http://www.thefreemanonline.org/colu...z-faire-there/The businessmen of the nineteenth century are to be blamed for courting government to gain special privilege…. The late nineteenth century was an era conspicuously dominated by the assumption that government could be used to achieve various special interest projects, whether it was building a railroad or the development of an “infant industry.”…
Corruption soon followed the new American acceptance of highly centralized political power as a problem-solving device. The process quite clearly began with the American Civil War…. It is true that a time of tremendous building did occur in industry, communication, and transportation across our American continent following the Civil War. But it is also true that the era brought with it the spoilsmen in politics and the exploiters in economic life who were quite willing to work hand in glove in taking the American people for a ride. Boss Tweed and Jim Fisk [pictured here] were all too symbolic of their era….
Never before in American life had the temptation for corruption been so great. Following the Civil War, politicians found themselves dealing in land grants, tariffs, mail contracts, subsidies, mining claims, pensions. The power of taxation gave them power to protect or de[s]troy individual businesses….
The corporation is now and has always been derived entirely from power granted by the state, power directly dependent upon continued enforcement of laws providing it with its special privileges and immunity….
The interpretation of American history which views the latest nineteenth-century businessman as a free enterpriser, while describing government activity as an attempt to restrain laissez-faire, is simply not borne out by the facts.http://www.bastiatinstitute.org/2012...f-corporatism/We discover that the fortunes realized by our manufacturers are no longer solely the reward of sturdy industry and enlightened foresight, but that they result from the discriminating favor of the Government and are largely built upon undue exactions from the masses of our people. The gulf between employers and the employed is constantly widening, and classes are rapidly forming, one comprising the very rich and powerful, while in another are found the toiling poor.[COLOR=rgb(0, 0, 0)][FONT=verdana,geneva,lucida,'lucida grande',arial,helvetica,sans-serif]
[COLOR=rgb(0, 0, 0)][FONT=verdana,geneva,lucida,'lucida grande',arial,helvetica,sans-serif][/FONT][/COLOR]As we view the achievements of aggregated capital, we discover the existence of trusts, combinations, and monopolies, while the citizen is struggling far in the rear or is trampled to death beneath an iron heel. Corporations, which should be the carefully restrained creatures of the law and the servants of the people, are fast becoming the people’s masters.
The managerial state has assumed responsibility for looking after everything from the incomes of the middle class to the profitability of large corporations to industrial advancement. This system . . . is . . . an economic order that harks back to Bismarck in the late nineteenth century and Mussolini in the twentieth: corporatism.In various ways, corporatism chokes off the dynamism that makes for engaging work, faster economic growth, and greater opportunity and inclusiveness. It maintains lethargic, wasteful, unproductive, and well-connected firms at the expense of dynamic newcomers and outsiders, and favors declared goals such as industrialization, economic development, and national greatness over individuals’ economic freedom and responsibility. Today, airlines, auto manufacturers, agricultural companies, media, investment banks, hedge funds, and much more has [sic] at some point been deemed too important to weather the free market on its own, receiving a helping hand from government in the name of the “public good.”dysfunctional corporations that survive despite their gross inability to serve their customers; sclerotic economies with slow output growth, a dearth of engaging work, scant opportunities for young people; governments bankrupted by their efforts to palliate these problems; and increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of those connected enough to be on the right side of the corporatist deal.http://reason.com/archives/2012/02/0...-free-market/1By “capitalism” most people mean neither the free market simpliciter nor the prevailing neomercantilist system simpliciter. Rather, what most people mean by “capitalism” is this free-market system that currently prevails in the western world. In short, the term “capitalism” as generally used conceals an assumption that the prevailing system is a free market. And since the prevailing system is in fact one of government favoritism toward business, the ordinary use of the term carries with it the assumption that the free market is government favoritism toward business.Similarly for socialism, Long writes. He thinks most people mean nothing more specific than “the opposite of capitalism.”
Then if “capitalism” is a package-deal term, so is “socialism” — it conveys opposition to the free market, and opposition to neomercantilism, as though these were one and the same.And that, I suggest, is the function of these terms: to blur the distinction between the free market and neomercantilism. Such confusion prevails because it works to the advantage of the statist establishment: those who want to defend the free market can more easily be seduced into defending neomercantilism, and those who want to combat neomercantilism can more easily be seduced into combating the free market. Either way, the state remains secure.In sum, the system that most immediately threatens individual liberty is corporatism (with its militarist component) and the word capitalism is too closely associated with corporatism in people’s minds to be useful to advocates of the freed market.