This started as a response to smitty's latest JE, but got too long. From TFA he sites:
In the old days, the left railed against the eeeevils of Big Business, whether it was Upton Sinclair versus the meatpackers, or demonizing the men who built Americaâ(TM)s network of railroads with the folk Marxist twang of âoeRobber Barons.â But these days, as weâ(TM)ve seen in the past few weeks with Starbucksâ(TM) Howard Schultz and Appleâ(TM)s Tim Cook, American business is almost totally onboard with the leftâ(TM)s social agenda. Comcastâ(TM)s MSNBC channel and Viacomâ(TM)s Daily Show and all three of the broadcast networkâ(TM)s news programs are effectively daily in-kind contributions to the Democrat Party.
But individual small businesses are a lot more random in their thinking, which is why the left hates them, unless they obediently conform to the Gleichschaltung.
And, as a parenthetical, from the linked article for that German word:
Donâ(TM)t miss the rest of Billâ(TM)s essay [on Progressivism], which moves from the Bridge of the Titanic, to the classrooms of the Frankfurt School, the birthplace of âoePolitical Correctnessâ And speaking of which, as Jonah Golberg asks, âoeWhat is political correctness other than the gears of the liberal Gleichschaltung?â
Gleichschaltung is a German word (in case you couldnâ(TM)t have guessed) borrowed from electrical engineering. It means âoecoordination.â The German National Socialists (Nazis) used the concept to get every institution to sing from the same hymnal. If a fraternity or business embraced Nazism, it could stay âoeindependent.â If it rejected Nazism, it was crushed or bent to the stateâ(TM)s ideology. Meanwhile, every branch of government was charged with not merely doing its job but advancing the official state ideology.
This what is looking to be an era of attacks on small business sheds more light on the overall strategy the Left has migrated to.
The "from" of course was the vilification of "big business", and in general (economic) success in America. So for example Slashdotters used to rail against successful, heavy-handed tech company Microsoft. Making a political movement out of the idea of cost-free software with source code included, and inventing the notion of "copyleft" to invert and subvert protection of the individual from the collective as far as software IP, was nerdy Leftists' little microcosm version of what had been the larger plan of the Left, to try to get the people to rise up against and throw out private industry. ("Big business" being just a proxy term for the actual target, capitalism.)
But that wasn't working. Capitalism, along with America's other values and traditions that the Left absolutely hates, would not be defeated in one glorious moment of destruction (and rebirth). The Left realized that our institutions would have to be corrupted and weakened from the inside, and converted to an overall system of what I'll call CINO, or Capitalism In Name Only, rather than explicitly collapsed and rebuilt. (Hence things like Obama's talk about "fundamentally transforming" America. Because the classical Lefty approach and dream was not going to pan out here, because our foundations were at the same time too far from the goal and too deep-rooted, legally and in the peoples' consciousnesses.)
The main information dissemination institutions in America were part of the first phase, and were easily compromised; K-12 and higher education, the entertainment industries (TV, movies, music), and journalism. These strategic captures were instrumental in winning the culture war in America, that, as TFA points out, they've been sore winners about since. Included in this phase was the takeover of science as thought about and practiced in this country, and the installment of policies in public sector employment to transition the bulk of government employees, and even more importantly the powerful leadership of regulating/pseudo law-making government departments, to being their people.
So unwanted turns of events as far as the consequences of democracy -- legislation -- could be undermined via the courts and ignoring by bureacrats. But then what to do about businesses. Well, Microsoft was evil to Leftie nerds because Gates (before he retired to pursue squandering millions of dollars on dumb ways of trying to save the world, and thereby becoming a Leftist himself, only differing in that the squandered millions are his own) and Balmer wanted to make money and crush the competition. Microsoft was evil for being this, until Google came along, that is. Despite being near as successful and heavy-handed, their founders were otherwise on board with Leftism. So it was entirely acceptable, in the new strategy.
Capitalism probably can't be defeated in this county, by vote. At least not until the more recent strategic component of diluting the votership with millions of immigrants from countries south of us where all they've really known and have come to accept is a low standard of living and continuing belief in and constant re-tries of the promises of socialism. So convert it to crony capitalism. Expand government's role from "hands-off until a rule is broken" to "get in bed with us and we'll help you with a leg up on your competitors" (meaning any of them not also in bed with government). Blur the public sector/private sector division with "public/private partnerships", and (sort of) NGO's/quasi-government organizations like Fannie and Freddie. Afterall, "you didn't build that". Tell the banks who they're going to buy and what they're going to do, or government will crush them. "Too big to fail", and also too useful as instruments of government policy to pass up utilizing.
The giant companies of Silicon Valley have already been on board with the Left, in its leadership positions. I'm not sure there's any large companies left that haven't liberalized employment benefits by extending them to employees' same-sex live-in lovers (can I as a man shack up with a lady and get her on my company health plan?) or who aren't regularly talking about diversity as one of the business objectives. So really the largest problem remaining in the business world is the SMB's. Big businesses have already shown good progress on and are on track toward becoming directable tools of the state. But SMB's, like still a large part of white male America (and maybe tiny parts of other groupings of Americans), still feel a sense of being independent.
We're all supposed to be in this (pursuit of a centrally planned, based on Leftist values and principles, society and economy) together, so really the biggest problem in America to the Left, as far as not quite yet having a real plan in place to deal with that is already on the path to success, is the existence of people like Tea Partiers and small business owners. The former seems to have pretty much fizzled out on its own, thanks to traditional Americans' tendency towards apathy and the inability to sustain feelings of outrage. So what's left is converting the small business landscape in America. That's where things like raids, high taxation, lawsuits, extortion measures by Left-wing groups, and government-enhanced high barriers to entry come in. Crony capitalism is the new socialism, and these are the hold-outs.