The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We won't know for a while whether democracy or fascism is the stronger force in America's immediate future. If fascism prevails, it's unlikely to endure for long because authoritarian leadership depends on a cult of personality - always a fragile foundation. At some point, sooner or later, we'll need to figure out what to do with what's left of the American Republic. When the time comes, we'll need to establish a new balance between labor and capital, between people and corporations, and between the government and the governed.
What kind of society do we want when we win back America from corporate capital? What kind of economy? Some of my friends have expressed a deathly fear - even today - of a socialist takeover that would usher in an era of communist-style despotism mirroring the trajectory of Europe's democracies. None of those conversations were credible enough to be recited in this book, of course. Besides, they mostly support the military establishment, public roads, and other manifestations of the common weal - and that proves that they're socialists too. It's just a matter of degree.
An America emerging from its fascist phase would be unlikely to embrace the very forces that destroyed its democratic institutions - unfettered capitalism won't be at all popular. It's likely that the public sector will reclaim public goods like education and healthcare. Much depends on the extent of the economic damage wrought between now and the ultimate emergence of a new democracy. If corporate capital destroys itself in the manner foreseen by Marx, the institutions of enterprise may have to be incubated by the institutions of the state before they're capable of flying freely on their own. Nationalized banks and industries may necessarily become the norm after an economic collapse.
Ultimately, however, corporate capital ought to be restored to a position of honor in the economy. No other institutions are capable of breeding the kind of innovation America enjoyed during the twentieth century. No other institutions are capable of aggregating and deploying productive assets like corporate entities. And no other institutions are capable of creating such wealth.
But corporate capitalism has proven that it requires adult supervision. A vigilant and powerful democracy is needed to keep it under control. Left unchecked, capitalism will once again marshal its resources and direct them toward infiltrating the halls of government - ultimately attacking the ramparts of the very institutions that gave it life. We've seen this movie before - Corporate Capital's War on America.
(Excerpted from Corporate Capital's War on America by Larry Judson Butler, Diablosabe Publishing)