Comments: The System

Powell was referring to "the enterprise system." Aka: business.
And all you need to see in five minutes of looking is the evolution of the famous "The business of America is business" quote attributed to Calvin Coolidge.
What he really said was "After all, the chief business of the American people is business." But then he added: "Of course, the accumulation of wealth cannot be justified as the chief end of existence."
Cal, it can. It has been.
And whom was Cal talking to on that January day in 1925? Yes, The American Society of Newspaper Editors, in whose rags the misquotation has appeared thousands of times. No "after all," no "chief," and no afterthought, in which Cal goes on to talk about the "idealism" of the American people.
But as we have learned, idealism is not an asset, adds no value, and doesn't help the bottom line. Why it isn't even one of the habits of highly successful managers, leaders or thieves.
Poor Cal. He misunderestimated the System. Some of us no longer do, but we can't make a dent.
Chomsky speaks about manufacturing consent in Chile and they cheer. At Harvard, they shrug their shoulders and say "It is what it is."

Posted by donescobar at December 2, 2008 10:32 AM

Personally, I prefer "the Man" to "the system". 'The Man is holding us down', 'stick it to the Man' - how do you do this with "the system"?

Besides, I assume that there's virtually no chance that people inside the system will use "the Man" in their memos and journals.

Posted by abb1 at December 2, 2008 10:55 AM

INTEREST gathers by the nano-second, that's just the way credit works, the way of charging interest. As far as getting Dick or Alberto into court, the prosecutor is just ONE guy so I guess the job is left up to U&I. Call Pelosi @ 1-202-225-0100 DEMAND IMPEACHMENT.

Posted by Mike Meyer at December 2, 2008 11:51 AM

Well if hardcore radical weirdos and people at the very apex of American society agree, doesn't that mean that the system is working?

Posted by radish at December 2, 2008 12:26 PM

Ask the patrons emerging from lunch or dinner at the Cafe Milano in Georgetown if the system is working, and you'll hear "It is for me."
You care if it's working for the forklift operator in Akron or the teacher's assistant in Syracuse? Well, are they calling for the dismantling of the system? No. They just want a bigger or better piece of it.

Posted by donescobar at December 2, 2008 12:43 PM

If they just want a bigger piece of it, that's the definition of 'system working'.

Posted by abb1 at December 2, 2008 02:05 PM

Dubya said it in the Gibson interview, "...we will safeguard the system"

Posted by scats at December 2, 2008 04:21 PM

Are there still really people who think Pelosi would support impeachment of Bush? I Hope that's satire, Mike, but I know it's not.

Posted by Marcus at December 2, 2008 06:09 PM

Marcus: I've got NO illusions about Madam Speaker, I was wondering about YOU. Is IMPEACHMENT off YOUR table?

Posted by Mike Meyer at December 2, 2008 08:24 PM

In Britain, the accepted term is (and always has been) The Establishment, and it's existence is pretty uncontroversial... The disagreement is as to whether it's a good thing or not.

Posted by Dunc at December 3, 2008 07:27 AM