The Road to Fascism
The usual beef among those who dislike trends in this country's economic policies is that we will soon have a socialist system. And it does appear that with more and more economic issues coming under government supervision and outright control, socialism is the most likely outcome – not, perhaps, the soviet model but at least market or democratic socialism. These are models that socialists have conceived following the collapse of the Soviet Union and its satellites where the centrally planned, no holds barred varieties of socialism managed to destroy not just the economies but the cultures of those countries. Recovery is slow and maybe not even possible, since in its midst so many influential people wish to retain elements of the former regime, especially all the entitlements that had been promised under it but were hardly every delivered in full.
But there is another political economic system that may be on its way to wider and wider acceptance, if only by default. This is fascism.
Fascism is the system in which no specific economic theory is used to guide the rulers. Only one common factor characterizes the system, namely, arbitrary rule by a charismatic head of state. Such a head of state has nearly carte blanche so far as its policies are concerned. Examples of fascist regimes are quite abundant, mainly because at heart nearly all the so called communist countries are ruled by fascist dictators – Cuba, North Korea, the Soviet Union, etc. Yes, under Stalin and other soviet rulers the USSR really come to nothing more than fascism – "Stalinism is the most successful variant of fascism" said the late Susan Sontag and with that declaration (made at the American Workers and Artists for Solidarity rally), she created an uproar among Leftists around the world. (The reason is that a favorite refrain of Soviet socialists has always been that their egalitarian and fair system of political economy was definitely very different from the equally top-down regime of fascism.)
Now what fascism has but socialism lacks is flexibility. A fascist ruler need not adhere to any system, nor some economic blueprint. Such rulers do whatever they prefer. Their rule is entirely arbitrary. They have no restraints that require of them adherents to certain public policies. They rule by virtue of being, at least temporarily, loved by a substantial percentage of the people. Uncle Joe did, as did Fidel and does Hugo Chavez now in Venezuela. (After a while this love tends to subside and once it does, massive paranoia sets in.)
Some fascist rulers, like General Pinochet, actually favor a more or less free market capitalism economic system, at least in certain prominent segments of the economy over which they have control. Pinochet made use of some of the teachings of the Chicago School of economics – his team was labeled the Chicago Boys – although not with the approval of anyone close to the school and its leader, Professor Milton Friedman (who always denied the charge by Leftist detractors that Pinochet had his support).
As the market place gives way to more and more government control, interference, regulation, and other elements of the state command socio-economic system in many developed nations, they are beginning more and more to resemble the economies of fascist Italy and Argentina. Not quite North Korea, not yet, nor of Cuba – again, not yet. But when such regimes begin to have to cope with resistance from the population, we get their harsher versions rolled out for us.
Thus, when West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller recently confessed that a little bug in him was hoping for the FCC squashing Fox Cable TV News – which because it doesn't use the electromagnetic spectrum (i.e., it isn't broadcasting on the "public" or government owned airwaves) is under the FCC's jurisdiction (yet?), it brought to mind just the trend I am afraid is in evidence now. As the Senator put it, "I'm tired of the right and the left.... There's a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to Fox and to MSNBC, 'Out. Off. End. Goodbye.'" And he added, "It would be a big favor to political discourse; to our ability to do our work here in Congress; and to the American people, to be able to talk with each other and have some faith in their government and, more importantly, in their future."
Not much could be more insidious in a free country than what this public servant wishes to make into public policy!
F. A. Hayek gained much of his fame from his 1944 book The Road to Serfdom. It is time that someone write an equally poignant book, The Road to Fascism, warning us good and hard about what may lie in our political-economic future.
Posted by Theyenguy on 12/15/10 11:01 AM
Daniel Hannan, warns against global governance; but I believe that out of the European Sovereign Debt Crisis, a global sovereign and a global seignior will arise to power.
Philip Aldrick of the Telegraph reports that Mr Strauss-Kahn criticised Europe's disjointed response to the eurozone sovereign debt banking crisis after Germany and other states resisted his calls for bolder action on Tuesday December 7, 2010 warning that "piecemeal" fixes would not work and a "comprehensive" solution is needed.
Germany and France are pushing for an EU summit the week ending December 17, 2010, to approve a proposed treaty change that would allow debt-stricken euro zone states to make an orderly default, with private sector bondholders sharing losses on a case-by-case basis. However eurozone finance ministers did not agree on any new action this week to stop the crisis, making investors wary.
I note that Dominique Strauss-Kahn has given "the clarion call" for a comprehensive solution to the European Financial Institution, Sovereign Debt Symbiosis Crisis.
I believe the Strauss-Kahn call for a comprehension solution will go unanswered.
A catastrophe is coming out of rising sovereign debt interest rates, as well out of further global competitive currency devaluations at the hands of the currency traders, resulting in a financial market place implosion, the European Financial Institutions, EUFN, will fall quickly falling in value, taking the entire global financial system down, resulting in Gotterdammerung, an investment flame out, bringing forth a new age.
And the accompanying rise to power of a Sovereign-Chancellor, Revelation 13:5-10, such as Angela Merkel or Herman van Rompuy or John Redwood; and also a Seignior-Banker, Revelation, 13:11-17, such as Wolfgang Schnauble, or Olli Rehn, or Jean-Claude Trichet, or Gordon Brown, with fiscal sovereignty to control deficit spending, enforce internal country devaluations, provide a common EU Treasury for both taxation and transfer payments, assure mutual guarantees of the EU debt, and as Timothy Geithner called for, implement unified regulation of banking globally.
All seigniorage, both credit and fiscal will come and go through the Seignior, who will make decisions on where money is spent.
Posted by Kennyg on 12/03/10 09:45 AM
WE ARE ON THE SAD ROAD TO SOCISLISM......prepare for harder times, they are comming,it is inevidable,it is our future,our children will pay the price for our leaders mistakes an greed.
Posted by Jewels Vern on 12/01/10 04:04 AM
Well I am glad somebody finally tried to explain exactly what 'fascism' means in terms we can understand. Everybody else uses the word as if it had no meaning at all, merely a general purpose insult for overbearing government agencies.
Posted by Wayne on 12/01/10 03:00 AM
We went Fascist a long time ago.
Amazing how fast the American people went for collectivism.
Sadly, we were one of the few nations that stood against collectivism for a long time, but then we fell from Grace with a bang.
Perhaps only small populations can retain a sense of individuality.
Certainly the bigger populations are almost always collectivist.
Or is it that Industrialism is incompatible with individual rights?
Any thoughts on this?
Posted by Nonlused on 11/30/10 11:49 PM
So write it! Who else do you propose to do it!
Posted by PeteCA on 11/30/10 08:05 PM
Pop quiz ...
What country during the 20'th century emerged from an economic shambles, elected a socialist government to sort out all its problems, and then transitioned into a dangerous fascist government?
The answer, of course, was Germany after WW1. The Germans elected the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP), and many of its supporters saw themselves as "democratic socialists". Adolf Hitler became the leader ... and at the time he was respected because he was a decorated war veteran from WW1. The NSDAP went on to become the Nazi Party. And of course, as we all know, Hitler went on to transition the country into a dangerous fascist state.
"What experience and history teaches us is that people
and governments have NEVER learned anything from history,
or acted on principles derived from it"
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Posted by Mary Boud on 11/30/10 06:31 PM
"It is time that someone write an equally poignant book, The Road to Fascism,...."
Such a book has been written. It is entitled, "Liberal Fascism" by Jonah Goldberg. He includes a description of Antonio Gramsci's (Marxist socialist) proposal of a "long march through elite cultural institutions." His methods have,it seems apparent, been adopted by the variant of collectivists who prefer to call themselves, at least in public, 'progressives.'
Fascism is many things and Machan offers an excellent, though brief, description. I did not notice any reference, however, to the typical (corrupt) collusion between government and corporations in fascist states -- much as we see developing in the U.S. and, perhaps, throughout the West.
Posted by Jeannie Queenie on 11/30/10 04:25 PM
Hitler began his dastardly deeds with not just the military build up, but also with the twin forces of banking and pharma. Here in the US with the pompous Progressives wanting to regress, not progess, there is still a glimmer of hope as long as more than a few American's feel the following video expresses their thoughts on gov't controlled everything, in this case, the banks..but also auto manufacturers to finance to food supply to PC language to education that guarantees your kid's mind regresses to the mental midgetry stage of the powers that be. In a hilarious take of divine comedy/tragedy, this video does indeed express what any thinking American believes about their gov't controlled entities stealing from citizen's wallets and banking activity. I recently saw a sign carried by a fellow at a rally..the sign read, "Obama keep your hand out of my pocket, I can stimulate myself".
But as long as those who are in the dark have no problem with Uncle Sam feeling in their pants pockets in a stimulus mode, as long as they don't put up a fuss about having their private parts exposed in the airport, they can expect that Gov't will not only fulfill the role of nanny state/protector, but they also get a sugar daddy in the process..
The only sugar this daddy is giving you is that of the high fructose variety...take note that in the FOOD BILL just passed this is not high on their list of bad foods we need to be protected from..what a laugh.
Only a healthy red-blooded American will agree with this video and how they view big govt becoming their local banker. You just might cry and laugh at the same time over this..
Click to view link
Posted by Jeannie Queenie on 11/30/10 04:03 PM
TAKE A PEEK AT THIS VIDEO GIVING ONE MAN'S IDEA OF WHO OWNS THE FEDERAL RESRVES
Click to view link
Then check out the chart which reveals even more of the who who's of this long list of our masters enslaving us. The guy in the video only addresses some of the people..the list here is much much longer..and don't be surprised to hear that Goldman Sucks is part of this devious scheme to drain us all of our hard earned money. Why do you think they were let off the hook with the bankster crisis, instead of hung at dawn? Let me tell you why...these guys think they are above it all... these masters of the universe who unfeelingly,are fascist to the core.
Click to view link
Posted by Tawny on 11/30/10 02:56 PM
Re the subject of socialism/fascism and their definitions: socialism is big government greatly extended and empowered,to do such things as confiscate wealth and own infra-structure, and fascism is big government and big business in bed together.
I think it is hard to find a country in the world today that is not fascist, by that common-sense definition.
Re what type of government we in the USA now have...for a long time, something puzzled me. We are told that we have a Constitution, and that it is the Supreme Law of the Land. And yet government is obviously are not being conducted, and we are not being treated, according to the Constitution. We are routinely being deprived of many pre-existing, inalienable rights. Government in fact seems 'arbitrary and capricious' in the extreme. So, what gives? Is the USG just rogue, in violation of its own laws? I puzzled this at great length; so when I came upon the following theories ' the result of the work of a few grass roots legal researchers ' they very much interested me. These theories/ information are relevant to a discussion of types of government in general and ours in particular.
So I am going to mention two theories/subjects here regarding the USA: the on-going permanent state of emergency, and the covert de facto 'parallel government.' If anyone can give me more info on these theories (for or against), please do ' websites etc.
FIRST: It seems the country is being governed under continuous on-going emergency, possibly even dating from as far back as the Civil War ... which was NOT fought over slavery, read diLorenzo's THE REAL LINCOLN, and Griffin's THE CREATURE FROM JEKYLL ISLAND ... but certainly from at least 9/11. A national state of emergency, which a war/insurrection is, suspends normal civil law/govt. and puts us into martial law/rule, in which the pres. as military commander-in-chief rules like a monarch(by Executive Order), his word is law, and he can delegate this power (like to judges, military commanders).
The governing 'law' in an emergency is the Law or Doctrine of Necessity, which holds that 'necessity knows no law,' and govt. simply can do anything " things that under normal civil law would be illegal " to deal with the emergency. So one can see why governments find states of national emergency so very useful and desirable...so much so that they never ever want them to end, and don't really want us to bother our silly sheeple heads with all this boring legal stuff.)
So ' the Constitution is certainly suspended, rendered optional at best, by a State of Emergency.
SECOND:Beyond that, however, there is much evidence suggesting that we have been surreptitiously moved into a separate and distinct extra-Constitutional legal jurisdiction(!)So-called 'statutory'law appears to be a 'horse of a different color', a separate and distinct jurisdiction/body of law. It seems to be the private(not public) law of a legislatively-created corporation (created by a de facto Congress in 1871, and since much elaborated); and the states have come in, in corporate capacity, as sub-agencies or franchisees, ditto counties & cities. The courts have been fused into 'one form of action,' which hodge-podges law (private rights), equity(contract law), and admiralty (equity with criminal penalty possible), conveniently obscuring our jurisdiction and its law.
People think they/we are under the Constitution, in the original jurisdiction created after the Revolutionary War, when the reality is that, in court and other/all dealings with govt., they/we are not.
Rather, we are in a commercial jurisdiction (contract law, compelled performance). We, individually and in corporate capacity, are induced into it (are legally considered to have entered into this arrangement voluntarily) ... by receiving or being eligible to receive govt. benefits etc. and by using the 'funny money,' and in many other ways.
Corporations are legal fictions created by the state and have no private rights, but merely state-granted privileges. Our names spelled all in caps ... JOHN DUH,CITY OF HADES,COUNTY OF YOU.BEEN.HAD, STATE OF Click to view link.NOW, etc. ... signify legal fictions, not flesh and blood men/women with pre-existing and inalienable rights. We the living people are 'sureties' for the corporation JOHN/JANE DUH, each the surety for his/her corporation. So people end up playing the fool when they talk about the Constitution and their pre-existing rights, in court, administratively, to legislators and other functionaries of government.
However, not every govt. employee, and probably not every judge and legislator, etc. knows about this. It depends on their 'need to know.(Also, I'd wager that other countries, such as Great Britain, have adopted similar legalistic ploys to get around the 'rule of law and not of men.')
Also " our 'funny money,' the FRN, is not actually unbacked. It is backed by government's taxing power " that is by our labor, our earnings. So in a sense we are indeed chattel ' the chattel of our debt-holders, and under compelled performance in their interests. So I suppose one relevant question would be, Who owns the private Federal Reserve?
Posted by Salverda on 11/30/10 02:41 PM
I was always under the impression that fascism did have a specific economic theory. And that it isn't necessarily defined by the supposition that it was arbitrarily ruled by a dictatorial head of state.
All a government has to do to be classified as fascist is to collude, whether by force or even voluntarily, with business interests to fund itself. When a government bypasses the populace to raise revenue (usually, but not always, without a vote by the people,) getting it instead (usually, but not always, through extortion) from businesses and corporations, that is fascism. Taxing businesses, which cannot pay a tax without fleecing it's customers, instead of people, who really end up paying the tax through the increased cost of living, is the main characterization of fascism.
This is an economic system. We do this, to some degree, here in the USA and thus are, but the same degree, a fascist society.
Posted by ROBERT on 11/30/10 12:30 PM
Another Excellent Piece "Dr." Machan.
I am not surprised at the remarks from the apparently chronically depressed detractors who become embroiled in convoluted narrow focus ideology.
To those who want to play the part of presumptuous "hack attorney" believing that they have "cleverly" discovered a contradiction in your philosophy, I would point out that your prior article is a valid statement of the values of Exceptionalism that are still held by a large number of Americans and others. Your current editorial accomplishes the necessary task of pointing out the dangers that threaten the realization of that Exceptionalism. There is no Contradiction!
It is too easy and a bit lazy to sit back and regurgitate the tired, sullen and bitter rhetoric of the past 50 or more years.
There are many of us who still see viable opportunity to reverse the course of this country, clean up (or clean out) congress and significantly reduce the size and power of government.
I find myself in agreement with "Bluebirds" commentary.
There is also a book out called "The New Road to Serfdom" by Daniel Hannan that addresses more current issues; you might find it interesting.
Posted by Bambilin on 11/30/10 10:37 AM
The religious right is more apt to adopt fascism since they already know how to dispense with critical thinking and worship someone on mere faith.
Posted by Walking Horse on 11/30/10 10:12 AM
Well done, Dr. Machan. The book you ask someone to write may already exist. If you are not familiar with Jonah Goldberg's book _Liberal Fascism_, you might take a look.
# Title: Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning
# Hardcover: 496 pages
# Publisher: Doubleday; 1 edition (January 8, 2008)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 0385511841
# ISBN-13: 978-0385511841
Posted by Jim Kluttz on 11/30/10 10:12 AM
Dr. Machan deserves credit for bringing to our attention important subjects which are rarely discussed in polite society. His article and the resulting posts again demonstrate that all systems of government, regardless of label, are at first accepted by populations and eventually collapse as more promises are made than can be kept.
Generally we the people do not care what system of government we live under because we are intent upon carrying out our biological imperative, i.e., making more DNA, and simply do not pay attention. Thus we appear to be doomed to cycle through all of the isms defined and yet to be defined until the end of time.
Posted by Alexsemen on 11/30/10 09:38 AM
Dear mr. Tibor Machan
Great article. YOU are a very good synthesis analyzer. No, contradiction in terms! No paradox in "synthesis analyzer ". Your narrative logical structure is wonderful !
There is just only one small problem. Don't be surprised, on one way or another you said the same , but you don't reach the bitter conclusion !
Thirty two years ago I was living in one former socialist country . By the way it was not so bad as the western urban legend about socialism told to you about real freedom of information. Somehow in one "ridiculous attempt of purity and chastity "we were "protected" from the abominable ( real and obvious now to me and to all intelligent people ) pollution ( 99% pure useless bull-s--t ) that committed against population every second the so called official "free mass media" in the western country.
I'm leaving now as 21 years in one the best "money can buy" so called western democracy. And I see the intellectual genocide perpetrated by the private , corporatist, monopolist media together with the State ! Any corner you look as highly educated and intelligent people you could see only trash, garbage , brains pollution .
I've looked many years to find just one really independent and genuine intellectual publication. At last I've found some as DB, one French- but dying because resists to Murdoch &co " , one English and the list is done. Exactly the same number of responsible publications as I'll refer bellow.
On one side it was "the politic correctness of official propaganda and the official Speaker not better not worst then Bush 'the- last "and on the other side it were the officially publishers ( 2-3)where was published all important works coming from the best western intelligentsia. I'm not talking about the legendary but inexistent and useless "samizdat" . Everybody was free to buy such books , but how many has the possibility to understand such books . It was the same brain washing en carefully induced official mass Ignorant mob as I see so many, so many, so many in Western country too.
It was the situation described by Marylin French in her book Beyond the Power where she bitterly rhetorical asked : What could be the impact on 270 millions USA citizens of publishing 300000 such books as long serious books nobody buy , mass media produce such amount of cacophonic noise and mind pollution and for the majority of them only the journal and the Bible is the only life lecture. ! It was published by the "Politics Publisher " almost all important and representative works of the most important Western authors and analysts like you as example.
Therefore I could assure you that myself accordingly the information I've been able to see and read and think about, that time written by some analysts published in some very serious weekly/monthly magazines, the same conclusions as you wrote I've
But it was 32 years ago, now I could really say to you : it is not the Road to Fascism , we are talking about living the Fascist House , we are long time ago arrived there , but we not aware.
The book you asked to be written maybe, could be a historical one and maybe the title could be changed into : "The History of the Road to Fascism"
Mr. Tibor Machan we are living in the House of Fascism and it is obvious as the only valuable conclusion after the Nazi Experiment and Stalin Bolshevik( Jew) experiment that was not at all communism or even socialism ! It was the other alternative to reach the same target !
Today it is fact !
The bastard hybridization between the two experiments was successfully achieved by the same forces and interests as in XX century I am talking about and I'm referred to.
We are living in the best nightmare !
Thank you !
Posted by Larry Bush on 11/30/10 09:34 AM
thanks for another good article, along the lines of discussing fascism or mercantilism is the bill being voted on today (11/10) so called Food Safety. This is very dangerous, presumably will outlaw vitamins, herbs and back yard gardens. I would really like more on this from the Bell.
Posted by Ol' Grey Ghost on 11/30/10 09:23 AM
Do we have Fascism in the States United?
Near our home is an elementary school. Everyday the teachers are required by law to lead the children in swearing an oath of loyalty and obedience (if not obeisance) to the Federal government in the memory of "Father Abraham." Though such laws were declared un-Constitutional in 1943, they are still on the books and are still enforced.
Yes, there is Fascism in the States United and, sadly, even here in the Republic...
Posted by Bluebird on 11/30/10 08:30 AM
Thank you, Dr. Machan. Some of us appreciate your contributions. As bad as US government is, at least they still pretend to listen to us. Dictators do not offer this "freedom". It can and will get worse if left unchecked.
The comment sections always reminds me of teenagers who think they forgot more than their parents ever knew. Keep up the good work.
Posted by Tazio Z. on 11/30/10 07:52 AM
Another "essay" worth reading is "Ur-Fascism" by Umberto Eco, which includes his 14 facets of a fascist state.