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The Left Right Paradigm Is Over

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http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/09/you-vs-corporations/

Every generation or so, a major secular shift takes place that shakes up the existing paradigm. It happens in industry, finance, literature, sports, manufacturing, technology, entertainment, travel, communication, etc.

I would like to discuss the paradigm shift that is occurring in politics.

For a long time, American politics has been defined by a Left/Right dynamic. It was Liberals versus Conservatives on a variety of issues. Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice, Tax Cuts vs. More Spending, Pro-War vs Peaceniks, Environmental Protections vs. Economic Growth, Pro-Union vs. Union-Free, Gay Marriage vs. Family Values, School Choice vs. Public Schools, Regulation vs. Free Markets.

The new dynamic, however, has moved past the old Left Right paradigm. We now live in an era defined by increasing Corporate influence and authority over the individual. These two “interest groups” – I can barely suppress snorting derisively over that phrase – have been on a headlong collision course for decades, which came to a head with the financial collapse and bailouts. Where there is massive concentrations of wealth and influence, there will be abuse of power. The Individual has been supplanted in the political process nearly entirely by corporate money, legislative influence, campaign contributions, even free speech rights.

This may not be a brilliant insight, but it is surely an overlooked one. It is now an Individual vs. Corporate debate – and the Humans are losing.

Consider:

• Many of the regulations that govern energy and banking sector were written by Corporations;
• The biggest influence on legislative votes is often Corporate Lobbying;
• Corporate ability to extend copyright far beyond what original protections amounts to a taking of public works for private corporate usage;
• PAC and campaign finance by Corporations has supplanted individual donations to elections;
• The individuals’ right to seek redress in court has been under attack for decades, limiting their options.
• DRM and content protection undercuts the individual’s ability to use purchased content as they see fit;
• Patent protections are continually weakened. Deep pocketed corporations can usurp inventions almost at will;
• The Supreme Court has ruled that Corporations have Free Speech rights equivalent to people; (So much for original intent!)

None of these are Democrat/Republican conflicts, but rather, are corporate vs. individual issues.

For those of you who are stuck in the old Left/Right debate, you are missing the bigger picture. Consider this about the Bailouts: It was a right-winger who bailed out all of the big banks, Fannie Mae, and AIG in the first place; then his left winger successor continued to pour more money into the fire pit.

What difference did the Left/Right dynamic make? Almost none whatsoever.

How about government spending? The past two presidents are regarded as representative of the Left Right paradigm – yet they each spent excessively, sponsored unfunded tax cuts, plowed money into military adventures and ran enormous deficits. Does Left Right really make a difference when it comes to deficits and fiscal responsibility? (Apparently not).

What does it mean when we can no longer distinguish between the actions of the left and the right? If that dynamic no longer accurately distinguishes what occurs, why are so many of our policy debates framed in Left/Right terms?

In many ways, American society is increasingly less married to this dynamic: Party Affiliation continues to fall, approval of Congress is at record lows, and voter participation hovers at very low rates.

There is some pushback already taking place against the concentration of corporate power: Mainstream corporate media has been increasingly replaced with user created content – YouTube and Blogs are increasingly important to news consumers (especially younger users). Independent voters are an increasingly larger share of the US electorate. And I suspect that much of the pushback against the Elizabeth Warren’s concept of a Financial Consumer Protection Agency plays directly into this Corporate vs. Individual fight.

But the battle lines between the two groups have barely been drawn. I expect this fight will define American politics over the next decade.

Keynes vs Hayek? Friedman vs Krugman? Those are the wrong intellectual debates. Its you vs. Tony Hayward, BP CEO, You vs. Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs CEO. And you are losing . . .

~~~

This short commentary was conceived not to be an exhaustive research, but rather, to stimulate debate. There are many more examples and discussions we can have about this, and I hope readers do so in comments.

But my bottom line is this: If you see the world in terms of Left & Right, you really aren’t seeing the world at all .

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Pretty much the way I see it. We've had loads of regulations, big business loves regulation as that is how they maintain advatnage - by drowing smaller compeittion in unbearable costs / activities outside of the real work function.

Another reason money of the West's economies have done so appallingly badly and will continue to do so.

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The only reason corporations are our enemy is that the state is too powerful, has control over too much of our productive output, and is unable to wield that power democratically. The state has its hands on too much our money which it insists on confiscating or borrowing to spend on our "behalf". Additionally most of its expenditure lacks any public scrutiny. It these things were addressed it would turn the state into a non-entity rather than a fattened calf. Subsequently corporations would never have bothered trying to subvert or capture the state, and might have worked harder on providing products and services that people actually wanted to buy.

Edited by DabHand

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hear hear dabhand!

It has always been us vs the corporations, what is new?

I hope people will wake up to how rotten our govt is and vote to do something about it.

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The only reason corporations are our enemy is that the state is too powerful, has control over too much of our productive output, and is unable to wield that power democratically. The state has its hands on too much our money which it insists on confiscating or borrowing to spend on our "behalf". Additionally most of its expenditure lacks any public scrutiny. It these things were addressed it would turn the state into a non-entity rather than a fattened calf. Subsequently corporations would never have bothered trying to subvert or capture the state, and might have worked harder on providing products and services that people actually wanted to buy.

I think you're missing the one of the most important points being made - the state is powerful because the corporations want it that way - to sort out externalities and take away responsibilities - this is the trend and why the state has grown. Here's the deal - they look to push down your wages, they lend you money. You buy their stuff and provide the funds to subsidise them and pay them interest for the privilege.

Edited by shipbuilder

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The UK is more or less a one party state and that party represents the chaps with the loot.

Moon over parador (1988) parodied this quite well as there are two guards debating over who to vote for red or blue. Both parties have the same cabal heading them, pretty much describes the UK down to a T.

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Indeed.

GloboCorp > Nation State.

As their deputy bankster in chief said today:-

"We want you to buy their sh1t"

It's not even concealed anymore. Corporations are the State.

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Corporations in the US and UK too, being legal persons, benefit from human rights protection. Something the state can only fall foul of....now, I wonder if that is just a chance or if somebody worked it that way! This is genuinely thought provoking stuff. Not sure it is actually anything that those on the "left" like Naomi Klien or Chomsky have not already said however.

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.....

I hope people will wake up to how rotten our govt is and vote to do something about it.

They just did. Were you asleep at the time? They have just voted to make themselves poor by the biggest cuts in history whilst Toff and Toffer have cut corporation tax.

I always thought standing up for the individual against capitalism made me a lefty. Clearly I'm out of date in my label. Whatever the new on is I am happy to be a "whatever it is I am". :D

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For those of you who are stuck in the old Left/Right debate, you are missing the bigger picture. Consider this about the Bailouts: It was a right-winger who bailed out all of the big banks, Fannie Mae, and AIG in the first place; then his left winger successor continued to pour more money into the fire pit.

What difference did the Left/Right dynamic make? Almost none whatsoever.

Must the Left and Right disagree on everything to be viable?

Surely the question is more WHY the bailouts were done: protecting savers' deposits and an orderly economy or lining pockets of undeserving rich?

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The only reason corporations are our enemy is that the state is too powerful, has control over too much of our productive output, and is unable to wield that power democratically. The state has its hands on too much our money which it insists on confiscating or borrowing to spend on our "behalf". Additionally most of its expenditure lacks any public scrutiny. It these things were addressed it would turn the state into a non-entity rather than a fattened calf. Subsequently corporations would never have bothered trying to subvert or capture the state, and might have worked harder on providing products and services that people actually wanted to buy.

Oh yes of course! Corporations, that is organisations whose only reason for existing is to make profit regardless of external costs to the rest of society or the environment, are obviously the guardians of liberty and democracy and human well being and infinately preferable to a social democratic state. How silly of me. Only thing is, errr...the drive for profit subverts everything because the corporation is a "psychopathic" entity by it's very nature. Comprende?

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Only thing is, errr...the drive for profit subverts everything because the corporation is a "psychopathic" entity by it's very nature. Comprende?

Corporations behaviour are defined by that of their leaders. It's the CEOs that are behaving psychotically, as permitted (and often encouraged) by the general population.

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Oh yes of course! Corporations, that is organisations whose only reason for existing is to make profit regardless of external costs to the rest of society or the environment, are obviously the guardians of liberty and democracy and human well being and infinately preferable to a social democratic state. How silly of me. Only thing is, errr...the drive for profit subverts everything because the corporation is a "psychopathic" entity by it's very nature. Comprende?

The paradox being that corporations only give the people what they want. The goal of a truly democratic state is to produce the exact same result.

Funny old world :)

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The big corporations have taken over political life, especially in America, which is why they spend huge sums on bank rolling the "right" candidates.

In many senses democracy at the moment is dead.

Indeed. No Left or Right, just Zionism.

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Corporations behaviour are defined by that of their leaders. It's the CEOs that are behaving psychotically, as permitted (and often encouraged) by the general population.

But the CEO's would argue that they are in turn puppets of market forces- which must be true to some degree.

So real villain of the piece is the idea that the free market can form the template for our entire society- that all values can be reduced to number of some sort in the form of a price tag.

So we have spent the last decade or so trying to shoehorn all of our values into a price discovery machine that is too dumb to assimilate them- and we wonder why they come out all mangled.

The left/right paradigm is not over, it has simply been re-purposed- it's function now is to distract and misdirect the population, like a game show. It creates a spurious sense of engagement and empowerment but the real power has migrated elsewhere.

One of these must be true, but which one?

1) Profits are more important than people

2) People are more important than profits

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But the CEO's would argue that they are in turn puppets of market forces- which must be true to some degree.

So real villain of the piece is the idea that the free market can form the template for our entire society- that all values can be reduced to number of some sort in the form of a price tag.

So we have spent the last decade or so trying to shoehorn all of our values into a price discovery machine that is too dumb to assimilate them- and we wonder why they come out all mangled.

The left/right paradigm is not over, it has simply been re-purposed- it's function now is to distract and misdirect the population, like a game show. It creates a spurious sense of engagement and empowerment but the real power has migrated elsewhere.

Like blacks vs. white, immigrants vs. natives, bomers vs. gen x, etc.

One of these must be true, but which one?

1) Profits are more important than people

2) People are more important than profits

3) Morals? Could we blame the Church for failing to do its job? :)

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They just did. Were you asleep at the time? They have just voted to make themselves poor by the biggest cuts in history whilst Toff and Toffer have cut corporation tax.

I always thought standing up for the individual against capitalism made me a lefty. Clearly I'm out of date in my label. Whatever the new on is I am happy to be a "whatever it is I am". :D

Standing up for the individual makes you a Libertarian (as opposed to an Authoritarian)

IMHO the distinction between Libertarian and Authoritarian is more significant that the difference between 'Left' and 'Right'. Authoritarian regimes all end up behaving in a very similar fashion, whether they are nominally of the Left or the Right

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Nothing has changed, the corporations were always in charge.

"As long as politics is the shadow cast on society by big business, the attenuation of the shadow will not change the substance." - John Dewey.

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The only reason corporations are our enemy is that the state is too powerful, has control over too much of our productive output, and is unable to wield that power democratically. The state has its hands on too much our money which it insists on confiscating or borrowing to spend on our "behalf". Additionally most of its expenditure lacks any public scrutiny. It these things were addressed it would turn the state into a non-entity rather than a fattened calf. Subsequently corporations would never have bothered trying to subvert or capture the state, and might have worked harder on providing products and services that people actually wanted to buy.

Oh, it's a lot worse than you might think.

Public finances are one of my sidelines, and I'm involved in projects that are currently attempting to drill down into the numbers.

To be blunt, the public finances aren't just a mess; they are a joke -- an explosive joke. There are figures that no one in government seems to know what they are for, or where the money has actually gone: they struggle to account for quite large sums. The MOD has failed its audit. Quoted figures change. Sums do not make sense.

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Oh, it's a lot worse than you might think.

Public finances are one of my sidelines, and I'm involved in projects that are currently attempting to drill down into the numbers.

To be blunt, the public finances aren't just a mess; they are a joke -- an explosive joke. There are figures that no one in government seems to know what they are for, or where the money has actually gone: they struggle to account for quite large sums. The MOD has failed its audit. Quoted figures change. Sums do not make sense.

Then you should pick your time and blow it wide open. Leak it, whisteblow, post the damn lot anonymously to the Telegraph or something.

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Amerika seems to be far further down this road than the UK.

S510 effectively bans the growing of food by private individuals, and BP has managed to almost completely suppress news of the environmental and human health catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Guest UK Debt Slave

Indeed.

GloboCorp > Nation State.

As their deputy bankster in chief said today:-

"We want you to buy their sh1t"

It's not even concealed anymore. Corporations are the State.

Paddy Chayefsky had it right when he scripted the movie Network (1976)

Arthur Jensen's Corporate Cosmology speech sums it up beautifully

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzSj1yNZdY8&feature=related

How prophetic!

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The paradox being that corporations only give the people what they want. The goal of a truly democratic state is to produce the exact same result.

Funny old world :)

Corporations steal people's time

Govt ministers steal taxpayers money thru cheating the system - not one has been sent to prison.

Why would you want to be 'absorbed' into the body(corp) of an alien culture that is all encompassing (Global)? Just for ego + money?

Corporations increasingly steal

From their workers families

Demand free overtime

created an atmosphere of fear of job loss (except those at the top, whose millions of looted pounds are written into their 'golden parachutes' for failure )

Created a system whereby you need a 6-10x annual wage mortgage to try to buy a poxy hovel (which over the past few decades have been deliberately reduced in size by one of the few big builder corporations and crammed in one on top of the other)

Traffic jams are caused deliberately to steal your family time from you - it really is Satanic!

Once they stick these snooping/tracker black boxes in cars the Govt should be forced not to get any money in excise duties for cars stationary in jams. ie they have to pay the taxes back.

We will soon see the traffic jams starting to ease!

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  • 150 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
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      • Even
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      • up 5%



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