Little Dictators

b_chaplin_dictator_hynkelRe: Ed’s two posts about the recent line up of bankers “like a murderers row” before their Congressional interrogators, that’s the whole point of these exercises — Congressional dominance and private sector submission, if not outright humiliation.

In the classic film, The Great Dictator, Chaplin as Hitler ushers Mussolini into a chair with sawed off legs, so the Italian is forced to look up in abject discomfort at the little mustachioed man, who sits perched up high behind his desk.

That’s how it is when you testify before Congress. They look down on you from their judges’ thrones and you’re obliged to crane you neck up every time you address them – in the most respectful terms, of course, not matter what idiocy they’ve just delivered themselves of.

This is only the beginning of the circus, as Congress demands increasing oversight – i.e. control – over the private sector institutions it’s now funding, all in our name, of course. Those executives who surrender meekly to the new Little Dictators on Capital Hill will be rewarded; those who raise objections or who try to assert their manhood will be penalized. It’s that’s simple. (Jonah Goldberg describes the corporatist dynamic beautifully in his brilliant book Liberal Fascism.)

Unless these CEO’s develop a strong rationale for why they, rather than Barney Frank and Maxine Walters, should be trusted to run their companies, they’ll end up as little more than figure heads taking their orders from Washington.

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