Friday, June 09, 2023

Socialism or Neo-Fascism? Which Way Is America Going?


It seems that the Right is perpetually speaking about Democrats leading us down the road to socialism's perdition. When Donald Trump was in office, the Democrats and those on the Left kept comparing "The Donald"  with Hitler and Republicans with the Nazis. It seems that neither side is familiar with history.

 First off, there's no way those in power on the Left or Right would allow this country to become "socialist", Communist or anything else that requires them to surrender their wealth or power to the State. Secondly, the two party system is a farce. Wall Street owns both parties. 

The only real difference between the two parties is the two competing corporate cliques. Citizens United has ensured corporate control of the political system. It has put political reform all but out of reach of the average American. Corporate lobbyists write the laws, leaving voters with the illusion of choice. 

National Socialism (or "Nazism") was a fascist partnership of sorts between the government and Big Business with the latter assuming a junior role,  and we all know Wall Street would never go for that today.   By the way, the "socialism" part of National Socialism didn't mean what most people today assumes it meant.  For the Nazis, it meant a community of like-minded people or "Volk".

Actual  socialism, which remains an abstract idea, means that the people essentially  own everything.  Power and the control of wealth is in their hands. Businesses and corporations would be typically employee owned and run while others, particularly essential businesses, would be run by the State.

Nevertheless,  I don't see Wall Street or their K Street lobbyists allowing anything like that to happen do you?  Certainly not after  the "Citizens United" or "McCutcheon's" decisions by the Supreme Court gave them carte blanche to the halls of power and the public trough.

What passes for "socialism" today is an admixture of capitalism, democracy, and a welfare state comprised of social programs  under the heading of "Democratic Socialism", which is common in Scandinavia and places like Germany and Netherlands. Think of it as "capitalism with a friendly face".  

 Nevertheless, despite high taxes (especially on the wealthy and corporations), the democratic socialist form of government have proven to be quite popular with the masses, with practically everything being subsidized. However, it requires everyone to pitch in and contribute back into the system. But when you have a mass of people who draw on the system without contributing to it, it fails, which is what seems to be happening in Scandinavia and other parts of Europe.   

Under Communism, which is often---though incorrectly--- used interchangeably with socialism, there are again no privately own properties, especially corporations. The State owns everything. Everyone works for the State. The State is everything. Do you see corporations and the rich---people like Zuckerman, Musk, Bezos, or Buffett  surrendering their power and wealth to Washington? So, what is America is morphing into? The answer is a Corporatocracy, which is a de facto form of neo-fascism.

Fascism is, as its founder Benito Mussolini said, was more accurately described as "corporatism". Specifically, Mussolini said this "Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power". Novelist Upton Sinclair called fascism "capitalism plus murder" while Vladimir Lenin referred to fascism as "capitalism in decay".

Politically, it borrows some of its goals and techniques from the Left and some from the conservative Right, including militarism. It grafts various national traditions and values to its cause as needed and jettisons what is no longer of use.  Corporatism is, if nothing else, adaptable. It's objective, however, is always corporate control plain and simple. The role of government is to serve as the lesser partner and "middleman" between the "elites" and masses. It's objective is to serve the rich. 

Under a Corporatocracy, there is little to no strong middle class; certainly not in the way we're used to. There's the insanely rich and then there's everybody else. Sound familiar? Can you see the one percenters giving up their money; their penthouses; their private planes and yachts?  Under socialism, they'd have to; the same under Communism.

Consider this too, while Unions exist in a Corporatocracy, they are weak and fairly ineffective. A far cry from the unions of old. Their prime purpose to keep the masses in their place---on the job and off the strike line---while generally backing the decisions of the corporate bosses.  They serve the interests of the corporation, even if it means cutting benefits, pensions,  and hours.  

Under Communism, the State serves as the union and if you work, you automatically belong to it. But again, no strikes and no complaining, and a set wage. Under socialism, there are wage differences based on the job, but no broad income disparity, at least not like we have today where the top 10% own 52% of all wealth.

So in reality, we are morphing into a neo-fascist corporate State.  Corporations, using the government, previously pushed us to the Right and now is pushing us toward the Left, but the ultimate goal is to diminish the power of the individual while increasing our dependence on the State, which in turn, is controlled by Wallstreet and the corporate elite.

 In short, we're to become economic serfs with the government serving as the overseer and corporations as the owners of us all. Of course, the "big prize" is the creation of a single interlocking global corporation. That means creating and using  global organizations to serve as the intermediaries on global projects and national one's on more regional projects.

Under corporatocracy we can expect national governments, like Washington, become ever more pervasive in the role of overseer while local and state governments become weaker and more dependent on the federal government.  This role also enables corporations an ever growing access to taxpayer money to acquire resources domestically and globally while at the same time shielding their intentions behind the illusion of a sovereign government.  

They can also use the national government take other actions on their behalf, like wars, trade agreements, or treaties, to enhance their wealth and power on the taxpayer's dollar.  In further defining corporatism, its founder, Benito Mussolini said, “Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity, quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace.”. In short, war and the threat of war is good for business.

Il Duce is also talking about is the concept (novel for his time) of the implied foreign policy we're now experiencing, that of perpetual war---like the "war on terrorism"---to maintain control over the population and the exploitation of resources by corporations, be they natural resources or national resources for the sake of the bottom line. It artificially stimulates the economy, masks actual unemployment numbers, and allows for near unlimited deficit spending.  Sound familiar?

As an aside, what did Mussolini think of socialism? After all, his father, Alessandro,  was a prominent Italian socialist and Benito started off his political career as a socialist. This was his opinion, "Socialism is a fraud, a comedy, a phantom, a blackmail".

So, when someone starts complaining about America becoming "socialist" or "Communist", remember that famous line from movie "The Princess Bride" as utter by the swordsman Inigo Montoya (played brilliantly by Mandy Patinkin), "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means".  


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