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Posts Tagged ‘Fascism’

How Fascism Comes to America – Doug Casey’s International Man

Posted by M. C. on August 20, 2020

It’s most unfortunate, but the U.S. and its allies will turn into authoritarian police states. Even more than they are today. Much more, actually. They’ll all be perfectly fascist – private ownership of both consumer goods and the means of production topped by state control of both. Fascism operates free of underlying principles or philosophy; it’s totally the whim of the people in control, and they’ll prove ever more ruthless.

https://internationalman.com/articles/how-fascism-comes-to-america/

by Doug Casey

I think there are really only two good reasons for having a significant amount of money: To maintain a high standard of living and to ensure your personal freedom.

There are other, lesser reasons, of course, including: to prove you can do it, to compensate for failings in other things, to impress others, to leave a legacy, to help perpetuate your genes, or maybe because you just can’t think of something better to do with your time.

But I’ll put aside those lesser motives, which I tend to view as psychological foibles.

Basically, money gives you the freedom to do what you’d like – and when, how, and with whom you prefer to do it. Money allows you to have things and do things and can even assist you to be something you want to be. Unfortunately, money is a chimera in today’s world and will wind up savaging billions in the years to come.

As you know, I believe we’re well into what I call The Greater Depression. A lot of people believe we’re in a recovery now; I think, from a long-term point of view, that is total nonsense. It will be far more severe than what we saw in 2008 and 2009 and will last quite a while – perhaps for many years, depending on how stupidly the government acts.

Real Reasons for Optimism

There are reasons for optimism, of course, and at least two of them make sense.

The first is that every individual wants to improve his economic status. Many (but by no means all) of them will intuit that the surest way to do so is to produce more than they consume and save the difference. That creates capital, which can be invested in or loaned to productive enterprises. But what if outside forces make that impossible, or at least much harder than it should be?

The second reason for optimism is the development of technology – which is the ability to manipulate the material world to suit our desires. Scientists and engineers develop technology, and that also adds to the supply of capital. The more complex technology becomes, the more outside capital is required. But what if sufficient capital isn’t generated by individuals and businesses to fund further technological advances?

There are no guarantees in life.

Throughout the first several hundred thousand years of human existence, very little capital was accumulated – perhaps a few skins or arrowheads passed on to the next generation. And there was very little improvement in technology – it was many millennia between the taming of fire and, say, the invention of the bow.

Things very gradually accelerated and improved, in a start-stop-start kind of way – the classical world, followed by the Dark Ages, followed by the medieval world. Finally, as we entered the industrial world 200 years ago, it looked like we were on an accelerating path to the stars. All of a sudden, life was no longer necessarily so solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, or short. I’m reasonably confident things will continue improving, possibly at an accelerating rate. But only if individuals create more capital than they consume and if enough of that capital is directed towards productive technology.

Real Reasons for Pessimism

Those are the two mainsprings of human progress: capital accumulation and technology.

Unfortunately, however, that reality has become obscured by a morass of false and destructive theories, abetted by a world that’s become so complex that it’s too difficult for most people to sort out cause and effect. Furthermore, most people in the OECD world have become so accustomed to good times, since the end of WW2, that they think prosperity is automatic and a permanent feature of the cosmic firmament. So although I’m very optimistic, progress – certainly over the near term – isn’t guaranteed.

These are the main reasons why the standard of living has been artificially high in the advanced world, but don’t confuse them with the two reasons for long-term prosperity.

The first is debt. There’s nothing wrong with debt in itself; lending is one way for the owner of capital to deploy it. But if a society is going to advance, debt should be largely for productive purposes, so that it’s self-liquidating; and most of it would necessarily be short term.

But most of the scores of trillions of debt in the world today are for consumption, not production. And the debt is not only not self-liquidating, it’s compounding. And most of it is long term, with no relation to any specific asset. A lender can reasonably predict the value of a short-term loan, but debt payable in 30 years is impossible to value realistically.

All government debt, mortgage debt, consumer debt, and almost all student loan debt does nothing but allow borrowers to live off the capital others have accumulated. It turns the debtors into indentured servants for the indefinite future. The entire world has basically overlooked this, along with most other tenets of sound economics.

The second is inflation. Like debt, inflation induces people to live above their means, but its consequences are even worse, because they’re indirect and delayed.

If the central bank deposited $10,000 in everyone’s bank account next Monday, everyone would think they were wealthier and start consuming more. This would start a business cycle. The business cycle is always the result of currency inflation, no matter how subtle or mild. And it always results in a depression. The longer an inflation goes on, the more ingrained the distortions and misallocations of capital become, and the worse the resulting depression.

We’ve had a number of inflationary cycles since the end of the last depression in 1948. I believe we’re now at the end of what might be called a super-cycle, resulting in a super-depression.

The third is the export of dollars. This is unique to the U.S. and is the reason the depression in the U.S. will in some ways be worse than most other places. Since the early ’70s, the dollar has been used the way gold once was – it’s the world’s currency. The problem is that the U.S. has exported perhaps $10 trillion – but nobody knows – in exchange for good things from around the world. It was a great trade for a while. The foreigners get paper created at essentially zero cost, while Americans live high on the hog with the goodies those dollars buy.

But at some point quite soon, dollars won’t be readily accepted, and smart foreigners will start dumping their dollars, passing the Old Maid card. Ultimately, most of the dollars will come back to the U.S., to be traded for titles to land and businesses. Americans will find that they traded their birthright for a storage unit full of TVs and assorted tchotchkes. But many foreigners will also be stuck with dollars and suffer a huge loss. It’s actually a game with no winner.

What’s Next

These last three factors have enabled essentially the whole world to live above its means for decades. The process has been actively facilitated by governments everywhere. People like living above their means, and governments prefer to see the masses sated.

The debt and inflation have also financed the growth of the welfare state, making a large percentage of the masses dependent, even while they’ve also resulted in an immense expansion in the size and power of the state over the last 60-odd years. The masses have come to think government is a magical entity that can do almost anything, including kiss the economy and make it better when the going gets tough. The type of people who are drawn to the government are eager to make the state a panacea. So they’ll redouble their efforts in the fiscal and monetary areas I’ve described above, albeit with increasingly disastrous results.

They’ll also become quite aggressive with regulations (on what you can do and say, and where your money can go) and taxes (much higher existing taxes and lots of new ones, like a national VAT and a wealth tax). And since nobody wants to take the blame for problems, they’ll blame things on foreigners. Fortunately (the U.S. will think) they have a huge military and will employ it promiscuously. So the already bankrupt nations of NATO will dig the hole deeper with some serious – but distracting – new wars.

It’s most unfortunate, but the U.S. and its allies will turn into authoritarian police states. Even more than they are today. Much more, actually. They’ll all be perfectly fascist – private ownership of both consumer goods and the means of production topped by state control of both. Fascism operates free of underlying principles or philosophy; it’s totally the whim of the people in control, and they’ll prove ever more ruthless.

So where does that leave us, as far as accumulating more wealth than the average guy is concerned?

I’d say it puts us in a rather troubling position. The general standard of living is going to collapse, as will your personal freedom. And if you’re an upper-middle-class person (I suspect that includes most who are now reading this), you will be considered among the rich who are somehow (this is actually a complex subject worthy of discussion) responsible for the bad times and therefore liable to be eaten. The bottom line is that if you value your money and your freedom, you’ll take action.

There’s much, much more to be said on all this. I’ve said a lot on the topic over the past few years, at some length. But I thought it best to be brief here, for the purpose of emphasis. Essentially, act now, because the world’s combined economic, financial, political, social, and military situation is as good as it will be for many years… and a lot better than it has any right to be.

One more thing: Don’t worry too much.

All countries seem to go through nasty phases. Within the lifetime of most people today, we’ve seen it in big countries such as Russia, Germany, and China. And in scores of smaller ones – the list is too long to recount here. The good news is that things almost always get better, eventually.

Editor’s Note: As these trends continue to accelerate, what you do right now can mean the difference between coming out ahead or suffering crippling losses.

That’s exactly why bestselling author Doug Casey and his team just released a free report with all the details on how to survive an economic collapse.

It will help you understand what is unfolding right before our eyes and what you should do so you don’t get caught in the crosshairs.

Click here to download the PDF now.

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Today’s Anticapitalists Are Closer to Fascism Than They Think | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on August 6, 2020

The viscerally anti-individualistic philosophical approach of fascism is clearly laid out throughout the whole essay. For instance, in the paragraph appropriately titled “Rejection of Individualism and the Importance of the State,” the fascist ideology is explicitly labeled as “anti-individualistic,” insofar as fascism “stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests coincide with those of the State.”

https://mises.org/wire/todays-anticapitalists-are-closer-fascism-they-think?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=11bfb92865-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-11bfb92865-228343965

On the back of the economic crisis brought about by the covid-19 pandemics, we are witnessing—once more—so-called economists, historians, and pundits attempting to proclaim the failure of capitalism. Their criticisms of the capitalistic organization of human cooperation and coexistence are various, but there are three strains of ideological attack against capitalism which seem to me to occur more often than others.

There is an element about anticapitalism that is often neglected: even though anticapitalism is usually associated with socialism and leftist movements, we can find the very same anticapitalistic mentality in the fascist ideology. As Thomas DiLorenzo pointed out in his latest Mises U lecture on the topic, fascism is just a particular kind of socialism—just like communism itself is. Hence, the fact that fascists and communists share the same contempt for capitalism should not surprise anyone.

The best way to understand the anticapitalistic mentality of fascism—and how close the arguments of contemporary anticapitalists are to those of Benito Mussolini—is to read Mussolini’s 1932 essay titled “The Doctrine of Fascism,” written together with Giovanni Gentile (the acknowledged philosophical ideologue of fascism).

The attack Gentile and Mussolini carry out against capitalism is (at least) threefold, and its underlying rhetoric is no different from the one of contemporary anticapitalistic and allegedly antifascist movements. First, Gentile and Mussolini advocate a greater role for government in the economy. Second, they condemn both methodological and political individualism, asserting the importance of collectivism and collective identities. Third, they blame “economism” and the role economic constraints play in shaping human behavior, deploring materialism and advocating governments that transcend the praxeological and sociological laws of economics.

Arguing for Ever More Government Intervention

The first step anticapitalists take when it comes to arguing in favor of bigger government is to belittle freedom and classical liberalism. In the paragraph titled1 “Rejection of Economic Liberalism – Admiration of Bismarck,” Gentile and Mussolini write that “fascism is definitely and absolutely opposed to the doctrines of [classical] liberalism, both in the political and the economic sphere.” Doesn’t that have a familiar ring? Is it so different from the calls of many leftists for rethinking neoliberalism and capitalism?

A couple of paragraphs later (“The Absolute Primacy of the State”), the two fascists—commenting upon what they believed to be the epitomic failure of capitalism, namely the 1929 world recession—assert that economic crises “can only be settled by State action and within the orbit of the State.” Does that differ so much from the advocacy of contemporary “liberals” (better: social democrats) for interventionistic policies and their attempts to put capitalism under stricter governmental control?

If it wasn’t clear enough, just a few lines earlier (at the very beginning of the same paragraph), Mussolini and Gentile show what they mean, in practice, by their contempt for classical liberalism. In fact, they blame the classical liberal minimal state for “restricting its activities to recording results” stemming from economic dynamics, instead of “directing the game and guiding the material and moral progress of the community.” Where, again, is the difference from leftists promoting greater interventionism? Or calling for a bigger government, able to steer markets so as to foster their own idea of social justice?

In the end, when it comes to economic affairs, both modern (leftist) anticapitalists and “classical” fascists are in favor of a highly nonneutral state.

Fascism Eulogizes Collectivism and Despises Individualism

The viscerally anti-individualistic philosophical approach of fascism is clearly laid out throughout the whole essay. For instance, in the paragraph appropriately titled “Rejection of Individualism and the Importance of the State,” the fascist ideology is explicitly labeled as “anti-individualistic,” insofar as fascism “stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests coincide with those of the State.”

Again, doesn’t this kind of rhetoric have a familiar ring? Is it so different from contemporary antiglobalization advocates and anticapitalists arguing against, say, economic globalization, because—in their illiberal perspectives—it benefits only capitalists and entrepreneurs, neglecting the needs of the collectivity and the ultimate well-being of the nation? Can’t they see how close their interpretation of modern sociological and economic phenomena is to the fascist viewpoint? Should an entrepreneur refrain from freely trading with global partners just because the alleged interest of his nation (or collectivity) would be to preserve domestic national employment? Classical liberals would definitely answer no, whereas anticapitalists, antiglobalization activists, and fascists would all together answer yes.

In the end, when it comes to balancing the interests of individuals against the interests of collectivities and the nation, many modern anticapitalists are no different from “classical” fascists.

Fascism: Antimaterialism and Omnipotent Government

Lastly, many contemporary (leftist) anticapitalists share with the fascist rhetoric both a sort of utopian antimaterialism and a kind of mystical idea of the mission that states and governments are vested with.

As a matter of fact, the idea that a state should not passively accept the outcomes of freely chosen economic interactions and voluntary exchanges is widely held by modern (leftist) anticapitalists. Analogously, in the last lines of the paragraph titled “Rejection of Economic Liberalism – Admiration of Bismarck,” Mussolini and Gentile blame classical liberalism for the “agnosticism it professed in the sphere of economics and…in the sphere of politics and morals.”

In other words: fascists, just like modern anticapitalists, cannot accept that welfare-maximizing human beings naturally seek to engage in exchanges that each person thinks will make him or her better off. Instead, anticapitalists would like to substitute “morally superior” choices forced on consumers by the state.

Conclusion

As Cicero stated, “Historia magistra vitae.” Knowledge of history is helpful to avoid past mistakes. When it comes to anticapitalism, all its branches share more than their promoters are willing to admit. More precisely, every anticapitalistic ideology promotes government interventionism, contempt for individual freedom, antimaterialism, and a mystical view of government’s role and nature. They all start with anticapitalism; they all end with dictatorships, slaughters, wars, and misery.

  • 1. Paragraphs are not titled in the original version: titles have been added to make the essay more readable.
Author:

Fabrizio Ferrari

Fabrizio Ferrari is a graduate student in economics.

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Brave New Normal – Part 2 – OffGuardian

Posted by M. C. on May 22, 2020

https://off-guardian.org/2020/05/21/brave-new-normal-part-2/

CJ Hopkins

My columns haven’t been very funny recently. This one isn’t going to be any funnier. Sorry. Fascism makes me cranky.

I don’t mean the kind of fascism the corporate media and the fake Resistance have been desperately hyping for the last four years. God help me, but I’m not terribly worried about a few hundred white-supremacist morons marching around with tiki torches hollering Nazi slogans at each other, or Jewish-Mexican-American law clerks flashing “OK” signs on TV, or smirking schoolkids in MAGA hats.

I’m talking about actual, bona fide fascism, or totalitarianism, if you want to get technical. The kind where governments declare a global “state of emergency” on account of a virus with a 0.2% to 0.6% lethality (and that causes mild, flu-like symptoms, or absolutely no symptoms whatsoever, in over 97% of those infected), locks everyone down inside their homes, suspends their constitutional rights, terrorizes them with propaganda, and unleashes uniformed goon squads on anyone who doesn’t comply with their despotic decrees.

I’m talking about the kind of totalitarianism where the police track you down with your smartphone data and then come to your house to personally harass you for attending a political protest, or attack you for challenging their illegitimate authority, and then charge you with “assault” for fighting back, and then get the media to publish a story accusing you of having “set up” the cops.

I’m talking about the kind of totalitarianism where the secret police are given carte blanche to monitor everyone’s Internet activity, and to scan you with their “surveillance helmets,” and dictate how close you can sit to your friends, and menace you with drones and robot dogs, and violently pry your kids out of your arms and arrest you if you dare to protest.

I’m talking about the kind of totalitarianism that psychologically tortures children with authoritarian loyalty rituals designed to condition them to live in fear, and respond to absurd Pavlovian stimuli, and that encourages the masses to turn off their brains and mechanically repeat propaganda slogans, like “wear a mask” and “flatten the curve,” and to report their neighbors to the police for having an “illegal” private party … and to otherwise reify the manufactured mass hysteria the authorities need to “justify” their totalitarianism.

Yeah, that kind of stuff makes me cranky.

And you know what makes me really cranky? I’ll tell you what makes me really cranky.

It is people who publicly project themselves as “anti-authoritarians” and “anti-fascists,” or who have established their “anti-establishment” brands and “dissident” personas on social media, or even in the corporate media, either zealously cheerleading this totalitarianism or looking away and saying nothing as it is rolled out by the very authorities and media propagandists they pretend to oppose.

I don’t know exactly why, but that stuff makes me particularly cranky.

I’ll provide you with a few examples. Read the rest of this entry »

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Everything you know about Europe is wrong – UnHerd

Posted by M. C. on January 23, 2020

https://unherd.com/2020/01/both-brexiteers-and-remainers-know-nothing-about-europe/

BY

The apocryphal newspaper headline — “fog in the channel, continent isolated” — famously said something about the British mindset. It’s hardly surprising that we are insular — we are literally an island after all — but this insularity is something that curiously crosses all barriers in British social and political life, whether of Left or Right, middle or working class, and on almost every issue.

This is true even for British liberals who, reeling since the night of 23 June, 2016, have made the continent a sort of spiritual home as they’ve become alienated from their countrymen.

Right-thinking Britons see their country as an embarrassment sliding towards populism, a sad contrast to the moral superpower that is Germany and France under centrist leader Emmanuel Macron. Yet the Continent of the Anglo liberal imagination is as unreal as the supposed nostalgic Britain of yesteryear loved by Leavers.

 

Italy

Britain, many people fear, is moving away from the European dream and towards fascism. It’s such an established meme that even the most recent BBC Agatha Christie adaptation was a thinly-veiled analogy about 1930s fascism and Brexit.

Yet people keep on coming to this Nazi hellhole, with the fabled “Brexodus” of migrants leaving the country actually seeing an extra 212,000 people arriving last year, and with record numbers of foreign students, too.

The fascist Brexit Britain theory is held among a minority of Remainers because they’re measuring the country by a theoretical ideal rather than comparing it to other — real — countries. So while the hate crime “surge” following the referendum mostly involved very minor incidents, Italy saw a number of openly racist murders during the late 2010s.

Whether they’re connected or not, Italy has also had a populist Right-wing government in power for most of the past four years, and the Lega may well return — at around 33% in the polls, it is by some distance the most popular party. Italian politics has been, as long as anyone can remember, chaotic and unstable, which makes me wonder if Mary Beard’s Italian colleagues who make her feel “embarrassed” about Brexit have been paying attention to their own country.

 

France

A central theme of fascism is a love of violence against ideological opponents, and so a visitor from outer space with a vague understanding of our human political philosophy would probably conclude that there was only one fascist state in the EU — France, where the brutality of the police is on a scale that would be unfathomable in England.

Among the recent victims of the gleefully violent French police is a teenager who lost an eye in Strasbourg and an elderly woman in Marseilles who died from her injuries after being hit by a rubber bullet. Just this month prosecutors launched a probe after a video appeared to show a policeman firing point-blank at protestors with a riot control gun.

France is quite far down from Britain in the Freedom International rating, and treats minorities like Roma in a way that would do more than embarrass liberal Brits.

Right-wingers often complain that the horrific behaviour of the French police towards the gilets jaunes has received scant coverage in the BBC; certainly if Hungary or Poland treated their citizens like that, I’m pretty sure it would be on our news more. But then France has always been a politically violent country.

The last mass murder of protesters in England occurred in 1819, when 18 people were killed by authorities in Manchester; in France police in Paris killed up to three hundred unarmed protesters in 1961.

Had anything even vaguely comparable happened during the US Civil Rights era it would have been the subject of about 500 films and even my children in an English primary school would now be learning about it now. But then Anglo liberals are fascinated with the Anglo world; not so much by the continent.

France is different to England, in some ways far more traditional; for example, the same-sex marriage campaign there was opposed by enormous protests, while, like many continental countries, it has a 12-week limit for abortion, when even talk of a 20 weeks-limit would have the Anglo commentariat dressing up in those Handmaid’s Tale outfits.

Germany Read the rest of this entry »

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EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Mike Bloomberg Just Called for a Higher Minimum Wage…and Then It Got Worse

Posted by M. C. on January 12, 2020

https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2020/01/mike-bloomberg-just-called-for-higher.html

Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg has released his economic plan. He calls it his “All-in-Economy” agenda.

It is full of typical lefty interventions in the economy that will do nothing but lower the general standard of living in the U.S. if his plan were to be implemented.

His plan calls for an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour, indexed to inflation, affordable child care, paid family leave and the right to sue employers for harassment and discrimination related to characteristics such as race, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status or disability.

He also calls for the spending of billions “communities across the nation to help create jobs and grow incomes,” as if the free market doesn’t create jobs.

He says he is in favor of health insurance that would be administered by the federal government but paid for by “customer” premiums.

In short, Bloomberg’s policy is interventionist to such a degree, it is difficult to differentiate his plan from early-stage Mussolini economics.

In 1930, in the Doctrine of Fascism, Mussolini wrote, “The so-called crisis can only be settled by State action and within the orbit of the State.”

From My Autobiography by Mussolini:

I have wanted the Fascist government, above all, to give great care to social legislation…I think that Italy is advanced beyond all European nations; in fact, it has ratified laws…for obligatory insurance against tuberculosis…All this shows how, in every detail in the field of labor, I stand by the working labor…from insurance against accidents to the indemnity against illness.

RW

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The Battle Isn’t Right vs. Left. It’s Statism vs. Individualism – Foundation for Economic Education

Posted by M. C. on January 4, 2020

satire from the clever folks at the Babylon Bee.

At a press conference on Thursday, American Nazi Party leader Emmett Scoggins told reporters that his group is not trying to instate full-on Nazism, but a much better system called “democratic Nazism.” …Scoggins was questioned about the use of the word “democratic” and how democratic Nazism was any different from plain-old Nazism. “The main difference is we add the word ‘democratic’ on there because people like that word a lot more than just plain ‘Nazi,’” Scoggins said. …The conference ended with a long speech from Scoggins about…how “real” Nazism has never been tried.

Libertarian principle: Free people own themselves.

https://fee.org/articles/the-battle-isnt-right-vs-left-it-s-statism-vs-individualism/

How high does the death toll need to get before people realize that communism, like its sister ideology of Nazism, is despicably evil?

I’ve written about how totalitarian ideologies such as communism and Nazism have a lot in common. Both subordinate the individual to the state and both give the state power over the economy.

And both slaughter millions of people.

My buddy from grad school, Matt Kibbe, has a great video on this issue.

Needless to say, I agree with Matt’s characterization.

The battle is not right vs. left. It’s statism vs. individualism.

Let’s look at some writings on this issue.

We’ll start with an article by Bradley Birzer, published by Intellectual Takeout. He worries that totalitarianism on the left is making a comeback.

In 1936, you had three choices: National Socialism, international socialism, or dignity. In 2018, we find ourselves in similar circumstances… Why is this happening now…?  First, we scholars have failed to convince the public of just how wicked all forms of communism were and remain. …Almost all historians ignore the most salient fact of the 20th century: that governments murdered more than 200 million innocents, the largest massacre in the history of the world.

Terror reigned in the killing fields, the Holocaust camps, and the gulags. …Second, an entire generation has grown up never knowing such things as the Soviet gulags or even the Berlin Wall. …most younger defenders of communism buy into the oldest propaganda line of the Left—that real communism has never been tried.

He explains that fascism and socialism are two sides of the same coin.

That the National Socialists embraced socialism is factually accurate. …they did nationalize very vital industry in Germany, even if by outright intimidation rather than through the law. In his personal diaries, Joseph Goebbels wrote in late 1925: “It would be better for us to end our existence under Bolshevism than to endure slavery under capitalism.” Only a few months later, he continued, “I think it is terrible that we and the Communists are bashing in each other’s heads.”

Whatever the state of the rivalry between the two camps, Goebbels claimed, the two forces should ally and conquer. …The Italian fascists had even closer ties to the Marxists, with Mussolini having begun his career as a Marxist publicist and writer. A few Italian fascists even held positions in the Comintern.

Richard Mason makes similar points in a piece he wrote for the Foundation for Economic Education.

…how do we react to the hammer and sickle? I don’t have to write an article explaining the millions of deaths that occurred at the hands of communist regimes; like the Holocaust, the gulags of the Soviet Union and killing fields of Cambodia are widely known. Yet journalists in the UK openly and proudly advocate communism. Statues of Karl Marx are erected. …there is no justifiable way a fascist could argue ‘That wasn’t real Nazism.’ The same is not true for communism. …Since Karl Marx never implemented communism himself, the leaders of communist states always have that get-out-of-jail-free card.

Any shortcomings, tragedies, or crises a communist regime faces can always be blamed on a misapplication of Marx’s infallible roadmap… The communist ideology in its purest form might be separated from its implementations, but at what point does its awful track record discredit any attempts to advocate it? …The history of communism is as bloodstained as that of Nazism; much more so, actually. It’s time we treated it as such.

Amen. I’ve weighed in on that issue, and I strongly recommend what Jeff Jacoby wrote on the issue as well.

And Sheldon Richman expands on this theme…

See the rest here

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Freedom Isn't Free - Conservative Intelligence Briefing

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Carlin the Magnificent.

Posted by M. C. on December 22, 2019

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Fascism Has Always Been An Enemy of Private Property | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on June 3, 2019

https://mises.org/wire/fascism-has-always-been-enemy-private-property

The Left and mainstream political science identify Italian fascism and German national socialism as a right-wing ideology. Their motivation is clear — they do not want to be associated with regimes that brought civilization the horror and suffering of an unprecedented scale. The Left traditionally substantiates their point of view with two theoretical propositions. First of all, fascism and Nazism do not belong to the Left because those regimes did not institute total collective ownership on means of production as Marx prescribed. Secondly, nationalism and racism have traditionally been features of the Right, whereas the Left is perceived to be internationalist in nature.

Private Ownership in Name Only

Let us consider the first postulate about the failure of these regimes to carry out total socialization of private property. Thus, Stalin pointed out in his interview to American journalist Roy Howard, “The foundation of the [socialism] society is public property: state, i.e., national, and co-operative, collective farm property. Neither Italian fascism nor German National-‘socialism’ has anything in common with such a society. Primarily, this is because the private ownership of the factories and works, of the land, the banks, transport, etc. has remained intact, and, therefore, capitalism remains in full force in Germany and Italy.” That has been the notorious argument of Marxian socialists.

The great Ludwig von Mises attacked logical inferences of the Left by pointing out that in non-Marxian socialist regimes the private property was de jure allowed, but de facto the state was the principal owner of the means of production. “If the State takes the power of disposal from the owner piecemeal, by extending its influence over production; if its power to determine what direction production shall be, is increased, then the owner is left at last with nothing except the empty name of ownership, and property has passed into the hands of the State”, wrote Mises in Socialism.

Indisputably, his arguments authentically describe real economic affairs under these regimes. Indeed, entrepreneurs were deprived of the free commodity market, labor market, and international money market; the state established wage and price controls, and overall influenced all stages of production, distribution, and consumption. However, it should be recognized that Mises’s arguments do not find the proper understanding and effect in modern realities.

[RELATED: “How the Nazis Converted German Agriculture to Socialism” by Chris Calton]

The thing is, the twentieth century was cracked by two bloody World Wars and the prolonged Cold War. Only a state can wage World Wars as it can gather and manage the necessary financial, economic, and people resources. Thus, for the last century, the state had been very firmly fixed in the economic sphere of society, and it reluctantly gave up its position. After all, many generations of people live in conditions where the state dictates the conditions of the economy. They do not even suspect that the state and the economy may have different relations. Contemporary industrial countries are guilty of conducting policies that resemble ones from the cookbooks of Italian and German governments. Indeed, the state has put in place various regulations that adversely affect the business and economy as a whole, including, among other things, control over the minimum wage, the establishment of social programs that are fueled by the substantial redistribution of wealth, and many other measures.

Mises pointed out that the state controlled the economic life, conducting various measures of coercion. He is undoubtedly right; however, the socialist regimes have utilized both methods: coercion and persuasion, and the latter occupied even more prominent importance. In contemporary settings, the outright collectivist indoctrinations in educational institutions became a primary form of persuasion…

Nationalism Is Not Unique to the Right

The supposed exclusive nationalism and racism of the Right is a political myth propelled by the vicious leftist propaganda. It is known that the founders of Marxism were xenophobes that adhered to the Hegelian division of nations to historical and non-historical. The founder of revolutionary syndicalism Sorel was an ardent anti-Semite. Some currents of socialism preached outright chauvinism; others used internationalist rhetoric in order to gain political benefits. Moreover, nationalism was not a factor that divided the political spectrum into the Left-Right wings at the beginning of the 20th century. Instead, it was the attitude to property rights (or antagonism between capital and labor, in Marxian terms) that divided the political spectrum. Therefore, nationalism might be inherent in various political philosophies, in both the defenders of capital and the proponents of labor…

Italian Fascism and German Nazism constitute anti-materialist, anti-positivist current of the socialist movement, which was extremely hostile toward ideas of Marxism and democratic socialism. Nevertheless, they shared a continuum bench of the socialist team. Communists occupy the extreme left, followed by the Social Democrats; the right flank belongs to fascists and Nazis — they are the right wing of the Left.

Be seeing you

banksy-anarchism

Banksy

 

 

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Socialism for Dummies – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on March 15, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/03/no_author/socialism-for-dummies-and-nature-for-the-savy/

By Jane ten Brink

I wrote the following to a friend who is now retired, but who worked for most of his life for the Austrian National Railroad (the ÖBB), an entity that has been strongly governed by socialist thinking. It therefore came as no surprise to me early on that my friend was completely governed by a socialist mindset (when I first got to know him about three years ago, he was reading some biography of Karl Marx!)

While this friend has never lived in luxury, his standard of living throughout his life and unto this day would most certainly be considered “luxury” by a good portion of the world population.

And, yet, my friend complains that he does not have enough (he thinks he should have more), and blames for this the evil, capitalist system.

My friend’s reason for blaming the evil, capitalist system for his allegedly „struggling-to-survive“ existence is that according to him, a bunch of greedy, rich guys have exploited „us“ by not turning over to „us“ more of their wealth (he believes that wealth should be more evenly distributed).

But my reason for why my friend is blaming capitalism is „envy“. Read the rest of this entry »

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Appearance of Paul Gottfried Sparks Disruptions at Hamilton College – Alexander Hamilton Institute

Posted by M. C. on January 1, 2018

Paul Gottfried-a good source for learning how we got here who the players are. As a bonus, he actually knows the definition of fascism.

http://theahi.org/2017/11/08/appearance-of-paul-gottfried-sparks-disruptions-at-hamilton-college/

 On October 25 and 26, the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI) sponsored Dr. Paul Gottfried, Horace Raffensperger Professor of Humanities Emeritus, Elizabethtown College, for a series of talks, two on the Hamilton College campus.  On Wednesday morning, October 25, he discussed conservatism in the United States in a seminar “Modern Conservative Politics,” taught by AHI Resident Fellow Dr. David Frisk.  In the afternoon, Dr. Gottfried was invited to speak on his recent book Fascism:  The Career of a Concept(2016) in a course, “Nazi Germany,” taught by Hamilton College professor Alfred Kelly.  On Thursday evening, October 26, AHI hosted a Leadership Dinner during which undergraduates, faculty, and local citizens, using a prescribed chapter from Gottfried’s book Fascism, conversed on the meaning of totalitarianism and on the similarities and differences between Nazism, fascism, and communism.  Disruptive protests greeted Gottfried at his two appearances at Hamilton College…

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