Thursday, June 10, 2010

High School Never Ends

President Obama says that his biggest mistake in handling the Gulf BP oil disaster is that he believed that the corporations were competent to handle their own mess. Yup. Incredibly stupid. Indeed, it is the backbone of contemporary conservatism that the private sector does everything much better than government ever could, but nonetheless unbelievably naive to actually believe it. Especially as the economy remains in the ICU after almost dying from self-inflicted alcohol poisoning from the financial boys' frat party.

That metaphor is, I believe, more than a metaphor. High school never ends. The Heathers, the cool kids in high school end up one place in life, the nerds another,...pick a clique from high school and they get recreated in college and then further instantiated in the real world. Corporate America is run by frat boys who have never lost their attitude, they just dress differently and play a slightly different game. They sell the line that constraining their parties harms the country and repeat it until people believe it. When Republicans are in power, their fellow fraternity brothers now control the council and give them the power to do whatever they want and the result is always disaster. Look at the financial industry's representatives testifying before Congress and tell me they aren't a bunch of frat boys.

We need the government to be the parents who keep these unruly little boys in the check, the stern campus life Dean who oversees their drunken debauchery from getting out of hand. Corporations are collectives, they have entrenched cultures that are bigger than the individuals in them. These cultures are poisonous to our nation in the same way that fraternities have cultures that are poisonous to the intellectual cultures and missions of college campuses. If Obama thought that such organizations were seriously considering ways to manage the ecological disasters they would cause and not solely concerned with looting and counting money, then he needs to be seriously reprogrammed from the Reagan cult's brainwashing they've been trying to lay on us for decades.