I’m probably never going to find the perfect words to explain this, so after many false starts it’s going to be worth doing badly, because it’s worth doing.
The most ruthless Free-Market economics, the greatest attachment to price and incentive over command and control, the most thorough abandonment of hierarchy and oversight is more consistent with the Distributist vision than even that of the Anarcho-Capitalists. The giant corporations are holes in the market, they don’t use price coordination or free exchange internally, and as a consequence they are what we know them to be: Horrible things. We know that the Dilberts of the world are right about their own workplaces, not merely in terms of misery, but in terms of inefficiency and incompetence. Economies of scale, to the extent that they exist, provide efficiency merely so that the increased output can be absorbed in valueless activity that benefits only those with power within the organization.
I worked for a multimillion dollar corporation last year, at least it was capitalized in the millions according to its stock valuation. On the other hand, the company hadn’t posted a profit in eight quarters when I left. Reforms were more or less constant, but also more or less routine. The fact is that the profit motive didn’t exist for this capitalist enterprise; we consistently posted profits and dividends of zero for our shareholders, but we weren’t dead, because we sure as hell continued cutting huge paychecks to our executives. And who’s really in the driver’s seat, owners, or managers? Continue reading