Jonah Goldberg

When kids get older, they learn from John Grisham movies that big businesses kill people in order to get what they want. In "Aliens," the company wants to smuggle space critters that will likely wipe out all humanity, in the slim hope they'll eke out a bit more profit. In "Avatar," the Halliburton of the future slaughters intelligent aliens and rapes their planet just to make a buck.

At Cannes, where anti-capitalist movies are always a hit, Brad Pitt's newest venture, "Killing Them Softly," is touted as a seething indictment of the American system. "America isn't a country -- it's a business" is apparently the film's central insight. Set against the backdrop of the 2008 financial crisis, the film was reportedly financed by Megan Ellison, daughter of billionaire businessman Larry Ellison.

No wonder that when these kids grow up, some of them make documentaries about how vast conspiracies keep the electric car and, no doubt, the Everlasting Gobstopper off the market. Even more of them uncritically accept this stuff. After all, everyone knows big businessmen are evil.

So the ones getting involved in politics, at least Republican politics, must be the sorts of bad guys we've all seen in the movies.

Warren Buffett and George Soros can't be greedy; after all, they're simply trying to "give something back."

Now, truth be told, I'm no lover of big corporations, but not because I think they want to poison their customers or shoot my dog for target practice. My problem isn't that they're too rapaciously capitalistic.

Rather, it's that they're too opportunistic, too eager to abandon the free market and work with the government under the false flag of the greater good.

In a free market, businesses are in a relentless competition to improve products and satisfy the needs of the consumer. "A new test for pancreatic cancer? Great! Let's be the first to get it to market."

In the cozy world of government-business collusion, the state counts on the status quo existing far out into the future, for that's the only way to preserve and plan out "the system."

There's got to be a good a movie plot in there somewhere.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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