Former NYU professor, Michael Rectenwald, author of ‘Springtime for Snowflakes’ and ‘The Google Archipelago’ joins Dan Happel on Connecting the Dots to talk about the history of corporate Socialism and about his own odyssey, from a full-blown Communist academic to now a free-enterprise public intellectual.
This interview is two hours long and I’ve set it to start about 32 minutes in but you may want to scroll back and listen to the whole show.
It’s a real treat to hear an academic with a solid grasp of history and ideology articulating what’s been going on in our culture and unconsciously in our own minds. My academic training in cultural criticism was very similar to his except that I didn’t get a master’s or a doctorate or become a professor but I did land in the same completely unexpected place that he has.
I now understand how fully our culture has been in the grips of a demoralization campaign on a scale that truly boggles the mind. It’s very exciting for me to see someone like Rectenwald peeling away from the oppressive monolithic Leftism of academe.
Listening to him is also very confronting for me, as I begin to fully comprehend how destructive my Leftist worldview has been in my own life. I’m grateful that at least I can see it now and this is why I feel this is so important to share.
I’ve started the video where he talks about the early 20th century genesis of corporate socialism. He says, “One of the earliest corporate Socialists was named King Camp Gillette. He was the founder of the Gillette razor company – the very same one who recently, in one of their ads denounced ‘toxic masculinity’. Well, they’ve been Leftists from the very start.
“King Camp Gillette was a monopolist. He wrote several books. One was called ‘World Corporation’, in which he espoused the
idea of a world singular monopoly; a singular world monopoly that produced everything. All products monopolized, all production would be synonymous with the state – would BE the state, as well.
“He not only espoused this in his books but he also was a monopolist in his practice, as a manufacturer of razor blades, because he managed to get the contract for all of the razor blades used during World War I by the American troops…
“This kind of hand-in-glove, statist-corporatist monopolization…it goes back to the early 20th century. And it has a philosophical idea behind it and people swore oaths and people like Soros…they hold this philosophy.
“Their philosophy is they know better than everybody else what is best for the world and that they believe monopolization is the only way to achieve it, because then they have complete control and they can control everything that happens; production-wise, consumption-wise, government-wise and so on and so forth…
“This is why they promote Socialism. They promote socialism…What they’re trying to perpetrate is that everybody feels like they’re equal with each other. As long as they’re equal with each other and nobody on the ground has more than them, they feel fine.
“They want to promote reduced expectations across the board, across the planet. So, they’ve got to take places like the United States, where we have, you know, independent, entrepreneurial agents; people that are able to produce, that don’t need to be part of a state or the corporate, monopolist enterprises – they want to get rid of those people.
“They want to get rid of any kind of aspiration for individual, independent wealth and to create a leveling of reduced expectations, across the globe and especially in places like the United States, where there are expectations for upward mobility and entrepreneurial production.
“So, they use people like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and even Elizabeth Warren; they use these people to promote and espouse Socialism. Do you think these people, if they really were a threat to the Powers That Be, that they would allow them so much constant air time and attention?
“No! These people are dupes. They are puppets. They are actually serving the the elite…they’re puppets, used by the corporate Globalists, or as you call them, the ‘power elite’ to propagate Socialism on the ground, to create this notion of equality amongst the masses.
“And it’s an equality of reduced expectations. This is the key. So, they’re gonna promote things like Universal Basic Income, because, as long as everybody has equal amounts, where everybody’s happy, even though it’s lesser for everybody. This is what they want…
“These people are clueless about how wealth is produced. They don’t understand wealth production, at all. They don’t understand the need for capital accumulation in order to produce wealth. They think that the economy is a pie and all you have to do is split it up. What they don’t understand is the pie has to be baked.
“The economy isn’t about the pie, it’s about the oven. You have to have an oven to bake pies and so you’ve got to have…the capital accumulation to have the kind of ovens that are necessary to produce pies. This is what they don’t get.
“They think you just divide everything up but if you divide everything up…all they have is what they can consume and as soon as it’s consumed – it’s gone. This is why Socialism ends up in total disaster and it always turns towards Capitalists to bail it out…
“The Chinese Communist Party, they call it ‘Socialism with Chinese characteristics.’ That’s their apologetics for actually perpetrating Capitalism in order to bolster the so-called Socialism that they say will finally flourish after a hundred years or so. But the fact of the matter is it’ll never flourish without capital accumulation and wealth production.
“And they know it but they keep lying to the people and to themselves, frankly, because they actually are under the ideology, as well. I think this is what some people don’t recognize; is that even these leaders are under the ideology that they perpetrate. They also need a Red Pill.
“But they won’t be Red-Pilled, because they’ll never accept it. They will continue to push these lies forever, because it’s very difficult for people to admit they’re wrong…
“I did. I was wrong and I admit it and that’s a hard thing to do…
“There’s this phenomenon called ‘Liberal Guilt’ and they like to push guilt upon people that have anything…
“One of the features of Leftism is this notion that a you’re always an underdog. It convinces the subject who holds that belief that they are an underdog, no matter what, because Leftism needs people believing that they’re actually underdogs, in order to keep spreading this massive collectivism that it perpetuates, [so they’ll] think that they can’t do anything on their own; they need to be in a collective and massified group in order to have power. They then have to believe that they’re underdogs without collectivism.
“Underdog-ism, if you will is part of the software suite of Leftism. Another one is guilt; that if you gain anything, you should feel bad about it, because you’ve done it at somebody else’s expense, which is totally a lie. It’s not true that you’ve done it at their expense. In fact, if you’ve produced wealth, you’ve done it to their benefit. Wealth producers actually benefit other people…
“[Socialists] constantly talk about the ‘wealth disparity’ or the ‘income gap’ as a major thing…Income disparity is not, of itself some evil. In fact, as the incomes of the top have gone up, so have the masses’ risen accordingly.
“The individual today living in a modern situation has more wealth than the king in the 13th century. It’s ridiculous, this idea of income disparity being the major issue and they constantly pump this out…
“If you listen to NPR, they talk about it like it’s this plague. ‘Income disparity! Income inequality! Oh, my God! It’s getting wider and wider!’ as more and more people are eating endlessly. I mean, it doesn’t make any sense.
“Marxists see life is a zero-sum game. So, if you get something, somebody else must be losing something. But…wealth is different…producing wealth creates more, not less. It’s creative.
“This is the key and I think that George Gilder puts it very well: the difference between Capitalism and Communism is this: Capitalism, the root of the word is ‘capita’, which is ‘head, brain, mind’. Capitalism is creative. It produces abundance.
“Communism is not creative. It’s actually destructive. It has to take away. It can’t ever add because it believes that that wealth is a zero-sum game; that if you have something, then I don’t. It doesn’t realize that wealth is actually productive of wealth.”