>Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2000 00:01:23 -0500 (CDT)
>From: "Clore Daniel C" <firstname.lastname@example.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
>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
>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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