Republican Ignorance and Incuriosity Encourage Corporate-Government Collusion Against Liberty

In recent testimony before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, Canadian psychologist and author Dr. Jordan Peterson took pains to explain that the weaponization of government is only half the story. The other half is big business. Combined, this alliance between big government and big business is a threat to the freedom of all Americans.

Manager of Investigations at the The Daily Signal, Fred Lucas, offers an account of Jordan’s testimony that reminds me of the following exchange:

In 2008, on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, there was a lull in the heated, if not enlightening, debate over the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). In the back of the room, I turned to a colleague and remarked how, if enacted into law, the TARP (a.k.a., “the Wall Street Bailout”), would be a “great leap forward for the Servile State.”

My colleague, a noted economic policy wonk with a libertarian bent, stared blankly back at me.

“You know,” I said, trying a different tack, “that freedom sucking, business-government regime Belloc and Chesterton warned about?”

I then received the same blank stare, but it was now matched with a less than knowing smile. “Interesting.” My bemused, but apparently less than curious, colleague sauntered away.

Later, this prodded me to include the term “Servile State” in my 2012 book, Seize Freedom!: American Truths and Renewal in a Chaotic Age:

In Third Ways, Allan C. Carlson summarizes [Hillaire Belloc and G.K. Chesterton’s] concerns, saying that they believed “the welfare state, with its cradle-to-grave benefits such as health care and food stamps,” would merge with “monopoly capital into a ‘corporate state’ or ‘state capitalism…”

As Chesterton himself, expanded upon it:

Private things are already public in the worst sense of the word; that is, they are personal and dehumanized. Public things are already private in the worst sense of the word; that is, they are mysterious and secretive, and largely corrupt. The new sort of Business Government will combine everything that is bad in all the plans for a better world … There will be nothing but a loathsome thing called Social Service; which means slavery without loyalty.

Why resurrect the sordid Wall Street Bailout from the annals of unaccountability? Don’t blame me. Blame the Servile State and its pliable minions who are paving the way to serfdom. Nor must we fail to upbraid the self-proclaimed defenders of our free republic for not learning from our past or knowing anything about the philosophical moorings of our republic—nor those of its enemies.

In sum, then, this alliance of government and business constitutes the Leviathan Servile State, as Belloc and Chesterton envisioned and argued against. For his part, Dr. Peterson proved an equally worthy defender of freedom for all:

The danger posed by this increasing ability of governments and large corporations to collude threatens everyone’s freedom equally. It could well be at the moment—and I think this is the point Republicans here are trying to make—is that the people in the sights of that collusion tend to have more conservative leanings, but that will shift in a moment whenever the political tides shift.

And who will shift those tides? Those in government or those replenishing the corporate teats that provide the mother’s milk feeding their campaigns and elections, and, in more nefarious instances, their personal and familial coffers both in and out of office? Peterson knows: Those with the gold make the rules. “If the emerging collusion between government and gigantic corporations continues in the manner it is continuing, there won’t be anything that you do that can’t be used against you and will be used against you in very short order.”

Not surprisingly, the subcommittee’s Democratic minority tried to distract from Peterson’s message by focusing solely on the government’s need to surveil their political opponents and all manner of dissent by playing up the supposed dangers of the January 6th riot. This is not surprising, as the current weaponization of government is occurring and solidifying under a Democratic administration; and the “gigantic corporations” colluding with it are not only sanguine with the aims (for now, anyway), but complicit with them as they donate more money to the Democrats and leftist organizations than to Republicans and conservative organizations. It is a bitter irony that borders upon disinformation for the Democrats to claim they are the party of working people and “democracy,” when they are abetting and defending the rise of the Servile State, which is everything they purport to oppose.

For their part, Republicans seem to believe the weaponization is the distinguishing and major issue—not the alliance itself. This is in no small part because, while the amounts are now less than the Democrats receive, the GOP’s members are still quite chummy with “gigantic corporations.” Hence, their propensity to downplay the corporate end of the collusion equation.

Nevertheless, gamely persevering, Peterson, tried to enlighten both sides of the aisle about the emerging threat to liberty, equality, and democracy:

[O]ur new technology enables a mode of surveillance that is so intense and all-pervading that no one will escape its purview regardless of their political views…

It’s often motivated by the claim that that’s forestalling an immediate, proximal threat, while that is a short-term justification for engaging in a tremendous long-term danger. It should be perceived to those on the Left as a danger, because it will be the politically committed who are first identified by such systems.

Well, almost no one will escape. The corporate “masters of the universe” will be fine, though they will have to keep up appearances by paying lip service to whatever civil religion is imposed on the repressed population by their administrative state lackeys. The uber-rich will be the hand inside their sock puppet, “public servants, who will cravenly implement their betters’ capricious whims that we new serfs must obey—or else.” 

Peterson baldly states the critical situation and stakes: “We are in danger of eliminating the private sphere in its entirety. It’s already happening in places around the world, particularly China, which is why I made reference to that. We have technologies at hand, and it appears both giant corporations and giant governments are utilizing it in every way that they can manage.”

Put another way, the Servile State is the nightmarish nocturnal emission of Klaus Schwab and the World Economic Forum. In accord with Peterson’s remarks, the reason we must upbraid the self-professed defenders of our free republic is that their ignorance has allowed people like Schwab to rise, on their watch. As claim to oppose the weaponization of government, they miss not only the hidden hand underwriting it, corporate America, but also its ultimate aim, the Servile State. As they focus all their attention on one lethal virus ravaging the body politic, the weaponization of government, another equally lethal virus continues to consume our republic.

Bluntly, America’s sovereign citizens must bring accountability both to the administrative, weaponized state and gigantic corporations. We need leaders who recognize the full extent of the danger, not just part of it. Recalling Belloc and Chesterton’s warning, we must heed Peterson’s call to vigilance. Such vigilance is critical to preventing the ultimate victory of the repressive Servile State.

Democrats, moreover, would do well to remember that if corporations are thwarted in their attempts to grab power by working with the Democrats, there will be nothing to prevent these corporate masters of the universe from tempting the Republicans to collude with them to weaponize government against Democrats?

And what, if anything, makes anyone think some swampy Republicans won’t bite that apple?

Going back to that 2008 conversation with my colleague about TARP: mindful of Belloc and Chesterton’s prescient warning about the Servile State, I voted against the Wall Street Bailout.

My bemused colleague voted for it.

Following an initial defeat in the House, upon reconsideration the TARP—this “fleece in our time”—passed by both chambers and was signed into law by the Bush administration. And, of course, it paved the way for even bigger fleecing to come.

Those pesky lessons of history, again….

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