhile, Sierra Club doesnt think twice about placing issue ads in order to target and defeat conservatives who are supporters of property rights or commonsense environmentalism. As it has indicated recently, Sierra Club will run issue ads that bring up the voting records of candidates who do not do their collectivist bidding. It is their way or NO way regarding the environment and the maintenance of "public" lands in the U.S.
Most environmental groups, like Sierra Club, have a 501© (3) tax-free status. Along with the recently passed McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, they should be disallowed from promoting candidates for office or defeating candidates for office.
Free Speech Only for the Left
Yet they have found ways to get around McCain-Feingold and their tax-free obligations. It appears that Democrat and the media protect leftist/"progressive" organizations, such as Sierra Club, while Republicans fear them.
In his recent column, Lowell Ponte discusses Sierra Clubs special position as a leftist group exempted from the new campaign finance "reform" bill.
Ponte states: "Leftist nonprofit groups have become cats paws for the Democratic Party, helping it to circumvent ethical and legal campaign limits. If they are granted special exemption from the advertising restrictions of the new law, this cynical symbiosis will grow even larger. And because of their ability to speak when most other Americans are silenced during the 60 days prior to elections, the influence of these Loony Left groups over policies of the Democratic Party will become more and more powerful."
Then there is the political identity group known as La Raza. The Hispanic anti-assimilationist coterie collects money and takes fees for speaking on American university campuses.
The Hudson Institute's John Fonte relates that this Hispanic identity interest group advocates NON-assimilation of Mexican immigrants into American society. It is funded by a notable capitalist institution.
Fonte states "the financial backing for this anti-assimilationist campaign [La Raza] has come primarily from the Ford Foundation, which made a conscious decision to fund a Latino rights movement based on advocacy-litigation and group rights."
Capitalist funding has allowed a kind of legitimacy to be imbued into nearly any radical identity grievance group. This has made it much easier for them to spread their "progressive" (collectivist-group think) far and wide. While these groups acquire funds for "studies" or educational endeavors to "teach" their collectivist viewpoint, they prefer to call it "education."
This has definitely tainted American "public" schools allowing only one philosophical and political viewpoint to be heard. That point of view is left of Lenin. Yet when some conservative, classically liberal, or Christian group attempt the same, all hell breaks loose.
Conservative organizations do not even compare in the amount of funds or support received from government and corporate sources. Groups that promote limited government, separation of powers, tax reform, individual human rights, reformation of the regulatory state, right to life, U.S. national sovereignty, sensible or reformed immigration policies, the free market, states rights, rural or Christian agendas, are marginalized or demonized.
Just recently, Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., an activist for immigration reforms, found the Republican establishment distancing itself from him and the immigration reform effort. The reason of course has to do with Hispanic vote buying and the bottom line of American corporate interests. Why does a supposedly conservative political party fail to see the need for immigration reform?
What is going on here? Is the American system beyond redemption? Have our political parties betrayed the American identity, the Bill of Rights and U.S. Constitution?
It would seem that the big picture has become so complicated it is hardly worth the time and effort needed to pick it apart, let alone do something about it. That is why the Locke and Fonte articles are extraordinary, they put the pieces together.
A Crooked Mile
The Washington Post reported not long ago: "The Federal Election Commission disclosed yesterday it has imposed a record-setting $719,000 in fines against participants in the 1996 Democratic Party fundraising scandals involving contributions from China, Korea and other foreign sources."
The Federal Election Commission describes the DNC fundraising of Bill Clinton and Al Gore in the Buddhist temple shakedown: "For example, organizers would have to contribute a total of $100,000 in return for Gores appearance at a Buddhist temple in Los Angeles."
The Post adds "except that some of the corporations have folded and others were dummy operations, with no assets, set up as conduits for money from China, Venezuela, Canada and other countries. Foreign individuals and organizations are barred from contributing to federal elections."
Of course our politicians answer to all this scandal and corruption is to pass the McCain-Feingold bill. Cobbled together by a self-serving bunch of politicians and signed into law by the Bush administration, nirvana achieved - right? Wrong.
There is a developing recognition that there are systemic reasons why things have gone wrong in the American system. Modern economic and political or social realities can't or won't be modified no matter who comes to power in Washington. We get decades worth of "reforms" which are anything but.
Meanwhile, the crashing of mighty business empires, and the loss of thousands of jobs this past year, have business pundits on CNBC and other networks gnashing their teeth and tearing out what is left of their hair.
Politicians play the blame game, and economists and think tanks devise new and improved theories to explain it all. Few of them are asking the right questions. If they did they would not like the answers.
- Question 1: Is the latest economic downturn, the plummeting stock market and undoing of business a failure of what 18th-century political economist and philosopher Adam Smith called an economic sense of morality? Or is it really the result of years of government and corporate America shacking up without being officially married?
- Question 2: Should free-market capitalists be concerned that at least a dozen CEOs of Fortune 500 companies made out like bandits while their employees cant make their house payments?
A study commissioned by Fortune magazine (Fortune, 9-2-02) reported that officers and directors of the 1,035 companies that have fallen the most from their recent bull-market peaks, cashed in $66 billion worth of stock before the crash. This was at a time when those companies' non-insider employees were watching as their childrens college fund and their retirement incomes were in a nosedive.
Making out like robber barons were executives from AOL-Time Warner; before the crash they cashed in $1.79 billion. Enron executives raked in $994 million. Charles Schwabs movers and shakers netted $951 million. This has given rise to heightened cynicism about capitalism and the free market.
However, the ethical lapse of great companies gave both sides of the political spectrum in Congress, something to investigate. Each strives to blame on the other as they invent more ill-conceived laws and regulations to deal with perceived problems.
The Scrooge McDuck Backstroke
The fact is that neither political party can investigate too closely because both parties have been doing the Scrooge McDuck backstroke in the corporate money pool for decades.
Both parties have a lot at stake when major corporate entities crash and burn. Why is that, you say?
- Questions 3 to 10: Why did the federal government bail out the airlines this past year? Why did it bail out New York City years ago? Why did taxpayers have to pay for the S&L loan scandal? Why does government fund corporate agriculture? Why does government use our spy apparatus to do intelligence work for corporate America?
- Why do they give money to entities which compete with private business and industry? Why do they give money to the National Endowment for the Arts or to the National Endowment for the Humanities or to public broadcasting, which by and large are conduits and instruments for the artistic left?
- Why are so many industries dependent on government contracts? Why does the government subsidize everything from Lockheed-Martin to Chrysler to the health care of seniors and the poor? Why does government fund Amtrak? Why does it keep fleets of cars and vehicles for the benefit of government bureaucrats and politicians?
Why! Why! Why!
The answer of course is that the government has become totally involved in the economic, social, and corporate life of America.
How Corporatism Blends Socialism and Capitalism
As Robert Locke states in his article: "Corporatism blends socialism and capitalism not by giving each control of different parts of the economy, but by combining socialism's promise of a government-guaranteed flow of material goods with capitalism's private ownership and management."
Furthermore, "What makes corporatism so politically irresistible is that it is attractive not just to the mass electorate, but to the economic elite as well."
Government is now considered responsible for the health and well-being of the economy and the culture as well as individuals. It is the guarantor of the movement of goods and services.
Actually, this has been the case since government became involved in westward expansion. But this is particularly true since it discovered income taxes, which tendered an almost inexhaustible source of funds for expansion of the state and state power.
The standard answer from the left regarding taxes is: "Dont you want the roads and infrastructure that government provides?" The answer should be no. That is not supposed to be a function of government to provide goods and services.
Governments job is to protect and defend from outside enemies, from fraud, or from government itself. Government has forgotten that man was not created for government but government for man.
Considering the limitations placed on government by the Founders, something has gone seriously amiss. Our history shows that it wasnt the several states that set up most business deals with companies or individuals. Rather, speculative land deals, for instance, involving the federal government have been with us since almost the beginning of this nation. Those early deals set a pattern that helped corrupt the system.
But the impetus for the Corporate Collectivist State really began in earnest at about the time of the American "war between the states."
Following the Civil War, the federal government started cutting deals with the railroads over land issues. The Western states lost control of their physical sovereignty at that time, followed shortly by the mercantile and monetary system going awry.
Corporatism got a further thrust forward when Washington offered special privileges to early mining, oil, and railroad tycoons such as J.D. Rockefeller and J.L. Hunt. Because of that linkage, capitalism and government became corrupted.
The creation of the Federal Reserve, our central bank, further complicated the picture. The Federal Reserve is a non-federal private corporation with close ties to government. It sets the monetary standard for corporatism. We have been stuck with it since 1913.
Shortly after the creation of the Federal Reserve, the 16th Amendment gave us the income tax. That handed control of the monetary system AND the individual and corporate checkbook to the federal government. We have never been able to get control of that checkbook since.
The era was called "progressive." More likely it should have been called the beginning of the Corporate Collectivist State in modern times.
Capitalism Does Survive
However, capitalism does exist in America. But it exists mostly in the realm of small- to medium-size business. Government of course punishes these smaller entities, the remnants of true capitalism, by taxing them to death, overregulating them, or creating foolish laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In addition, follies such as the Endangered Species Act impact smaller businesses, such as individual farms and ranches, far more than it does Exxon or Archer Daniels Midland.
Do you really think these laws passed in Washington actually harm big business? No, the laws and taxes invariably hurt the "little" guy and infringe on the autonomy of the several states. Big business can handle problems or lawsuits and taxes. Their incestuous relationship with the federal government means government must protect and promote the interests of large corporations or face economic meltdown.
Thus, what has evolved is not free-market capitalism but rather "corporatism" combined with progressivism or the Nanny State.
The Nanny State and "corporatism" have many things in common. As Locke so insightfully explains: "The first thing big business has in common with big government is managerialism. The technocratic manager, who deals in impersonal mass aggregates, organizes through bureaucracy, and rules through expertise without assuming personal responsibility, is common to both."
Marriage Made in Hell
What is really frightening is that economic globalization means we are facing the marriage of corporatism and transnational progressivism.
Government, our intellectual leftist elite, and transnational corporatism and progressivism, are crushing the nation-state, national sovereignty and the American identity.
But this new creature is not merely a modern version of Farben loves and support Adolf Hitler, aka fascism.
This creature is a brand new model that might be called fascism with a smiley face. Allied with international police-state procedures it eventually could be something far less than benign. With the correct combination of self-interested power groups and egomaniacal individuals, it might become extremely dangerous to ALL individuals and freedom. Conspiracy buffs have dubbed it the "New World Order."
Corporatism married to transnational progressivism is what Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Gerhard Shroeder, Chretien and Newt Gingrich dubbed the "Third Way."
That marriage is post-American, post-industrial, and post-constitutional. It calls for "open borders" rather than national citizenship. It proposes transnational citizenship. Before Sept. 11, 2001, George W. Bush was pushing it.
Unfortunately, many libertarians have been sucked into supporting "open borders" and unrestricted immigration because it promotes the interests of corporations and the bottom line.
However, the marriage of corporatism and transnational progressivism fails capitalism. It is also destructive of the rights of the individual and a butcher of the American identity. It is definitely an assassin of the sovereign nation-state.
This new paradigm finds leftist/"progressive" or Marxist intellectuals desperately trying to rearrange themselves, in order to accommodate the new reality. That is another reason the left now calls itself "progressive."
The corporate collectivist ideal, the new criterion, is nothing more or less than a historical elite attempting to impose its order or solutions on society and government. Its the same old song and dance that the elite, powers-that-be, or establishment have done since the beginning of time. That, of course, is to order society according to their best interests, in their best interests.
What is evolving nationally and internationally is an oligarchy of corporate entities joined at the hip to a strong central managerial-technocratic government, a government that will be international in scope, and when all is said and done, totalitarian. The offspring of this marriage is a redistribution of income and power to "groups" on the basis of their victim status or identity.
Meanwhile, the growing oligarchy of transnational corporations uses the government for its own purposes, and government is obliging. That is neither capitalism nor the free market. What it IS: a few collectivist pigs dressed up and living large. Occasionally they call themselves CEOs of the Fortune 500, bureaucrats, heads of American foundations, senators, congressmen or president.
Their counterparts in "progressivism," i.e. Marxism lite, take the money and power created by this incestuous relationship and pass it out to the identity groups most favored by "progressives." Nevertheless, those groups are still subject to manipulation by the worlds economic elite.
That is ONE reason why American education is beyond reform. That is why we have "School-to-Work," "Outcome Based Education" and the suppression of individual excellence in "Project Learning." That is why we are experiencing the destruction of an American identity through multiculturalism and diversity "training." It all fits the corporate, progressive and government bill of goods.
As George Orwell confirms in his masterpiece "Animal Farm," some pigs are indeed more equal than others. Nevertheless, all of them remain porkers in collectivist drag.
It could be inevitable that the Corporate Collectivist State may replace the nation-state on an international scale. The effort by those in power to create such a social, economic and political order is a work in progress.
In that regard, Alfred Rocco, the leading spokesman for fascism, explains modern fascism: "For Fascism, society is the end, individuals the means, and its whole life consists in using individuals as instruments for its social ends."
Personally, I would add economic and political ends favorable to those elites. Think Rockefeller, think Gates, think Enron, think U.N., think federal government and elite control on a national and international scale.
(Next time: Robert Locke defines "corporatism" as socialism for the bourgeois
the outward form of capitalism in that it preserves private ownership and private management
but government guarantees the flow of material goods, which under true capitalism it does not. John Fonte on "transnational progressivism," i.e., transnational progressivism, assigns primacy to group rights as opposed to individual rights in the American Constitution; and it promotes transnational citizenship (a la the European Union) over national citizenship emphasized in the American republic and in the non-EU European countries.)
I need a beer.
Bill Gates uses the left to keep poor people poor and to impoverish the middle-class and the marginally wealthy.
All the money supporting the capitalist-hating left comes from hard-working producers. All of it.
Every single dollar.
For example, collectivism has little to do with the death tax issue - these people have come out against it for two reasons: first, that it is easily demagogued into a program that benefits only the very rich, i.e. themselves, and second, because they know it is nothing of the sort. As to the first point, we already hear this claim from the liberals who make a considerable portion of their political hay emphasizing envy and class hostility. As to the second point, it is quite easy for the very wealthy to avoid something as straightforward as the inheritance tax by constructing trust funds and tax dodges while still alive that transfer their wealth to their heirs quite independently of the inheritance tax. Even if they did not pursue these, and they do, they still could afford that tax and pass on considerable wealth - there is a point, and Gates is certainly there, where even 10% of his money is more money than any human being could ever spend.
On the whole, though, I am inclined to agree with the contention that collectivist policies tend to favor established corporations, especially large ones with many endeavors. It is much easier for these to control reportable profit (on which they are taxed) by transferring money from a lucrative concern to a money-losing one, than it is for a less diversely-based up-and-comer to do so. This provides a little extra gradient for the new boys to climb in order to become players.