This is how we get oligarchs

Russia’s problem is not that it has wealthy people with political opinions. Its problem is that its billionaires’ ability to keep their businesses and their fortunes depends on how well they conform to the political views of the real oligarchs: the siloviki, the ex-KGB guys who hold political power. That’s why we do have to worry—because those are the conditions that some on the American right are attempting to create here.

The new era of political reprisals against wayward corporations is heralded by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ self-destructive war against Disney, one of his state’s top employers and economic mainstays. This has so far taken the form of a law dissolving the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a special local government entity created specifically for the Disney World Resort. The RCID allows Disney, in effect, to tax itself and use the money to provide basic public services such as water, sewage and firefighters for the park and its facilities…

The only thing worse than this power grab by a governor is the ideology being spun by conservatives to justify it. In a spectacular act of intellectual acrobatics, National Review’s Rich Lowry posits: “Corporate executives who have bent to woke mobs out of fear should be grateful to Ron DeSantis…for giving them a reason to say to progressives trying to bully them into compliance with the latest left-wing cause, ‘No, sorry, you saw what those crazy bastards did in Florida.’” It is obvious that Lowry has not actually polled corporate executives to inquire about their gratitude. In what world is the solution to political bullying to employ your own regime of political bullying?

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