Saturday, April 03, 2021


A few days ago, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene posted this on Twitter:

She was widely mocked for this. Vixen Strangely wrote:
Okay, I get where the Mark of the Beast thing is coming from, because the government-industrial-Big Tech Mammon is just about always trying to put bar codes or RFID chips or masks on people and from there it is just one stripper-ride pole to the Devil if you know what I mean, but the more I think about the words "corporate communism", the less I believe that there is anything going on in Marjorie Taylor Green's mind other than a game of "Mad Libs" where the rules are 1) Be mad at libs and 2) say words.
But Greene thinks she has a winner in "corporate communism." Here it is again this morning, in response to the news that Major League Baseball is moving its all-star game from Atlanta in response to the new Georgia vote-suppression law.

Dylan Ratigan, the onetime MSNBC host, tried to make "corporate communism" a catchphrase in the aftermath of the 2008 economic crash. He wrote an opinion piece for Business Insider in 2009 called "Corporate Communism Is Killing Us," then followed it up with a bestselling book titled Greedy Bastards: How We Can Stop Corporate Communists, Banksters, and Other Vampires from Sucking America Dry. In the opinion piece, he wrote:
Lately I have been using the phrase "Corporate Communism" on my television show. I think it is an especially fitting term when discussing the current landscape in both our banking and health care systems....

Lack of choice, lazy, unresponsive customer service, a culture of exploitation and a small powerbase formed by cronyism and nepotism are the hallmarks of a communist system that steals from its citizenry and a major reason why America spent half a century fighting a Cold War with the U.S.S.R.

And yet today we find ourselves as a country in two distinctly different categories: those who are forced to compete tooth and nail each day to provide value to society in return for income for ourselves and our families and those who would instead use our lawmaking apparatus to help themselves to our tax money and/or to protect themselves from true competition.
He's talking about the way big, mature industries use massive lobbying budgets to protect and enhance their profits, and to force their losses onto the rest of us. I wouldn't call that "communism" -- it's how big-money capitalism always works in the real world. On can catch glimpses in the real world of the theoretical capitalism in which companies compete perpetually and in an honorable fashion to provide the best goods and services at fair prices, but it inevitably breaks down once the cats reach a certain level of fatness.

In a January 2021 opinion piece, Chery Chumley of The Washington Times claimed to see "the corporate communism that’s coming to America" in a report from the World Economic Forum that called for a commitment to "stakeholder capitalism." Chumley wrote:
Stakeholder capitalism is the emerging beast....

It’s the kind of capitalism that says corporations shouldn’t be concerned simply with making a buck, but also serving as a “social organism” to society. Companies, in other words, should be motivated more by do-goodism than money.

It’s really the way the left gets its hands on Wall Street to drive forth policies, politics and agendas that don’t pass the smell test of Congress and the people. The Senate won’t ratify a U.N. climate change treaty? No worries; politicians will just pressure private businesses to “voluntarily” adopt clean energy standards and sustainable development practices instead. The end game is essentially the same. Congress won’t pass so-called common sense gun controls? No worries; new “great reset” standards will ensure private companies restrict firearms’ sales, and banks restrict funds to companies selling firearms, and businesses boot all gun-carriers from their businesses. Second Amendment, whoosh. Gone. The possibilities for control are endless.
But, of course, what Chumley is describing is not communism at all. What she's describing is the corporate world responding to social pressures from people who aren't right-wingers. To Chumley -- and to Marjorie Taylor Greene -- that's what "corporate communism" is.

Will Wilkinson published a very good Substack post this week about right-wing resistance to vaccine passports; in his post title, he refers to "the categorical impermissibility of inconveniencing Republicans." See also the bill recently passed by the Texas Senate that would make it a crime to ban Texans from large social media sites for any reason apart from connection to criminal activity or incitement to violence; as I read the law, Twitter and Facebook wouldn't even be allowed to deplatform a Texan for backing Nazism, as long as there was no call to violence.

But it's hard to see how Major League Baseball's move of the all-star game to another city even inconveniences most conservatives. It will take place outside Georgia and fans all over the country will watch it on TV, the same way they would have if it took place in Georgia.

So I think we're talking about the categorical impermissibility of merely upsetting Republicans. And that's what Marjorie Taylor Greene means by "corporate communism."

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