I recall, not so many decades ago, the case that Republicans and other conservatives made to reform the inefficiencies of government by incorporating business principles into government agencies and programs. The assumption was that businessmen, accustomed to the rigors of marketplace competition, could weed wasteful practices from government. The notion was an absurd one, as any first-year student of economics could confirm: the state operates on the basis of commands, not transactions freely negotiated with market participants.
But the institutionalization of absurdity is what government is all about, and thus has been created the military-industrial-congressional- mercantilist complex of which President Eisenhower warned in his farewell address in 1962. Taxpayers now routinely fund the unwanted costs of doing business: constructing sports stadiums, providing research and development funding, and paying for the bankrupt retirement programs of many corporations. Private corporations now run government schools and other prisons, and even conduct wars.
Even many libertarians – who ought to have known better – have been suckered into the “privatization” racket. Privately owned schools, roads, parks, fire departments, security systems, and other alternatives to government systems, are to be encouraged and praised. But in the name of “privatization,” corporations have been brought in to manage state programs. To flesh out what this “partnership” between the business system and government entails, take a look at what the mainstream media has become: a platform from which government agencies propagandize the public in the name of “news.” Far too many print and broadcast outlets have become like RCA-Victor’s dog, who sits before a megaphone listening to “his master’s voice.”
To dissolve, submerge, and cause to disappear the political or governmental system in the economic system by reducing, simplifying, decentralizing and suppressing, one after another, all the wheels of this great machine, which is called the Government or the State. --Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution
- Name: Kevin Carson
- Location: Northwest Arkansas, United States