Sunday, February 15, 2009

Fascism? Yes. Another Opinion or Two

We had mentioned the "F-term" just Friday. Turns out that Ledeen had written on just that topic (bright guy, he.)


...the state is getting more and more deeply involved in business, even taking controlling interests in some private companies. And the state is even trying to “make policy” for private companies they do not control, but merely “help” with “infusions of capital,” as in the recent call for salary caps for certain CEOs. So state power is growing at the expense of corporations.
But that’s not socialism. Socialism rests on a firm theoretical bedrock: the abolition of private property. I haven’t heard anyone this side of Barney Frank calling for any such thing. What is happening now–and Newsweek is honest enough to say so down in the body of the article–is an expansion of the state’s role, an increase in public/private joint ventures and partnerships, and much more state regulation of business. Yes, it’s very “European,” and some of the Europeans even call it “social democracy,” but it isn’t.

It’s fascism.

Well, that depends on how you define the term. One definition that I'd heard (and not used by Wikipedia) is that fascism entails common alignment, actions (and motivations) of the State and Corporations.

[Mussolini's fascism] was hailed as a “third way” between two failed systems (communism and capitalism), retaining the best of each. Private property was preserved, as the role of the state was expanded. This was necessary because the Great Depression was defined as a crisis “of the system,” not just a glitch “in the system.” And so Mussolini created the “Corporate State,” in which, in theory at least, the big national enterprises were entrusted to state ownership (or substantial state ownership) and of course state management

Banks, anyone?

...As an economic fix, the Corporate State was not a great success, either in America or in Italy. Roosevelt’s New Deal didn’t cure America’s economic ills any more than Mussolini’s Third Way did. In both countries, however, its most durable consequence was the expansion of the ability of the state to give orders to more and more citizens, in more and more corners of their lives. In the first half of the twentieth century, that was hardly unique to the “fascist” states; tyranny was the order of the day in the “socialist” or “communist” countries as well (not for nothing were so many learned books written about “totalitarianism,” which embraced both “systems”). Paul Johnson writes of a “new species” of “despotic utopias,” and Richard Pipes went so far as to call both Soviet Bolshevism and Italian fascism “heresies of socialism.”

Because socialism, properly, ends "private property."

Vox Day has a bit more.

In the proper ideological sense, Ledeen is right, as much of what both Bush and Obama have been proposing - and what the Congress has been legislating - is not socialism proper but rather something more akin to an internationalist spin on Italian-style fascism

... I still suspect that where Bush is a fascist at heart, Obama is a socialist by inclination. Obama may settle for what HG Wells approvingly called liberal fascism because it's achievable at the moment, but it's fairly obvious that he's a run-of-the-mill international socialist of the sort so common in Europe

And, yes, Bush was a fascist, albeit benign. There is no other way to explain TARP and the straining of the Unitary Presidency doctrines. The trouble with Bush was that he opened the door.

It's not likely that Obama will be able to capitalize on it--that's really the goal of people such as Obey, Pelosi, and Obama's Rasputin, Emanuel.

No comments: