The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewPaul Craig Roberts Archive
Gangster State Capitalism
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeThanksLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Hanne Herland of the European Herland Report has just had her book published in which she argues that the ruling elite has resurrected feudalism by financializing the economy and offshoring middle class jobs. The title is New Left Tyranny, but it is about gangster state capitalism.

Historically, capitalism freed labor from bondage by making labor the private property of the person. Serfs who owed labor obligations to lords became free individuals. Free labor markets and emergent capitalism made productive by technological advancements created with time rising living standards and a free people determined to protect their independence by holding government accountable.

This system was eventually wrecked by banks that financialized the economy and diverted discretionary personal income to the payment of interests and fees to banks, and by global corporations that moved first world jobs to Asia, thus raising their profits at the expense of domestic consumer purchasing power and living standards. The result was the concentration of income and wealth in the hands of a few multi-billionaires.

First world work forces were re-enserfed as part-time jobs with no health or pension benefits replaced the security of a middle class existence. Corporate investment in the US ceased as corporations used their profits to buy back their own stocks, thus raising share prices and maximizing executive bonuses and shareholders’ capital gains. This selfish management of corporations brought economic growth to a halt. The ladders of upward mobility were dismantled.

Growing economic uncertainty for larger numbers of people put further stress on already stressed marriage and family relationships. Years of attacks by left-wing intellectuals on Western principles and values, the re-writing of history to serve left-wing agendas, the dilution of national identity in diversity and multiculturalism, and the teaching of race and gender hatreds by Identity Politics has produced a disunited and dysfunctional society. In the US the Democrat Party has abandoned the working class it once championed, labeling blue collar workers “the Trump deplorables.”

Everywhere in the Western World Towers of Babel are being erected. The ethnic nationalities that constituted a country are becoming increasingly alienated from their country as it ceases to be theirs. In France, Sweden, and Germany law favors immigrant-invaders over the ethnicities—French, Swedes, Germans—that gave the countries their names. Ethnic nationalities are also under attack from the European Union whose purpose is to replace European ethnicities with “Europeans” of no ethnicity. Everywhere the bonds that held things together are being severed.

Tyranny can be the only outcome.

Democracy is touted, but everywhere in the Western World the traditional ethnicities feel powerless and unable to affect how they are governed. Dissent is censored by the ruling elites who have in place powerful means to control explanations and to implement agendas that the people do not support.

ORDER IT NOW

Capitalism, no longer productive, has turned to looting. Privatization is the method. First it was third world countries that were looted. Then the weaker first world countries such as Greece, which lost its municipal water companies and ports. Real estate speculators made a grab for the country’s protected islands. Now it is the public sectors of the First World countries that are being looted. Regulations that protect the environment are ignored or withdrawn so that private firms can plunder national forests and mine wildlife refuges. Valuable public assets are sold at prices below value to well-connected elites. For example, the British post office was sold to a private company at a fraction of the value of the properties it owned. France sold off its public companies. New private firms are created, the revenues of which come entirely from public budgets. The number of private businesses today whose only revenues come from some government’s budget is stunning.

The examples of politicians creating private businesses for politically-connected people by assigning the provision of various government services to private companies is endless. The state of Florida has contracted out to a private firm the issuance of new vehicle license tags. Will driver’s licenses be next? Soldiers no longer perform guard duty or KP. The army is fed and guarded by private contractors. https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-xpm-1986-06-12-0230100171-story.html

The claim is always made that it is less costly and saves taxpayers money to rely on the private sector, but it always costs much more. Individuals working for private military contractors, for example, earn between $9,000 and $22,500 per month. If the person is working abroad, $104,100 of his earnings are tax free under the IRS foreign earned income inclusion. A soldier earns $1,468 a month. A captain’s pay is $4,952.

In the US traditional government functions are being turned over to newly created “private” companies that have no customers but the government. Soon the US government will be merely a revenue collector that hands out money to private firms.

Private billionaires will have superseded the government just as in the feudal age Dukes, earls, and barons superseded the king.

Support Your Website. Donate: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/pages/donate/

(Republished from PaulCraigRoberts.org by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Economics, Ideology • Tags: Neoliberalism, Privatization 
Hide 17 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. Like Tony the tiger…RRRRRight .Now what?

  2. In 18th Century France not only did Dukes, earls, and barons supersede the king but they evaded and outright refused to pay taxes. The state collapsed and the nobility then paid with their heads.

  3. Dutch Boy says:

    Finance Capitalism (aka usury) has been part of Capitalism since it began in Northern Italy. Because Capitalism creates an economic imbalance between production and consumption by paying the lowest possible wages to workers to maximize profits, usury is needed to address the imbalance. Of course, this is a cure that makes the disease worse, since the usurious profits are coming from the working class and going to the ownership class. The inevitable result is the periodic crashes that characterize the Capitalist economic system. This cycle was mitigated somewhat by the creation of labor unions which increased the bargaining power of the working class but those days are long gone for most workers. Outsourcing and robotics have extinguished that power. As Dr. Roberts has pointed out, socialists sold out long ago and now are functionaries of the neo-liberal economic order rather than advocates for the working class. They offer the Capitalists access to cheap labor via outsourcing and mass immigration and the Capitalists offer them sexual license and government sinecures in return. The powerless working class gets whatever freebies our overlords deem politically expedient.

    • Replies: @Curmudgeon
  4. This author is a right wing progressive, a red state authoritarian. Like his leftist bretheran, Roberts is contemptuous of economic understanding. He seems to dream up cause and effect to suit his feelings.

    He claims “banks” financialized the economy, depriving consumers of their discretionary income by luring them into debt and the bondage of interest payments. “Banks” are undefined: are they voluntary entities like shoe stores and grocers? Or are they participants in a coercively ordered cartel, backed the the force of the state, able to extract profits and socialize losses thanks to state sponsored central banks (which Roberts elsewhere indicates he favors as good and needed). Is the financialization due to voluntary social dysfunction, i.e. the “excesses” of “cutthroat capitalism”? Or is the bondage of excess debt a consequence of central banking monetary inflation?

    Roberts doesn’t seem to know or care. He doesn’t seem to think about cause and effect concerning questions such as these, which is the philosophy of economic theory of which he is ignorant. It’s easy to indict “capitalism” as guilty of causing impoverishment. But it’s a false charge.

    Likewise, Roberts charges “capitalism” with the supposedly unjust enrichment of “billionaires” who engage in world wide free trade, a process that extends and deepens the division of labor internationally, that raises productivity, and increases real incomes for everyone. But as a dyed in the wool progressive, Roberts thinks this outbreak of productive enterprise and cross border deal making is nefarious, causing “outsourcing of jobs” and the erosion of living standards for Americans who are not millionaires.

    Gosh. Where have I heard this argument before?

    Roberts has again blamed “capitalism”, evidently indifferent to sound economic reasoning, and ignorant of the law of comparative advantage. He is silent when it comes to impoverishment inflicted by massive government spending, regulatory strangulation, and endless money printing–all of which decapitalize business enterprises and lower real incomes and wages.

    But impoverishment caused by mauruding and looting states doesn’t seem to impress Mr. Roberts, who vents his spleen on undefined “capitalism”.

    What intelligent person can take this writer seriously?

  5. I am not impressed by the “law” of comparative advantage. It might apply here and there but for the most part, what a country is good at depends on what its government and people want it to be good at. This is very fluid and should not be used to excuse longstanding exploitative relationships. When I was a kid Japan and China were semi-feudal non-technological societies. Now look!

    • Agree: animalogic
    • Replies: @Mark Humphrey
  6. Dwr says:
    @Mark Humphrey

    Outsourcing is not the same as conventional free trade. Also free trade can have negative impacts.

    You avoided the issue of privatization.

    • Replies: @Mark Humphrey
  7. @Mark Humphrey

    Is Financialisation &
    ” the bondage of excess debt a consequence of central banking monetary inflation?”
    CB “inflation” is an effect of Financialisation. The greatest chunks of inflation have been in response to FIRE sector problems (ie QE after the GFC)
    Many of your “billionaires” did not gain their wealth via “productivity” but by government & CB backed speculation. Indeed, much of this “wealth” has been purely parasitic — ie private equity, hedge funds buying up healthy Co’s for the purpose of sucking them dry like a spider on a fly (cf: the “vampire squid”).
    PCR largely rejects the
    the concept of “comparative advantage” in today’s world — it’s “absolute advantage”. The US people have received very minimal advantage by exporting 10’s of millions of good jobs off shore & importing millions of H1B like immigrants to suck up existing US good jobs for minimal wages.
    “He is silent when it comes to impoverishment inflicted by massive government spending, regulatory strangulation, and endless money printing–”
    He’s not silent — he interprets it differently. Your massive government spending & massive tax cuts have benefited the 1 % not the 99%.
    As for “undefined capitalism” & your various other carps about lack of definition: this is an article not a book.

  8. Ko says:

    If you think it’s bad now, wait until the Great Reset occurs and Ripple becomes the new master over all commerce, trade and finance. The New World Order is about to launch, and Brad Garlinghouse will be OZ – behind the curtain and in control of your life. The Bilderberg terrorists will be smiling as the play with the world as if everyone is their puppet. As they do now.

  9. Capitalism’s fundamental economic premise is the exploitation of one class by another. The ideals of the Enlightenment – equality, individuality, democracy – must inevitably collapse into the institutionalized injustice we have now, because of the primacy of the private accumulation of capital over all other concerns. Even capitalism’s most determined alternative, communism, has blindly accepted the capitalist mismeasure of a human being as nothing more than a “worker.”

    This is a more accurate historical analysis of how capitalism enslaved, rather than liberated, humanity https://dissidentvoice.org/2020/03/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-work-society/#more-102106

  10. @Dutch Boy

    socialists sold out long ago

    Sorry, I have to disagree. There are people who call themselves socialists – like Bernie Sanders – who aren’t. Just as there are RINOs, they could be called SINOs.
    Further, it hasn’t helped that the (((news media))) labels everything they don’t like as “socialist” or “fascist” to muddy the waters further.
    I have long maintained that that the left/right paradigm is dead and gone, and replaced with globalism and nationalism. Nationalism will, out of necessity, have elements of socialism, because it is what is best for the nation. Dr. Roberts, in this article, expresses that, perhaps without realizing it.

    It should be noted that the early 19th century socialists were seeking to remove capital from ownership of manufacturing, in essence, returning to a form of the guild system. There was still a Guild Socialist movement in Britain in the early 20th century, but has long since died off. Part of the socialist fearmongering is language. The old socialists when speaking of property theft, were were referring to the theft of the manufactured product which was considered the property of the person who produced it. Land and buildings are real property, because they are (were) considered immovable. We still have vestiges of that today. Stealing a tv set is a property crime, and the dwelling you purchase is real estate, or real property.
    There are real socialists still out there, and they form co-ops. I’m not going to try to put words into Dr. Robert’s mouth, but my take-away from this article is that real governments need to compete with finance capital to keep them honest. The Reagan/Thatcher “free hand” hasn’t worked, it’s just made things worse.

    • Replies: @Dutch Boy
  11. Dutch Boy says:
    @Curmudgeon

    That type of socialism is called Distributism. The typical socialist has no interest in that type of empowerment.

  12. @jack daniels

    Thanks Jack, your comment demonstrates you do not understand the law of comparative advantage, sadly. Read Adm Smith, David Ricardo, Ludvig von Mises, George Reisman among others. Heck, just read Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson. If you want to understand the subject on a basic level.

  13. @Dwr

    DWR, outsourcing is the same as trading, within or across borders. I outsource all labor I would otherwise devote to growing coffee in a greenhouse in northern USA. I outsource it to Columbia and other coffee growing regions. In Montana, we outsource labor for making automobiles, which we could build in state, but choose not to due to comparative advantage.

    Privatization whatever you take it to mean doesn’t matter when it comes to the issue of whether or not people ought to be free to buy from and sell to whomever they prefer.

    You believe free trade can have negative consequences overall, on average; which implies freedom is dangerous. What we need is a Good Central Planner…exactly what they’re still looking for in every socialist-fascist economy on earth.

  14. @Mark Humphrey

    I regret having written that PC Roberts is contemptuous of economic theory. I don’t know him or his state of mind; but it certainly seems to me he doesn’t think carefully or understand this subject.

    My comment about contempt slipped by my notice when I posted my earlier comment, sorry.

  15. @Mark Humphrey

    Dr Roberts can be sloppy with historical details as he is here. Capitalism did not end feudalism and create a free population. Large areas of Western Europe either did not have serfdom or what remained of it was abolished after the Black Death ( after 1347). It’s why Bavaria is called Freistaat Bayern.
    The servi of the Domesday Book ( 1086 ) were not serfs, but slaves ( the original Latin usage ) and are estimated to have been about 10% of the population. However, these were gone long before 1300. The rest of the population was free. Villeinage was not a social status, but a form of land tenure. The villein held his land in return for providing labour on the Lord’s demesne ( home farm ) for a specified number of days per year. Often, this was commuted to a payment in cash or kind. The Black Death killed of what remained of villeinage.
    So a free population living in a market economy existed in the Middle Ages long before the emergence of Capitalism ( after 1790 ). The date 1790 is important because Adam Smith ( 1723-90 ) did not use the term Capitalism. In fact, he did not know the term, as the word was coined after his death.

    Despite these quibbles, Dr Roberts is excellent on the actual economics, especially the disastrous effects of Financialism and Offshoring. Best of all, he has completely debunked the Theory of Comparative Advantage, which is treated as dogma by people like you. Dr Roberts demonstrates how it didn’t apply in Riccardo’s time and doesn’t now. He has written numerous articles on the subject. I would advise you to read them and start thinking critically, instead of regurgitating dogma.

  16. @verymuchalive

    Pretty certain you’re the duke of dogma. Comparative advantage has been articulated and explained by great economists from Smith through Ricardo, James and JS Mills, JB Say, Mises, Hayek, Reisman, Rothbard, Hazlitt, none of whom you have read, or if you did by happenstance, none of whom you understood.

    But you have read scribbles by Roberts, which blows your hair back.

    Good luck with your dogma.

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
  17. @Mark Humphrey

    Pretty certain you’re the duke of dogma. Comparative advantage has been articulated and explained by great economists from Smith through Ricardo, James and JS Mills, JB Say, Mises, Hayek, Reisman, Rothbard, Hazlitt, none of whom you have read, or if you did by happenstance, none of whom you understood.

    Although some stray quotes from Smith have been taken as supporting Comparative Advantage, the Theory of Comparative Advantage was not formulated until 1817, many years after Smith’s death.
    As the Wealth of Nations is encyclopaedic in nature, it has often been difficult for researchers to determine whether Smith was approving some course of action or merely describing what might happen in some ( hypothetical ) situation.
    Comparative Advantage is a theory and like all theories it can be disproved at any time. It is not a scientific theory, which can be subject to testing by experiments. It can however be tested by examining the historical evidence. The latter is overwhelmingly against Comparative Advantage.

    You then give a list of “great economists” whom you say I haven’t read or could understand. ( Note it is John Stuart Mill, not JS Mills ) You know nothing of me, so you presume too much. I have a degree in Economic History and have read all these writers, some many times. So I am very aware of the arguments they make.
    Amongst your list of “great economists”, you list modern libertarian writers like Mises, Hayek, Rothbard etc. This would be typical of someone who has dogmatic, libertarian views.

    I have been commenting on UR since its inception. I have over 1200 comments. This is the first time I have run into you. Given your comments on this article, I strongly suspect that you are here to troll the regulars. Unfortunately, you are not entertaining like tiny duck and the like, you’re just plain ignorant. I will not be wasting my breath on you in the future.

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to All Paul Craig Roberts Comments via RSS