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An Old Ideological Battle Raging With New Intensity

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Extra, extra there's a new ideological battle going on to save America's soul!

Seems that control of the relatively free market place, or a least a rather jaundiced projection of it, is under attack now by liberal and left forces who have gathered around the Obama administration. No fear, the heroic American Enterprise Institute has a new rescue plan for an old debate about American fundamentals that now rages with a heightened political intensity.

Right-wing conservatives like Arthur C. Brooks, the American Enterprise Institute think-tank president (and his co-signing buddy former congressman Newt Gingrich), are appallingly late in letting the public know that there is --- and has been since even before the nation's founding --- a politically and culturally divisive class, race and gender based war of competing ideas over the nature and roles of government relative to the operations of business enterprises and the production processes. Brooks deceptively depicts this new battle as not merely a response to anenvironment of economic threats against private enterprise, but a base a response to a cultural danger to America's most basic value, re: free enterprise which he erroneously situates above the cognate values of justice, democracy, diversity and ethical behavior. Sounds like the past decades of cultural wars are now taking on an economic ring among current conservatives.

As any school-boy or girl should have learned in social studies classes, this ideological warfare over fundamental economic propositions predates both Jeffersonian-government, laissez faire, conservatives whose libertarian visions are most appreciated by the rich and affluent vs socialist and Marxist political economy radicals whose views have helped propell the actions of poor people, labor groups, racial justice advocates and left-wing feminists and gender oriented activists. The warfare is as old as the dawn of exploitive economic, oftentimes slave and/or feudal systems, throughout the ancient world up to the 14th century rise and advancement of capitalism beginning in the period of European engineered world exploration, imperialist expansion, the brutal takeover of native lands in the Americas and the institution of chattel slavery among African peoples.

In his new assault on the public's intelligence and understanding of American history, this past May Brooks launched what he thinks is some kind of new, definitive "battle" to make folks aware of why unfettered business production and profit-taking is the ultimate economic value that, given its extra special role of wealth production, must always be protected from all manner of government interference. Out with government mandated regulatory controls and taxes, in with unlimited, free market enterprise seems to be the battle plan's wailing libertarianthematic.

Bravo!! And then comes all the problems that "free enterprisers" would love to somehow avoid and let some other "mysterious"power, other than the free market deal with. What to avoid?

The list is extensive like the need for broadened democracy and diversity in the work place, the board rooms; the constitutionally guaranteed welfare and commonweal of the general community; the abhorrent lack of distributive and reparative justice in economic matters regarding class, race, ethnicity and gender; the vicious business cycles of depressions-recessions with staggering unemployment and inestimable losses to lower and middle class property valuations as the "free" markets adjust themselves to supply and demand some which, as in the defense industries, are produced by government decree;health problems from production related to faulty equipment, poor facilities and inherentproduct dangerousness; made-made disasters and environmental mayhem caused in large measure by unbridled avarice and greed, lax voluntary business controls and the bottom-line profit only motive.

Maybe Brooks is not late with his announcement of this latest phase of battle. Maybe he and friends sense it's good political timing to come out with an ideological juggernaut at this critical juncture in the conservative drive to pick up House seats in November.

Could it be that Brooks' new tome will serve as Gabriel's Horn for the Tea Party crowd and the coming mid-term elections? Heaven beware. In preparation for the battle Brooks proposes should dissenting folks dust-off their 1960's socialist appeals in the form Michael Harrington's rather benign works on poverty, socialism and American economic democraticization or even some old Marxist oriented diatribes against the reigning evil of monopoly capitalism and its havoc wrecked on the world's working people?

 

Dr. Ibn-Ziyad has demonstrated an abiding concern for racial justice, humanitarian and environmental issues and has been active as a member or leader (1988-present) in the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (Washington, DC), the (more...)
 

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I saw Arthur Brooks on Book TV this spring and was... by Kevin Kakareka on Wednesday, Jul 14, 2010 at 7:36:16 AM