Business has done a whitewash job on itself over the last few decades. It has turned normally sensible people into gullible fools. Whereas it used to be KNOWN that the business of business was to lie and cheat and steal from folks every day, people now actually believe (!!!!???!!!) that businesses might actually be well intentioned towards them. It is now possible to fit the words “business” and “ethical” into the same sentence. I ask you?!! What is the world coming to?!! Well I’ll tell you what it is coming to: it’s coming to a passle of fools who are no better than puppets whose strings are in the hands of Bill Gates and friends, and who thank him for the hard work he puts into pulling those strings.
I am currently reading a children’s book which presents business men like Henry Ford as if they are saints.
The book tells us, for example, that Ford’s vision of the future was one that would “make everyone rich”. Absolute bunkum. If this statement is true, then all it says about Ford is that he used good advertising. Having a “vision” makes him sound good, sound as if he had his heart in the right place. A notable characteristic of business people, of course, is that they do not possess hearts.
Also, like a former day Bill Gates, Ford wanted to enable universal car ownership. “Enable”? Like Bill Gates dreamt of “enabling” us all to have a computer in our homes? Rubbish. They were both in the business of forcing things on us, of making us buy things we didn’t want, or at least didn’t want until brainwashed by the advertising. This was ensuring that people became dependent on cars, and of ensuring Ford’s spectacular fortune became positively stratospheric.
That Ford did amass an enormous personal fortune from the profits of his business also means he was (a) paying his employees a pittance and ( getting customers to pay through the nose for his cars.
We are also told that Ford’s strategy for keeping workers --- increasing their wages, decreasing their working hours --- was good business as well as an act of benevolence. More lies. It may have been good business, but benevolent it most certainly was not. His strategy recognised that if you beat a horse it will not work well for you. West Indian and American slave owners controlled their slaves by keeping them physically strong but psychologically weak. Ford was at the same game with his employees. So, for physical strength, improve pay, introduce shorter hours. As to keeping employees psychologically weak, the production line contributes to that by e.g. isolating workers from their colleagues.
As to doubling the workers’ wages? What, exactly, does that mean? Well, I’ll tell you what it means -- twice nothing is still nothing!
Further, that Ford made his living by subjecting employees to the torture of production line work, turning them into mindless machines, has nothing to do with benevolence, and everything to do with making enormous profits by using people in the most appallingly cruel manner.
In short, Ford was no saint. He was nothing more than a hard headed, heartless, ruthless business man who would do anything for a profit.
When faced with their mind-boggling naivety about business, I have recently asked someone on a forum if they were born yesterday. To that person and those others of you who were also born yesterday, I would like to make a suggestion: look at films from the 1960s and 70s. I can’t remember the names now except for one or two such as Kelly’s Heroes, Oh What A Lovely War!, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, which were all films which display a certain wisdom concerning the machinations of those in power, whether they be in business, the armed forces or whatever.
PS: The book that I was reading was an educational book for children. It should be noted that books of all kinds are produced by businessmen. It should therefore be no surprise that they are major contributors to the whitewashing process. If you want children to grow up wise, censor their reading. What am I saying? I wrote this piece in response to the extraordinary naivety of forum members that I was encountering. I’m too late. No point in locking the stable door now --- the horse has already bolted!