Fiorina Sees Enemies Everywhere She Looks

As an advocate of a stateless society, I don’t want anyone to be president. Nevertheless, someone will be chosen to live in the White House next year. Will it be a woman?

Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina hope so. But these two women are essentially indistinguishable from each other and from their male rivals. Style must not overshadow substance. Really, what’s the point?

Clinton is a well-known champion of the all-state. To her the U.S. government is the source of order both domestic and foreign. Her fondness for social engineering is indisputable. Domestically, she likes corporatism, which comes down to bureaucrats and big business — with input from big official labor unions — running “the economy.” (That’s in quotation marks because an economy is just people: we’re the economy the ruling elite wants to regulate.) Little is to be left to the spontaneous process that arises from peaceful social cooperation and mutual aid in the marketplace and the wider society. In foreign affairs, Clinton has a preference for military intervention. She certainly demonstrated this as secretary of state under Barack Obama. She is an enthusiast for the conceit known as “American exceptionalism.”

If you need further evidence, peruse her husband’s foreign-policy record, which she embraces with gusto. It was Bill Clinton who bombed and killed thousands of people in the former Yugoslavia and who devastated the Iraqis with bombs and economic sanctions. His policies in the Middle East — which included unswerving support for Israel’s brutality against the Palestinians — helped set the stage for al-Qaeda’s actions on 9/11, just as his domestic policies, particularly housing policy, helped to bring on the Great Recession. He also built on his predecessors’ anti-Iran policy. Let’s remind candidate Clinton of this whenever she invokes her husband’s presidency.

How about Fiorina? If you’re looking for the anti-Hillary, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Fiorina will play up the fact that she comes out of the world of (big) business. She ran Hewlett-Packard (unsuccessfully by many accounts) and held executive positions in other large companies. This may thrill fans of “private enterprise,” but beware. Corporate America is no place to find advocates of freed markets, as opposed to capitalism or corporatism. When have you heard the CEO of a major company call for laissez faire — that is, the radical separation of the people and state? (Like most of her Republican rivals she opposes the Export-Import Bank. But without a more comprehensive critique of government-granted privilege, I suspect this is more a fashionable token gesture against Democratic cronyism.)

“I understand how the economy actually works. I understand the world, who’s in it, how the world works,” Fiorina said on ABC’s Good Morning America. We’ve heard this rhetoric before, and it’s always followed by an expansion of power. Let’s not be fooled by her criticism of the “political class” and her appeal for leaders drawn from the ranks of plain citizens. From the beginning the republic has been driven largely from behind the scenes by nonpoliticians (mostly business and financial magnates) who had friends in high places. It helps explain (though not entirely) why key economic matters like trade — both continental and global — have always been within the government’s domain and why the United States has spent so much time at war.

Fiorina sees a world full of enemies — Russia and Iran head the list — and shows no understanding that the U.S. government has gratuitously created enemies for the American people. (She’s been on the CIA External Advisory Board.) At this late date she still does not know — or more likely, mind — that free markets don’t coexist with an interventionist foreign policy, and she thinks the world is in turmoil because the U.S. government is not interventionist enough under Obama: “American leadership matters in the world. American strength matters in the world.”

Fiorina favors “border security,” indicating her belief that people must have government permission to relocate. She calls for less regulation, but unless government privileges are also eliminated, reducing regulation can bolster corporatism. Some advocate of small government!

If we must have a president, let it be a woman — but let it be a woman who understands the destructiveness of the state. Carly Fiorina is not the one.

Sheldon Richman keeps the blog “Free Association” and is a senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society.

More articles by:

Sheldon Richman, author of America’s Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited, keeps the blog Free Association and is a senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society, and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com.  He is also the Executive Editor of The Libertarian Institute.

March 22, 2018
Rob Okun
Students: Time is Ripe to Add Gender to Gun Debate
Michael Barker
Tory Profiteering in Russia and Putin’s Debt of Gratitude
March 21, 2018
Paul Street
Time is Running Out: Who Will Protect Our Wrecked Democracy from the American Oligarchy?
Mel Goodman
The Great Myth of the So-Called “Adults in the Room”
Chris Floyd
Stumbling Blocks: Tim Kaine and the Bipartisan Abettors of Atrocity
Eric Draitser
The Political Repression of the Radical Left in Crimea
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan Threatens Wider War Against the Kurds
John Steppling
It is Us
Thomas Knapp
Death Penalty for Drug Dealers? Be Careful What You Wish for, President Trump
Manuel García, Jr.
Why I Am a Leftist (Vietnam War)
Isaac Christiansen
A Left Critique of Russiagate
Howard Gregory
The Unemployment Rate is an Inadequate Reporter of U.S. Economic Health
Ramzy Baroud
Who Wants to Kill Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah?
Roy Morrison
Trouble Ahead: The Trump Administration at Home and Abroad
Roger Hayden
Too Many Dead Grizzlies
George Wuerthner
The Lessons of the Battle to Save the Ancient Forests of French Pete
Binoy Kampmark
Fictional Free Trade and Permanent Protectionism: Donald Trump’s Economic Orthodoxy
Rivera Sun
Think Outside the Protest Box
March 20, 2018
Jonathan Cook
US Smooths Israel’s Path to Annexing West Bank
Jeffrey St. Clair
How They Sold the Iraq War
Chris Busby
Cancer, George Monbiot and Nuclear Weapons Test Fallout
Nick Alexandrov
Washington’s Invasion of Iraq at Fifteen
David Mattson
Wyoming Plans to Slaughter Grizzly Bears
Paul Edwards
My Lai and the Bad Apples Scam
Julian Vigo
The Privatization of Water and the Impoverishment of the Global South
Mir Alikhan
Trump and Pompeo on Three Issues: Paris, Iran and North Korea
Seiji Yamada
Preparing For Nuclear War is Useless
Gary Leupp
Brennan, Venality and Turpitude
Martha Rosenberg
Why There’s a Boycott of Ben & Jerry’s on World Water Day, March 22
John Pilger
Skripal Case: a Carefully-Constructed Drama?
March 19, 2018
Henry Heller
The Moment of Trump
John Davis
Pristine Buildings, Tarnished Architect
Uri Avnery
The Fake Enemy
Patrick Cockburn
The Fall of Afrin and the Next Phase of the Syrian War
Nick Pemberton
The Democrats Can’t Save Us
Nomi Prins 
Jared Kushner, RIP: a Political Obituary for the President’s Son-in-Law
Georgina Downs
The Double Standards and Hypocrisy of the UK Government Over the ‘Nerve Agent’ Spy Poisoning
Dean Baker
Trump and the Federal Reserve
Colin Todhunter
The Strategy of Tension Towards Russia and the Push to Nuclear War
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
US Empire on Decline
Ralph Nader
Ahoy America, Give Trump a Taste of His Own Medicine Starting on Trump Imitation Day
Robert Dodge
Eliminate Nuclear Weapons by Divesting from Them
Laura Finley
Shame on You, Katy Perry
Weekend Edition
March 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Michael Uhl
The Tip of the Iceberg: My Lai Fifty Years On
Bruce E. Levine
School Shootings: Who to Listen to Instead of Mainstream Shrinks