You are hereBuzzflash: Milton Friedman's Legacy: The Suppression of Individual Freedom by Corporate Governance

Buzzflash: Milton Friedman's Legacy: The Suppression of Individual Freedom by Corporate Governance


April 10, 2011- Is Milton Friedman, the father of modern anarchistic capitalism and the economic "shock doctrine" a "true hero of freedom"?

That's how George W. Bush praised Friedman in a White House ceremony a few years back. (Ronald Reagan bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom on the "Republican revolution" guru.)

I came across a clip of the event the other night, and it brought home how fervently this nation's political and financial elite have embraced an extremist notion. America's domestic and foreign policy now proceeds on the assumption that democracy can only flourish with the existence of unfettered, unregulated, predatory corporate activity.

The Milton Friedman "Chicago School" economic model equates democracy with the consolidation of capital and power.

This explains, as Naomi Klein has pointed out, everything from our overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile to our attempt to convert Iraq into a mini-American "free market." For Friedman adherents - such as Bush and a good portion of the DC political figures and consolidated mainstream media owners - democracy does not exist without the "freedom" for corporations to accumulate as much money and power as possible, without any laws that let the common good supersede the acquisition of unlimited profit and corporate/Wall Street control of the marketplace.

When large corporate and financial industry assets are so vast that they, in essence, determine federal government policy in so many important areas, freedom for the individual is diminished, not enhanced.

Milton Friedman (who died in 2006) was no "hero of freedom," unless you believe that the rights of people are secondary to the "rights" of corporations and banks.

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