Robert Higgs is one of my favorite authors, he writes mostly on subjects of political economy, such as his great book Depression, War, and Cold War: Challenging the Myths of Conflict and Prosperity. This book and others are my source for the proposition that FDR’s New Deal prolonged the Great Depression and made it worse, and that World War II did not end the Depression. World War II ended the New Deal, and that allowed the Great Depression to end. It was widely feared that the Depression would return after WW II ended, but instead a post-war period of great prosperity followed. It happened largely because Americans were optimistic about the future and the New Deal was not reinstituted by government.
Here is one of Robert Higgs’ latest pearls of wisdom: From The Independent Institute, Hate Corporations and Love Governments — an Ideological Monstrosity
Many Americans (and others) obviously fear corporations more than they fear governments. Indeed, they look to governments to “save” them from grave harm at the hands of vicious corporations and to punish corporations for their evil, destructive actions. On such a mindset a large part of modern Progressivism and other leftist ideologies rests.
R. J. Rummel’s compilations show that approximately 262 million persons were deliberately killed by “their own” governments during the twentieth century alone—many times the number of death’s in that century’s international wars. Rummel calls this death toll “democide.”
It would be an interesting exercise for someone to compile the data for “corporacide,” the number of people deliberately killed by corporations in the same period, the time during which such business organizations were, so to speak, riding highest.
Aside from the fact that corporacide would be found, I am confident, to be close to zero—after all, as a rule, killing people is bad for business—one might call attention to the fact that corporations and other, similar business firms have been responsible for generating the bulk of the wealth that has lifted most of the world’s people out of poverty during the past century or so and for making a substantial portion of the world’s population affluent.
The combination “hate corporations/love governments” has to be one of the most bizarre ideological monstrosities of the past 150 years. It seems that people in general are utterly incapable of recognizing real threats and distinguishing them from threats that are inconsequential by comparison or actually not threats at all. Ideology’s power to blind people and twist their understanding is truly astonishing.
It’s not just that ignorance allows people to love government, it’s also that their delusion allows them to believe government can love them.