Anatole Kaletsky is worried about the populist rage brewing over the AIG bonuses.
This bloodlust raises a truly alarming question: can capitalism and democracy survive side by side?
Kaletsky’s question manages to get everything wrong. America and Britain are mixed economies, not capitalist economies. They are closer to the regimes of Hitler and Mussolini than the capitalist countries they were in the 19th century. Also, just for the record, our political systems are not democracies, but constitutionally limited representative republics.
The proper question to ask is: can the west remain free when its demagogic leaders demonize big business?
Look at the quote from Obama that starts Kaletsky’s piece.
In a time of crisis, we cannot afford to govern out of anger, or yield to the politics of the moment. I know how unpopular it is to be seen as helping banks when everyone is suffering from their bad decisions. But I also know that my job is to solve the problem.
Everyone is suffering from practices forced on the financial industry by the state. All those “bad decisions” were made because businessmen were following orders dictated to them by the state. Had they not made those bad decisions, they would have gone to jail. Obama is now rewriting history, so that in the course of solving the problem he can expand the power of the state even more.
Just as the Bolsheviks demonized the bourgeois to justify their power grabs, Obama is whipping up anger against big business to justify his power grabs. Nothing would delight Obama more than furious mobs, in the spirit of collectivism, rioting and spilling the blood of big businessmen. Such an emergency would allow the President to play the savior as he puts on his oh-so serious face and calls for calm while the state takes total control and restores order.
The only solution to the entire crisis is the one thing our statist politicians cannot tolerate: individual rights. Get the state out of the economy and let free individuals dispose of their property according to their best judgment. No, Obama and his buddies want no talk of individual rights; they want the people to think of themselves as part of a collective controlled by the state.
Mob violence is a perfect manifestation of Obama’s collectivist vision of man’s nature. His altruist-collectivist-statist premises have no room for free, rational individuals trading peacefully with one another without interference from their masters in Washington, D.C.