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''I've never understood America, said the King'' by John Steinbeck


 “I've never understood America," said the king.

"Neither do we, sir. You might say we have two governments, kind of overlapping. First we have the elected government. It's Democratic or Republican, doesn't make much difference, and then there's corporation government."

"They get along together, these governments?"

"Sometimes," said Tod. "I don't understand it myself. You see, the elected government pretends to be democratic, and actually it is autocratic. The corporation governments pretend to be autocratic and they're all the time accusing the others of socialism. They hate socialism."

"So I have heard," said Pippin.

"Well, here's the funny thing, sir. You take a big corporation in America, say like General Motors or Du Pont or U.S. Steel. The thing they're most afraid of is socialism, and at the same time they themselves are socialist states."

The king sat bolt upright. "Please?" he said.

"Well, just look at it, sir. They've got medical care for employees and their families and accident insurance and retirement pensions, paid vacations -- even vacation places -- and they're beginning to get guaranteed pay over the year. 

The employees have representation in pretty nearly everything, even the color they paint the factories. As a matter of fact, they've got socialism that makes the USSR look silly. Our corporations make the U.S. Government seem like an absolute monarchy. 

Why, if the U.S. government tried to do one-tenth of what General Motors does, General Motors would go into armed revolt. It's what you might call a paradox sir.”

― John Steinbeck, The Short Reign of Pippin IV

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