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Socialist or Fascist? (Thomas Sowell on Obama)
Creators Syndicate ^ | June 12, 2012 | Thomas Sowell

Posted on 06/11/2012 1:43:27 PM PDT by jazusamo

It bothers me a little when conservatives call Barack Obama a "socialist." He certainly is an enemy of the free market, and wants politicians and bureaucrats to make the fundamental decisions about the economy. But that does not mean that he wants government ownership of the means of production, which has long been a standard definition of socialism.

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.

The same principle, or lack of principle, applies to many other privately owned businesses. It is a very successful political ploy that can be adapted to all sorts of situations.

One of the reasons why both pro-Obama and anti-Obama observers may be reluctant to see him as fascist is that both tend to accept the prevailing notion that fascism is on the political right, while it is obvious that Obama is on the political left.

Back in the 1920s, however, when fascism was a new political development, it was widely — and correctly — regarded as being on the political left. Jonah Goldberg's great book "Liberal Fascism" cites overwhelming evidence of the fascists' consistent pursuit of the goals of the left, and of the left's embrace of the fascists as one of their own during the 1920s.

Mussolini, the originator of fascism, was lionized by the left, both in Europe and in America, during the 1920s. Even Hitler, who adopted fascist ideas in the 1920s, was seen by some, including W.E.B. Du Bois, as a man of the left.

It was in the 1930s, when ugly internal and international actions by Hitler and Mussolini repelled the world, that the left distanced themselves from fascism and its Nazi offshoot — and verbally transferred these totalitarian dictatorships to the right, saddling their opponents with these pariahs.

What socialism, fascism and other ideologies of the left have in common is an assumption that some very wise people — like themselves — need to take decisions out of the hands of lesser people, like the rest of us, and impose those decisions by government fiat.

The left's vision is not only a vision of the world, but also a vision of themselves, as superior beings pursuing superior ends. In the United States, however, this vision conflicts with a Constitution that begins, "We the People..."

That is why the left has for more than a century been trying to get the Constitution's limitations on government loosened or evaded by judges' new interpretations, based on notions of "a living Constitution" that will take decisions out of the hands of "We the People," and transfer those decisions to our betters.

The self-flattery of the vision of the left also gives its true believers a huge ego stake in that vision, which means that mere facts are unlikely to make them reconsider, regardless of what evidence piles up against the vision of the left, and regardless of its disastrous consequences.

Only our own awareness of the huge stakes involved can save us from the rampaging presumptions of our betters, whether they are called socialists or fascists. So long as we buy their heady rhetoric, we are selling our birthright of freedom.



TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: fascism; obama; socialism; sowell; thomassowell
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1 posted on 06/11/2012 1:43:37 PM PDT by jazusamo
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To: abigail2; Amalie; American Quilter; arthurus; awelliott; Bahbah; bamahead; Battle Axe; ...
*PING*
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2 posted on 06/11/2012 1:49:08 PM PDT by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

As usual Thomas Sowell nails it - fascism is exactly right to describe Obama’s current political philosophy. However, I think that he doesn’t prove up that this is an interim step - Obama’s political philosophy to get elected is fascist, but in his heart he’s a Marxist.


3 posted on 06/11/2012 1:55:54 PM PDT by rockvillem
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To: jazusamo

His analysis of Obama’s tactics is spot-on!

Please add me to your ping list.


4 posted on 06/11/2012 1:57:42 PM PDT by gortklattu (God knows who is best, everybody else is making guesses - Tony Snow)
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To: jazusamo

I never saw fascism as a construct of the right despite attempts by historians to foist it on us. It’s just another finger on the left hand of totalitarianism (along with Socialism, Naziism and all the various incarnations of Communism). Right is freedom FROM totalitarianism and statist government.


5 posted on 06/11/2012 1:58:23 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (If you like lying Socialist dirtbags, you'll love Slick Willard)
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To: jazusamo

I have been reading Mr. Sowell for years and this article is one of his best. Not only does he have a God-given gift to understand issues, he also has a talent to verbalize his thoughts w/clarity.


6 posted on 06/11/2012 1:58:32 PM PDT by Son-Joshua (son-joshua)
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To: jazusamo

One of Sowell’s best efforts!

He has Obama nailed shut.


7 posted on 06/11/2012 2:00:39 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (God, family, country, mom, apple pie, the girl next door and a Ford F250 to pull my boat.)
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To: gortklattu

Welcome to the Sowell ping list, you’re on.


8 posted on 06/11/2012 2:02:23 PM PDT by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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To: rockvillem

I’m glad to see Tom finally caught up with me on this topic!
/grin


9 posted on 06/11/2012 2:04:09 PM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: Son-Joshua; stephenjohnbanker

Bump.


10 posted on 06/11/2012 2:04:13 PM PDT by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

Brilliant (as usual). Why isn’t he running for president?


11 posted on 06/11/2012 2:04:28 PM PDT by Fast Moving Angel (A moral wrong is not a civil right: No religious sanction of an irreligious act.)
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To: jazusamo
On April 28 1945, at the Piazzale Loreto in Milan, Benito Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci were shot and hanged in a spectacle that was photographed repeatedly. His last words were, "Shoot me in the chest.

I'd salute this tribute to our Facist in Chief

12 posted on 06/11/2012 2:07:42 PM PDT by Young Werther
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To: jazusamo

Excellent, not a word to add!


13 posted on 06/11/2012 2:07:56 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: rockvillem

Obama is a fascist, just for the reasons noted. That said, I describe him as a socialist, not as a fascist, because so few people understand what a fascist actually is.


14 posted on 06/11/2012 2:08:12 PM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: jazusamo
Dr. Sowell is right. I'll never refer to BO as a socialist again. He's a fascist, pure and simple.

Of course, the government owned GM and Chrysler certainly are examples of national socialism.

15 posted on 06/11/2012 2:10:52 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: jazusamo

There is a great article on Ludwig Von Mises concerning National Socialism, I’ve posting it here for a long time, way before the book Sowell mentions.

http://mises.org/daily/47


16 posted on 06/11/2012 2:11:20 PM PDT by stockpirate (Romney, Ann Coulter & our ruling republican elites, are Big Government socialists, Grand Ole Sociali)
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To: jazusamo

Absolutely on-target. Sowell is just amazing in his ability to nail these things. I’ve totally given up on so many so-called “conservative” columnists and commentators these past three years, having lost all faith and trust in them, but thankfully, Sowell has remained as rock-solid as ever!


17 posted on 06/11/2012 2:13:46 PM PDT by greene66
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To: SampleMan

“so few people understand what a fascist actually is.”

It always bothers me when todays leftists (who are facist) call conservatives like Reagan and Goldwater fascists. If a person is not a socialist and believes in free market capitalism that person cannot be fascist. What I hate most about the elitists of the left is how arrogant and ignorant they are.


18 posted on 06/11/2012 2:14:37 PM PDT by forgotten man (forgotten man)
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To: Vigilanteman

Agreed, they crossed my mind also.


19 posted on 06/11/2012 2:16:22 PM PDT by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo
What socialism, fascism and other ideologies of the left have in common is an assumption that some very wise people — like themselves — need to take decisions out of the hands of lesser people, like the rest of us, and impose those decisions by government fiat.

To be fair, this is also the assumption of the Right. By which I mean the European Right, which has almost nothing in common with the American Right.

The European Right was authoritarian, but with the authority in question being the State, King and/or Church. It looked back to pre-French Revolution days as their ideal.

The American Right is dedicated to conserving the values of the American Revolution, the only truly revolutionary such event in history.

The European Right and Left, as well as the American Left, all believe some small group must dominate society and force everybody else to comply with their demands. The only difference is who that small group is.

Only the American Right believes the People should be left alone to live their lives as they see fit, to the extent possible.

If you use the One Ring in the Lord of the Rings as a symbol of domination of society, the only difference between the European Right and Left, and the American Left, is who should wear the Ring. Only the American Right wants to destroy the Ring.

20 posted on 06/11/2012 2:19:23 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: stockpirate

Thanks for the link. bookmarked


21 posted on 06/11/2012 2:19:27 PM PDT by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo
Mussolini, the originator of fascism, was lionized by the left, both in Europe and in America, during the 1920s. Even Hitler, who adopted fascist ideas in the 1920s, was seen by some, including W.E.B. Du Bois, as a man of the left.

It was in the 1930s, when ugly internal and international actions by Hitler and Mussolini repelled the world, that the left distanced themselves from fascism and its Nazi offshoot — and verbally transferred these totalitarian dictatorships to the right, saddling their opponents with these pariahs.

Maybe some of the historians among us can educate us on what exactly it was that turned the tide on Fascism.

I certainly was not the persecution of the Jews. Nearly every European nation had a history of Jew hatred.

The only thing I can think of is Germany’s retaking of territories and colonies that it had ceded after WW I.

The mistake I think the Fascist made was that they did not close their borders as the Soviets did. The control of information in the Fascist states was not as complete. Also it seems that the western journalist were more sympathetic to the international socialist. The western intellectuals also seem more attuned to the idea of a complete command economy.

22 posted on 06/11/2012 2:24:58 PM PDT by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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To: jazusamo

Yesssssss. Right on the mark again. Thanks for the ping jaz.

Enjoy reading Dr. Sowell articles. He brings up items of interest, and knowledgeable discussion, as well reminds us of items that sometimes slip from our thoughts.

Dr. Sowell keeping us focused. GREAT!


23 posted on 06/11/2012 2:27:21 PM PDT by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will, they ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: jazusamo

Sowell makes a clear and strong case, as usual.

I have one small quibble - it was specifically Hitler’s betrayal of Uncle Joe that made him a “right winger”; up to that point he was fawned over by the left. But Uncle Joe was the major diety in the pantheon of the utopians. Hitler and Il Duce were, at the time, only revered demi-gods, who, much like the Biblical story, rebelled against their great god, Uncle Joe, and were then cast into the pits of hell - as far from the leftist utopian heaven as possible and are now cast as the Leftists’ great satans in their grand, immoral, morality play.

These specifics are not at odds with Sowell’s explanation, I just wish he would clearly point out that it was their love for that pompadoured murderer that finally made the left decry Hitler and his murderous ways - it wasn’t the murdering to which they objected.


24 posted on 06/11/2012 2:27:28 PM PDT by GilesB
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To: Pontiac

” The western intellectuals also seem more attuned to the idea of a complete command economy. “

That’s because they all believe that it will be *they*, personally, who will be doing the ‘commanding’....


25 posted on 06/11/2012 2:30:40 PM PDT by Uncle Ike (Rope is cheap, and there are lots of trees...)
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To: jazusamo
What socialism, fascism and other ideologies of the left have in common is an assumption that some very wise people — like themselves — need to take decisions out of the hands of lesser people, like the rest of us, and impose those decisions by government fiat.
Excellent.
26 posted on 06/11/2012 2:32:02 PM PDT by samtheman
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To: samtheman
For one of the best explanations of socialism, communism, and fascism read von Hayek Road to Serfdom available as a readers digest condensed version. They are all left and fought each other for the same followers
27 posted on 06/11/2012 2:52:03 PM PDT by cmwy
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To: jazusamo

I would put it differently. Obama is clearly a socialist, in terms of his goals and world outlook. Fascism is a form of socialism. Ultimately, Obama would prefer the Soviet Stalinist model of state ownership of everything to the Italian/Nazi model. However, he cannot overturn private property rights in the US in one fell swoop. So, he takes control of private industries as best he can in his first term. That begins to resemble fascism. But he is a commie through and through, with Islamic tendencies.


28 posted on 06/11/2012 3:02:24 PM PDT by Defiant (If there are infinite parallel universes, why Lord, am I living in the one with Obama as President?)
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To: Pontiac

I think the tide might have turned in WWII when Hitler broke the treaty with Stalin and attacked Russia. Not that Stalin would not have done the same thing if the roles were reversed, but Stalin survived, Hitler did not, and history is written by the winners.


29 posted on 06/11/2012 3:05:59 PM PDT by Sergio (An object at rest cannot be stopped! - The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight)
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To: cmwy

Thanks. I will.


30 posted on 06/11/2012 3:15:34 PM PDT by samtheman
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To: jazusamo

We always knew.

31 posted on 06/11/2012 3:17:24 PM PDT by nonsporting
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To: jazusamo

T.Sowell Bump.
Clear as a bell.


32 posted on 06/11/2012 3:21:24 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: rockvillem
- Obama’s political philosophy to get elected is fascist, but in his heart he’s a Marxist.

He has no heart. Not part of his narcissistic personality disorder. He was molded and used by Marxist, who knew how to take advantage of the personality disorder. If and when his Marxist mentors lose control of him, the world will pay a very big price. That is probably why they have him sedated most of the time now and he rarely makes any sense what so ever.

33 posted on 06/11/2012 3:21:58 PM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: jazusamo
Obama is an America hater and a statist. Statists are left wing and all believe in the supremacy of the state over the individual. He will borrow whatever he needs from fascism, communism or socialism with a tad of racism to accomplish his goal - punish America for her sins. He is not looking to transform America into a paradise on earth but to a hell on earth.
34 posted on 06/11/2012 3:27:41 PM PDT by trubolotta
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To: Young Werther
On April 28 1945, at the Piazzale Loreto in Milan, Benito Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci were shot and hanged in a spectacle

Works better than a voting booth and more permanent as well.

35 posted on 06/11/2012 3:31:46 PM PDT by varon (The Patriots stand watch!)
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To: jazusamo
No prob

I like my definition better anyway: "Fascist, Neo-Commie."

36 posted on 06/11/2012 3:37:25 PM PDT by Conservative Vermont Vet (l)
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To: rockvillem

Obama’s political philosophy to get elected is fascist, but in his heart he’s a Marxist.

“Communism and fascism are the ultimate Marxist competitors.” - America’s 30 Years War: Who Is Winning? - Balint Vazsonyi


37 posted on 06/11/2012 3:37:37 PM PDT by sergeantdave (Public unions exist to protect the unions from the taxpaying public)
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To: SampleMan
I describe him as a socialist, not as a fascist, because so few people understand what a fascist actually is.

You're right. "Fascist" packs no punch in our time. If you tell someone that Hitler was a Fascist, they're likely to retort that Obama doesn't want to kill Jews.

38 posted on 06/11/2012 3:49:50 PM PDT by BfloGuy (The final outcome of the credit expansion is general impoverishment.)
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To: jazusamo

Socialism has many forms and names. They all result in enslavement of the citizens.


39 posted on 06/11/2012 3:53:04 PM PDT by W. W. SMITH (Maybe the horse will learn to sing)
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To: jazusamo

Both. In the vernacular socialist means “ sharing the wealth”. Under that definition there can be no doubt that Obama is socialist as well as fascist.


40 posted on 06/11/2012 3:53:10 PM PDT by jwalsh07 (.)
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To: jazusamo
1.) Thomas Sowell needs nominated for a Nobel Prize in Economics or Literature, or both.

Write your mayor, Congressa$$hole, or Senator. Only elected persons can do it.

2.) Fascist, socialist, Marxist, Stalinist.

All of the above. To paraphrase the Bard, "A turd by any other name would smell as sweet."

41 posted on 06/11/2012 4:01:52 PM PDT by caddie
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To: jazusamo
I started comparing Obama to Mussolini back in early 2009. It's not just that I recognized fascist economic policy when I saw it(and just look at some of his totalitarian slips of the tongue).

When I read a biography of Mussolini, I was astounded at the colossal ego that the man had. Mussolini once held 8 portfolios in his government. He was totally incompetent at all of them. Fast forward to this Administration--and you get authors claiming that Obama thinks he knows more than his advisers.

42 posted on 06/11/2012 4:04:08 PM PDT by Lysandru
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To: cmwy
For one of the best explanations of socialism, communism, and fascism read von Hayek Road to Serfdom available as a readers digest condensed version. They are all left and fought each other for the same followers
The Road to Serfdom
(Link to the Readers' Digest Condensed Version in PDF!)
I once saw a movie set in an Ottoman palace, wherein two counselors to the Sultan see two young princes going at each other. I always think about it in reference to the “difference” between fascism and socialism, because one counselor says to the other, “They fight as only half-brothers can."

43 posted on 06/11/2012 4:10:12 PM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which “liberalism" coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: Lysandru
Yes...Policies, ego and expressions.


44 posted on 06/11/2012 4:13:40 PM PDT by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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To: Young Werther

On April 28 1945, at the Piazzale Loreto in Milan, Benito Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci were shot and hanged in a spectacle

The only true solution for infestations of leftists.

I was banned from the Reader supported news forum for suggesting that shooting a far left radical should be classified self defence. That post had over 300 thumbs down before they removed it. I was bounced by a Marc Ash, is that the famous Ash from early Free Republic history?


45 posted on 06/11/2012 4:14:52 PM PDT by W. W. SMITH (Maybe the horse will learn to sing)
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To: rockvillem

But Zer0 is an international fascist.


46 posted on 06/11/2012 4:21:21 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Sergio; Pontiac
Several of Hitlers, and also Mussolinis, actions were responsible for his disenfranchisement by the leftists of Europe, England and America.
Adolphs' mistreatment and invasion of Poland, which at that time was a great bastion of intellectual thought and 'progress' and thus a real obstacle for him, was part of it.
Also his siding with Franco in Spain in his fight against the communists and their tools. His siding with Franco against the Internationalistas was a major factor in their change of "heart."
Mussos' invasion of Ethiopia and attempts to turn it into a fascist raw resource supply was part and parcel of his getting on their sh*t-list. As was his devotion to Adolph when put under pressure from the leftists. Also, Musso had his problems with the strong unions in Italy - which were historically leftists/communist.

These, along with both of their crack-down on dissent from the Party line, were some of the reasons the left decided to move these two from the 'left column' over into the 'rightest column' in the records of academic history.
47 posted on 06/11/2012 4:21:28 PM PDT by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus sum)
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To: jazusamo
When Obama was elected, I remarked to a Liberal friend, "Somewhere amidst the flames, Benito Mussolini and Karl Marx are laughing and slapping each other on the back."
48 posted on 06/11/2012 5:01:51 PM PDT by JoeFromSidney (book: RESISTANCE TO TYRANNY. Buy from Amazon.)
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To: fieldmarshaldj
I never saw fascism as a construct of the right despite attempts by historians to foist it on us.

I so heartily agree with you. The case I make with leftist idiots is as follows: What did the Tea Party represent: Smaller, limited government. What does conservatism represent? Smaller, limited government. Now, what kind of government has the power to impose a specific philosophical ideology upon an entire populace with no resistance? NOT a smaller, limited government...

I lose most of them at "Tea".

49 posted on 06/11/2012 5:17:15 PM PDT by Caipirabob (I say we take off and Newt the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure...)
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To: jazusamo; P-Marlowe; betty boop

What is the evidence that Obama is actually a communist rather than a fascist?

First, I have no doubt that Obama is behaving as a fascist now. He uses crony corporatism to the hilt.

However, his associations of the past peg him as a communist. Bill Ayers, the organizing committees of his Chicago street years, and the ideas he incorporated from his father would cause me to peg him as a communist rather than a fascist.

I imagine he despises his corporate hosts, that he really does hate the rich (who aren’t him) and that he would rather be the lone cock on the rock rather than a partner with a yard full of bantams.

Romney, on the other hand, is a full social corporatist and proud of his ties to other elites like himself.


50 posted on 06/11/2012 5:30:08 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for their victory!)
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