Given Obamanomics today, it is misleading at best for conservative folk to criticize Big Business and “capitalism,” if for no other reason one will be called “socialist” and deemed complicit in the drunken government spending.
(Oh, and by “social nationalist” I do not mean the same thing as “national socialist” per 1930s Germany.)
I don’t plan to criticize Obama here, simply because there is no need to. One does not criticize a train wreck for “bad driving.” You just watch. But I don’t think “capitalism” is the answer. First of all, the capitalism of today is actually corporationism–an entity both John McCain and Obama will defend at all costs. It’s a far cry for Adam Smith, who was not without his problems as well.
In a sense I defend the free market, if by that you mean that small farmers and small business owners may do with their resources what they wish. I reject an “absolute free market” because I don’t think that Goldman-Sachs, Archer Daniels Midland should be allowed to pull their stunts in a way that threatens the small farmer and the local village.
Recently I read an interesting article summarizing Lenin’s critique of elitist corporational capitalism. Before I say the following I make it clear I am not defending Lenin. I believe he was fully possessed by Satan (as were some of the Wall Street bankers and capitalists who financed him–that is not a contradiction in terms; another post will show why Wall Street wanted a communist takeover in Russia).
On another note, I don’t know why Lenin really took the time to critique corporational capitalism. If, as Marx said, communism is the necessary conclusion to capitalism, and one must go through the corporational phase first, why did Lenin care?
Lenin, echoing Karl Marx, also predicted that capitalism would eventually become imperialistic in nature, with a limited number of corporations controlling a huge portion of the global resources.
According to Lenin, whose theories are starting to get a second look from some Western economists, there are five defining characteristics of capitalist imperialism:
1) The concentration of production and capital developed to such a level that it creates monopolies that play a decisive role in economic life.
2) The merging of bank capital with industrial capital, and the creation, on the basis of “finance capital,” of a domineering financial oligarchy.
3) The export of capital, as distinguished from the export of commodities.
4) The formation of international capitalist monopolies that share the global markets among themselves.
5) The territorial division of the entire globe among the greatest capitalist powers is completed.
It’s really pointless now to argue on how to get back to the old capitalist way of Industrial Revolution England. It’s not going to happen (and who would want it?). Secondly, assuming we get back to the “capitalist ideal,” how do the capitalists answer the criticism that it is just a matter of time before the “dialectic to Marxism” repeats itself again? (This is also the reason I oppose Tea-Parties and “let’s get back to the Constitution.”).
The following is not new to me. I’m just repeating what a lot of other theologians and philosophers have said. A few decades ago Alasdair MacIntyre argued that “communal ethics” and politics is the wave of the future. MacIntyre is right–I am applying his insights to economics (that idea is original with me). I am taking a lot of my ideas from Fr Matt Johnson. The following is from him. He is describing how Putin was able to bring Russia from a 5th world country after the Clinton-Yeltsin years to a first world country with a stronger economy than Canada, all in ten years.
The way he did this defied all “sound economic principles” (e.g., see http://www.mises.org). He was told that nationalizing the banks and much of the economy will necessarily ruin the country (there is a good way and a bad way to nationalize banks; Obama is doing the bad way). He kicked out the IMF and the World bank, rejecting their “help” (which would have been practically the same thing as going to a Mafia don for help) and as a result, his country prospered and he has a popularity rating of 85%.
In the following, substitute “American” or “Celtic” workers for “Russian” workers and you get the same idea.
A Social Nationalist Response (This article is no longer up at Rus Journal. It might still be up, but I haven’t found it yet. In any case, the reader is encouraged to read Dr Johnson’s work on economics at http://www.rusjournal.com. It is some of the best stuff out there).
1. Profits need to be shared with Russian workers. Direct foreign investment must come with guarantees for worker safety and a rate of pay that is proportional to the profitability of the enterprise.
2. Russian workers will need a say in management. Worker’s councils should be convened as a matter of government policy to consult with management concerning pay, safety and any grievances that might arise.
3. Foreign investors will continually be under the surveillance of the state in terms of the treatment of the natural environment.
4. All foreign investors will be required to support local institutions, including Orthodox churches, theater companies, health clinics, libraries, local artists and social insurance.
5. Under no circumstances should foreign money be channeled into political parties, candidates or causes.
6. All food purchased by the investing firm must come from local agriculture if possible.
7. The labor force in any given enterprise, at all levels, must be at least 80% Russian.
8. Foreign enterprises will have at least some responsibility to work with local government to improve local infrastructure.