An operating principle I articulate on this blog is that Capitalism is undergoing a regime change. In American history, one can loosely identify the following capitalist regimes:
(1) The Hamiltonian American School
(2) “American Laissez Faire” Reformist
(3) New Deal(War) Central Planning
(4) Bretton Woods
It’s beyond the scope of this post to give a history lesson on each school. I’ve done that in a number of previous posts. But suffice to say, I think we are entering into (6). This would be something along the lines of a permanent war driven insider/outsider political economy. That’s a rather long-winded descriptive, so I go with the short-hand description: National Corporatism. Or, let’s just go with an even simpler description: Oligarchy.
Think I’m being too extreme? Too radical? I don’t think so. I’m just telling you in advance what you are officially going to be told. And, I suppose now, everyone should officially consider themselves officially served. I didn’t watch the political stagecraft Tuesday Night, but it appears Obama used the occasion to indeed announce the arrival of this new era. The World Economic Rules have changed was the theme of the SOTU.
So POTUS has made it official. A new capitalist regime is at hand. But I’m sure Obama would take exception to any critique of the “New Rulez” as oligarchy. No, the “New Rulez” are all about “competitiveness.” In Competitiveness, we have an acting GE CEOheading up new White House Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
“We think GE has something to teach businesses all across America”
In Competitiveness, you have the RIAA’s star lawyer slated to become Solicitor General.
What actually is Competitiveness? It is competition for insider status in a Political Economy that plans against competition. So I would say in this regard that Obama’s high praise for GE is indeed a “teachable moment” for American business.
Of course, the empirical reality of “Competitiveness” differs from it’s casting in terms of political reality. In political reality, it’s the fierce urgency of “DoubleThink.”
“The rules have changed. In a single generation, revolutions in technology have transformed the way we live, work and do business. Steel mills that once needed 1,000 workers can now do the same work with 100. Today, just about any company can set up shop, hire workers, and sell their products wherever there’s an internet connection.
Meanwhile, nations like China and India realized that with some changes of their own, they could compete in this new world. And so they started educating their children earlier and longer, with greater emphasis on math and science. They’re investing in research and new technologies. Just recently, China became home to the world’s largest private solar research facility, and the world’s fastest computer.
The cognitive dissonance: The entrepreneur is a threat to the Status quo, thus the need of the Status quo to “breed” the entrepreneur. Actually, cognitive dissonance is the entrepreneur being a hero in one context and a threat in another context. DoubleThink is the art of simultaneously convincing oneself that the entrepreneur is both a hero and a threat without any “cognitive dissonance.” What you think about the entrepreneur depends on the immediate context.
Frankly, I don’t think at this point anyone with an internet connection is a threat to the status quo in “steel production.” But, I do think anyone with an internet connection is a potential threat to the status quo of IP. Of course, Obama appoints a RIAA lawyer to be the chief US government litigator.
The politics of “Competitiveness” always appeals to “Nationalism,” as if this thing represents some Nation-State struggle. Hardly…The so-called “Free Trade” agreements of today are actually primarily an instrument to unify the political classes against the entrepreneurial threat to the 21st Century Political Economy. “Competitiveness” is all about unifying the political classes. Frankly, if you tell me what the IP/Copyright laws will end up being at this century, I can tell you whether or not dystopia awaits the human race.