With the upcoming elections anyone paying attention will have noticed the left has ramped up it’s use of the fascist card and proclaim that fascism is a right wing ideology but they never really define what is left and what is right. They simply state that communism is on the far left and Fascism on the far right. If you ask them where anarchy fits in that spectrum, they are unable to answer. Here is an example of a defined measure and it’s one that I use.
Yesterday on one of the political forums someone posted an article called “America Is Ripe For Authoritarianism.” They frequently use the circular reasoning that corporations control the government and therefore government needs more control.
That is the argument that started the progressive movement and is the heart and soul of fascism. Fascism is an offshoot of the progressive movement. They speak of the nationalistic nature of fascism. But nationalism is the heart and soul of the progressive movement. Teddy Roosevelt (the first progressive president) took pride in the fact that he alone had the power to destroy any business that did not act in the “national interest” and didn’t shy away from the title of “Trust Buster” He called these new progressive Ideals the “New Nationalism” based on Herbert Croly’s book The Promise of American Life (1910)
“If any one book can be said to offer a manifesto of Progressive beliefs, it was Herbert Croly’s The Promise of American Life. Croly (1869-1930), a political theorist and journalist who founded The New Republic, was Progressivism’s preeminent philosopher. Published in 1909, his book argued that Americans had to overcome their Jeffersonian heritage, with its emphasis on minimal government, decentralized authority, and the sanctity of individual freedom, in order to deal with the unprecedented problems of an urban and industrial age. Industrialism, he believed, had reduced most workers to a kind of “wage slavery,” and only a strong central government could preserve democracy and promote social progress.
Croly, like most Progressives, was convinced that only a public-spirited, disinterested elite, guided by scientific principles, could restore the promise of American life. Thus, he called for the establishment of government regulatory commissions, staffed by independent experts, to protect American democracy from the effects of corporate power. (emphasis mine) He also believed that human nature “can be raised to a higher level by an improvement in institutions and laws.”
That’s exactly the arguments for fascism. Whether you call it a regulatory agency or a syndicate the results are the same.
Fascism presented itself as a viable alternative to the two other major existing economic systems – liberal capitalism and Marxist socialism. Italian Fascism regarded itself as an heir to the Sorelian syndicalist socialism but outside of fascism it regarded socialism in general to have succumbed to the anti-national and materialist tendencies of Marxism, and opposed such socialism.
Fascist governments advocated resolution of domestic class conflict within a nation in order to secure national solidarity.This would be done through the state mediating relations between the classes (contrary to the views of liberal capitalists).
Thomas Sowell hit the nail on the head when he said.
What President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands. That way, politicians get to call the shots but, when their bright ideas lead to disaster, they can always blame those who own businesses in the private sector.
Politically, it is heads-I-win when things go right, and tails-you-lose when things go wrong. This is far preferable, from Obama’s point of view, since it gives him a variety of scapegoats for all his failed policies, without having to use President Bush as a scapegoat all the time.
Government ownership of the means of production means that politicians also own the consequences of their policies, and have to face responsibility when those consequences are disastrous – something that Barack Obama avoids like the plague.
Thus the Obama administration can arbitrarily force insurance companies to cover the children of their customers until the children are 26 years old. Obviously, this creates favorable publicity for President Obama. But if this and other government edicts cause insurance premiums to rise, then that is something that can be blamed on the “greed” of the insurance companies.
Again when the modern progressive/fascist tries to redefine fascism as the corporate takeover of government ask them, What corporations took over Nazi Germany? Fascist Italy? Was it the industrialist that dictated the terms? Or was it the politically elite, and their leaders like Hitler. When they attempt to bring up egalitarianism and bring up the atrocities of Adolph Hitler remind them that he was just taking their Pseudoscience of Eugenics to it’s ultimate level.
Even the minimum wage laws had it’s eugenics roots.
The Eugenic Effects of Minimum Wage Laws
During the second half of the Progressive Era, beginning roughly in 1908, progressive economists and their reform allies achieved many statutory victories, including state laws that regulated working conditions, banned child labor, instituted “mothers’ pensions,” capped working hours and, the sine qua non, fixed minimum wages. In using eugenics to justify exclusionary immigration legislation,
the race-suicide theorists offered a model to economists advocating labor reforms, notably those affiliated with the American Association for Labor Legislation, the organization of academic economists that Orloff and Skocpol (1984, p. 726) call the “leading association of U.S. social reform advocates in the Progressive Era.”
Progressive economists, like their neoclassical critics, believed that binding minimum wages would cause job losses. However, the progressive economists also believed that the job loss induced by minimum wages was a social benefit, as it 212 Journal of Economic Perspectives performed the eugenic service ridding the labor force of the “unemployable.” Sidney and Beatrice Webb (1897 , p. 785) put it plainly: “With regard to certain sections of the population [the “unemployable”], this unemployment is not a mark of social disease, but actually of social health.” “[O]f all ways of dealing with these unfortunate parasites,” Sidney Webb (1912, p. 992) opined in the Journal of Political Economy,“the most ruinous to the community is to allow them to unrestrainedly compete as wage earners.” A minimum wage was seen to operate eugenically through two channels: by deterring prospective immigrants (Henderson,1900) and also by removing from employment the “unemployable,” who, thus identified, could be, for example, segregated in rural communities or sterilized. The notion that minimum-wage induced disemployment is a social benefit distinguishes its progressive proponents from their neoclassical critics, such as Alfred Marshall (1897), Philip Wicksteed (1913), A. C. Pigou (1913) and John Bates Clark (1913), who regarded job loss as a social cost of minimum wages, not as a putative social benefit (Leonard, 2000).Columbia’s Henry Rogers Seager, a leading progressive economist who served as president of the AEA in 1922, provides an example. Worthy wage-earners, Seager (1913a, p. 12) argued, need protection from the “wearing competition of the casual worker and the drifter” and from the other “unemployable” who unfairly drag down the wages of more deserving workers (1913b, pp. 82– 83). The minimum wage protects deserving workers from the competition of the unfit by making it illegal to work for less. Seager (1913a, p. 9) wrote: “The operation of the minimum wage requirement would merely extend the definition of defectives to embrace all individuals, who even after having received special training, remain incapable of adequate self-support.” Seager (p. 10) made clear what should happen to those who, even after remedial training, could not earn the legal minimum: “If we are to maintain a race that is to be made of up of capable, efficient and independent
individuals and family groups we must courageously cut off lines of heredity that have been proved to be undesirable by isolation or sterilization….”
To the question Is America Is Ripe For Authoritarianism? I’d say we are already there. With the takeover of 1/6th of the economy by the HHS through Obamacare and the back door takeover of the energy sector through the EPA because he couldn’t get “Cap and Trade” passed is their any aspect of your life that the government doesn’t control?
Reagan pointed to these facts some years ago.
We should have heeded his words over 50 years ago.