1. The literature of merely recent monopoly is so vast that the reader is referred to the central index of the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, the Widener and Baker libraries at Harvard University and to other metropolitan and university libraries. "When the supply of a product is controlled so that purchasers cannot buy it elsewhere and are forced to meet the terms of sale laid down by the owner, a monopoly exists," according to the definition of monopoly in the one-volume Columbia Encyclopedia. The English common law has long outlawed all monopolies except those expressly conferred by the state, and since 1624 Parliament has greatly curtailed state monopolies. That we in the United States live under huge private-profit monopolies anyone can readily ascertain by noticing the uniform regional pricing of identical and nearly identical commodities and services, the prices set by manufacturers and enforced through privately licensed dealers, and by noticing the high rates of return of the sellers. Prices are not set by market interplay or bargaining, according to conventional economic theory, but are dictated and frozen by the cartelized sellers. A recent penetrating analysis of American monopoly is Monopoly Capital by Paul A. Baran and Paul M. Sweezy, Monthly Review Press, N.Y., 1966. Embodying a neo-Marxist approach, it would be intellectually more satisfying if it brought Soviet Russia and China under its critical guns as instances of obvious state-monopoly capitalism. As it is, the writers regard Soviet Russia as on the road to a free Utopia of the common man, a sad delusion. If the whole book were recast in the following tenor, where words in brackets have been added by me, it would in my view gain in intellectual stature: "It is not that armed force under capitalism [and sovietism] is used only in the international sphere. In every capitalist [and soviet] country, it is used to dispossess, repress, and otherwise control the domestic labor force." (p. 179.) And so on. Nevertheless, this book is an excellent tough-minded analysis of American monopoly as a whole, disregarding the ex parte references to international capitalism as though the term excluded the Soviet bloc and China (and with such exclusion all normal wickedness from these entities), and its attribution of all social difficulties to capitalism.
2. Albert Z. Carr, John D. Rockefeller's Secret Weapon, McGraw-Hill Book Co., N.Y., 1962, p. 62.
3. The literature on Rockefeller and Standard Oil is extensive; every general book on the subjects contains an extensive bibliography. Virtually all follow the original pattern laid down by Ida M. Tarbell in The History of the Standard Oil Company, originally published in 1904 after magazine serialization, republished from the original plates in 1925 by The Macmillan Company and still the basic study in the field. The most pretentious resurvey of the same field is Professor Allan Nevins's Study in Power, an unconvincing public-relations attempt to touch up or explain away as many as possible blemishes exposed by Tarbell in her brief for the prosecution. Although ostentatiously flaunting all the outward trappings of demure scholarship and widely offered by libraries on their open shelves as a standard reference work, a signal-flare for the serious student sent up on the Nevins study, which is thematically inconsistent and in various places consists of very thin ice or no ice at all. A single instance from among many: Professor Nevins writes of Tarbell, p. 341, Vol. II, "She treated rebating as the special sin of the Standard, not as an almost universal practice, with her much-praised independents as eager to get rebates as anybody." This statement, among various others by Nevins on crucial matters, is blatantly false because Tarbell scrupulously points out, repeatedly, that rebating was a general practice, with Rockefeller as the biggest shipper owing to his secret combination getting the biggest rebates. In the identical 1904 and 1925 editions, p. 101, Vol. I, Tarbell writes: "Of course Mr. Rockefeller must have known that the railroad was a common carrier, and that the common law forbade discrimination. But he knew that the railroads had regularly granted special rates and rebates to those who had large amounts of freight. That is, you were able to bargain with the railroads as you did with a man carrying on a strictly private business depending in no way on a public franchise." She explicitly dwells on the point again in Vol. 1, pp. 33-34, 48-49, 52, 119, 132-33 and 152. Rockefeller went further than this and demanded, and received, secret "draw-backs" and "rake-offs" on shipping payments of competitors--a point that still retrospectively annoys many otherwise sympathetic businessmen who are willing to concede him his rebates as just ordinary smart business. He made money, in brief, on the shipments of others, without their knowledge! Nevins, developing a Madison Avenue pettifogger's defense brief at every point he can for Rockefeller, presents Tarbell's as an excellent pioneering but biased and shakily evidential study; yet most of his accusations along this line are seen upon reference to the heavily documented Tarbell text to be false or misleading. However, the Tarbell account is by no means complete or balanced, because she wrote about a largely, until then, secret operation. But even when facts withheld from Tarbell are in part revealed as in the cooperation of the successor Standard Oil Company of New Jersey with the writing of Pioneering in Big Business: 1882-1911 by Ralph W. and Muriel Hidy, Harper and Bros., N.Y., 1955, there is plenty of room for complaint about incompleteness and lack of balance. The Hidys confine their discussion of Standard Oil's political activities to 7 out of 839 pages (pp. 205, 213, 663-670), gingerly touching upon such bold subversion of the formal political process as they are unable to deny.
By way of exculpating Rockefeller, the Hidys plead that the practices were quite general, institutionalized and not unique to Standard Oil. Nevins adopts the same line with respect to Rockefeller. Nearly everybody was doing it and, as we have seen, is still in one way or the other doing it. With this I agree. Rockefeller neither made nor dishonored a loose system ready-made for his purposes; he simply harmonized with it to a superlative degree. It was partly for this reason that he was made to bear the brunt of the purely verbal attack against it.
4. See Tarbell, I, pp. 56, 58, 70-71; 11, pp. 112-19 and passim.
5. Ibid., II, pp. 145-46.
6. Carr, pp. 109-10.
7. Tarbell, II, p. 164.
8. Ibid., II, 112.
9. H. L. Mencken, A New Dictionary of Quotations, A. A. Knopf, N.Y., p. 1159.
11. See a succinct defense of intelligence tests by David Wechsler, professor of clinical psychology at New York University School of Medicine, the New York Times Magazine, June 26, 1966, p. 12, under the title "The I. Q. Is an Intelligent Test." The literature on the subject is large. IQ tests are used by intelligent people and institutions for intelligible purposes. What the IQ measures is the ability to discern distinctions rapidly and accurately. Rapidity may be overstressed. Colleges generally have found that, although good test results do not invariably foreshadow academic success, in conjunction with past good academic performance and cooperative attitude they broadly point at least to academic success in a great majority of cases. Adverse emotional experiences, it is known, may mar a predicted and extrapolated high performance pattern. The General Education Test alluded to in the text was, as a matter of fact, not very thorough-going and did reflect cultural factors, to the detriment of the culturally deprived. What makes that test worth citing as suggestive, however, is the large group exposed to it, enabling one to hypothesize that a more finely articulated test individually applied to as many cases would show broadly similar relative results in accordance with the law of distribution of characteristics in large groups.
12. Frank R. Kent, Political Behavior, William Morrow and Company, N.Y., 1928, p. 8.
13. Seymour Martin Lipset, Political Man, Doubleday & Co., N.Y., 1960, p. 184, and Chapter 4.
14. See Frank R. Kent, The Great Game of Politics, Doubleday, Page & Co., N.Y., 1923, Chapter II, "Why the Primaries Are More Important Than the General Election."
15. Matthews, p. 34.
16. Ibid., p. 36.
17. Moses Rischin, Our Own Kind--Voting by Race, Creed or National Origin, The Fund for the Republic, N.Y., 1960.
18. In Political Man, pp. 285-309, Professor Lipset analyzes voting in the United States by social classes, pinpointing the social bases of the electorate, and he has no difficulty in showing that the lower classes have tended strongly "leftward" by voting for the Democratic Party, both before and after 1932. Such a strictly European use of the left-right differentiation is definitely misleading, however; impassable barriers on each side are firmly established by basic law and court decision. Neither party, nor any party, can move beyond a certain point soon reached without a change in the Constitution and its interpretation, and radical constitutional change is not on the program of either party. What is counted as leftism and rightism is clearly important here. At its most extreme, leftism in the economic realm calls for the abolition of privately owned productive property and in the political sphere for unrestricted political and civil liberty. Economically, Russian and Chinese Communism conform formally to the leftist prescription completely, but politically and culturally they are as far to the right as Nero, Hitler and Caligula (a circumstance confusing to many). In other than Leninist revisions of Marxist leftism, only basic industries are to be government-owned, with or without due compensation to the owners, or productive property is to be owned collectively by unions or syndicates composing the labor force: syndicalism. None of this has anything whatever to do with the Democratic Party. At least in their proselytizing stages, all leftist groups strongly stress individual civil and political liberties, which are suppressed as ruthless political managers, as in the Soviet and Chinese blocs, take over the direction of putative collective ownership. No even faintly libertarian noncapitalist regime has yet emerged anywhere. As to producing basic change by peaceful processes, which even the great, great Founding Fathers were unable to do, it is often pointed out that extreme leftists, mainly Communists, under free choice have never won an election; note is not taken, on the other hand, that anti-Communists have never won an election in a Communist country. Who controls and lays down the rules of the electoral system obviously determines at least the broad outcome of elections. The Communists win under their rules by requiring people to vote only one way. The capitalists win under their rules by allowing everybody and anybody to vote or not, knowing that the mass is confused and at odds within itself. Those who seek by the electoral process, socialism, or any other basic change, obviously recommend a procedure that has slight likelihood of ever succeeding. When leftists see to achieving such change by fair electoral means, they are simply suppressed by milititary force, as in Spain and elsewhere. And as elected Socialists were once thrown out of the New York State Legislature.
As to rightism, the furthest right any considerable thought yet extends in the United States is to require much less government intervention in social and economic affairs, leaving the field clear to money-chasing entrepreneurs as prior to 1932. Then workers, possibly forbidden to organize and strike, can again be paid a purely subsistence wage, and small entrepreneurs can become affluent. While sufficiently rightist this prospect is not very far right--say to the possible point of institutionalizing arrangements in a Corporate State of formalized working serfs with few civil liberties. Here would be a pure private capitalist counterpart to Soviet Russia and China. When it comes to seeing leftism in the New Deal one must grasp at straws. TVA, true enough, is government enterprise; hence presumably leftist. But it supplies unusually cheap power to a host of private-profit industries, surely not leftism. The labor laws, establishing the large unions, are also seen by some as leftism. But leftists themselves, such as Socialists, who ought to know left from right, claim that these laws made the union into cooperative adjuncts of the large corporations, whose general policies the unions endorse. Social Security is often cited as an example of New Deal leftism. Yet, upon examination it is nothing but collective forced insurance for old age, wholly at popular expense, which most of the population was incapable of accomplishing for itself. Many voters, it is true, believe they are voting left when they vote Democratic, "the party of the common people." Thus "leftist" immigrant groups, as Lipset notes but fails to ponder, voted for Wilson in 1916 on the ground that he kept the country out of war. Yet immediately upon his re-election Wilson rushed the unwilling country into World War I on falsely stated grounds, which is precisely what rightists and "progressives" like Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and Charles Evans Hughes intended to do. Again, many self-styled leftists voted for Democratic Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 because, a man of peaceful palaver, he said he had no intention of making war in Vietnam. Yet even as he protested, Johnson was readying forces faster than Republican Barry Goldwater promised to do--immediately. Johnson's intervention, with no declaration of war from Congress, was swiftly endorsed by Richard M. Nixon, Barry Goldwater, Nelson A. Rockefeller and other Republicans.
Professor Lipset makes quite a point of arguing that the major parties are far from identical, as often charged. He is right, but for reasons other than he gives. First, when the chips are down, on major issues, there is usually no serious dispute between the two parties; they tend to define each situation as one or the other faction of big property holders defines it. As part of his untenable thesis that they are really upper- and lower-class parties, Lipset cites the fact (p. 287) that "based on interviews with a systematic sample of one thousand such men, [it was] found that even within this upper economic group, the larger the company of which a man was an officer, the greater the likelihood that he was a Republican." As he showed, in the largest corporations 84 per cent of the executives voted Republican. Professor Lipset unaccountably leaves the story hanging there after citing the true observation of Charles Beard that the center of gravity of wealth is with the Republicans, of poverty with the Democrats. Professor Lipset never cites the overshadowing, eye-filling, knock-down fact of consistently large campaign contributions. If science should take account of all relevant factors, this is surely odd social science as applied to politics. When one looks to campaign contributions at any time, one finds the heavy money backing both parties and sometimes the same interests contributing impartially both ways. Company executives may vote preponderantly Republican, thereby displaying respectability, but many of the largest stockholders contribute huge sums to the Democrats; and in wealthy families some toss big money one way, some another way. Their respectability assured, these elements need not make public ritual displays. Thus in 1928 when tenement-born, proletarian, Irish Catholic, man-of-the-people, friend-of-all-races, down-to-earth, plain-talking Alfred E. Smith reached for the presidency on the Democratic ticket as boobs cheered and jeered, some of his leading campaign contributors were William F. Kenny, president of the W. F. Kenny Contracting Company ($125,000); Multimillionaire Thomas Fortune Ryan; John J. Raskob of Du Pont and General Motors, and banker Herbert H. Lehman ($110,000 each); Jesse H. Jones, Texas multimillionaire banker and wheeler-dealer ($75,000); multi-millionaire Pierre S. du Pont; multi-millionaire Harry Payne Whitney (Standard Oil); and M. J. Meehan, razzle-dazzle stockmarket manipulator ($50,000 each); Bernard Baruch ($37,590); Robert Sterling Clark and William H. Todd, shipbuilder ($35,000 each); John D. Ryan, chairman of Anaconda Copper ($27,000); and $25,000 each from Nicholas Brady, public utility tycoon; Francis P. Garvan of Allied Chemical; Peter O. Gerry, Rhode Island political millionaire whose ancestor inspired the term "to gerrymander"; Oliver Cabana, president of the Liquid Veneer Corporation; Arthur Curtiss James, millionaire railroad operator whose estate ultimately came to $96 million; Edith A. Lehman of the banking family; George W. Loft, candy entrepreneur and stock market operator; Nicholas M. Schenck, movie producer; William H. Woodin, director of General Motors and president of the American Car and Foundry Company; and many similar rich "fat cats." (See America's Sixty Families, pp. 179-80.) This was neither a leftist nor lower class crowd. Nor was it a crowd that usually spent its money under misapprehensions of the nature of the transaction. It was not even preponderantly Catholic. A similar line-up for the Democrats appears in every election; and behind Lyndon B. Johnson stand as heavy contributors big-rich Sid Richardson, Clint Murchison, H. L. Hunt, billed as "the richest man in the world," and the rest of the post-1920 Texas depletion-allowance oil crowd plus many more of the current big-money operators such as government-contractor George Brown of Brown and Root, Inc. All are deft soft-shoe dancers when it comes to taxes. As the point seems to give difficulty even to big-league professors, it should be explained that the sole genuine difference between the two parties in their social bases is that from the top down the Republican Party is the party of established people, and the Democratic Party (except for traditional professional Democrats) the party of persons of greater relative newness and insecurity of position--economic, political and cultural. Old-rich tend to be Republican; new-rich Democratic. Old-established in the farm belt, the small towns an the white-collar circuits tend to be Republican; newcomers in the cities tend to be Democrats. Persons with insecurity of position, no matter how wealthy, need more room for maneuver; they are more dependent on flexibility of public policy in securing their personal interests and even safety. Such being their position they also need popular votes, hence party flexibility before the public. They will concede an inch to gain a mile whereas Republicans have often fought for an inch and lost a mile. But to interpret such differences in terms of revolutionary and counter-revolutionary European politics is entirely misleading and fails to show the true dead-center nature of American two-party politics. It is often pointed out that all the changes suggested in the Socialist platform of 1900 except government production have been enacted into law and are now operative. Is this leftism? I would say hardly because all reasonable reforms (though many unimaginative conservatives would not agree) benefit the existing system, strengthen the basic established position. Thus women's suffrage, fought for madly by leftists, opposed bitterly by conservatives, was finally legalized. Then it was found that the women's vote was a great conservative political force because women, basically unadventurous, tend very strongly to vote for the status quo. Many conservatives, too, were violently opposed to government regulation of corporations. But such regulation, always tender, proved to be a conservative boon. See Kolko, The Triumph of Conservatism.
19. Pete Hamill, "Man of the People," New York Post, August 26, 1966, pp. 5, 45.
20. Matthews, p. 79.
22. Drew Pearson, New York Post, May 27, 1966; p. 46.
23. Sylvia Porter, "16,000,000 'Near Poor,'" New York Post, June 9, 1966; p. 46.
24. Statistical Abstract, 1964, p. 112.
25. High-level criticisms of American formal education are numerous and caustic. For the evidence see: Theodore Caplow and Reece J. McGee, The Academic Market Place, Basic Books, N.Y., 1958; James B. Conant, The American High School Today, McGraw-Hill Book Company, N.Y., 1959, and Slums and Suburbs: A Commentary on Schools in Metropolitan Areas, McGraw-Hill, N.Y., 1961; Paul Woodring, A Fourth of a Nation, McGraw-Hill Book Company, N.Y., 1957; Nevitt Sanford (ed.), The American College, John Wiley & Sons, N.Y., 1962; Arthur E. Bestor, Educational Wastelands, Alfred A. Knopf, N.Y., 1953; Robert M. Hutchins, The Higher Learning in America, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1936; Thorstein Veblen, The Higher Learning in America, B. W. Heubsch, N.Y., 1918; Ralph Lazarus, We Can Have Better Schools, Committee on Economic Development, N.Y., 1960; H. G. Rickover, Education and Freedom, E. P. Dutton, N.Y., 1959; Mortimer Smith, The Diminished Mind, H. Regnery Co., Chicago, 1954; et al. For a sharp neo-Marxist summation see Baran and Sweezy, pp. 305-35.
26. James A. Perkins, "Foreign Aid and the Brain Drain," Foreign Affairs, July, 1966, p. 617.
27. New York Times, September 16, 1966; 1:8.
28. Baran and Sweezy in Monopoly Capital (pp. 170-73) make the excellent point that the United States really has two school systems--a good one to produce personnel almost sufficient for the operation of the society in the interests of private profit and a poor one. The good one consists of the topflight secular private colleges and universities, secular private schools and the public elementary and high schools of the better suburbs; the poor one, except for state universities designed to catch straggling lower-class potential high-level performers, consists of everything else. The division is indirectly secured by fastening the burden of school support on each penny-pinching philistine local community, thus "respecting" local autonomy, and by "respecting" religious convictions by allowing religionists glorious freedom to trap their helpless children in inferior schools. While billions of dollars are appropriated for the building of more automobile roads, thereby catering to a highly profitable industry that directly and indirectly accounts for about 20 per cent of the economy, there is adamant resistance to federal appropriations for floundering schools. As these writers skillfully point out, the favored automobile complex is not only in large measure wasteful of resources but is severely destructive socially in its effects of air pollution, urban congestion, traffic jams, noise and confusion, high accident rate (50,000 dead annually, 1,500,000 killed since the introduction of the automobile), proliferation of garages, parking lots and filling stations, and undermining the efficient alternative of railroads. In pointing to the disreputable state of housing in the United States (pp. 289-300) these same writers do not take note of the fact that popular expenditure which should have been directed into healthful housing has been enticed to the destructive automobile. Every rat-infested slum--a point Marxists do not note--has its streets lined, day and night, with automobiles, many of them late models and of the more expensive types. There are so many that one can instantly discern that they cannot all belong to landlords, local politicos, dope peddlers and procurers. Many families in the United States that live substandard nevertheless own cars, often good ones, which they have purchased on the installment plan, meanwhile denying themselves many amenities. The American automobile is a toy for people who are properly evaluated as boobs or as mentally handicapped. It represents an enormous misallocation of resources for largely frivolous purposes. The same elements often have, also, TV and radio sets, etc.
29. I use the term "democratic system" as presented in Henry Mayo, An Introduction to Democratic Theory, Oxford University Press, N.Y., 1960, especially in his Chapter IV. That is, I take it merely as a method of choosing and installing policymakers without reference to the quality either of policy or the underlying society.
30. Baran and Sweezy, p. 155, quote Karl Marx on the "contradiction" inherent in a specific democratic electoral system. Writing of the democratic French constitution of 1848, Marx said: "The most comprehensive contradiction of this constitution consisted in the following: the classes whose social slavery the constitution is to perpetuate--proletariat, peasants, petty bourgeois--it puts in possession of political power through universal suffrage. And from the class whose social power it sanctions, the bourgeoisie, it withdraws the political guarantees of this power. It forces its rule into democratic conditions, which at every point help the hostile classes to victory and jeopardize the very foundations of bourgeois society." (Marx, The Class Struggles in France: 1848-1850, International Publishers, N.Y., 1934, pp. 69-70.) Whatever contradiction there is here represents a contradiction with Marx's theory that the "exploited classes" are exploited through arrangements deliberately contrived against them, either consciously or unconsciously. Yet an open electoral system has never been construed as contrived against the lower classes. Such a system, as Marx noted, gives these classes the means to victory, enables them by their vote to "jeopardize the very foundations of bourgeois society." Yet these lower classes, both in the United States and Europe, have never shown the slightest inclination to use their franchise to replace existing institutions with institutions more favorable to their own comfort, convenience and necessity. They cannot even obtain an equitable tax system, do not even realize that they live under a grossly inequitable tax system that ridiculously favors "the bourgeoisie." The missing ingredient in the lower classes is knowledge, understanding and, above all, determination to work at all times to secure their own interests. They childishly expect some political good fairy to do this for them, and thus stand forth as dependents. Although many conservatives originally opposed the popular franchise on the ground that the populace would vote all wealth into its own hands, experience has shown that this fear was ungrounded--so much so that the dominant political-economic classes are now literally forcing the franchise upon people to whom the whole idea is utterly bewildering and repugnant as in South Vietnam and elsewhere. The people, thus far at least, have been no more able to master the open electoral system than to master calculus or classical Greek. It is still, not only in the United States but also in England and France, quite beyond their powers. They do not even know where to begin, or what to do when, as and if they begin, nor what specifically to aim for after they start doing something. They are at sea in their own confusion, entangled in their own entrails.
31. This aspect of the market is shown not only in such matters as built-in obsolescence and arbitrary style changes to insure rapid turnover (for the profit of the supplier) but also in many arrangements supposedly catering to public convenience comfort but in reality more or less unpleasant.
32. Baran and Sweezy, p. 389. The reader new to Marxism will find a balanced critical analysis in Henry B. Mayo, Introduction to Marxist Theory, Oxford University Press, N.Y., 1960.
33. As Baran and Sweezy supply lucid justifications for regarding these components as economic waste, drawing on a large number of entirely conservative economists for support, I do not reproduce any part of their arguments, although the reader should remember I do not agree that institutional arrangements determine what happens in society and how people act and think. This fundamental Marxist credo, were it true, would have made impossible Marx's own sharp economic analysis and non sequitur political programming, which goes against the grain of established institutions.
34. E. H. Chamberlin, The Theory of Monopolistic Competition, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1931, p. 119. Cited by Baran and Sweezy, p. 117.
35. In the teaching of logic and semantics for many years at New York University I required elementary classes as an exercise to apply techniques they had learned to common advertisements with a view to finding, if they could, a single intellectually sound ad. Apart from purely notificatory advertisements of the nonpersuasive variety, no student was ever able to produce an ad that the classes did not utterly demolish analytically. All ads submitted were either untrue, misleading or nonsensical in the sense of speaking of round squares, finely rounded squares and the most finely rounded squarish rounds.
36. Baran and Sweezy, p. 108. The interested reader is referred to Baran and Sweezy for arguments and data sources. They, like other socialists, are convinced there would be a better utilization of resources under socialism, a purely conjectural notion. They also, unlike many socialists, consider the anti-libertarian state capitalism of Soviet Russia to be socialism, with bureaucratic types such as Gromyko, Kosygin, Brezhnev and Khrushchev more reliable world influences than the Rockefellers, Du Ponts, Fords, Mellons et al., against whose agencies they are openly pitted in many parts of the world. A virtue of these latter as against the former, however, is that they do not make life miserable for artists like Boris Pasternak and cultural creators in general. At most they may ignore them. The Russian "socialist" official believes he has the right to total intervention in the life and thought of even superior types of individuals and acts upon that belief with all the power of state institutions--all in the overpowering name of socialism. Naturally, others than artists and thinkers are subjected to the same sort of heavy-handed, bovine repression, including ordinary workers in the mass. In their often percipient analysis of the American system Baran and Sweezy bring to bear an ethical value base they do not apply to the Soviet Union, as when they say truly (p. 209) that "militarization fosters all the reactionary and irrational forces in society, and inhibits or kills everything progressive and humane. Blind respect is engendered for authority; attitudes of docility and conformity are taught and enforced; dissent is treated as unpatriotic or even treasonable." Yet it is in the militarized Soviet Union rather than the United States that we see enforced to the hilt blind respect for authority, the inculcation of attitudes of extreme docility and conformity, with dissent of any kind absolutely forbidden.
37. Ibid., p. 146.
38. Source: F. M. Bator, The Question of Government Spending, 1960. Tables 1 and 2. Cited by Baran and Sweezy, p. 152.
39. For those who always ask the critic what he would do by way of rectification (as if no rectification were possible or as if the critic was supposed to think for everybody), there would be a simple semi-solution to the automobile-housing tangle, as follows: Nobody might be allowed to purchase or rent an automobile, new or secondhand, unless he was certified as adequately housed. An immediate advantage in the proposal would be a reduction in automobiles on the road. Economically, however, there would not necessarily be much improvement in housing because many, perhaps most, of those denied the right to buy an automobile (or motorcycle) would not necessarily use money in down payment on a house or apartment; they would probably fritter it away before they had accumulated enough. While not all of the poor housing in the United States is attributable to the purchase of cars and other gadgets, much of it clearly is. Rather than live in better quarters many people freely choose cars, thus providing the base for housing statistics that in turn provide fuel or many critics of capitalistic housing. It isn't capitalism that is at fault here so much as people. As between housing and cars, many people have clearly and childishly chosen cars. Capitalism caters to consumer childishness.
40. Ralph Nader, Unsafe at Any Speed, Grossman, N.Y., 1965.
41. New York Times, October 7, 1963; 1:7.
42. Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of Business Enterprise, Charles Scribner's Sons, N.Y., 1932, p. 20.
43. I know this from the remarks of liberal critics about a book I published in 1954, The Treason of the People, Harper and Brothers, N.Y., which analyzed the inept political performance of the public in the light of democratic theory. A number of critics took the view that whatever failure the public experienced in securing its own interests was attributable less to its own misfeasance and nonfeasance and more to the wiles of its oppressors. The major portion of the public, in fact, is largely victimized by its own incapacity for self-government and self-defense. As a case in point, I again refer to the tax laws.