[sixties-l] Fwd: Philly: "Ruckusmakers Haven't a Clue"

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: Tue Aug 08 2000 - 00:14:47 CUT

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    >Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2000 00:01:23 -0500 (CDT)
    >From: "Clore Daniel C" <clore@columbia-center.org>
    >The following, from the Denver Rocky Mountain News, is a good example of
    >the backlash against the anti-corporate movment. If someone would like
    >to go through and demolish this idiocy, I'd love to put it through the
    >list. -- DC
    >Mike Rosen
    >Ruckusmakers haven't a clue
    >In the days of upheaval and unrest in the 1960s and
    >1970s, they called themselves anti-establishment or
    >counterculture. Today, they're Greens, Naderites or
    >anarchists. In early 19th century England they were
    >Luddites, rioting and destroying textile machines, in
    >denial of the Industrial Revolution.
    >The mentality is anti-growth, anti-business, anti-technology,
    >anti-global economy. Training and choreographing the rabble
    >these days, holding workshops on protest tactics and street
    >theater, is a group known as the Ruckus Society, based where
    >else? in Berserkely, Calif.
    >They did their thing in Seattle, instigating riots and looting
    >to disrupt the World Trade Organization conference, and again
    >in Washington, D.C., at meetings of the World Bank and
    >International Monetary Fund. They were in Philadelphia this
    >week for the Republican convention, and will be in Los Angeles
    >for the Democrats.
    >We live in a free society; this is one of the consequences.
    >These people have the right to express themselves and be a
    >general nuisance up to but not including violating the civil
    >rights or destroying the property of others.
    >What they seem to have in common is an irrational but visceral
    >hatred of corporations. Ralph Nader has been obsessed with this
    >paranoia all his public life. In his standard stump speech, he
    >can't go a minute between anti-corporate rants.
    >Han Shan, Ruckus' 27-year-old program director demands "real
    >democracy, free from corporate interests." Shawn McDougal, an
    >organizer for the American Friends Service Committee, declares,
    >"The goal is to get the word out, to explain the ways in which
    >democracy has been shanghaied by corporate interests." And on
    >and on.
    >Don't be taken in by the use of the term "corporate." That's
    >just a buzz word leftists use as a substitute for their real
    >target. Incorporation is simply a legal and accounting device,
    >one of many ways to organize an enterprise. It provides a vehicle
    >for issuing stock, limited liability for managers and
    >shareholders, and a way to file financial reports and tax returns.
    >A company could just as well be a sole proprietorship or a
    >partnership. You think Nader would hate General Motors any less
    >if it were privately held by a solitary fat cat?
    >It's not really corporations these people hate; it's private
    >enterprise. It's private property rights. It's capitalism. It's
    >the freedom of individuals or voluntarily assembled organizations
    >(e.g., corporations) to do anything that these delusional,
    >disaffected, self-outcast malcontents disapprove of.
    >When they rail against "big business," what's their alternative?
    >Small business? Henry Ford was able to sell cars cheaply because
    >he mass produced them. That requires a big business.
    >Don't get me wrong, I love small businesses. They're innovative,
    >creative and much less bureaucratic than big businesses. And they
    >have their place in a market economy, just as big businesses do.
    >Bill Gates started out as a small businessman. When he succeeded,
    >he grew into a big businessman. What do these corporate haters
    >propose, having government limit the size of a successful small
    >business or forcibly breaking it up when it gets too big? Who
    >decides what "too big" is, the likes of Ralph Nader?
    >These would-be revolutionaries have no practical, constructive
    >alternatives. They know what they're against but don't have a clue
    >about what they're for, other than silly, idealistic, collectivist
    >platitudes that defy economic reality and human nature.
    >In public appearances Nader is fond of running through his list of
    >corporate transgressions. Some are bogus, some are debatable, most
    >are exaggerated, some are true. But he ignores the billions of
    >positive market transactions that take place every day.
    >People who work in the private sector make mistakes. Some cheat,
    >lie and steal. So we have laws and competition to protect us. Those
    >in the public sector are similarly flawed. Indeed, the heights of
    >corruption and the world's greatest atrocities are associated with
    >governments. That's why we have a constitution to limit ours. In
    >the words of Irving Kristol, "Capitalism isn't the best of all
    >imaginable systems, just the best of all possible systems."
    >Mike Rosen's radio show airs daily from 9 a.m. to noon on 850 KOA.
    >August 4, 2000

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