The False History Of Laissez Faire

Kevin Carson comments in a an inspiring thread on Noam Chomsky and anarchism:

Both the liberal and conservative establishments have a vested interest in pretending that the great trusts emerged from “laissez-faire,” that the economy was largely a “free market” until the turn of the 20th century, and that only state action can prevent the natural tendency of a free market to give rise to domination by big business. The conservative establishment has an interest in fostering this myth because it justifies the present wealth and power of the giant corporations as the result of superior competitive virtue in our marvelous “free enterprise system.” The liberal establishment has in interest in fostering it, as well, because it implies that a regulatory/welfare state (run by them, of course) is the only thing protecting us from domination by big business.

The central fact of American history since the late 19th century has been the mutual support and coalescence of big government with big business, rather than mutual hostility.

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Well said

The history of antitrust and the debunking of Marx and Galbraith are nearly forgotten, never well analyzed by the mainstream. Corporatism is the history of the consolidating of the U.S. government (along with, in more extreme form, pretty much the rest of the states of the world) since the New Deal, despite the rare privatizations. They are driven by the interests of politicians and business alike.