Dan Liljenquist: To solve problems, U.S. must respect freedom and property

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  • ECR Burke, VA
    Feb. 2, 2013 8:13 a.m.

    ProuDuck 3:31, Feb. 1 - You should take your own advice about comprehensive study. You correctly identified the most often used definition of Fascism - that it is "domination of business by the State" - but it can mean so much more, and I think that is what freedomingood was referring to.

    The second definition put forth by Webster's says "a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control." That definition can be assigned to any powerful body, not just governments. Think where we were going before the break-up of Bell Telephone. We were going nowhere but after that happened prices started coming down, but more importantly, innovation took over and provided us with a myriad of products and services. There are signs of such fascism in the business world today as just a few conglomerates dominate our media world and feed us the pablum dictated by their money sponsors. Consequently the media is dominated by sex and violence because that seems to be what sells tickets - at the movie theater and in the confines of our homes. Domination by the business world can and will be just as devastating and any despot can be.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Feb. 1, 2013 3:32 p.m.

    "The only way the free market can remain free is to have limits on how much property (capital) an individual or a corporate "person" can accumulate."

    Why? Explain.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Feb. 1, 2013 3:31 p.m.

    "freedomingood," I encourage you to study some actual academic work on fascism, not just left-wing blog nincompoopery. Fascism is not government by business -- it's domination of business by the State. Fascism is a statist ideology that stops one step short of socialism -- dominating the economy, but leaving the dominated businesses nominally in private hands. Just so long as they know their place.

    If you think business operates "unchecked," you have clearly never run a business, or tried to navigate one through the thickets of (often contradictory and irrational) "checks." The truth is that one, single ornery city planning clerk can wrap a multi-million dollar business absolutely in knots, just because he feels like it. Because government has guns, and business does not.

    The great (if misguided on other matters) liberal John Maynard Keynes declared that "it is a mistake to believe that businessmen are more immoral than politicians." The difference is that the immoral politicians, again, can use force, whereas the business types have to persuade you to do business with them.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Feb. 1, 2013 9:17 a.m.

    Good point, freedomingood. The problem with the "free" market, as it is now defined by those on the right, is that it is skewed toward those with lots of "property." Corporate control of our lives has exploded in the past 30 years. And, interestingly, the more "free" these corporations are, the less competition there is, as winners accumulate property and losers, well, lose it.

    The only way the free market can remain free is to have limits on how much property (capital) an individual or a corporate "person" can accumulate. And in order to enforce these limits, government must be actively involved. Otherwise, power and wealth just flow to the top, leaving more and more citizens on the outside looking in. Every wondered why so few people in our "capitalist" system are capitalists?

    As for whether or not businessmen are corruptible, to paraphrase Frank Herbert, power does not corrupt—it merely attracts the corruptible. Such is the case in either government or business. So beware who you give power to.

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    Jan. 31, 2013 4:07 p.m.

    When businesses become the government we will be in full blown fascism. Right wingers accept the fallibility of men in government to corruption but never recognize the same fallibility in businessmen.

    Businessmen are not corruptible? We need complete control of our live to unchecked, unbalanced pursuers of profits?

    I think recent and far history is full of the failed attempts to leave business interests unchecked. Business checks government and government checks business. leave it alone.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 11:30 a.m.

    The very same freedom and liberty which is being attacked relentlessly by big business, lobbyists, and corrupt politicians.

    Truly, when will we finally fight back?

  • Citizen John Doe Orem, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 11:04 a.m.

    Thank you Dan for sharing your experience with us. Just reading about this has increased my hope also in the future of our world. Its nice to hear about the positive things that are happening that edify, since the big news stories of each day are so often a downer.