The Great Shell Game of America – New Deal Frauds
Lecture Notes of Murray N. Rothbard’s
The Rise of Corporate Statism; After the Failure of Trusts, Monopolies and Cartels in the Freemarket
Lecture covers essentially late 19th early 20th
The basic theme of Orthodox Historiography or at least the storyline we were all taught in school and of almost all historians has been;
‘The rise of federal state regulation and the progressive period basically came about because in the late 19th century we had the massive rise of big business. This large scale industry became uncontrollably ‘monopolistic’ and overbearing within the free market.
Due to the overbearing evils of monopolistic industry that were perceived by a rising group of workers, farmers and reform intellectuals, this groups organized, regulated and corrected these evils during the measure of the great progressive period, the new freedom, the fair deal, the new deal, the new era, the new society, the great society, the new nationalism, etc.
These are needed programs that arose to fight the evils of and to reform big business monopoly that could only have been accomplish due to the imbalance of freedom in the market’
The true story of what happened is almost exactly the opposite. Big Business did not lose, they did not give up, they did not ‘pull a Grinch’ and ‘have a heart grow three sizes that day’, They WON.
What actually occurred with the rise of big business and large scale industry was a truly progressive (in the small p sense), increase in industrial output/invention, standard of living and productivity in the highly competitive free market.
Many big business interests would have liked to achieve market control through cartels, monopolies and trusts in the free market and many of these cartels were attempted across the nation; however they almost all failed and quite miserably because of rapid winds of competition in the freemarket. (This is demonstrated excellently in Rothbard’s lectures: links below)
Various Big Businesses, having seen that these attempts were complete failures, turned to the state apparatus to do the cartelization for them, to create the monopolies that they could not achieve in the free market.
This is the simplified but correct historical interpretation of the Progressive Movement, The New Nationalism, The New Socialism, etc. of the Progressive Period.
The essence and the basic drive behind these movements was Big Business turning to the state apparatus to create the controls, cartels, trusts and monopolies that could not be created in the free market. We have a great Paradox of Monopolization in the name of Anti Monopolization.
Following these movements, institutions, the powers behind them, the victories vs. defeats and the evolution of the movement’s agenda provides the genealogical family tree of modern Corporate Statism.
To create this ‘new era’ required illusion, flimflammery and propaganda on the part of the Business Cartels, because if you want to turn the freemarket to a system of controls and cartelization, if you want to turn the government to do this, in a Free Democratic Republic, that has endemic voting and democracy in localized small governments with local regulation; you can’t tell the public that you want to have the ICC, FCC, FTC, AMA, ABA, etc., etc., and taxation, insurance, regulations, infringements, etc., etc. almost on to infinity because we want to organize, monopolize, restrict production, raise prices, allocates sales, etc, etc….
This would not go over very well with the American Public. They would never buy it.
The Great Shell Game of our Century was accomplished by telling the public that we are doing this in the name of “combating monopoly”, in the name of “anti trust”, in the name of “restricting the ‘Evils’ of Big Business”, the great cartelization was accomplished under these shells.
This of course could be sellable to the public; sold, in the Nation Progressive Socialism Movement of the late 1900’s.
Anti-Monopoly Rhetoric had been Rampant and easy to sell because of actual Big Business abuses, that the freemarket or local criminal law had resolved since the founding of country
In order to utilize this rhetoric and sell the motives, they needed a group of people that could unify public opinion. The Corporate Statism power needed an alliance with a select few of the influential public elite to make this happen. They had that selection in the form of the progressive intellectuals during the late 19th century (social worker, economists, sociologists, social scientists, social house workers, a whole cadre of ‘progressive minded’ professional intellectuals that had newly arisen in the late 19th century). These intellectuals were ready and willing to sell the con of the great shell game to the American Public in the early 20th century.
(see Looking Backward 1887-2000 by Edward Bellamy This was the birth of National Socialist Propaganda as the #1 best seller, just behind sales of Uncle Toms Cabin)
The Corporate Statism powers also needed to bring into existence a group of Labor Unions. An Industrial Proletariat was created and brought into the alliance. The Corporate Statism power felt that they needed a disciplined labor workforce to take a junior role in this great apartheid alliance. The American Federation of Labor was to be ‘Responsible Unionism’ (headed by Samuel Gompers).
This was the triple alliance between Certain Big Business, Progressive Intellectuals and Responsible Unions. They formed the foundation of the new great center of American life. This formed the matrix of consensus for American Life (each part of the alliance focusing on different emphasis within that consensus).
Forged from the Progressive Period, Consolidated and solidified in WW1 and continuing ever since, We are still living under this triple alliance system that has culminated in today’s social systems but we must note that the seeds of out modern day system were sown in the late 19th century’s progressive movement.
Those belonging to the triple alliance would get Power, Prestige, Position and Pelf. Thus the great birth of Management, then Middle Management was established; and the Professional Lobbyist, the Corporation/Trust/Foundation as a Natural Person, then a Super-Natural Person as well as the chairmen, owners and trustees of those institutions and of course the government’s inspectors, policy-enforcers and policy makers agreed to took their pieces of silver..
There was the general propagation of the ideological feeling that Laissez Faire Capitalism was outmoated. It was only fit for agrarian systems and small business systems, Marxian Socialism was too unaesthetic, too class struggle oriented and to proletarian.
So they looked for was a middle way, a third way, that would harmonize all classes under the great aegis of the federal central government, with the triple alliance of the Big Business, Intellectuals and Unions in power, under the newly created Corporate Statism System.
They founded this very cozy alliance that would harmonize all classes. It would bring the public together. Everyone would find there place in the new status system, that of Corporate Statism. Truly Big Business didn’t lose
This was also not unique to the USA it was active in France, Brittan, Italy and Western Europe in different forms, influencing each other along the way, (cross pollinating the family trees if you will).
It was a goal that has been around since King George’s ‘new world order’ of one body of central control and law. Today it is called Global Governance and it is the antithesis of the Sovereign Individual.
“In the Long March of History it is Power and Order that Increases and Freedom that Decreases.” – Thomas Jefferson
The Rise of Big Business: The Failure of Trusts and Cartels (The Full Lecture about 2hrs)
by Murray N. Rothbard