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What Is Fascism? It’s the System We’ve Been Living under for Decades. | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on January 16, 2021

Fascism is the system of government that cartelizes the private sector, centrally plans the economy to subsidize producers, exalts the police state as the source of order, denies fundamental rights and liberties to individuals, and makes the executive state the unlimited master of society.

This describes mainstream politics in America today. And not just in America. It’s true in Europe, too. It is so much part of the mainstream that it is hardly noticed anymore.

It is ever more widely known that statism does not and cannot work. Statism is the great lie. Statism gives us the exact opposite of its promise. It promised security, prosperity, and peace; it has given us fear, poverty, war, and death. If we want a future, it is one that we have to build ourselves. The fascist state will not give it to us. On the contrary, it stands in the way.

https://mises.org/wire/what-fascism-its-system-weve-been-living-under-decades

Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.

[Editor’s Note: In 2011, Lew Rockwell penned this thorough explanation of what fascism really is and what must be done to combat it. Fascism, unlike what the dominant media narrative asserts, has virtually nothing to do with people expressing politically incorrect opinions, or people refusing to wear masks, or a group of disorganized rioters smashing windows in the US Capitol. Fascism, rather, is an ideology of state control, and one that has been immensely successful over the past seventy years in the United States. As Rockwell explains below, the “eight marks of fascism” are all clear and powerful trends within the United States regime today.]

Fascism is the system of government that cartelizes the private sector, centrally plans the economy to subsidize producers, exalts the police state as the source of order, denies fundamental rights and liberties to individuals, and makes the executive state the unlimited master of society.

This describes mainstream politics in America today. And not just in America. It’s true in Europe, too. It is so much part of the mainstream that it is hardly noticed anymore.

If fascism is invisible to us, it is truly the silent killer. It fastens a huge, violent, lumbering state on the free market that drains its capital and productivity like a deadly parasite on a host. This is why the fascist state has been called the vampire economy. It sucks the economic life out of a nation and brings about a slow death of a once thriving economy.

The talk in Washington about reform, whether from Democrats or Republicans, is like a bad joke. They talk of small changes, small cuts, commissions they will establish, curbs they will make in ten years. It is all white noise. None of this will fix the problem. Not even close.

The problem is more fundamental. It is the quality of the money. It is the very existence of 10,000 regulatory agencies. It is the whole assumption that you have to pay the state for the privilege to work. It is the presumption that the government must manage every aspect of the capitalist economic order. In short, it is the total state that is the problem, and the suffering and decline will continue so long as the total state exists.

The Origins of Fascism

To be sure, the last time people worried about fascism was during the Second World War. There can be no question of its origins. It is tied up with the history of post–World War I Italian politics. In 1922, Benito Mussolini won a democratic election and established fascism as his philosophy. Mussolini had been a member of the Italian Socialist Party.

All the biggest and most important players within the fascist movement came from the socialists. It was a threat to the socialists because it was the most appealing political vehicle for the real-world application of the socialist impulse. Socialists crossed over to join the fascists en masse.

This is also why Mussolini himself enjoyed such good press for more than ten years after his rule began. He was celebrated by the New York Times in article after article. He was heralded in scholarly collections as an exemplar of the type of leader we needed in the age of the planned society. Puff pieces on this blowhard were very common in US journalism all through the late 1920s and the mid-1930s.

In Italy, the Left realized that their anticapitalistic agenda could best be achieved within the framework of the authoritarian, planning state. Of course our friend John Maynard Keynes played a critical role in providing a pseudoscientific rationale for joining opposition to old-world laissez-faire to a new appreciation of the planned society. Recall that Keynes was not a socialist of the old school. As he himself said in his introduction to the Nazi edition of his General Theory, National Socialism was far more hospitable to his ideas than a market economy.

Flynn Tells the Truth

The most definitive study on fascism written in these years was As We Go Marching by John T. Flynn. Flynn was a journalist and scholar of a liberal spirit who had written a number of best-selling books in the 1920s. It was the New Deal that changed him. His colleagues all followed FDR into fascism, while Flynn himself kept the old faith. That meant that he fought FDR every step of the way, and not only his domestic plans. Flynn was a leader of the America First movement that saw FDR’s drive to war as nothing but an extension of the New Deal, which it certainly was.

As We Go Marching came out in 1944, just at the tail end of the war, and right in the midst of wartime economic controls the world over. It is a wonder that it ever got past the censors. It is a full-scale study of fascist theory and practice, and Flynn saw precisely where fascism ends: in militarism and war as the fulfillment of the stimulus spending agenda. When you run out of everything else to spend money on, you can always depend on nationalist fervor to back more military spending.

The Eight Marks of Fascist Policy

Flynn, like other members of the Old Right, was disgusted by the irony that what he saw, almost everyone else chose to ignore. After reviewing this long history, Flynn proceeds to sum up with a list of eight points he considers to be the main marks of the fascist state.

As I present them, I will also offer comments on the modern American central state.

Point 1. The government is totalitarian because it acknowledges no restraint on its powers.

If you become directly ensnared in the state’s web, you will quickly discover that there are indeed no limits to what the state can do. This can happen boarding a flight, driving around in your hometown, or having your business run afoul of some government agency. In the end, you must obey or be caged like an animal or killed. In this way, no matter how much you may believe that you are free, all of us today are but one step away from Guantanamo.

No aspect of life is untouched by government intervention, and often it takes forms we do not readily see. All of healthcare is regulated, but so is every bit of our food, transportation, clothing, household products, and even private relationships. Mussolini himself put his principle this way: “All within the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State.” I submit to you that this is the prevailing ideology in the United States today. This nation, conceived in liberty, has been kidnapped by the fascist state.

Point 2. Government is a de facto dictatorship based on the leadership principle.

I wouldn’t say that we truly have a dictatorship of one man in this country, but we do have a form of dictatorship of one sector of government over the entire country. The executive branch has spread so dramatically over the last century that it has become a joke to speak of checks and balances.

The executive state is the state as we know it, all flowing from the White House down. The role of the courts is to enforce the will of the executive. The role of the legislature is to ratify the policy of the executive. This executive is not really about the person who seems to be in charge. The president is only the veneer, and the elections are only the tribal rituals we undergo to confer some legitimacy on the institution. In reality, the nation-state lives and thrives outside any “democratic mandate.” Here we find the power to regulate all aspects of life and the wicked power to create the money necessary to fund this executive rule.

Point 3. Government administers a capitalist system with an immense bureaucracy.

The reality of bureaucratic administration has been with us at least since the New Deal, which was modeled on the planning bureaucracy that lived in World War I. The planned economy—whether in Mussolini’s time or ours—requires bureaucracy. Bureaucracy is the heart, lungs, and veins of the planning state. And yet to regulate an economy as thoroughly as this one is today is to kill prosperity with a billion tiny cuts.

So where is our growth? Where is the peace dividend that was supposed to come after the end of the Cold War? Where are the fruits of the amazing gains in efficiency that technology has afforded? It has been eaten by the bureaucracy that manages our every move on this earth. The voracious and insatiable monster here is called the Federal Code that calls on thousands of agencies to exercise the police power to prevent us from living free lives.

It is as Bastiat said: the real cost of the state is the prosperity we do not see, the jobs that don’t exist, the technologies to which we do not have access, the businesses that do not come into existence, and the bright future that is stolen from us. The state has looted us just as surely as a robber who enters our home at night and steals all that we love.

Point 4. Producers are organized into cartels in the way of syndicalism.

Syndicalist is not usually how we think of our current economic structure. But remember that syndicalism means economic control by the producers. Capitalism is different. It places by virtue of market structures all control in the hands of the consumers. The only question for syndicalists, then, is which producers are going to enjoy political privilege. It might be the workers, but it can also be the largest corporations.

In the case of the United States, in the last three years, we’ve seen giant banks, pharmaceutical firms, insurers, car companies, Wall Street banks and brokerage houses, and quasi-private mortgage companies enjoying vast privileges at our expense. They have all joined with the state in living a parasitical existence at our expense.

Point 5. Economic planning is based on the principle of autarky.

Autarky is the name given to the idea of economic self-sufficiency. Mostly this refers to the economic self-determination of the nation-state. The nation-state must be geographically huge in order to support rapid economic growth for a large and growing population.

Look at the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. We would be supremely naive to believe that these wars were not motivated in part by the producer interests of the oil industry. It is true of the American empire generally, which supports dollar hegemony. It is the reason for the North American Union.

Point 6. Government sustains economic life through spending and borrowing.

This point requires no elaboration because it is no longer hidden. In the latest round, and with a prime-time speech, Obama mused about how is it that people are unemployed at a time when schools, bridges, and infrastructure need repairing. He ordered that supply and demand come together to match up needed work with jobs.

Hello? The schools, bridges, and infrastructure that Obama refers to are all built and maintained by the state. That’s why they are falling apart. And the reason that people don’t have jobs is because the state has made it too expensive to hire them. It’s not complicated. To sit around and dream of other scenarios is no different from wishing that water flowed uphill or that rocks would float in the air. It amounts to a denial of reality.

As for the rest of this speech, Obama promised yet another long list of spending projects. But no government in the history of the world has spent as much, borrowed as much, and created as much fake money as the United States, all thanks to the power of the Fed to create money at will. If the United States doesn’t qualify as a fascist state in this sense, no government ever has.

Point 7. Militarism is a mainstay of government spending.

Have you ever noticed that the military budget is never seriously discussed in policy debates? The United States spends more than most of the rest of the world combined. And yet to hear our leaders talk, the United States is just a tiny commercial republic that wants peace but is constantly under threat from the world. Where is the debate about this policy? Where is the discussion? It is not going on. It is just assumed by both parties that it is essential for the US way of life that the United States be the most deadly country on the planet, threatening everyone with nuclear extinction unless they obey.

Point 8. Military spending has imperialist aims.

We’ve had one war after another, wars waged by the United States against noncompliant countries, and the creation of even more client states and colonies. US military strength has led not to peace but the opposite. It has caused most people in the world to regard the United States as a threat, and it has led to unconscionable wars on many countries. Wars of aggression were defined at Nuremberg as crimes against humanity.

Obama was supposed to end this. He never promised to do so, but his supporters all believed that he would. Instead, he has done the opposite. He has increased troop levels, entrenched wars, and started new ones. In reality, he has presided over a warfare state just as vicious as any in history. The difference this time is that the Left is no longer criticizing the US role in the world. In that sense, Obama is the best thing ever to happen to the warmongers and the military-industrial complex.

The Future

I can think of no greater priority today than a serious and effective antifascist alliance. In many ways, one is already forming. It is not a formal alliance. It is made up of those who protest the Fed, those who refuse to go along with mainstream fascist politics, those who seek decentralization, those who demand lower taxes and free trade, those who seek the right to associate with anyone they want and buy and sell on terms of their own choosing, those who insist they can educate their children on their own, the investors and savers who make economic growth possible, those who do not want to be felt up at airports, and those who have become expatriates.

It is also made of the millions of independent entrepreneurs who are discovering that the number one threat to their ability to serve others through the commercial marketplace is the institution that claims to be our biggest benefactor: the government.

How many people fall into this category? It is more than we know. The movement is intellectual. It is political. It is cultural. It is technological. They come from all classes, races, countries, and professions. This is no longer a national movement. It is truly global.

And what does this movement want? Nothing more or less than sweet liberty. It does not ask that the liberty be granted or given. It only asks for the liberty that is promised by life itself and would otherwise exist were it not for the Leviathan state that robs us, badgers us, jails us, kills us.

This movement is not departing. We are daily surrounded by evidence that it is right and true. Every day, it is more and more obvious that the state contributes absolutely nothing to our well-being; it massively subtracts from it.

Back in the 1930s, and even up through the 1980s, the partisans of the state were overflowing with ideas. This is no longer true. Fascism has no new ideas, no big projects—and not even its partisans really believe it can accomplish what it sets out to do. The world created by the private sector is so much more useful and beautiful than anything the state has done that the fascists have themselves become demoralized and aware that their agenda has no real intellectual foundation.

It is ever more widely known that statism does not and cannot work. Statism is the great lie. Statism gives us the exact opposite of its promise. It promised security, prosperity, and peace; it has given us fear, poverty, war, and death. If we want a future, it is one that we have to build ourselves. The fascist state will not give it to us. On the contrary, it stands in the way.

In the end, this is the choice we face: the total state or total freedom. Which will we choose? If we choose the state, we will continue to sink further and further and eventually lose all that we treasure as a civilization. If we choose freedom, we can harness that remarkable power of human cooperation that will enable us to continue to make a better world.

In the fight against fascism, there is no reason to be despairing. We must continue to fight with every bit of confidence that the future belongs to us and not them.

Their world is falling apart. Ours is just being built. Their world is based on bankrupt ideologies. Ours is rooted in the truth about freedom and reality. Their world can only look back to the glory days. Ours looks forward to the future we are building for ourselves. 

Their world is rooted in the corpse of the nation-state. Our world draws on the energies and creativity of all peoples in the world, united in the great and noble project of creating a prospering civilization through peaceful human cooperation. We possess the only weapon that is truly immortal: the right idea. It is this that will lead to victory.

This article is adapted from a longer version published in 2011. Author:

Contact Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.

Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., is founder and chairman of the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, and editor of LewRockwell.com.

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6 Reasons Franklin D. Roosevelt was the WORST

Posted by M. C. on July 22, 2020

Joe left a few out.

Goading the Japanese into declaring war, leaving the Pacific fleet unprepared and refused to fight his “Uncle Joe” for Eastern Europe, particularly Poland.

England entered WWII to save Poland and Churchill and FDR ended up letting Stalin take it. It defeats the point.

https://www.thedailybell.com/all-articles/news-analysis/5-reasons-franklin-d-roosevelt-was-the-worst/

By Joe Jarvis – July 22, 2020

 

Can you believe that there are at least three statues of Franklin D. Roosevelt in Washington DC? There is one in South Dakota too, another in Virginia, and even more in London.

It appears all these places are overrun by racists and fascist sympathizers. How can people celebrate a man who:

1. Literally Rounded Up 120,000 Japanese Americans, and put them in Concentration Camps.

Executive order 9066 authorized the arrest and detention, without charges, or American citizens of Japanese ancestry. Franklin D. Roosevelt signed it into law on February 19, 1942.

Two reports which Roosevelt commissioned in the years prior to their internment found that Japanese Americans posed little to no risk to the government. But FDR ignored the reports’ recommendations.

70,000 of those arrested and detained, sometimes for years, were American citizens. And a simple executive order–no due process– allowed them to be arrested for no reason other than their race and nationality.

How is FDR not widely accepted as the biggest American racist of the last century?

2. FDR Outlawed Private Ownership of Gold.

With Executive Order 6102, signed on April 5, 1933, everyone living in America was given 25 days to turn in their gold. Their property–gold coins and bullion–was confiscated. It became a criminal offense for any American to own or trade gold anywhere in the world– except for some exceptions like jewelry and collector’s coins.

The government paid about $20 per ounce for the gold they forced citizens to sell them. Shortly after, the government set the price of gold to $35 per ounce.

They could do that, because at that point, a dollar was still backed by a set amount of gold. Increasing the dollar value of gold, allowed them to print more money. That is even easier today, unhindered by a gold standard.

The law wasn’t repealed until 1974. Only then was private ownership of gold once again fully legal in the US.

3. FDR was Pen Pals With Mussolini, Whom he Admired.

Benito Mussolini was the fascist Dictator of Italy in league with Adolf Hitler during World War II.

The book, Three New Deals, shows how similar the movements of the 1930’s were in America, Italy, and Germany.

It also recounts how Roosevelt said:

‘I don’t mind telling you in confidence,’ FDR remarked to a White House correspondent, ‘that I am keeping in fairly close touch with that admirable Italian gentleman,’

And Mussolini reviewed FDR’s book Looking Forward.

“Reminiscent of Fascism is the principle that the state no longer leaves the economy to its own devices.… Without question, the mood accompanying this sea change resembles that of Fascism.”

Mussolini and FDR were two peas in a pod.

4. The Roosevelt Administration was Infested with Soviet-Russian Spies.

Diana West describes in her book, American Betrayal, just how well the Soviet Union infiltrated the White House. Top officials close to the President were supportive of the Soviet Regime. Some were almost certainly actual Soviet spies.

In one sketchy encounter, soldiers were told to stand down when they witnessed American secrets being smuggled out of America on a plane bound for Russia, guarded by Soviet soldiers. This may be how the Soviet Union was able to make nuclear weapons.

Many other policies were directly influenced by socialist sympathizers and possibly outright spies in the government appointed by FDR. For instance, Soviet troops were given American supplies during World War II through the “Lend-Lease” program, while American troops went without.

5. FDR Hated the Press and Suppressed Free Speech.

Reason Magazine describes FDR’s War Against the Press:

Roosevelt warned in 1938 that “our newspapers cannot be edited in the interests of the general public, from the counting room. And I wish we could have a national symposium on that question, particularly in relation to the freedom of the press. How many bogies are conjured up by invoking that greatly overworked phrase?”

He’s basically saying he wishes he could shut down “fake news”.

Roosevelt also started the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and limited licenses for radio broadcasting to six months. That way the government could revoke a license, and silence critics of FDR.

It did not take long for broadcasters to get the message. NBC, for example, announced that it was limiting broadcasts “contrary to the policies of the United States government.” CBS Vice President Henry A. Bellows said that “no broadcast would be permitted over the Columbia Broadcasting System that in any way was critical of any policy of the Administration.” He elaborated “that the Columbia system was at the disposal of President Roosevelt and his administration and they would permit no broadcast that did not have his approval.” Local station owners and network executives alike took it for granted, as Editor and Publisher observed, that each station had “to dance to Government tunes because it is under Government license.”

FDR’s government illegally intercepted telegraphs and used the ill-begotten information to subpoena journalists, chilling any dissent, and drying up the flow of information to reporters. A law was even proposed to give prison sentences to anyone who knowingly published fake news.

6. The Roosevelt administration seized and destroyed crops while Americans starved

The Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933, reauthorized in 1938, was allegedly to help struggling farmers. The point was to raise the prices of crops, to keep farmers from going broke and abandoning their farms.

Of course if farmers were abandoning their farms because prices were too low to make a living, that would have naturally decreased supply…

Instead, power-hungry leaders like FDR just had to intervene. And the consequences were disastrous.

Remember this was during the Great Depression, which meant already struggling families had to pay more for food.

Then when not enough crops were grown in the US, America had to import crops, making the country more dependent and less self sufficient.

There are plenty more reasons to despise Franklin D. Roosevelt. But if we are putting in requests to destroy racist, fascist statues, FDR should top the list.

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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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Three New Deals: Why the Nazis and Fascists Loved FDR | Mises Institute

Posted by M. C. on December 30, 2019

Mussolini, who did not allow his work as dictator to interrupt his prolific journalism, wrote a glowing review of Roosevelt’s Looking Forward. He found “reminiscent of fascism … the principle that the state no longer leaves the economy to its own devices”; and, in another review, this time of Henry Wallace’s New Frontiers, Il Duce found the Secretary of Agriculture’s program similar to his own corporativism (pp. 23-24).

https://mises.org/library/three-new-deals-why-nazis-and-fascists-loved-fdr

David Gordon

Critics of Roosevelt’s New Deal often liken it to fascism. Roosevelt’s numerous defenders dismiss this charge as reactionary propaganda; but as Wolfgang Schivelbusch makes clear, it is perfectly true. Moreover, it was recognized to be true during the 1930s, by the New Deal’s supporters as well as its opponents.

When Roosevelt took office in March 1933, he received from Congress an extraordinary delegation of powers to cope with the Depression.

The broad-ranging powers granted to Roosevelt by Congress, before that body went into recess, were unprecedented in times of peace. Through this “delegation of powers,” Congress had, in effect, temporarily done away with itself as the legislative branch of government. The only remaining check on the executive was the Supreme Court. In Germany, a similar process allowed Hitler to assume legislative power after the Reichstag burned down in a suspected case of arson on February 28, 1933. (p. 18).

The Nazi press enthusiastically hailed the early New Deal measures: America, like the Reich, had decisively broken with the “uninhibited frenzy of market speculation.” The Nazi Party newspaper, the Völkischer Beobachter, “stressed ‘Roosevelt’s adoption of National Socialist strains of thought in his economic and social policies,’ praising the president’s style of leadership as being compatible with Hitler’s own dictatorial Führerprinzip” (p. 190).

Nor was Hitler himself lacking in praise for his American counterpart. He “told American ambassador William Dodd that he was ‘in accord with the President in the view that the virtue of duty, readiness for sacrifice, and discipline should dominate the entire people. These moral demands which the President places before every individual citizen of the United States are also the quintessence of the German state philosophy, which finds its expression in the slogan “The Public Weal Transcends the Interest of the Individual”‘” (pp. 19-20). A New Order in both countries had replaced an antiquated emphasis on rights.

Mussolini, who did not allow his work as dictator to interrupt his prolific journalism, wrote a glowing review of Roosevelt’s Looking Forward. He found “reminiscent of fascism … the principle that the state no longer leaves the economy to its own devices”; and, in another review, this time of Henry Wallace’s New Frontiers, Il Duce found the Secretary of Agriculture’s program similar to his own corporativism (pp. 23-24).

Roosevelt never had much use for Hitler, but Mussolini was another matter. “‘I don’t mind telling you in confidence,’ FDR remarked to a White House correspondent, ‘that I am keeping in fairly close touch with that admirable Italian gentleman'” (p. 31). Rexford Tugwell, a leading adviser to the president, had difficulty containing his enthusiasm for Mussolini’s program to modernize Italy: “It’s the cleanest … most efficiently operating piece of social machinery I’ve ever seen. It makes me envious” (p. 32, quoting Tugwell).

Why did these contemporaries sees an affinity between Roosevelt and the two leading European dictators, while most people today view them as polar opposites? People read history backwards: they project the fierce antagonisms of World War II, when America battled the Axis, to an earlier period. At the time, what impressed many observers, including as we have seen the principal actors themselves, was a new style of leadership common to America, Germany, and Italy.

Once more we must avoid a common misconception. Because of the ruthless crimes of Hitler and his Italian ally, it is mistakenly assumed that the dictators were for the most part hated and feared by the people they ruled. Quite the contrary, they were in those pre-war years the objects of considerable adulation. A leader who embodied the spirit of the people had superseded the old bureaucratic apparatus of government.

While Hitler’s and Roosevelt’s nearly simultaneous ascension to power highlighted fundamental differences … contemporary observers noted that they shared an extraordinary ability to touch the soul of the people. Their speeches were personal, almost intimate. Both in their own way gave their audiences the impression that they were addressing not the crowd, but each listener as an individual. (p. 54)

But does not Schivelbusch’s thesis fall before an obvious objection? No doubt Roosevelt, Hitler, and Mussolini were charismatic leaders; and all of them rejected laissez-faire in favor of the new gospel of a state-managed economy. But Roosevelt preserved civil liberties, while the dictators did not.

Schivelbusch does not deny the manifest differences between Roosevelt and the other leaders; but even if the New Deal was a “soft fascism”, the elements of compulsion were not lacking. The “Blue Eagle” campaign of the National Recovery Administration serves as his principal example. Businessmen who complied with the standards of the NRA received a poster that they could display prominently in their businesses. Though compliance was supposed to be voluntary, the head of the program, General Hugh Johnson, did not shrink from appealing to illegal mass boycotts to ensure the desired results.

“The public,” he [Johnson] added, “simply cannot tolerate non-compliance with their plan.” In a fine example of doublespeak, the argument maintained that cooperation with the president was completely voluntary but that exceptions would not be tolerated because the will of the people was behind FDR. As one historian [Andrew Wolvin] put it, the Blue Eagle campaign was “based on voluntary cooperation, but those who did not comply were to be forced into participation.” (p. 92)

Schivelbusch compares this use of mass psychology to the heavy psychological pressure used in Germany to force contributions to the Winter Relief Fund.

Both the New Deal and European fascism were marked by what Wilhelm Röpke aptly termed the “cult of the colossal.” The Tennessee Valley Authority was far more than a measure to bring electrical power to rural areas. It symbolized the power of government planning and the war on private business:

The TVA was the concrete-and-steel realization of the regulatory authority at the heart of the New Deal. In this sense, the massive dams in the Tennessee Valley were monuments to the New Deal, just as the New Cities in the Pontine Marshes were monuments to Fascism … But beyond that, TVA propaganda was also directed against an internal enemy: the capitalist excesses that had led to the Depression… (pp. 160, 162)

This outstanding study is all the more remarkable in that Schivelbusch displays little acquaintance with economics. Mises and Hayek are absent from his pages, and he grasps the significance of architecture much more than the errors of Keynes. Nevertheless, he has an instinct for the essential. He concludes the book by recalling John T. Flynn’s great book of 1944, As We Go Marching.

Flynn, comparing the New Deal with fascism, foresaw a problem that still faces us today.

But willingly or unwillingly, Flynn argued, the New Deal had put itself into the position of needing a state of permanent crisis or, indeed, permanent war to justify its social interventions. “It is born in crisis, lives on crises, and cannot survive the era of crisis…. Hitler’s story is the same.” … Flynn’s prognosis for the regime of his enemy Roosevelt sounds more apt today than when he made it in 1944 … “We must have enemies,” he wrote in As We Go Marching. “They will become an economic necessity for us.” (pp. 186, 191)

Originally published September 2006.

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While Donald Trump flirts with Russia, Eastern Europe ...

FDR with his “Uncle Joe”

 

 

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The Original Social Justice Warriors: Hitler and Mussolini – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on November 5, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/11/lk-samuels/the-original-social-justice-warriors-hitler-and-mussolini/

By

Both Hitler and Mussolini were perhaps the original and most dedicated ideological warriors for social justice. But the German National Socialists and Italian Fascists represented more than a brutal force that sent stormtroopers and blackshirt thugs to shout down rivals, block free speech, break shop windows, throw tear gas at opponents, and bash heads. They also represented a nationalist, collectivist and Marxist-inspired ideology that sought a “socially just” welfare society by redistributing everyone’s wealth.

The Nazis threatened and bullied almost everyone, any outspoken opponent or opposition political party, including conservative-nationalist parties. During the 1932 fall elections in Germany, the Nazis were almost at war with the conservative German National People’s Party (DNVP), where according to the German historian Hermann Beck, “the Nazis broke up German National election meetings with stink bombs and tear gas” and heckled a DNVP deputy and called him “Jew boy.” The German national press retaliated with charges of Nazism awash in socialism and violence, and stern warnings of economic doom if the Nazis were to gain power. The DNVP and German conservatives denounced Nazism as “bolshevism in nationalist wrapping.”

According to German historian Götz Aly, what made German National Socialism different from earlier versions of socialism was its “drive to couple social equality with national homogeneity, a concept that was popular not only in Germany.” From the very start, Hitler made it plain that social justice was an important ingredient for a healthy state. In his 1920 speech, “Why We Are Anti-Semites,” Hitler proclaimed to thousands of Nazi followers in Munich: “we do not believe that there could ever exist a state with lasting inner health if it is not built on internal social justice.” Throughout his regime, Hitler promoted his Völkisch equality goals for society. In one speech to factory workers in 1940, Hitler promised “the creation of a socially just state, a model society that would continue to eradicate all social barriers.”

This advocacy for social justice was combined with their contempt for Jewish capitalism. A Nazi propaganda poster from 1933 read: “Because Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich wants social justice, big Jewish capitalism is the worst enemy of this Reich and its Führer.” To the National Socialists, every German of pure blood was entitled to equality before the law and equality of opportunity, not as individuals, but as part of the collectivity of a “people’s community” (Volksgemeinschaft).

In essence, Nazi Germany had become a redistributive regime that sought to rob the rich to pay the poor to fashion a universal social utopia—a sort of social justice mecca that has been dubbed a “racist-totalitarian welfare state.” In fact, National Socialist “policies were remarkably friendly toward the German lower classes, soaking the wealthy and redistributing the burdens of wartime to the benefit of the underprivileged.” Götz Aly described how Hitler’s regime financed their lavish social safety net for proper racial pedigree Germans, writing that to “achieve a truly socialist division of personal assets, Hitler implemented a variety of interventionist economic policies, including price and rent controls, exorbitant corporate taxes, frequent ‘polemics against landlords,’ subsidies to German farmers as protection ‘against the vagaries of weather and the world market,’ and harsh taxes on capital gains, which Hitler himself had denounced as ‘effortless income.’”

To achieve socialism and social justice, the Nazis had to engage in extensive social welfare programs. According to Michael Burleigh in The Third Reich: A New History, “charity” was “integral to National Socialism.” He explained that their social welfare policies were an “uncomplicated reflection of human altruism” that “became a favoured means of mobilizing communal sentiment… underrated, but quintessential, characteristic of Nazi Germany.”

Joseph Goebbels applauded the generosity of Hitler’s welfare state, boasting in a 1944 editorial “Our Socialism” that “We and we alone [the Nazis] have the best social welfare measures. Everything is done for the nation… the Jews are the incarnation of capitalism.”…

Not only did Hitler and Mussolini engage in violence by teargassing, beating up and shouting down opponents like the modern-day Antifa, they committed atrocities against humanity in their effort to defend social justice, making them the quintessential social justice warriors of the 20th century. Now, if only the violent black-shirted activists in the Antifa movement today would realize that they are merely a resurrection of yesterday’s goose-stepping fascists.

Much of the material is excerpted from L.K. Samuels’ new book, Killing History: The False Left-Right Political Spectrum.

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antifa

The ISIS head chopper look. Cultural appropriation!

 

 

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