Friday, November 30, 2018

Flashback Friday: The problem with corporate suits

In these days of corporate ownership, the Commissioner has become of particular importance to the hustler. Corporate ownership brings company men, company policy, and company cards with little holes in them. Corporate ownership, in short, brings committee-think, and with ComThink comes the banishment, discouragement, and attrition of colorful characters. The hustler is dependent upon colorful characters, because color is what is salable. Corporations don’t want to be regulated. They don’t want a Commissioner with any powers … The hustler needs a Commissioner who will throw his weight against the stuffiness, the routine, the deadly boredom of the executive suite. He needs a Commissioner who will help baseball, in spite of itself."

- Bill Veeck, The Hustler's Handbook, as quoted by Charles Pierce.  

Notice how easily you can substitute so many different things for "Commissioner [of baseball]" -  just about anything that the suits of Corporate America touch, in fact.  Capitalism is a great model for economic diversity and success, but as Whittaker Chambers once pointed out, it's an ideology the same as Communism and Socialism, and if it lacks a moral foundation, it's no better than they are.

Originally published July 1, 2014

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