Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Barack as new auto industry CEO

I am just fascinated by the number of people, in blog comments and elsewhere, who see nothing especially remarkable about the president of the United States deciding who gets to be CEO of a major corporation. I know, I know . . . he who pays the piper, and all; a private lender likely would have exerted the same pressure, etc. etc. But this is the government and POTUS, with the power to imprison or execute. To me it just seems shocking, and the Register's editorial reflected that.

The WaPo's sketch writer, Dana Milbank, had a hilarious take on the situation, casting Barack as the car-salesman-in-chief. I suggested in the Register's Orange Punch blog that the system we're veering toward and on thing we really are doing in a bipartisan manner -- is not so much socialism as fascism. As the great Old Right journalist John Flynn pointed out long ago in his book "As We Go Marching," (one of my seminal influences some 40 years ago) at an economic level fascism leaves nominal business ownership in private hands but government has the power to commandeer companies and make sure they operate for the State's benefit -- the Corporate State as they called it. Fascism also sees individualism and selfishness as the worst of all possible thoughtcrimes. We got a fairly lively discussion going among commenters.

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