Comrade Karl And “Crony Capitalism”

This will be another short and sweet post.  I’ll get in, get out and leave you to ponder what it means to you.

I’ve noticed that Comrade Karl, like most Leftists, seems to have a problem understanding the language.  I suppose it’s connected to their break with objective reality, but that is a topic for another post.  What concerns me is that he does not seem to be able to understand basic definitions.  Case in point: “crony capitalism.”

Comrade Karl claims that crony capitalism is the inevitable result of capitalism without control.  OK, so here are a few questions for Karl:

1 — Is it still capitalism if you have to re-name it “crony capitalism?”

2 — Since we literally have hundreds of thousands of pages of laws and regulations on the books (i.e. controls), how can you call what we have “uncontrolled capitalism?”

3 — If we have what you call “crony capitalism” with all these controls, how can you say that “crony capitalism” is caused by a lack of controls?

4 — If we developed crony capitalism with all these socialist controls in place, doesn’t that actually mean that crony capitalism is caused by socialist meddling in the free market?

5 — And doesn’t THAT mean that socialist meddling destroys the free market and not capitalism?

6 — Finally, why did Marx have to invent his own term and definition (i.e. capitalism) to address something that already existed: the FREE market?  It seems to me he did that to bias the entire debate in his direction, not to address the real world as it is, where paper boys and little girls with a lemonade stand can participate in free trade (unless, of course, those socialist regulations get in the way).

Just wondering, Comrade 🙂

19 thoughts on “Comrade Karl And “Crony Capitalism”

  1. I figure Marx created the term mainly for the same reason the surrounding culture called the “people of the way” at Antioch “Christians”. They meant it as a slur, but the followers of Jesus said “Thank you for giving us the lovely title that is so much shorter than what we’ve been calling ourselves. We’ll adopt it as our own.” In a similar fashion, my denominational forebears were called “anabaptists”, also as a slur. We turned around and adopted it as our name for ourselves “baptists”. I think Marx was just trying to make those who didn’t like go on the defensive. Instead, those who owned capital and used it in the free market, adopted the term as their own.

    • Ah, but there’s one of the rubs. The way our system works, you don’t have to “own” the capital. In fact, you can use the system very much like the politician uses the govt. People give you money for a ‘share,’ you then use the money as you see fit and, if you feel like it, you can give the investors a dividend but, as it usually works now, the investor has no say over how the company runs nor does he/she get anything for their investment — unless or until they sell those shares. So, essentially, the capitalist can be and is often the user Karl accuses him of being — under our current system.

      But I would note I differentiate between capitalism as it is today and the free market. And I think that has something to do with why Marx really invented the term: because an honest person has to agree with his criticism of capitalism as it is today, but no one would agree with his criticism regarding the free market.

      • I tend to agree with you. My husband’s father is an construction contractor and a very successful capitalist. My husband doesn’t work with him because Dad occasionally decides not to pay his workers “because none of them work hard enough” and has been known to not pay his sub-contractors, pull up stakes and move to another state, usually while leaving a partner holding the bag. I’m sure there are government officials in several states who have had their wheels greased with Dad’s silver. That sort of capitalist deserves Marx’s (and our) scorn. .

        There are still “free market” capitalists operating on Mainstreets throughout the nation, I think. A lot of small businesses at least operate like the free market used to operate. Unfortunately, it’s not a level playing field. A small business trying to compete against a megacorporation hasn’t been very successful since FDR.

        • Capitalism rewards those who grease the wheels. Why would any rational actor in a capitalist system not grease the wheels? Because it is ‘wrong?’ Hahahahaha.

          My definition of capitalism is the existence of private property.

          A free-market is an ideal situation where nobody cheats and corporations and capitalist can have social responsibility and put rule of law before profits. This can never happen, because in a capitalist system the goal of the game isn’t play by the rules, it is make the money. It also helps that money helps you create or get around regulations that hurt your competition.

          I use crony-capitalism as a word to emphasize the inherit corruptibility of private property.

          • “A free-market is an ideal situation where nobody cheats and corporations and capitalist can have social responsibility and put rule of law before profits. This can never happen,”

            Funny, you get the definition correct and then miss that this has happened — at least, as much as man is capable of ever doing anything to perfection. In fact, it still happens today, just not in immoral and/or corrupt societies.

            Then you go back to equivocating and insisting on a definition designed to affirm your assertions. That’s a fallacy, Karl 😉

            • A free-market like this has never happened, someone out there is always greasing the wheels, profitability and the incentive for profit, demands profit.

              • Karl,

                The ironic part is that — in spite of admitting there will always be corruption — you still believe YOUR idea of how things should be can happen.

                You’ll forgive me if I say this makes you beyond foolish.

                • It is funny how you believe capitalism can work, and admit it doesn’t. You don’t provide an example of your system, resolving this problem.

                  Socialism is the end of private property, a man would not be able to corrupt the system because the system would be in the hands of the people. How do you corrupt the people, when the people already own it all?

                  • Karl,

                    The free market exists in every economic system. It is the reason your economic model can ever appear to function — because it is actually propped up by the free market operating within it. You just don’t recognize the free market, so you don’t see that your types usually call it the “black” market.

                    In reality, YOU are the one who has yet to provide an example of your economic model working as envisioned. Mine is everywhere.

                    • (sarcasm)sex slaves and drugs, yay free- markets, wow the markets in those products sure are not corrupt. respecting everyone’s dignity(sarcasm) and making a profit at the same time.

                      The failure of capitalism is all around you. you are just blind to the fact that crony capitalism is capitalism.

          • Karl, the number of small business people I know who do not “grease the wheels” and still manage to make a decent income belies your contention.

            As a friend of mine who is a small business owner put it a while ago “My goal is to make money, but I don’t want to feel like I’ve swam in sewage to make it.” Thus, he follows morals and exercises ethics in his business dealings. And, he still makes money. He is no more and no less well-off than his competitors.

            Under your scenario, he wouldn’t have an incentive to work the many hours it takes to have a successful business. He’d be nothing more than a slave to the collective.

            Well, of course, that’s if collectivism actually worked — which it hasn’t yet. Instead, whoever did Jon’s job would most likely be getting paid a nice lifestyle by the party leaders, who would be pandering the “workers paradise” while everybody below a certain level would be slaves to the system. Witness China, the former Soviet Union, the former Eastern-bloc countries. Communism has never worked for the workers, not once, in all the 20th century experiments.

            • Your friend is a SMALL business owner, and he doesn’t seem to have much ambition beyond that. He is an irrational actor blinded by morals and ethics, while the big boys make the big easy money. You parrot non-sense from the john birch society, but have you actually read about the current state of the former soviet sates, do you know how much the quality of life has decreased, how essentially the fall of the soviet regime spelled disaster for the people. That is true, even with the fact that the soviet union was third rate socialism. Imagine what a united, focused empowered american working class could do. If america would organize into a system where labor controlled labor, where the people’s goal, wasn’t to derive profits from their fellow men, but to produce for their needs. Sure that would mean you could not live in a mansion, but it would mean so much for the working class to have stability and power. Today we work for other men, some of these men work for their capital others inherit, the source of their capital does not matter. What matters is that they now derive profits from the working class.

  2. Karl,

    The hard working capitalist supports the lazy socialist. Your perfect socialist workers paradise will never exist because of human nature. How long will you plow the field to produce food while your socialist peer’s lay around and smoke dope or drink all day and expect you to feed them. The only way your Utopia would exist is if all the workers had the same ethics and worked equally hard for the other. Never going to happen.

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