One wonders how such intelligent people throughout the history of the country could not have seen that government interference was a causative agent in practically all the turmoil and inequity suffered by small businesses, workers and farmers.
As I mentioned in the previous post, Gompers' passionate crusade against the evils of industry was misdirected -- government favoritism was the primary culprit. I can understand how someone can be influenced by the ideas of their time, but surely he'd read Paine and the original libertarians and was aware of the dangers of an over-reaching government. Surely he saw that industry couldn't stack the deck unless government controlled the game and enabled the unfair play.
Once a reasonably perceptive person has studied human nature for any length of time, it's obvious that corrupt systems breed corrupt players. Demonizing the Captains of Industry because they utilized a corrupt system to gain an advantage is like cursing the pain yet not addressing the trauma, or cursing the darkness yet not looking for candles. Many modern critics of capitalism point to these same symptomatic effects yet are mum regarding fundamental causes.
It's fairly obvious that if government has the power, and uses the power, to pick favorities, there will be those in society who lobby and manipulate to be favored, and, as a result, others, the unfavored, who will suffer. It does little good to blame the favored, except from a moral stance, but in a real, hard world that's a tad naive, although you can admire the principle. It'd be best to blame the fundamental cause if you're looking for the necessary leverage to create change. It's always been a systemic problem, and an obvious one at that.
Could it have been that critics of industry avoided the fundamental cause because they, too, would seek advantages? And could it be that modern critics avoid the fundamental cause because they merely believe government power favored/favors, the wrong side?
Perhaps there's an acceptance that government is an inevitable, needed, interfering force and now it's only a matter who wins government favor. The libertarian approach looks to the fundamental cause. If there's to be real change and hope, this is where the leverage lies.