The GlaxoSmithKline Candidate
The Divine Mrs. M. and I will be able to do kinky things like eat a meal without yelling, "Eat what you've given" 47 times. I thought it might even be nice to go to a movie that's not animated by Pixar. So I went over to read what Roger Ebert thought was good and he had The Manchurian Candidate. In this version, the evil of the oppressive, totalitarian, butchering ChiComs has been replaced by a US multi-national corporation. I'm guessing it's a drug company whose products have saved my kids lives a couple of times-greedy bastards.
When the original was made in 1962, China was a definite enemy. In 2004, the U.S. also has some definite enemies and hollywood comes up with....us. A publicly owned, worker employing, firm producing something demanded by consumers. No suicide bombing Islamofacists, no Falon Gong killing Chinese, no food-for-oil bribe taking, reactor selling French...us!
Roger Ebert's column also annoyed me.
There's a level of cynicism here that is scarier than the Red Chinese villainsA communist takeover was a stretch. Oh, really? All that Sovietphile Henry Wallace had between him and the Oval Office was FDRs rice paper of a heart.
in John Frankenheimer's 1962 classic. It's a stretch to imagine a communist
takeover of America, but the idea that corporations may be subverting the
democratic process is plausible in the age of Enron.
I'm also tired of Enron being held up as evidence of some failure of our system. To the contrary, it was a glowing success. They cheated and created no value. They couldn't perpetuate their lie forever. Adam Smith's invisible hand bitch slapped them down. That's what capitalism is about. A brief amount of pain but the problem is corrected.
As for subverting the democratic process, I'm more afraid of the government itself.
What happens when you remove capitalist forces? You take the sting of the bitch slap away. You get the social security administration, the farm program, price supports, all the other wastes I wrote about in The Pure Investor. A problem that doesn't benefit anybody, costs everybody and never ends.