Saving an Industry


            An amazing confluence of ideas has surfaced in two vary different periodicals:  The Progressive Populist and the Johnson City Press.  The former, dated December 15, includes an article by Randolph T. Holhut in which he describes the almost total loss of faith, by the American people, in this country’s large corporations.  He lays the blame on corporate America’s gradual loss of any sense of identity with the publics they serve during the past fifty years or so, focusing instead on a total preoccupation with short-term profits.  He asks “Can we invent a business model in which advocacy, support, authenticity, trust, relationship and profit are linked?”  He answers his own question by stating that “…yes we can, but also yes we must.”

            The attitude expressed in Holhut’s piece was expected.  The Populist is, after all, a fairly left wing publication.  The Press op ed piece, on the other hand, comes from William Rusher, who defines himself as the “Conservative Advocate” and usually lives up to that billing.

            Rusher’s thesis is that pure capitalism cannot work in a democracy.  His subject is the auto industry and he suggests that “pure capitalism” would require that the industry, having proven unprofitable, should be allowed to die.  But he goes on to assert that “…we won’t, and we shouldn’t, enforce that draconian principle without exceptions.”  He goes on “…a democratic society isn’t, and probably can’t be, a strictly and uncompromisingly capitalist one.”

            The very next issue of the Press carried a column by William Krystol, another favorite of the political right wing, saying essentially the same thing.

            This, from writers who have faithfully followed the ideology of Goldwater and Reagan for many years, constitutes a stunning left turn toward a practical view of the world.  With Bob Corker (the senator from Nisson) and others howling for the scalp of the UAW, it’s refreshing to read the words of men able and willing to study the past and learn from experience.


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