At the airport I see a copy of Bloomberg Businessweek which poses on its cover the stark question: If America were a company, would you keep this CEO?
Such a worldview is so ingrained that even in the face of its unavoidable and catastrophic failure it somehow stumbles on, eyes burnt out and arms outstretched, groaning for more brains – smarter ones in presumably less decrepid bodies. Even a sterling Democrat like Michael Bloomberg, with his sincere and laudable statements about Climate Change and sanctuary cities, is unable to see beyond it. For almost a decade American TV viewers were sold the idea that their country needed a CEO, and that pitch was accompanied by the face and the voice of the country’s most iconically successful ‘business leader’. Enlightened neoliberals like Bloomberg must surely be starting to understand that it is their zombie ideology of letting the market run rip through all institutions that has led to this point, that in order for democratic values to remain intact prices have to be kept at bay. The problem is not that the Presidency was sold to the wrong person. The problem is that if we think of the country as a corporation the most brutal corporate interests will govern and destroy every aspect of our lives. Those who argued that there was nothing to choose between Macron’s Neoliberalism and Le Pen’s barely disguised fascism were absolutely wrong, but genuine liberals – of which Bloomberg is undoubtedly one – urgently need to be reminded of one of Mussolini’s most terrfying definitions of fascism: the point at which corporate and state power are indistinguishable.