Home > economics, General Comment, political-economy, politics > Understanding Barack…and why he appeals to you (2)

Understanding Barack…and why he appeals to you (2)


Now, we admit being called a fascist is a little like being called a pedophile in that it usually signals the end rather than the beginning of a conversation, but, in this case, we wish you would suspend that emotional reaction and examine our entire argument.

We have already shown how Barack’s core themes – the re-commitment to, and perfection of, the American union, and its continued hegemony over all other nations – are precisely the core tenets of fascism, as defined, not by us, but by scholars of that particular brand of political-economy.

If you have any doubts of the validity of this this observation, compare the following statement by Barack:

…tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

With this one:

Strong governments cannot result either from conspiracies or from military coups, just as they cannot come out of the machinations of parties or the Machiavellian game of political lobbying. They can only be born from the actual roots of the Nation.” Plínio Salgado, leader of the Brazilian Integralist Action party, 1935..[53]

The emphasis in both quotes is on the power of ideals imagined to embody the values and spirit of a particular nation – ideals which at once provides a unique and unifying basis for national life.

But, you will argue, this is merely political rhetoric – hardly the basis of a platform of action.


Fascism rose not out of some imagined lack of national spirit, according to the Wiki, but out of the very real economic crises of the early 20th Century. In the face of the economic catastrophe of the Great Depression, fascism offered a platform of direct and indirect management of economic life by government:

Fascists opposed laissez-faire economic policies dominant in the era prior to the Great Depression. After the Great Depression began, many people from across the political spectrum blamed laissez-faire capitalism for the Great Depression, and fascists promoted their ideology as a “third way” between capitalism and communism. Fascists declared their opposition to finance capitalism, interest charging, and profiteering. Some fascists, particularly Nazis, considered finance capitalism a “parasitic” “Jewish conspiracy“. Fascist governments nationalized some key industries, managed their currencies and made some massive state investments. Fascist governments introduced introduced price controls, wage controls and other types of economic interventionist measures. Fascist governments instituted state-regulated allocation of resources, especially in the financial and raw materials sectors.

Other than nationalization of certain industries, private property was allowed, but property rights and private initiative were contingent upon service to the state. For example, “an owner of agricultural land may be compelled to raise wheat instead of sheep and employ more labor than he would find profitable.” According to historian Tibor Ivan Berend, dirigisme [an economic term designating an economy where the government exerts strong directive influence] was an inherent aspect of fascist economies.

According to Jared Bernstein, an economist and supporter of Barack Obama, and recently named economics adviser to Vice President-elect Joseph Biden, government’s role in the economy is to rebalance economic activity because economic growth tends to become disconnected from a general improvement in the country’s standard of living.

Speaking of the Bush presidency, Bernstein is extremely critical of Moron’s failed Wall Street inspired economic policies:

The last eight years have served as something quite rare in economics: a natural experiment of the effectiveness of market forces, goosed liberally (wrong word, but you know what I mean) with high-end tax cuts, to address the challenges we face. Health care would be on a sustainable trajectory, energy policy would exist (subsidies to big oil don’t count), tax policy would help to offset inequality, not exacerbate it, financial markets would speculate less, price risk more accurately, and be much less bubbly, and the benefits of productivity growth would be more broadly shared with the working men and women responsible for creating them.

Bernstein adds:

…the structural fissures in the US economy — the bubble and bust macroeconomy, over-leveraged households consuming beyond their means, inequality levels not seen since the late 1920s — had to come to light at some point. We’re fortunate that they’ve done so a few months before a general election between the two candidates with starkly different economic visions.

Bernstein’s critique of the Moron’s failed economic policies finds expression in this simple and elegant statement by Barack:

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, its that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers – in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

The fascist appeal to a nation is, according to the Wiki, precisely the idea of  “a new national multiclass economics” which would require the drawing of clear link between the economic prospects of Wall Street with the economic circumstances of Main Street – in the American political lexicon.

Gone is any reference to irreconcilable differences between classes, and, such competing sub-national interests as races, regions, religions.

Gone also are the trappings of the liberal icons of laissez faire:

Fascism opposes the demands by capitalist systems for little government intervention, opposes capitalism’s unequivocal support of free trade (i.e. fascists enacted protectionist policies), opposes capitalism’s support for free international movement of capital, and opposes capitalism’s support of individualism.

From these examples you might be able to reflect on your opposition to free trade. You might want to reconsider your anger at out-sourcing and off-shoring. Finally, you might want to revisit your support for such noble “feel good” callings as national service.

These are all part of the fascist program of action; a programme which was generally adopted, and which, according to the Wiki:

“foreshadowed most of the fundamental features of the economic system of Western European countries today: the radical extension of government control over the economy without a wholesale expropriation of the capitalists but with a good dose of nationalisation, price control, incomes policy, managed currency, massive state investment, attempts at overall planning (less effectual than the Fascist because of the weakness of authority).” Politics professor Stephen Haseler credits fascism with providing a model of economic planning for social democracy.

In the end, however, we are not here to chastise you for your obvious fascist allegiance.

Instead, we offer that if the fascist programme had the least chance of answering the crying needs of society in this crisis, it would be an acceptable option for society, provided all that nasty mucking about with concentration camps could be avoided – not to mention some 82 million dead as occurred in fascism’s golden age.

But, the fact is fascism, despite the charismatic quality of its leaders, and the seeming attractiveness of its prescriptions, was the 20th Century response to the economic problems of society, and this crisis is precisely the collapse of those prescriptions.

Unlike during the Great Depression, what failed in this crisis, was not laissez faire capitalism – the unfettered rule of market forces, the untrammeled rule of capital, or, the lack of government intervention to correct what Jared Bernstein called the imbalances arising economic activity – instead, this is a failure of the entire structure of government directed economic activity put in place during the golden age of fascism – which, in this country, we called the New Deal – to address the failures of laissez faire.

And, like the Hoovers of yesteryear, Obama and his supporters are trying to address that failure with more of the same ideology driven solutions.

  1. January 2, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Your like a thief accusing the victim for ‘refusal of being robbed’ … fortunately, you belong to the fascist minority …

  2. charley2u
    January 2, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    We are thieves?

    OK, Gilmour.

    We will give you the opportunity to address anything in our statements on this, which lead you to that conclusion, because we don’t see it.

    You write it, and we will print it.

    We think you agree with us on more things than you imagine.

    Keep your mind open and follow our observations so far: Barack’s political-economy is the 20th Century answer to problems arising from a 20th Century solution to 19th Century problems. We, however, need a 21st Century solution to those problems.

    That solution is not further government intervention.

  3. January 2, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    I DON’T agree with anything you’ve written … you just didn’t notice it … as for the ‘thieves’, I was comparing your points of view to the points of view of any given ‘thief’ or thieves, as the case seems to be, which decided to accuse its victim based on allegations such as ‘refusal to being robbed’ … it was a conjecture … but it did touch a nerve in your guilty conscience … And, as to what concerns government intervention, you’re either misinformed or an orphan of the ‘weirding-ways’ of market-demagoguery … denying reality and clinging to this fictional ‘self-regulating-über-market’ won’t get any of us any farther …

  4. January 2, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    And furthermore, what you claim to be a ’21st Century solution’, actually belongs to the 1700s … when Adam Smith was critizing commercial prerogatives granted by royals … it’s got nothing to do with the 19th Century, the 20th Century … and even less with the 21th Century …

  5. charley2u
    January 5, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Actually, we did notice, which is the source of our confusion.

    FWIW: We don’t believe in a “self-regulating uber-market.” We believe that the market is withering away – which is to say, we think markets belong to the age of scarcity, and as that age recedes – to be replaced by unprecedented abundance – the scope for markets narrows and ul;ultimately disappears…

    We also believe, the number one impediment to this withering away is the intervention of the machinery of state – Washington – which continually aims to make the world safe for wage slavery.

    If we are to be criticized, it is important for you to criticize us for what we believe, not what you imagine we believe.

  6. charley2u
    January 5, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    As to the Century to which our solutions belong: we can only state the obvious: the use of government to stabilize and expand the condition for the sale of labor power – for the maintenance of wage slavery – is clearly an economic strategy which emerged during and after the Great Depression. It is nothing more than a means of artificially creating an environment of scarcity – or, in the words of economists, “stimulating demand,” through the use of government fiscal and monetary means.

    The only real lack of demand in the American economy is the lack of demand for labor power – for people to auction themselves off to the highest bidder in return for wages. And the 21st Century solution to this is a reduction of the workweek, not government intervention.

  7. January 5, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    I see … you don’t really know what the hell you’re writing about … but, based on ideological principles, you do it anyway … and when someone, like me, points out the obvious inconsistencies and incongruencies of your arguments you just repeat the previous ideological ideas in a rather abstract way … sure … sure …

  8. charley2u
    January 5, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    Accusing someone of being like a thief blaming his victim is an argument? This points out the obvious inconsistencies and incongruities of our arguments?

    You have yet to make your argument, but the offer still stands.

  9. January 6, 2009 at 6:37 am

    It’s a CONJECTURE … and not an accusation … meaning that you can act like an innocent bystander when your ideas go against the basic interests of the bigger share of our society …

  10. January 6, 2009 at 6:37 am

    I mean, YOU CAN’t ACT

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