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View Diary: Bush Authoritarianism: Blackwater+Amway=GOP, Pt. 2 (295 comments)

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  •  I've been waiting for this ...! (9+ / 0-)

    My comment is slightly tangential, but it's a line of thinking your first piece inspired.

    There has been significant mention lately (sorry, no links) of business having second thoughts about the GOP. I believe that a substantial wing of American business is starting to realize that shock capitalism is a disaster for them, too. A world turned into Brazil writ big is not a great place to do business.

    From this I see the possibility of a "grand bargain," in which a wing of business accepts a progressive regulatory state, because as annoying as it can be for business people, it can provide order in the marketplace - something businesses always took for granted, but are now discovering that they urgently need.

    Essentially the lesser barons are realizing that they are also losers when the dukes duke it out. They're about ready for the Queen King to step in and put a ducal head or two on pikes, even at the cost of accepting the royal authority and with it the rights of the commons, always the fundamental basis of the crown.

    The best fortress is to be found in the love of the people - Niccolo Machiavelli

    by al Fubar on Sun Oct 14, 2007 at 07:14:09 PM PDT

    •  EXACTLY What Barney Frank Has Been Talking About (8+ / 0-)

      Because the Senate is so screwed up, it's been hard to do a lot.  But Barney has been talking a lot about a "grand bargain"--I think that's even the term he's used--that helps business but also locks in protections for individuals and families.  He's argued that there is substantial recognition of that within much of the corporate community.  And you have to think manufacturing and other sectors recognize that Bush has been a disaster.  Bush's support has come mostly from some low-wage services industries like fast food, from what I call "extractive" industries (like oil, timber, mining, etc), monopolies highly regulated by the federal government (rail, PhARMA, medical), but NOT significantly from the "creative" industries like Hollywood, high tech, etc., and less and less so from finance (look at what Schumer's been doing with finance).  

      So, you're correct that large swaths of business don't like what Bush and the GOP have done.  But the damage is so vast, it's going to take a lot to fix things up.

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Sun Oct 14, 2007 at 07:28:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A lot of fixing, indeed ...! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Neon Vincent

        Bush's support comes heavily from rent-seeking industries, in the economics sense, which notably includes the extractive industries you mention. Cronyism isn't exactly rent-seeking, but it is closely related - profiting from privileged access to a wealth source, rather than producing wealth.

        Veering back to topic, I am no goo-goo, but Bush Authoritarianism has taken public corruption to a new level, where it goes from irritant to cancer. It is a corruption rooted in the whole mindset, which Blackwater perfectly exemplifies. Blackwater may not even be guilty of chargeable corruption offenses; the corruption is that such a firm is even possible.

        The best fortress is to be found in the love of the people - Niccolo Machiavelli

        by al Fubar on Sun Oct 14, 2007 at 08:25:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've run into excessive rent-seeking... (0+ / 0-)

          ...by the constituents of a political party as being the catalyst for the undoing of that political party's reign before.  Kossack Mikebert wrote about the mechanism in Cycles in American Politics: how political, economic and cultural trends have shaped the nation.  When a political party is in power too long (~20 years), its economic constituents become emboldened and engage in rent-seeking too obvious to ignore and too damaging to the economy to excuse.  This behavior arouses indignation among the general public, which then mobilizes around the opposition.  Mikebert has noted that conservative rent-seeking appears particularly obnoxious and reaction to it ushers in liberal eras.  I wouldn't be surprised if that process is happening right now.

    •  Gabriel Kolko had that take in his 1970s book... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neon Vincent

      "The Triumph of Conservatism".

      He argued that business allowed Teddy Roosevelt to launch progressive regulation because American goods were so shoddy that they were about to be excluded from European markets. The title of the book alludes to the idea that progressive regulation served big business.

      Kolko is still around today. He just wrote a book "The Decline of the American Empire".

      arendt

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