Crony Capitalism Is Phony Capitalism
That little gem is from a new page on Facebook, called “Crony Capitalism is Phony Capitalism.” Now, you may be wondering why I posted this. I mean yes, it’s kinda cute (c’mon, this is the postmodern 21st century, zombies and Cthulhu are automatically cute), short, pithy, and expresses a libertarian message, even if it generalizes it. A lot. But a 30-second video from a Facebook page? Really?
The reason I did so is because I feel this is the Number #1 message we need to be getting out there (well, that and how feeling up women at airports is just wrong.) Back in college, when I argued about government intervention in the marketplace, “corporatism” and “crony capitalism” were just not mentioned. It was an important discovery for me when I found these terms, because previously I had been just trying to defend capitalism, no adjectives. It was difficult, because everyone associated large businesses ripping them off with the capitalist system, and they just could not understand how government so heavily involved itself in the market, but that system was not what we libertarians were espousing. Oh, how useful these new terms were! How sharp were their blades in cutting away the web of lies! How deep were their inkwells in writing the new papers blogs on liberty and the free market!
For awhile, I thought they were really weren’t catching on, despite their power, but lately I’ve been seeing this terms crop up in many places outside of libertarian circles. They appared in the comments section on a Conor Friedersdorf piece about libertarians engaging Occupy Wall Street. I think I saw “corporatism” on a sign at Occupy Wall Street (or one of the Occupations, anyways.) And now we have crony capitalism showing up in a video with zombies. And a few other places as well, that I can’t remember off the top of my head.
If we can get the rest of the public to understand the basic difference between capitalism and corporatism/crony capitalism, I think we’ll change the very discussion that occurs on a daily basis at the heart of American democracy. It won’t be about left-wing “liberals” versus right-wing “conservative” anymore. That discussion will jump the shark. Instead, we’ll have big government statists contesting with small-government libertarians—and with the data that continues to pour in during this recession, I think we’ll know which side will emerge victorious in this.
If you want to read more about zombies in the corporate marketplace, take a look at this 2009 article from BusinessWeek. I read this back in the day after Obama took office, and wondered if this was what it was all coming to. Well, as the economy continues to shuffle sluggishly towards the cliff like a zombified lemming, it seems like it has.