Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The inevitability of private interests

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usYep, that's right. Private interests are inevitable, which means that everything that goes along with such interests are also inevitable. As long as political power exists via some sort of state, there will be corruption, cronyism, and counterproductive measures to protect the populace and promote the non-existant notion of the "common good".

You don't just have to take my word for it. Check out Anthony Gregory's latest LRC column. As Gregory puts it:
The same private interests willing to cheat the consumer and worker in business are also willing to enter politics, to fund campaigns, to run for office, to bribe officials, to exploit every advantage the state offers to the dishonest entrepreneur. Further entrenching the monopoly of violence that is the state into the economy only ups the ante of the game over political influence. The more the state can regulate private interests, the more private interests will take control of the state.

The larger the state is, the more private individuals and groups have an interest in keeping the racket going. As the government expands to the detriment or assistance of specific sectors of the economy, collusion is inevitable. Those with power will use it to help the businesses they favor for whatever reason, and those in business will seek to deflect harmful legislation and encourage desired legislation. The more government intervention in the economy, the more the state and business classes coalesce, the more private interests can socialize their costs and privatize the profits to themselves. Socialism merely guarantees unearned profits and unjust power to whoever controls the state. And the state will be controlled by someone.

At the extreme this is all fascism or communism really is: the state becomes the principal corporation in society, with a monopoly on customers and no competition. Employer and producer become one with judge, jury and executioner. In a more mixed economy, social-democratic state-capitalism displays a similar kind of ugliness, but in smaller doses. Big Business and the most powerful private interests will categorically be the ones in government’s favor. How could it be any another way? That the top regulators of drugs are former drug company CEOs, the top regulators of banking are fat cat bankers, and the top regulators of the presidential debates are heads of the two political parties should leave no one surprised. The promise that it could be different should leave no one fooled.

The problem is not that the democratic system is somehow broken, or that the right people have yet to step up and demand change and/or be elected to public office. The problem is the system itself. As long as political power exists, private interests will wield control over such power and people will be reduced to being consumers of prepackaged political products that they'll be able to pick and choose from every four years. Power to the people, my ass!

There is no bigger illusion than the one that views the system as being fixable. If you want to be free of the tyranny of wicked private interests who wield political power, than you must reject the system that gives them that power in the first place.


Blogger jomama said...


Welcome to USAA where everybody gets to take a piece of everyone else til there's no more left.

4:42 PM  

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