December 8, 2020 By Thomas Lifson
Small business owners in the United States constitute one the strongest bases of support for the Republican party and conservative causes. Is it purely coincidental, then, that Covid-19 restrictions imposed by Democrat governors and local officials are shuttering millions of small businesses while largely leaving their large corporate competitors (think: Amazon, Walmart, and McDonald’s) not just open, but picking up market share? Democrats, unquestionably, have become the party of big business, in particular the tech oligopolists that censored news unfavorable to Joe Biden.
Marxists of all stripes despise the petite bourgeoisie, a disparaging French term for small business and wealthier peasantry. Running a business and employing people qualifies one as an exploiter in Marxian terms, but in today’s elitist social circles, it also connotes small-mindedness, lack of sophistication (“If you’re so smart, why aren’t your rich like Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg?) and an alarming tendency toward self-reliance.
For racialists, minority-owned small businesses are even worse, betraying the left’s bigoted view that the natural tendency of minorities is to vote Democrat and be dependent on government.
Joseph Stalin, when attempting a Great Reset of his own (collectivization and absolute tyranny), faced a huge obstacle in the existence of millions of small landowners, those employed the labor of others, called kulaks.
They were his equivalent of small business owners in the largely rural Soviet Union, as he attempted to industrialize and impose communism on all aspects of life in his first five-year plan (1928-32), following an earlier period of relative permissiveness.
As historian Robert Conquest wrote in Reflections on a Ravaged Century, the land of landlords had already been spontaneously seized by peasants in 1917-18 and the land of richer peasants, with fifty to eighty acres, was subsequently seized by the Bolsheviks. But by 1928, peasants with a couple of cows and five or six acres of land were labeled ‘kulaks,’ and targeted for land seizure of their land, imprisonment, and execution. They were liquidated by the millions.
In twenty-first century America, big business and the educated professional classes are allied with the left as partners in ruling the masses, in the name of justice for the underclasses, purportedly afflicted by systemic racism. Their enemies are the middle classes, especially those who own their own businesses.
That may be why we see outdoor dining areas of small bars and restaurants closed while within spitting distance, Hollywood film companies set up identical facilities with the blessing Democrats Gavin Newsom and Eric Garcetti:
There is no science at all behind this restriction, so please tell me what other explanation there is for such obvious hypocritical and cruel measures.
And consider the “disparate impact” (normally a key concept employed by the left) of shutdowns on minority-owned small businesses:
Nearly half of Black small businesses had been wiped out by the end of April as the pandemic ravaged minority communities disproportionately, according to a report from the New York Fed.
Black-owned businesses were more than twice as likely to shutter as their white counterparts, the report found.
“Nationally representative data on small businesses indicate that the number of active business owners fell by 22% from February to April 2020—the largest drop on record,” the report said.
“Black businesses experienced the most acute decline, with a 41% drop. Latinx business owners fell by 32% and Asian business owners dropped by 26%.”
We know from the behavior of political leaders who flout their own restrictions on others that they don’t believe that their own health is imperiled by, for example, dining shoulder-to-shoulder at The French Laundry with lobbyists (their self-described “friends”). And we know that their defenders respond that it was a “mistake” and they have “taken responsibility” by apologizing, and that the solution is double up on propaganda. In other words, not reconsider pointless destruction of lives and businesses. Watch as California Congresswoman Karen Bass, who lusts to be appointed as Kamala Harris’s Senate replacement if the election steal works out as expected, prescribes more propaganda as the solution to official hypocrisy:
Almost on cue, Gavin Newsom announced yesterday that California would spend $80 million, not on relief for small business, but on billboards to spread more propaganda on locking down:
Of course, nobody is proposing dragging out small business owners and shooting them, not yet, at least. Liquidation in the present context means financially ruining, and making dependent those who dare to raise themselves by dint of effort, innovation and enterprise.