Skip to comments.Whether You Call it Socialism, Statism, Fascism, or Corporatism,
Posted on 03/12/2014 3:04:13 PM PDT by Kaslin
Regular readers may have noticed that I generally say that advocates of big government are statists.
I could call them liberals, but I dont like that using that term since the early advocates of economic and personal liberty were classical liberals such as Adam Smith, John Locke, and Jean-Baptiste Say. And proponents of these ideas are still called liberals in Europe and Australia.
I could call them socialists, but I dont think thats technically accurate since the theory is based on government ownership of the means of production. This is why Ive been in the strange position of defending Obama when some folks have used the S word to describe him.
I could call them fascists, which Thomas Sowell explains is the most accurate way of describing the modern lefts economic ideology, but that term also implies racism. But while leftists sometimes support policies that hurt minorities, theyre not motivated by racial animus.
I could call them corporatists, and I actually have used that term on occasion, but I think its too narrow. Its not really an ideology, but rather a description of the sleazy alliance of the left and big business, such as we saw for TARP and Wall Street, or Obamacare and Big Pharma.
Im motivated to write about my favorite way of expressing opprobrium because I just read a very interesting column in the U.K.-based Telegraph by Tim Stanley, an American historian.
He delves into the issue of whether its right to call Hitler a socialist.
the Nazis did call themselves National Socialists. But labels can be misleading. Hitler wasnt a socialist became apparent within weeks of becoming Chancellor of Germany when he started arresting socialists and communists. He did this, claim some, because they were competing brands of socialism. But that doesnt explain why Hitler defined his politics so absolutely as a war on Bolshevism Marxism is defined by class war, and socialism is accomplished with the total victory of the Proletariat over the ruling classes. By contrast, Hitler offered an alliance between labour and capital in the form of corporatism It is true that the economy was socialised in the latter part of the 1930s, but not for the sake of building socialism. It was to prepare for war. Politics came before economics in the fascist state to the degree that its hard to conceive of Hitler as a coherent economic thinker at all. Marxism defines history as a class struggle. Hitler saw it as a racial conflict he was sometimes prepared to use socialist economics to pursue his agenda.
These all seem to be valid points, but I wonder whether it makes a difference.
Tarantulas, black widows, and brown recluses are all different species of arachnids, but its also correct to say that they are all poisonous spiders.
And I sure as heck wouldnt want any of them to bite me.
Similarly, socialism, Marxism, and fascism may have specific motivations and characteristics, but theyre all forms of statism.
And I definitely dont want to acquiesce to any of those coercive ideologies.
Which seems to be Tim Stanleys conclusion as well.
The moral lesson is that power corrupts everyone: Left, Right, men, women, gay, straight, black, white, religious, atheist. The best countries have constitutions that limit the government, cherish the private sphere and largely leave the individual to make their own mistakes.
Now lets look at a real-world example of a country that is suffering because of statism.
Allister Heath of City A.M. in London explains what is happening in Venezuela.
IF you want to see how to destroy an economy and a society, look no further than Venezuela. the country is on the verge of total collapse Food is running out, as are other essentials, even though the country claims the worlds largest oil reserves. There are shortages of toilet paper and soap, empty shelves and massive crowds queuing for hours in front of supermarkets. The reason? A brain-dead rejection of basic economics, and a hardline, anti-market approach of the worst possible kind. There are maximum prices, other prices controls, profit controls, capital controls, nationalisations, expropriations and every other statist, atavistic policy you can think of. An extreme left wing government has waged war on capitalism and won; and as ever, ordinary people are paying the price. The lesson from all of that is clear. Socialism doesnt work. Price controls dont work. Stealing peoples property doesnt work. Chasing away foreigners doesnt work. Destroying the supply-side of an economy doesnt work. It is a spectacularly horrible case of what FA Hayek called the Road to Serfdom.
For all intents and purposes, Venezuela is sort of like France, but without the rule of law. Which means bad policies become catastrophic policies.
And Allister is right. It is ordinary people who suffer. Venezuelas long-term experiment with statism has resulted in stagnation and chaos. Once one of the richest nations in Latin America, it is now falling behind nations that have liberalized.
The Venezuelan government cant keep food on the shelves, and it is moving closer and closer to Cuban-style rationing of basic necessities.
And people familiar with the history of statist regimes wont be surprised to learn that Venezuela also is disarming the citizenry.
P.S. One business leader got a lot of heat for observing that Obamanomics was more like fascism than socialism. And another caught a bunch of grief for using an analogy about tax hikes and the Nazi invasion of Poland.
If they used statism instead, they would have been more accurate and avoided criticism.
P.P.S. This image is a funny but accurate illustration of the difference between socialism and capitalism. And heres a socialism-for-kids image, but its really a parody of Obamas class-warfare mentality.
I call them MarxoFascists - because that is what they are.
As for today's Liberals being fascist in economics, Ayn Rand pointed this out about 50 years ago with her lecture, The Fascist New Frontier. I still think Pres. Hussein behaves like an affirmative action Hitler (an incompetent copy of the original).
I call them democrats, because that is what they are.
“But while leftists sometimes support policies that hurt minorities, theyre not motivated by racial animus. “
I would disagree with that. When you see how the welfare state is run, there is definitely a lot of racism on the part of the Left. Except it is on the sly. Just keep telling the minorities to be happy on the dole, clinging to being “protected” by the state, and kept in their place.
Not the Chavez partisans. The government is committed to manufacturing and passing out over 1,000,000 AK-103's (the latest Kalashnikov model) to its followers.
Obama domestic army model?
I think statist is exactly the right term for anyone who wants the state controlling civil society, regardless of what flavor of government.
I don’t know what he has in mind. Ravens?
From what I've read, Mussolini hated Hitlers racist tendencies and even believed that Blacks and Jews were just as capable of being as good a Fascist as anyone else.
No. They are NOTHING like the Democrats of just a generation ago.
These are Marxist ideologues, admirers of Mao and all the Isms - who have employed what Mussolini established and fortified it with steroids.
They have run out any and all 'Democrats' from their party - and those now reside within the Republican party wile Conservatives are being drummed out of the GOP.
“Fascism” in the popular imagination, due to Hitler and WWII is irrevocably linked to Nazism, even though you are correct, Mussolini, the original fascist, was not anti-Semitic.
Although technically accurate, when you call someone a fascist, typically they think Nazi/anti-Semite....and liberals in the USA are not that (yet). You can’t convince anyone they’re wrong too, if they think you’re just calling them Nazis.
Leninism is not the same as Marxism either, as Lenin believed an elite (the communist party) would have to lead in any revolution—whereas Marx thought it would occur as a spontaneous process.
Mr. Mitchell’s analogy to different breeds of poisonous spiders is on the mark though, as who cares what breed exactly the current statists are—they are still poisonous.
And STATISM is actually the essence of fascism, according to Mussolini himself:
“All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”
Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power. - Benito Mussolini
Whether you label it progressivism, socialism, communism or fascism, its all just the same collectivist tyranny, varying only by degrees of bloodshed and fashion choices. - Kurt Schlichter
That is why I wrote "democrats" with a lower case "d." That was a joke son, a piece of double entendre.
I think Obama is a somewhat varied portrait of political and moral evil
You are being too generous - even though it’s an entendre.
They sure seem anti-white to me, maybe honkeys don't count.
Fascist Italy was one of the few countries within the Nazi sphere that refused to deport any Jews to Germany (where they would be almost immediately exterminated.) Denmark was another.
France couldn't ship their Jews off quick enough.
“From what I’ve read, Mussolini hated Hitlers racist tendencies and even believed that Blacks and Jews were just as capable of being as good a Fascist as anyone else.”
I knew there had to be something on which I could agree with Benito.
All of the followers of Marxist philosophy are misfits of one kind or another. They are either too untalented, too crazy or too lazy to hold a regular job, so they resort to either petty crime, organized crime or government (Institutional Organized Crime) assistance. They are misfits! Murderous Misfits!
It is. But fascism is just a flavor of socialism.
I’m not sure what you mean by “corrupt.” Both Lenin and Stalin were more than happy to murder civilians by the thousands (Lenin) or millions (Stalin) to attain political goals, and Stalin in particular murdered many who were closest to him, or in any sort of leadership positions (the purges) out of paranoia. Yes Obama cut his political teeth in uber politically corrupt Chicago, and surely that affected his Marxist ideals....but I don’t know that that makes him comparable to mass-murdering communists.
It goes a long way in putting to words the beliefs and thoughts of many.
Recently...around here, the basic premises as outlined (in the article) seem to have fallen by the wayside, in discussion of much else. We must not lose sight of what is important.
By corrupt I mean willing to compromise their principles for cash. Stalin got his gold by murdering perhaps millions in the frozen gold fields of Kolyma. Perhaps the remnant of America's fine political structure (the Constitution) is preventing Obama from killing 75 million Americans as his mentor, former Weatherman terrorist, Bill Ayers, laid down in his "Prairie Fire" book (dedicated RFK's murderer, Sirhan Sirhan).