Socialism vs. Fascism

Tell me if you think I’m wrong, but it seems to me that America is moving away from democracy and toward fascism rather than flirting with socialism as many on the far right are claiming.

Opa_IIApril 11, 2013 — With all the name calling going on by political media show hosts/pundits and politicians these days, people seem not to know the difference between socialism and fascism. Despite what some have said and written to confuse us for political purposes, the difference is as stark as it is simple. Under socialism the government owns the major industries, not the capitalists Under fascism, wealthy capitalists/corporations basically own the government History makes this clear.

Coming to power during the early 1930s, Adolf Hitler targeted the Communist and Socialist Parties in Germany for elimination. At first, however, Hitler claimed socialist views to gain popular support, hence the name National Socialists. But he was never truly a socialist. Once in control of the party, he, with Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler at his side, moved it away from its original leanings and Germany ended up fascist. Big capital was allowed to operate profitably provided it cooperated with the state, and workers were completely excluded from power’s_rise_to_power.

Tell me if you think I’m wrong, but it seems to me that America is moving away from democracy and toward fascism rather than flirting with socialism as many on the far right are claiming. Why? Look at all the influence wealthy capitalists and corporate interests have with Congress. Consider how the Koch brothers and fossil energy industries have essentially squashed any meaningful efforts to address global warming by promoting skeptic/deniest arguments. Consider the significance of the Supreme Court’s decision on the Citizens United case — declaring that corporations are people. Consider the NRA’s influence with Congress to squash any meaningful measures to reduce gun violence in America notwithstanding massive public support for them. Consider how Big Pharma was able to protect themselves from lower priced drug imports from Canada. Consider Wall Street’s efforts through Congress to prevent enforcement of new consumer rights regulations. Consider too how the party of big business has in recent years elevated gerrymandering in Republican controlled, Right-to-Work states to new levels, effectively denying the poor, the elderly, minorities and young voters equal representation during elections. Is this not excluding workers from power/participation in the democratic process?

Wait a minute you say, is capitalism fascist then? No, not necessarily; it’s a matter of degrees. Neither is socialism communist. Communism is a form of totalitarian government employing socialism exclusively or with a limited amount of free enterprise called a mixed economy.

Capitalism is getting a bad rap lately, largely because of its success. Big-this and big-that, in my opinion, have eliminated so much competition and gained so much political clout that markets are losing self-discipline. Banks, oil companies, airlines and pharmaceuticals are colluding through mergers and lobbyists to force favorable legislation and looser regulations for their industries.

Socialism has an important role to play in any free society. It facilitates sharing resources and services: clean water, public utilities, police, fire and other emergency responders, public education, etc. But, as an economic system, a market economy with some degree of capitalism, is still the only way to go. The problem arises when the forces of competition and greed become greater than the people’s democratic government itself. Corporate success in the marketplaces of goods, services and ideas, must therefore be constrained with reasonable regulations to protect the very people that corporations claim to serve. And government must remain of, for and by the REAL people rather than the corporate people.

I invite your comments.

Published in: on April 11, 2013 at 8:28 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Right on, right on! This is something I’ve tried to explain to people for several years now, ever since I read Mussolini’s explanation of fascism – “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.”

    When you consider fascism to be an economic system then much of the behavior of American politicians is easier to explain. I also like to point people to Orwell’s essay on Politics and the English Language, which describes to a T the twists and turns of our contemporary media.

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