Car-tel it Like It Is

Back in the dear dead days  of (not so)long ago, when we in the US didn’t live with organized street violence, and we looked with horror over the border at Mexico, I remember reading that the big drug cartels were tolerant, even encouraging, of the Mexican government’s occasional targeting of the smaller such cartels.  Eliminating small independent start-up competitors only made  it easier for the  big  cartels —so big the govt would  never take them  on, so big they had in fact comfortably infiltrated the govt — to consolidate and increase their power.

This is analogous to what we’ve seen in 2020.  It was not the corporate retail giants who were locked down.  Walmart, CVS, Home Depot, McDonald’s— those were the only places we could shop.

And this explains why “Big business” in the US is so Leftist.  It’s great for them if independent restauranteurs , and any other independent shopkeeperS, are shuttered, and then  pilloried as ignorant rednecks  when they do dare to try to reopen.

And now, the Left is cautiously optimistic again, and the big businesses can dare to hope that “re-opening” was, after all, an ill-advised and precipitous error.  Covid on the rise again! (Although deaths aren’t,  which is the outcome we should all be hoping for: let the virus proliferate, in the process of which it will become less virulent,  and immunity more widespread.)   It won’t be long now, till we see glossy ads ordering us back to the convalescent home, with the corporate giants reassuring us that’s it’s ok, they forgive  us our impetuosity, and they’ll “help”—again.

Did it ever make any sense, in terms of disease control,  to force everybody into the big box stores?

And this corporate anti-small-business philosophy is presently combined with actual physical destruction of independent shops all over Main Street USA : if the lockdown (and now, Possibly lockdown redux,   after those businesses have just re-stocked)   somehow failed to finish them off, we’ve got mobs ready to burn ‘n’ pillage.  Why not?  These small shopkeepers are all exploitative capitalists anyway, right?  Yea, verily, nod the corporate colossi.

I keep replaying on endless loop a line one of my favorite arias from Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor: 

Vorrei piangere, ma non posso: m’abbandona  il pianto ancor’ !


(I want to weep but I can’t: even tears have abandoned me. )


5 thoughts on “Car-tel it Like It Is”

  1. Most corporations have become as much of an enemy of the American people as Black Lives Matter, Antifa, the Democratic Party, and the People’s Republic of China (but I repeat myself).

  2. America is an uneasy alliance of of centralized mercantile, real estate, information, monetary, and governance criminal cartels?  Perceptive!   Given a bank of dials, turn their values to cartels’ maximum advantage.  Given the abundance of golden eggs everywhere, get rid of the geese and their messes.  It cannot be treason if cartels themselves sum to the State.  Justice is then not blind.  Justice is a streetwalker whose advertisement is not her goods.

  3. Very perceptive observation, Hypatia.

    This is reminiscent of Mancur Olson’s 1982 book, “The Rise & Decline of Nations”.  Over history, what the human race has repeatedly seen is the guys at the top of the pyramid change the rules to protect their own position and further enrich themselves.  The overhead bureaucracy to enforce those rules grows and becomes burdensome.  Over time, this limits innovation, entrenches mediocrity, and impoverishes the general population — leading ultimately to the collapse of every civilization which has preceded ours — from the forgotten Phoenicians to the unlamented British Empire.

    Sadly, the lessons have not been learned, and Western society is currently on that same well-trodden path.  However, from the perspective of the Davoise, life just now is good and “Apres moi, le deluge” for all they care.

  4. Libertarians have been arguing for decades that corporations are creations of the state and, consequentially, its natural allies and no friends of liberty.  Here are three essays on the subject from The Libertarian Enterprise:

    This sentiment is the foundation of the argument presented in my 2020-06-03 post here, “L. Neil Smith: ‘There ought to be a law!’ ” which proposes a solution to the problem of infringements on free speech by  “private” corporations.

    It is also worth noting that in some cases it is the state’s tax policy which forces businesses to incorporate.  My computer hardware company, Marinchip Systems, which had gotten along just fine for several years as a partnership, was forced to incorporate in 1981 because its rapid growth threatened me and my partner with personal bankruptcy because the company’s inventory of components and work in progress was accounted for as “profit” to the partners for which they had an immediate tax liability without any income to pay.  Incorporating, of course, invites the camel’s nose under the tent, which is one reason they effectively force you to do it.  Amusingly, the corporation, which hasn’t done any business or filed any forms since 1985, still exists as an empty husk.

  5. Today there’s an article by Curtis Ellis up on American Greatness: It’s Not Left vs. Right, it’s Big vs. Small.

    that’s what I was saying, less artfully, in this post.

    The lockdown of all small businesses while we were thrown on the tender, leftist mercies of the colossi, is the Soviet destruction of the kulaks (rich peasants)to force everybody on to the collective farms.

    At one  point Ellis points out that everything socialism promised, capitalism has now done.   (Nowhere, btw, is this truer than in medicine..)

    Just a coda to my post—if anybody is still reading,Please do read  the AmGreatness article.


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