Those who are opposed to Obama's totalitarian government takeover of the health care system should be wary of thinking that the tussle over it is a struggle between leftists who favor socialism and pro-Big Business proponents of the private sector economy. They'll get a better idea of the truth from an CSMonitor.com article (Burdened by healthcare costs, US businesses seek a shift) that appeared back in February, 2007. This was well before Obama became the focus of America's collapse into socialism. The article focused on an event at which "Wal-Mart chief executive Lee Scott took the stage… alongside representatives of a major labor union to kick off a campaign called 'Better Health Care Together.' The aim of this unlikely partnership is to extend coverage to all Americans by 2012…" According to the article "Wal-Mart was joined by other major companies: Intel, AT&T and Kelly Services." Another online article, (Wal-Mart, SEIU Outline Themes to Meet Health Coverage Goal by 2012) makes clear that the union with which these corporate giants joined forces was the now infamous SEIU.
Of course, the SEIU is presently making internet waves on account of its bully-boy tactics against people who question or reject Obama's takeover scheme. What are we to make of this alliance between Obama's henchmen and such large corporate interests?
The answer is simple: both favor an eventual government takeover of health care costs. This is hardly surprising from a leftist union. A little sense of history makes it less surprising from the corporate side than might otherwise be the case.
In late nineteenth to mid-twentieth century America, many Americans earned their living in company towns. The company was their landlord. It owned the store where they bought their food and other merchandise. It probably had the lion's share of interest in the local bank from which they obtained mortgages and other loans. The managerial class it represented also controlled (through charitable and philanthropic institutions) the institutions that addressed social welfare problems (soup kitchens, orphanages, care for the disabled, and the like.) Given the company's clout, local government officials, including local law enforcement officers, tread carefully around its interests and the representatives of its power. In effect, such towns represented a local form of dictatorial socialism, with the corporate elite as the 'party bosses' dictating the content and enforcement of policy. Let's call this kind of governance local "corporate socialism."
At first, modern unions came into being to challenge corporate socialism. As their membership and solidarity grew, the American political system eventually allowed unions to translate their organization and numbers into political clout. Thanks to this clout, government, particularly at the state level, could no longer be counted on to respect the wishes of the 'corporate party.' Unions pushed successfully for higher wages, and other benefits that cut into corporate profits. They influenced the legislative power of government to impose regulations intended to improve safety and other working conditions.
In response to the rising influence of the unions in the government sector the 'corporate party' devised a long term approach intended to shift the effective burden for satisfying these demands to the government, so that eventually their cost would be shifted back to the wage-earners. Under the plausible guise of 'progressive' reform the 'corporate party' took overall control of America's national income through the establishment of the Federal Reserve Bank system, and the implementation of the Federal income tax. The hardships of the Great Depression then provided the context for the first steps in shifting "social welfare" responsibilities to the government.
The Federal income tax was implemented on the false assumption that only a small percentage of income earners would ever be subject to the tax. But the New Deal's social insurance legislation (we now call it social security), provided good cover for implementing general payroll tax withholding, which had met with considerable resistance when the income tax was first imposed. When the withholding scheme expanded during WWII, all income earners were subjected to its terms.
Under local corporate socialism in the old company towns, companies often cut amounts for housing, utilities and payments due at the company store, leaving wage earners to live on the residue. In our times, as the national government moves to consolidate control over the banking system, access to health care and control of corporate management, American earners find themselves once again living in a "company town", but this time on a national scale. Under national corporate socialism, however, the government acts as the collector of dues. The advantage of this arrangement is the perception that the government's actions reflect the will of the people, who must blame themselves (not business profiteers) for the burdensome costs and regulations imposed on them.
It's becoming increasingly clear, however, that earners (now taxpayers) under national corporate socialism will have no more say over the policies and choices they must live with than their predecessors, who lived under the local corporate socialist regime. What we have is the re-institution of the age old system of elite (oligarchic) rule that characterized human societies throughout most of history. The national corporate socialist coalition, by hijacking and devaluing the structures of representative government, deprives the people at large of any political avenues through which to challenge their elite masters. We appreciate the full extent of this deprivation only when we accept the fact that under the present so-called two party system, both parties now represent and implement the basic premises of national corporate socialist control.
Is this why Congressmen and Senators now take offense at the questions of their constituents, scolding them in tones reminiscent of haughty aristocrats? Does it explain why Obama presumes to silence all opposition, as though he should reign unquestioned, like some absolute monarch? Does it explain the Republican Party's surrender to socialism at the critical turning point of the so-called bank rescue last fall? Does it explain the complicity of the corporate financed media, including supposedly conservative personalities, in preventing scrutiny of the questionable evidence that supports Obama's claim to the Presidency?
It's important to note that in the expression 'national corporate socialism' the term "national" is used in a strictly geographic sense. The ideological leftists and the corporate entities that have joined forces in the national corporate socialist coalition, long ago abandoned all allegiance to the concept of the "nation" as a focus of moral or political allegiance. No gods command their loyalty but Power and Profit and they respect no boundaries in their ambitious pursuit of both. This distinguishes the new national corporate socialism from the national socialism that gave Adolf Hitler's Nazi party its name. (This also distinction has a moral dimension that I will discuss in my next post.)
The leftist elements of the national corporate socialist coalition pretend to be interested in egalitarian access to goods and services. The corporate elements cast themselves as problem solvers. In fact both are interested mainly in consolidating control of power and resources so as to eliminate the decisive role of the people at large. The governing 'ism' ultimately turns out to be 'elitism'. The ultimate goal- overthrow of government of, by and for the people. That's why the reassertion of liberty, and a common will to defeat every element of the corporate socialist strategy for its destruction, need to be the rallying points for all Americans who wish to remain a free people. It's also why such people should trust no leaders, parties or media they do not fashion for themselves.