MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Mussolini’

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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.

Be seeing you

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

FDR with his “Uncle Joe”

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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.

Be seeing you

antifa

The ISIS head chopper look. Cultural appropriation!

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »