China Virus: Chilling videos from Wuhan show coronavirus infected men, women collapsing in streets
- 1 China Virus: Chilling videos from Wuhan show coronavirus infected men, women collapsing in streets
- 2 On Mosul’s Front Line: A Grueling Battle on Civilian Streets
- 3 Fight Club Review
- 4 Fight Club the game is a resounding failure.
- 5 Wall Street Was America’s First Foe in World War II
- 6 Breaking up monopolies was the first step in fighting Hitler.
26 dead, over 850 cases of new coronavirus reported in China
Wuhan is under complete lockdown
Videos show people ‘dropping like flies’
Several videos have emerged from Wuhan, the epicenter of a new coronavirus outbreak that is threatening to turn into a global epidemic, if not contained soon.
Videos that are claiming to be from Wuhan depict a scary scene with infected men and women literally ‘dropping like flies’ in streets, shops and some even inside long hospital queues.
A few even be seen covered in blood after hitting their heads on the ground after collapsing.
At the time of writing, the new strain of coronavirus had already claimed at least 26 lives and infected 830 in China alone.
There have been a few confirmed cases in the United States, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and Singapore.
Wuhan, which is the epicenter of this dangerous Sars-like virus, is effectively under lockdown. Nobody is either allowed to leave or enter Wuhan and all buses, subway, and ferry services have been suspended. All outbound planes and trains canceled.
There is no clarity as to when and exactly where these videos were filmed. Their authenticity can not be verified independently. Social media users, however, claimed that the videos indeed were from Wuhan and some of them were filmed in the initial days of the new coronavirus outbreak.
In one of the videos, which looks like CCTV footage, a man wearing a face mask standing on the street suddenly collapses and hits the ground. A few moments later many rush to his aide.
One of the clippings seems to be from a bank with people wearing masks standing in the queue looking at a man lying on the floor. A few moments later a medic dressed in a white hazmat suit comes over to treat them.
Another video shows ambulances on street rushing to help two people lying on the floor who appear to be unresponsive.
The World Health Organization has not classed the virus as an «international emergency.»
«This is an emergency in China, but it has not yet become a global health emergency,» Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in an Emergency Committee meeting on the New Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
«This should not be taken as a sign that WHO does not think the situation is serious. WHO is following this new coronavirus outbreak every minute of every day — at country, regional and global level. I will not hesitate to reconvene the committee at a moment’s notice if needed,» Ghebreyesus added.
On Mosul’s Front Line: A Grueling Battle on Civilian Streets
Photographs and Text by Ivor Prickett
MOSUL, Iraq — The Islamic State’s grip on Mosul has shrunk to a tighter circle of neighborhoods in the western part of the city. But many civilians are still trapped in those areas, and the militants are giving no ground easily.
As we traveled with Iraqi forces through the Rifai neighborhood last month, evidence of a brutal street fight was all around. The destruction was immense, and it seemed not a single house was free of bullet holes — or worse.
While clashes still raged in the last remaining pockets of Islamic State control in Rifai, displaced people began to trickle out at dusk. The number of people managing to flee appeared much lower than in earlier parts of the battle for the west.
Other than the occasional group of hushed and worn-out people who would suddenly file out from the front line, the streets were almost devoid of a human presence. Another exception was the Iraqi forces stationed there. But yet there are many civilians in the area, most sticking to their houses out of fear of crossfire, or of being seized by Islamic State fighters.
On one street corner, opposite an Iraqi special forces base near the front line, five dead Islamic State fighters lay rotting in the summer heat — a rare concentration of militants, who have increasingly fought in smaller teams of two or three men. Some Iraqi soldiers said the fighters had probably been caught by cannon fire from a helicopter or plane.
The bodies were bloated and covered in the flies that seem to flourish in the debris-strewn streets of Mosul.
Special forces soldiers took up defensive positions on the edge of Rifai after it was recaptured, and they waited for their next orders.
Then came the Islamic State’s counterattack. Under the cover of a sudden sandstorm, the jihadists fought the troops for hours before being driven off. The militants seldom seem to pass up the chance to use storms or other heavy weather, when coalition aircraft can’t target them, to press the fight.
On the front line the next morning, soldiers told how the intense gunfire during the storm battle had set their sandbag walls on fire. They appeared amazed that the Islamic State remained well equipped and capable, and described how the militants were disciplined about using vehicles and medics to retrieve their wounded.
On May 29, a Monday morning, four battalions of Iraqi special forces soldiers moved into what seemed to be a very small part of the western district of Al Saha to try to clear it of any remaining Islamic State fighters.
Setting out early, the men split into teams and moved into the area in stages. The second team had time to rest and eat breakfast before being called to join the operation.
The work for Iraqi troops has already been grueling as they have tried to clear neighborhoods north of the Old City, often within gunshot of militants holed up there.
Al Saha is one of the close-in areas, and the Iraqi special forces there took care to use the rat holes that the militants had cut through the walls of homes in order to move more securely.
At one junction on the edge of Rifai, an Islamic State sniper had taken up position and was shooting at vehicles as they crossed the road. He fired at a large group of fleeing civilians, narrowly missing. His shot flew over their heads and hit an upturned car behind them. The gunfire split the crowd, with half running back to where they had come from.
There was no other way for them to get to safety, so they waited for a military vehicle to cross the road and used the dust it kicked up as cover to make a run for it. Women carrying children, family members carrying the infirm — all moved as quickly as they could to reach safety. Somehow, they made it out unhurt.
Little has been left unscathed in these neighborhoods, where a tremendous amount of firepower from the sky and on the ground has been brought to bear.
Coalition airstrikes are still being called in frequently in the middle of densely populated neighborhoods, and the civilian toll has been immense. But the Iraqi forces have seemed reluctant to advance at all without the air support. Here, they treated a girl who was wounded when her house was hit in an airstrike.
When asked why the men didn’t just engage the Islamic State fighters more directly themselves rather than risk more civilian lives by using airstrikes, one young soldier said they wanted to finish the fight with no casualties on their side.
Maybe this way of thinking points to the high rate of attrition the Iraqi forces have had over the last few years of fighting the militants, including a huge toll on the elite counterterrorism forces over the past few months of urban fighting in Mosul. Or maybe it’s an indication of a fight so bitter that utter destruction is acceptable as long as the enemy is beaten.
Ahead lies Mosul’s Old City, and perhaps the worst fight yet. As the battle has drawn closer to that area’s tight and jagged streets, the number of fleeing civilians has dropped sharply.
Some of the soldiers here, as well as one resident who had managed to flee, spoke of the Islamic State fighters’ trying to round up anyone still living in the area and forcing them to retreat with them toward the Old City.
It’s a chilling thought, horrifyingly consistent with how the Islamic State has fought this battle for months. The militants’ last stand may well take place behind a wall of civilians.
Fight Club Review
Fight Club the game is a resounding failure.
By Greg Kasavin on November 11, 2004 at 5:50PM PST
Given the antimaterialist undertones of the 1999 movie Fight Club, it seems a little strange that it has been spun off into a video game, especially this long after the fact. Granted, Fight Club is a modern classic, and its surprising story, dark humor, and graphic depiction of raw fistfights still hit home today just as strongly as ever. A Fight Club game doesn’t necessarily seem like that great of an idea to begin with, but a fighting game based on the movie at least basically seems to make sense. Such a game would hopefully capture the sheer intensity and brutality of the movie’s battles between men fed up with a stifling society who are looking for a pure, primal release of all their emotions and frustrations. Unfortunately, Fight Club the game—in stark contrast to publisher Vivendi Universal’s far more successful movie-to-game efforts earlier this year—is a resounding failure. Unless you’re a masochistic Fight Club fan looking to purposely have your sensibilities offended, then you’d be well advised to stay far away from this game.
Fight Club is a lousy fighting game and a lousy tie-in with its namesake.
Want proof? When you finish Fight Club’s story mode—which is a series of mind-numbingly easy and repetitive battles punctuated by poorly prerendered images overlaid with terrible voice-over that is rife with pointless swearing—and which has the audacity to try to tie in with the events of the film, you unlock Limp Bizkit front man Fred Durst as a playable character. His distinctively harsh rap-rock vocals, which are completely incongruous with the Dust Brothers’ electronic music featured in the movie (and some parts of the game), are also used to quickly establish (in the opening cutscene) that this game isn’t going to try to do a good job of being faithful to the spirit of the movie.
To be fair, much like how the main character(s) of Fight Club yearned to fight such figureheads as Mahatma Gandhi, William Shatner, and Abraham Lincoln, it’s possible that Fight Club fans might appreciate the idea of seeing Durst get the snot beaten out of him. Unfortunately, they won’t get much satisfaction out of the actual process here, because Fight Club is one of the basest fighting games in years. While the game includes multiple characters from the movie (as well as some original concoctions), they all fall into one of three categories: brawler, martial artist, or grappler. And these three different fighting styles aren’t that different from each other, either. Characters all rely on basic strings of punches and kicks, and the occasional throw, to do damage. There is a distinctly limited number of moves per character, and a lack of depth that’s immediately apparent in the gameplay. You could probably whip through the game’s story and arcade modes just by mashing on the punch buttons without even looking at the screen.
The game’s not horribly broken—it’s just bad. There are a few early moments in which Fight Club shows a hint of promise. Some of the moves look painful when they connect, such as head-butts that cause both the victim and the assailant to reel backward in pain (one with a hurt forehead, the other with an apparently broken nose). Other times, blood splashes all over the screen, an effect that’s rather shocking at first, but soon becomes repetitive and stale. Matches also sometimes end with a slow-motion finisher, such as when one fighter breaks his opponent’s arm at the elbow. These moves do look nasty, but there are a very small number of them, so their impact quickly dissipates. And, as mentioned, these sorts of moves are the exception. Much of the animation in Fight Club looks stilted and weak, resulting in battles that really look nothing like the savage fistfights from the movie. The game’s fighters do bear the unassuming look of the movie’s average Joes (notwithstanding Meat Loaf’s character, Bob; incidentally, none of the movie stars’ likenesses can be found here). Also, the game’s fighting arenas are lifted directly from scenes from the movie. But this window dressing doesn’t help matters much.
In addition to standard arcade, versus, and survival modes, Fight Club features online play and a create-a-fighter option. These normally desirable features are basically squandered on this game, since no matter who you play and which character you choose, you’re unlikely to derive any sort of meaningful satisfaction from all the repetitive, simplistic combat. These features are functional but also pretty threadbare, though that’s to be expected. For what it’s worth, the game shows another inkling of a good idea with its option to let you play either normal or «hardcore» versus matches, in which your created fighter stands a chance of being forced into early retirement if he suffers too many bone-crushing injuries. If things are looking bad, you can tap out of a match to end it early to avoid this type of fate, or you could simply not play Fight Club, which has the same effect. Also, the Xbox version of Fight Club already sports some downloadable content, including an additional fighter who’s not noticeably different from any of the other fighters in the game, and some additional music. Again, this stuff doesn’t do anything to address the game’s fundamental flaws. Apart from the downloadable content, the Xbox version looks somewhat sharper and cleaner than the PS2 version, and the between-match loading times are better. But for the most part, the two versions are very similar.
The action looks good in a few rare moments, but that’s it.
Fight Club’s graphics are the best thing about the game, but don’t take that to mean this is a good-looking game, either. It looks decent. Some of the lighting is nice, as you can clearly see the fighters’ expressions and how their faces get bruised and bloodied as a match wears on. The game also maintains a good frame rate, particularly on the Xbox. On the other hand, as mentioned, the animation is stiff and awkward. Also, the characters are strangely drawn and proportioned, and the fighting arenas are flat and sparsely populated. The game’s menu system, which flies you around the movie’s dilapidated building on Paper Street, is a nice touch, but the actual graphics during the fights are pretty hit-and-miss. The same can be said of the sound in Fight Club, which, in many cases, is simply missing. The fights sound strangely subdued, as only the occasional punch, kick, or bone-snapping effect, or groan from one of the fighters, can be heard. When a fighter wins a match, you’ll see him verbally taunt his opponent, but you’ll hear nothing at all. The game lifts a few memorable pieces of music from the Fight Club soundtrack, but these stick out like a sore thumb next to the pale imitations that are used in other cases.
If you ignore the fact that Fight Club ties into the movie (and novel) that bears its namesake, and consider it purely on its merits as a game, what you’re left with is an undercooked fighting game that’s far worse than fighting games from more than 10 years ago, and not much better looking. And when you also consider the game’s botched attempts at including some tie-ins with the movie, the results look even worse.
Wall Street Was America’s First Foe in World War II
Breaking up monopolies was the first step in fighting Hitler.
As World War II approached, the lesson of World War I, for Americans, was a frightening one. Despite two and a half years of warning, the United States had entered the First World War unprepared. By 1918, the U.S. field army numbered 5 million men but still relied on British and French allies for artillery and other equipment.
The United States had started late, and it tried to “bait” its manufacturers into expanding plants with lucrative contracts. U.S. soldiers had to use British and French weapons. The United States of the late 1930s was now in the same situation. On the eve of Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939, 85 percent of U.S. factory machinery dated from the 1920s or earlier. Some predated the Civil War.
After the invasion of Poland, Americans didn’t necessarily want to intervene in Europe, but preparedness and support for military spending began to increase. U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked for larger Army and Navy budgets. But to build that larger Army and Navy, massive supplies of steel, aluminum, copper, and every other material would be necessary. The control of monopolists, who wanted to restrict supplies of these metals, would have to be broken.
Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy, Matt Stoller, Simon & Schuster, 608 pp., $29.99, October 2019
What Roosevelt called in 1932 the “unofficial … economic Government of the United States” had to be dismantled, and replaced with democratic means of wielding power. The system that monopolists such as J. Pierpont Morgan and Andrew Mellon had put together did not just wield power over government; it was a government in and of itself. This government of the monopolists had two separate layers of power. There were individual monopolies. Mellon’s aluminum giant Alcoa, for instance, was not only an aluminum producer, but the regulator of the aluminum trade itself. It controlled pricing, output, wages, and the buying of key inputs, such as electric power.
As Morgan, and then Mellon, took a set of businesses and turned them into monopolies, power passed from the engineers, workers, and communities who created, invented, and produced, to financiers, salesmen, and lawyers who controlled, restrained, and manipulated. The second layer was how these monopolies related to one another. An individual monopoly controlled just a single branch of trade. It became a political system when its power, the power of one boss, was combined with other monopolies, the power of many bosses. And this system—of big-business bosses monopolizing the key channels of trade and commerce—still lived on Wall Street.
Wall Street was where financiers moved resources around, through lending or borrowing money, and combined or split up companies. The task for the White House and the populists in Congress was to take this private government apart and construct a democratic one. That meant breaking up the industrial monopolies that ruled specific industries and replacing the rule of banks with competitive regulated markets, with protections for workers and producers. It meant recapturing the ability to print money and control the economy. It meant breaking apart and replacing Wall Street with public channels of financing, so that corporations were free from financial masters. This did not mean undermining business, but liberating it from monopoly and financial power.
The lawyer Robert Jackson would again lead the way. Jackson had been a favorite of Roosevelt since he had put Mellon on trial for tax evasion. He had done stints at the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice, and the Bureau of Internal Revenue, and defended New Deal programs to a hostile Supreme Court. He was Roosevelt’s legal ace. As he had shown with his high-stakes Mellon trial, Jackson loved litigating, he was good at it, and he could take on some of the tougher and more complex cases.
In 1937, Roosevelt assigned Jackson the task of reviving a moribund corner of the government, the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, which the corporatist planners of the New Deal had effectively shut down for years. With limited resources, Jackson decided to focus only on the “most flagrant cases” of monopolization in the country, and the one in which the “greatest public interest is involved.” On April 23, 1937, the government filed suit, seeking dissolution of the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa).
The government lost the initial rounds of the Alcoa case. But the arrival of the war itself would give a new impetus to the struggle.
In the summer of 1939, Philippe Levelle, an official from a French aluminum company, visited an American business executive, Richard Reynolds, in Virginia. Reynolds was president of Reynolds Metals, which bought aluminum from Alcoa and fabricated it into aluminum foil. Reynolds had heard that the Germans were buying large amounts of bauxite from France. He wondered if this was being used for armaments. Levelle wasn’t worried and said that the Germans were short of brass and were using aluminum for window frames and doorknobs.
Germany had become the largest aluminum producer in the world by 1938. Within a few months, as Reynolds put it, “French bauxite was being returned to France in the shape of German planes.” When the war started, Germany seemed unstoppable. Poland’s army collapsed immediately in 1939. In April 1940, Germany conquered Denmark and Norway, and in early May, Hitler’s forces invaded France. Americans had expected a long stalemate similar to the First World War, and the ample time that would afford the United States to ramp up if necessary. France had a powerful military and was considered one of the most important major military powers in the world. But faced with Germany’s awesome new weapons, wielded through blitzkreig tactics, France surrendered within six weeks. England stood alone. The Germans began bombing Britain from the air.
Even so, the defense buildup in the United States was agonizingly slow. When France surrendered, the Army Air Corps had 2,755 planes, and most of these were old or used for training purposes. Hitler was receiving more material from French factories he had taken over than Britain was receiving from the United States. “Prime Minister Churchill said of the Royal Air Force that never in history did so many so much to so few,” wrote investigative journalist I. F. Stone. “It might be said of us,” wrote Stone, about American monopolies, “that never did a people do so little with so much.”
Churchill was talking about the Battle of Britain, where a few Royal Air Force pilots saved England from the German air force’s constant bombing barrages over London. Stone was comparing this courage to Alcoa, and its habit of withholding desperately needed aluminum production—for planes and other war-related industrial parts—to preserve the price of the metal. To Stone, American financial masters were colluding with the fascist powers. And there was proof in the cartel deals that Standard Oil of New Jersey and Alcoa, among others, had made with German chemical and metal companies.
In May of 1940, Roosevelt sought to direct America’s industrial might in building every kind of weapon imaginable, as well as inventing new ones, and churning out the foodstuffs, metals, medicines, and raw materials necessary to equip a 10-million-person army. He publicly said that the nation would need to build 50,000 planes a year, which was equivalent to the total number the military had bought between 1909 and 1940. To build much of this, especially an air force, it would need aluminum. Shortly after Roosevelt called for 50,000 planes a year, Reynolds went to see Arthur Davis of Alcoa.
To Reynolds, Davis seemed as complacent about the United States’ aluminum supply as Levelle had been about French needs. Germany would soon be able to make much more aluminum than the United States, noted Reynolds. Perhaps Davis should ask the government to finance the buildup of capacity to match the Nazis’ capacity to make a billion pounds of the metal a year. Davis, who felt it a burden to accept funds from the government, said Reynolds was “unnecessarily alarmed.” There would be no shortage.
Davis’s prediction proved laughable. In November 1940, the Northrop Aircraft Company cut hours by 20 percent due to a metal shortage. By May 1941, work on bombers by one of the more promising American aerospace companies, Boeing, had ceased because of inadequate aluminum supplies.
Congress reacted angrily. Sen. Joseph O’Mahoney attacked Alcoa for delaying the manufacture of warplanes by “keeping supplies down in order to keep prices up,” while adding that the chemical, iron and steel, metal, electric, and shipping cartels had “all played their part in the growth of Hitler’s power.” Whether the ongoing antitrust suit was decided for or against Alcoa, he said, “it is clear that the manufacture of American airplanes needed to fill our own and British orders has been seriously delayed because parts manufacturers have been unable to get a sufficient amount of aluminum to fill their orders.”
In August 1940, after a conversation with and encouragement from Sen. Lister Hill of Alabama, Reynolds decided to enter the aluminum manufacturing business himself and compete with Alcoa, if the government would lend him the money to do so. Fortunately for Reynolds, a low-key antimonopolist in government named Clifford Durr had realized that the U.S. government would have to become the major banker in the war. Durr was a corporate lawyer from a wealthy family in Montgomery, Alabama; he moved to Washington in the early 1930s on the recommendation of his brother-in-law, Hugo Black. Durr took a job rescuing banks and railroads at the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, the bailout fund created by former President Herbert Hoover that Roosevelt repurposed to finance various parts of the New Deal. In the 1930s, Durr became concerned over the Nazi threat to liberal values. “Our immediate problem,” he believed, “was one of productive capacity for military supplies—particularly airplanes.”
The United States didn’t have much of an air force. Roosevelt’s goal of 50,000 planes a year was 100 times what the industry had produced in the late 1930s. The United States hit that target by 1942 and doubled it by 1944. Durr saw that the government would have to finance an armaments buildup and lobbied Congress to charter a large public bank to lend money to build factories. It was controversial. One congressman asserted that a bill to let the Reconstruction Finance Corporation deploy private capital “would grant such broad powers to the executive branch of the Government as to make it possible to establish a Fascist state in the United States.” Arthur Krock of the New York Times said the bill was “totalitarian” and “an alarming measure.”
The head of the Investment Bankers Association condemned financing for private capital as ‘a short cut to national socialism.’ Yet Durr succeeded in getting Congress to charter what would be called the Defense Plant Corporation and to begin the rapid buildup of the U.S. armaments industry. Over the course of the war, the Defense Plant Corporation financed the construction of roughly one-third of the new facilities needed to fight the Axis powers, with the Army and Navy supplying much of the rest. It would be a war financed by government bankers, not private financiers. Because of the power this financing brought, antimonopolists ensured that the government owned the plants it financed and hired businesses leaders and engineers to run them.
Meanwhile, the antitrust suit against Alcoa was still going on. In January 1942, Alcoa’s lawyers attacked antitrust chief Thurman Arnold for destroying the morale of the key men in production. In March, at a House Military Affairs Subcommittee hearing, Thurman Arnold took his revenge. He told congressmen that there was Nazi influence over U.S. industry, but that he had the situation in hand. “We had an industry dominated by cartels before the war,” he said, cartels that worked with Nazi companies. “Indictments must go out to make that sort of thing hazardous.”
Arnold was an excellent lawyer, but an even better press hound. He noted that none of these companies lacked patriotism; it just so happened that their behavior helped the Nazis. “It is obvious that this kind of practice on an extended scale throughout industry has been one of the causes why we are short of basic materials,” he said.
Men were dying and prices were going up. But don’t worry, the companies meant well. Sen. Harry Truman, a Brandeis disciple, used the word “treason” to hit the Rockefeller concern, the dominant energy monopoly. Standard Oil of New Jersey couldn’t jump fast enough. Professing innocence about a deal with Nazi dye maker I.G. Farben to withhold production of synthetic rubber, Standard Oil paid a fine and released its patents for all to use. Across the economy, U.S. firms rushed to break the cartel agreements they had with German firms.
Eventually, the military blocked the Antitrust Division from prosecuting more suits; they could bring suits, but had to suspend them until the war was over. So the division started attacking international cartel arrangements. The Department of Justice went after optical goods (Bausch & Lomb’s tie-up with the German Zeiss corporation), tungsten carbide (General Electric and Krupp), electric lamps (General Electric and AEG in Germany), glass electric lightbulbs (Corning Glass and Phillips), potash and nitrogen (DuPont and Allied Chemical), chemicals and pharmaceuticals (Sterling and I.G. Farben, Schering Corporation and the Schering Corporation of Berlin), dyestuffs and photographic supplies (General Aniline and I.G. Farben), synthetic rubber, toluol (used to make the explosive TNT), and magnesium (Alcoa, Dow Chemical, and I.G. Farben).
In March 1945, Alcoa lost its antitrust suit on appeal in federal court, and it was forced to license its patents on a royalty-free basis to competitors. Alcoa was so important, and had had so many investigations for so long, that four Supreme Court justices—now including Justice Robert Jackson—had recused themselves. Congress created a special lower court to hear the case. Judge Learned Hand wrote the decision, setting aside Judge Francis Caffey’s previous dismissal of the case, and held that Alcoa’s monopoly power itself, and not any intent to misuse its power in anticompetitive ways, was the crux of the matter. In doing so, the Alcoa decision settled an important debate in antitrust law. Being an industrial monopoly was now illegal.
Alcoa was never split apart. By the time of the decision, the government had created competition through financing and military purchases that resulted in the emergence of Reynolds and Kaiser as aluminum powers. Roosevelt had instructed his administration to use its ownership of plants to ensure that Alcoa wouldn’t dominate the industry after the war. And Alcoa was forced to share its patents, its industrial know-how, and supplies of bauxite with these new competitors, thus preventing the company from reconcentrating power in the industry. The government restructured the market by selling off competitive aluminum plants. In the disposal of the government plants to industry, Surplus Property Administrator Stuart Symington worked with O’Mahoney and the Department of Justice Antitrust Division to combat Alcoa’s attempt to recapture its “benevolent monopoly.” Instead, aluminum plant ownership was dispersed, leading to a more competitive market structure.
This occurred in industries far beyond aluminum. By the end of the war, the government “held title to 90 percent or more of the synthetic rubber, aircraft, and magnesium industries, owned 55 percent of the nation’s aluminum capacity and the bulk of the nation’s machine tools, and had significant ownership in a variety of other industries.” In restructuring production, the government restructured the economy.
This article is excerpted from Matt Stoller’s Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy.