STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Economist Mag: Japanese Disenchantment With Government Leads to Rise of … Corporatism
By Staff News & Analysis - March 12, 2012

Japan after the 3/11 disaster … The death of trust … Last year's triple disaster—earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown—has shattered Japanese faith in many of the country's institutions. – Economist Mag

Dominant Social Theme: Faith in public institutions is shattered. Let corporatism take its place.

Free-Market Analysis: The Economist magazine, being what it is, is always astute and never accurate. Its writers, as we have pointed out many times, finally analyzed the inception of what we call the Internet Reformation and then promptly attributed it to social media.

The idea of conflating the Internet Reformation with "social media" is especially transparent, in our humble opinion. It is the BLOGOSPHERE that we liken to the Gutenberg Press. But the Economist magazine, being a mouthpiece of the elite, needed to put what is going on into the context of social media. You can see an article we've written on the subject here: 'Borrowing' from the Daily Bell, Economist Magazine Still Gets It Wrong.

Why? Because social media is both "big" and "controlled." There is plenty of evidence that the largest of the social media companies, Facebook, is at root an American Intel invention. You can see one article we've written on the subject here: Facebook IPO Is US Intel Operation?

Now the Economist has written an interesting analysis of the "3/11" disaster at Fukushima. Only a year ago, a great Tsunami drowned part of Japan, including unstable nuclear reactors that have now poisoned parts of that suffering country with leaking nuclear radiation.

The Economist has noted rightly that the horrible reactions to the disaster by the Japanese government have given rise to increased mistrust among Japanese people. The Japanese people generally are a communal and disciplined lot, with tribal customs that may go back tens of thousands of years. But they are increasingly suspicious of their Western-style "democratic" government.

In noting this growing resentment the Economist cannot leave well enough alone. While the Japanese system of governance and "democracy" is increasingly a disaster, the Economist's article writers must mouth the sentiment that this culture of distrust will be most positively resolved by a "renewal" of trust in the very institutions that have brought Japan to the current pass.

For the Economist, bigger is always better. That's because it's owned by the same power elite that has installed such bigness throughout the world. The elites evidently and obviously are behind the modern central banking economies that afflict the world like a plague. They use unimaginable wealth of these monopoly printing plants to push the world toward global governance.

The power elite values bigness because it operates via mercantilism, using the levers of democratic governments to create laws that are advantageous to its goals and "new world order" objectives. The elites also own most of the major media in the world, with the exception of the alternative publishers on the web.

The Economist in our view is one of the prize jewels, a "thought magazine" intended to influence Western intelligentsia into believing that certain elite nostrums are intellectually viable. For this reason, any Economist analysis is likely to be accompanied by ANOTHER analysis that somehow promotes the one of the elite's favorite dominant social themes: bigness and complexity.

With the meme of the Internet Reformation (lifted directly from our pages without credit) the Economist introduced the horrid complications of Western controlled Intel via social media.

In this article, excerpted above, the Economist introduced the reality of Japanese disenchantment with Western-style government, but then hastened to add other analysis to haul the argument back to its old "big society" foundations. Take a look at this excerpt:

The culture of suspicion could have dire consequences. Japan's enormous debts are propped up by its citizens' willingness to buy government bonds. If they stop doing so, who else will? And if a lack of trust keeps the nuclear power plants shut down for lack of convincing regulatory reforms, industrial firms, already squeezed by a strong yen, may accelerate their move out of Japan. Elections or no, the political class needs to be much more serious about restoring the trust it has lost.

In this it might learn from Japan's businesses, which—as the public has noted— have weathered the crisis much better. Large manufacturers agreed to change their operating hours to balance their energy use, and sent teams of engineers to restore supply chains quickly. A government survey showed that there was almost no long-term loss of business from firms switching suppliers after the disruption.

Toyota, the biggest car company, has tapped into the self-help mood by announcing plans to construct its own power plants at a newly built factory in the north-eastern region of Tohoku, which it will feed into the grid to help the local community in the event of power cuts. It is deeply worried about a stable supply of energy because of the closure of nuclear power plants. "We call it self-defence," says Shinichi Sasaki, its executive vice-president. Aeon, Japan's largest supermarket chain, has set itself much tougher safety standards than the government's to ensure that food is radiation-free. It is conducting its own checks.

With greater self-reliance may come a new vitality. One of the most pressing needs of the country is a revival of the entrepreneurial spirit that emerged after the second world war. If Japan is to phase out nuclear energy, it will need to pour copious human, intellectual and financial capital into new sources of power, while also breaking up the monopolies that dominate the industry today. A willingness to consider politicians from outside the mainstream may bring fresh air into Japan's stuffy politics. And any hints that people are prepared to challenge authority, however quietly, may press more of the elderly men who run Japanese companies to let a younger generation take charge.

Do you see the clever qualifications that have been introduced? We have hopped from disenchantment with big government right over to another solution: big business. Having stated the problem, the Economist provides us with new bigness nostrums: Toyota, Aeon, etc.

The idea is that big business, apparently will take over where big government has failed. Of course what is unstated in this palaver is that big business in Japan (as elsewhere) is joined at the hip with the government itself.

Nowhere is this truer than in Japan where business and government are virtually indistinguishable. The idea that Toyota is a "business" and that the Japanese government is "other" is kinda laughable, in our view. Japanese businesses are as beholden to central planning as its people are.

That's one of the reasons that Japan has foundered so badly in the modern era. When it comes to regulations and centralization, Japan is like a Western country – only on steroids.

Japan does have an entrepreneurial, or at least small-business culture of sorts. Its great and storied past is full of clan and tribal relationships of the sort we advocate here. But the idea that modern big business – corporatism – is somehow preferable to big government is a non-starter, in our view.

REAL competition is what's necessary to restore a truly prosperous and satisfying society to Japan. Real tribal networks that operate independently of government and give people more control over their own lives once more.

After Thoughts

The idea that one has to choose between big government (inefficient) and big business (efficient) is just one more false paradigm. The elites are comfortable with either. It's "downsizing" they fear.

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