Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Oligarchical Businesses Breed Oligarchical Governments

Oligarchical corporations brought Mussolini and Hitler to power. In fact, oligarchical corporations have assisted nearly every dictator in his rise to power. In the US, oligarchical corporations plotted to bring a Fascist dictator to power in the United States during the Great Depression.

Major General Smedley D. Butler overturned the plot by leaders of JPMorgan, GM, US Steel, and DuPont to overthrow Franklin Delano Roosevelt and install General Smedley Butler as a fascist dictator in order to re-establish 'order' and 'efficiency' to the US economy.

General Smedley's accusations were backed up by several testimonies and were evaluated by The Committee on Un-American Activities of the House of Representatives.

The congressional committee determined, "In the last few weeks of the committee's official life it received evidence showing that certain persons had made an attempt to establish a fascist government in this country...There is no question that these attempts were discussed, were planned, and might have been placed in execution when and if the financial backers deemed it expedient." (Public Hearings Before the Special Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Seventy-third Congress, Second Session, at Washington, D.C. p.8-114 D.C. 6 II)

(Facts taken from History Channel's: The Plot to Overthrow FDR)

In the aftermath, however, there was no attempt to pursue legal or criminal actions against any of the prominent individuals implicated by General Smedley Butler.


  1. Wow! The parallels between the Great Depression and today are astounding. Thanks for your poignant insights . . . it is so bizarre to me that American businesses so easily despise government Beuracracy, but fail to despise themselves when that same fault is present in them. Ahhh! What I hadn't considered, and this post illustrates, is that corporations are quite happy with invasive and controlling governemnt--so long as it serves their interests, that is.


  2. Good point. I never thought of the hypocrisy of it all--until now.


How Will You Measure Your Life?

I recently read this article by Clayton Christiansen out of Harvard entitled, “How will you measure your life?” It is what he tells his students on the final day of his class.

One of the items that he mentions sticks out to me. It reads as follows:

“One of the theories, . . . . . how to be sure we find happiness in our careers—is from Frederick Herzberg, who asserts that the powerful motivator in our lives isn’t money; it’s the opportunity to learn, grow in responsibilities, contribute to others, and be recognized for achievements. I tell the students about a vision of sorts I had while I was running the company I founded before becoming an academic. In my mind’s eye I saw one of my managers leave for work one morning with a relatively strong level of self-esteem. Then I pictured her driving home to her family 10 hours later, feeling unappreciated, frustrated, underutilized, and demeaned. I imagined how profoundly her lowered self-esteem affected the way she interacted with her children. The vision in my mind then fast-forwarded to another day, when she drove home with greater self-esteem—feeling that she had learned a lot, been recognized for achieving valuable things, and played a significant role in the success of some important initiatives. I then imagined how positively that affected her as a spouse and a parent. My conclusion: Management is the most noble of professions if it’s practiced well. No other occupation offers as many ways to help others learn and grow, take responsibility and be recognized for achievement, and contribute to the success of a team. More and more [people think] that a career in business means buying, selling, and investing in companies. That’s unfortunate. Doing deals doesn’t yield the deep rewards that come from building up people."

I’m sure you can see why it sticks out.