The Other Leviathan

The world has always been a place of unexamined terms.  Probably it has never been so full of them as it is under modern democratic industrial capitalism, which—depending upon the rigor with which one defines the word democratic—is actually a contradiction in terms.

Industrialism, which essentially is applied natural and human power on a large scale facilitated by capitalist financing, implies an equal power that both counterbalances and reinforces industrial power.  That power, of course, is government.  When Engine Charlie (Charles E. Wilson, onetime head of General Motors and the U.S. secretary of defense from 1953 to 1957) remarked that “for years I thought what was good for the country was good for General Motors and vice versa,” what he was saying was that big government is good, indeed necessary to both American industry and America herself.  Never mind that his boss, President Eisenhower, only a few years later warned of the dangers of the “military-industrial complex,” and that the Republican Party, then as today, advertised itself as the party of small government.  Insofar as the GOP represents the best interests of industry, it represents power—scientific power, industrial power, and the political power these things logically entail.  So do the Democratic Party, the Conservative and Labour Parties in England, the Congress Party in India, and every other political...

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