Laissez-faire capitalism, which means corporate power unchecked by regulatory government, is running on empty. A dwindling elite sucks fumes of debt from a bankrupt middle class addicted to unsustainable consumerism, while our natural environment perishes.
Laissez-faire capitalism was based on lies, lies that gave us the 19th Century robber barons, the Great Depression, and Reaganomics’ short-lived but disastrous euphoria.
What were the lies? That enlightened self-interest can replace the ethic of community; that stock holders who invest only for money will sacrifice profit for worker and environmental safety; that private corporations will regulate themselves; that government is the enemy of the people, when in fact it is we, the people; and that the invisible hand of the free market is the hand of God.
But the biggest lie was the obscene notion that anyone but God can own our natural resources. We the people, as stewards of the earth through collective government, may manage natural resources in a “commonwealth.” But no private corporation has the right to own them and sell them to us: neither as coal, oil, timber, water or wind-power.
Such pride is equivalent to Eve’s sin in Eden: she wanted to be like God. The hubris of owning what only God creates must end in a fall, like the tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico.
This tragedy is a clarion call to nationalize our energy companies.