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If You Can Successfully Get SNAP Out of KFC, I'll Listen

Until that obvious and flagrant and massive fraud is remedied, I'm afraid any argument for more government action is laughably absurd

Photo by Arkadiusz Gąsiorowski / Unsplash

Synopsis: Tyranny, Inc. apparently calls for greater regulation so we can stop the corporate tyranny in America. But more regulation means more federal government, and the federal government (just like Great Britain's central government since 1688) has always been beholden to business interests. More regulation of big business is like sending prostitutes into your husband's bedroom to stop the philandering. It could work, I suppose, but in all likelihood, it just means more money for big business and more sex for your husband.

It's hard to say whether Sohrab Ahmari is a distributist or whether he ignores the problem of Hudge and Gudge, but based on this laudatory essay, he seems ignorant that the biggest problem with big government is that big business will use it to enrich both.

If government is big and centralized, it presents a ready pot of money and power that the unscrupulous, like the corporations rightly demonized in Tyranny, Inc., can raid for their own enrichment and desires.

It appears Ahmari wants more regulation to deal with the corporate tyranny that has become a plague in our country. That's fine, but it assumes the corporate tyrants aren't tyrants in the first place because they have access to the true tyrants in the Beltway. If we take away access to big government, big business can't become tyrannical. The best way to take away access to big government: Shrink it.

The bolded sentence above is, obviously, the point of argument here. I strongly believe that businesses are, by the vortextual and unsteady nature of the marketplace, unstable: if left alone and not aided by government, every business will eventually fail. And it's a good thing.

Ahmari would call me a "market utopian." I used to call people like myself "market mystics": they don't know how the market works, but they trust it will.

I long ago abandoned my dislike of market utopians/mystics and became one, but I still hold onto hope that someone will be able to show me a third way. My heart tells me the distributists are right, but I just can't see it with my head.

And the reason I can't see it is because no one can show me how you can regulate a sector of our society that controls the regulators . . . and always has. It goes back to the conquest of the mercantile classes in the Glorious Revolution in 1688. Commercial interests have controlled centralized governments for over 300 years. It can't be reversed or stopped. We can only stop feeding the arrangement.

But Ahmari appears to want to feed it more by yet more regulations. Based on this essay-review, he doesn't realize that, if you give more power to the federal government, more power and money just end up in the hands of the corporate tyrants that Ahmari wants to regulate.

Of course, I haven't read Ahmari's book. This blurb is merely a "review of a review," but I've seen this blind spot before by distributists or others who would posit the (on-so-desirable) third way.

And what I find stunning is, it's a blind spot they don't see. I know I have a blind spot in my rearview as I drive. That's why I account for it when I switch lanes. I'd like the distributists to do the same thing: before positing more government to control business, account for the problem that government is already controlled by business.

Business and government are hideously and complexly-connected Siamese twins: feed one, and you feed the other.

And kill one, and you kill the other.

If you're going to read the Marxist historians, that's good, but it's like an American soldier banging a Vietcong prostitute: he can try to get something out of it, but he needs to keep so vigilant, it kinda ruins the fun.

Now, how can I prove that business captured government over 300 years ago?

That, I'm afraid, would take a very detailed historical account that surpasses my current knowledge or current allocation of time to parse through, but historians have done a lot to piece it together, starting with Karl Marx. So, if you want to explore the hideous Siamese twin nature of business and government, you're going to want to spend time with Marxist historians, like Charles Beard.

The problem is, Marxists aren't honest. They're enthralled by their gnosticism, so they'll do or say anything to advance that workers' paradise. Charles Beard's ground-breaking An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States is boring as hell but compelling in its conclusions: the Constitution was designed to further the property interests of its proponents. There were no "higher truths" involved in the Constitution, like the reality of Original Sin and the goodness of a healthy polity that keeps power divided as much as possible so one class of persons (or their corporations) can't exert too much power. It was all just a power and money grab by rich colonialists.

The problem is, Beard's conclusions were wrong. In the words of Robert Crunden: "Two generations of modern scholars and the invention of the computer have been required to prove definitively that most of Beard's conclusions were wrong." Ministers of Reform, p. 79.

So, if you're going to read the Marxist historians, that's good, but it's like an American soldier banging a Vietcong prostitute: he can try to get something out of it, but he needs to keep so vigilant, it kinda ruins the fun.

Kentucky Fried Chicken Proves Me Right

A better option?

Just look at the food stamp program.

The huge inequality of wealth is a huge problem. One way to mitigate it: redistribute some of the wealth.

Enter food stamps. The "Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program" allows poor people to use electronic cards to buy . . . Kentucky Fried Chicken, energy drinks, and other scourges of the American diet.


Precisely because the Crap Food Industry is a massive lobbying presence in Washington. It doesn't matter that fast food and soda are poison. What matters is, big business controls Washington.

It's a perfect snapshot of the problem: By redistributing wealth, the biggest chunk of wealth goes into the pockets of the tyrannical corporations.

It's flagrant, shocking, and disturbing: but no one scarcely notices or cares.

But now, somehow, we're supposed to pass regulations, most of which won't be nearly as flagrant or obvious as the food stamp fraud, that will stop big business?

And people like me are the utopians?