Saturday, December 22, 2012

Now Forbes Magazine is Really a Capitalist Tool

An opinion piece in Forbes caught my eye, but only because I remember Malcolm Forbes, the publisher  of Forbes Magazine before he died in 1990.  Malcolm had a motorcycle gang called the "Capitalist Tools" who toured the Soviet Union and China.  He was featured in BMW ads as a man who owned 3 BMW motorcycles, but actually he owned far more Harley Davidsons, and his club rode Harleys while on tour.

Anyhow, back to the article in Forbes Magazine, which was titled "Romney And Ryan Didn't Cut It In A Time For Radicalism" by Mark Hendrickson.  Four lines into the article, we come to the phrase "a president with a Marxist Leninist economic agenda".  The "president" here being the President of the United States of America.

The contrast between Malcolm "The Capitalist Tool" and Hendrickson strikes me.  Malcolm actually got out there in the world and saw how the Russians lived under a Marxist Leninist economic agenda.  Hendrickson sits at home and glibly bandies words with an intent akin to name-calling.  Furthermore, the point of the article seems to be saying that millionaires should not be taxed more than the poor ("Rich people are Americans too"), and yet Malcolm suffered under even higher tax rates than proposed by Obama, and still had money to buy motorbikes, tour the world, and throw multi million dollar birthday parties. And as far as I know, he never referred to his own government as Marxist-Leninist, even as heavily taxed as he was.

The motto of Forbes Magazine is also "Capitalist Tool", and back in Forbes' day, this was an ironic reference to the phrase often used by Communist propagandists, referring to any people, especially political leaders, who were "tools" of the capitalists.  In other words, stooges, or dupes, blindly doing the will of the very rich to keep down the common man.  So the phrase had a humorous meaning, and Malcolm carried that phrase right into the heart of communism, the USSR and China, as the name of his motorcycle club.

Apparently, today, the magazine subtitled The Capitalist Tool has actually become a capitalist tool, without any real understanding of what it means.

Picture from this web page:

Also on this page: Forbes lives on in some of his quotations:

"I made my money the old fashioned way. I was very nice to a wealthy relative right before he died."


  1. Real socialists are frustrated and annoyed by the American right wing's insistence on labelling anything that does not accord with their selfish world view as 'socialism.'

    More revealing than the column you link is Hendrickson's July 26th article in Forbes: President Obama's Marxist-Leninist Economics: Fact And Fiction ...

    Any policy which attempts to restrain the (now, after 2008, clearly evident) excessive abuses of unrestrained capitalism or to offer the bare minimum of common goods (to prevent further social decay, collapse and instability) is tarred as 'Marxist-Leninist Economics.'

    Cut through the sophism of Hendrickson's article to his actual position and it simply amounts to, 'Keep your stinking government fingers off my money!'

    Less a capitalist tool, Hendrickson seems a capitalist fool.

    1. Your link was actually more revealing than the one I stumbled across. I didn't know that Mark had written such a thorough analysis of whether or not Obama was really a Marxist Leninist. Even to consulting with major Marxist Leninist groups for answers! It was too much to deal with in a comment, so I wrote another blog.