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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sowell on Obama: Textbook Fascist

Columnist Thomas Sowell delivers yet another succinct analogy in his latest article in which he delves into the finer points as to whether President Obama, utilizing standard definitions, quilifies as a socialist or a fascist. His answer may suprise you.

"It bothers me a little when conservatives call Barack Obama a "socialist." He certainly is an enemy of the free market, and wants politicians and bureaucrats to make the fundamental decisions about the economy. But that does not mean that he wants government ownership of the means of production, which has long been a standard definition of socialism.

What President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands. That way, politicians get to call the shots but, when their bright ideas lead to disaster, they can always blame those who own businesses in the private sector.

Politically, it is heads-I-win when things go right, and tails-you-lose when things go wrong. This is far preferable, from Obama's point of view, since it gives him a variety of scapegoats for all his failed policies, without having to use President Bush as a scapegoat all the time...

One of the reasons why both pro-Obama and anti-Obama observers may be reluctant to see him as fascist is that both tend to accept the prevailing notion that fascism is on the political right, while it is obvious that Obama is on the political left.

Back in the 1920s, however, when fascism was a new political development, it was widely -- and correctly -- regarded as being on the political left. Jonah Goldberg's great book "Liberal Fascism" cites overwhelming evidence of the fascists' consistent pursuit of the goals of the left, and of the left's embrace of the fascists as one of their own during the 1920s.

Mussolini, the originator of fascism, was lionized by the left, both in Europe and in America, during the 1920s. Even Hitler, who adopted fascist ideas in the 1920s, was seen by some, including W.E.B. Du Bois, as a man of the left."

I recall Goldberg mentioning that the great author George Orwell once remarked that the meaning of the term fascism had been so hijacked by others and over used and inaccurately applied that "'The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies something not desirable" But if one accepts the definition of fascism in it's historical context as a political system, them Obama certainly fits the bill.


Ross said...

Interesting argument. Are you going to vote this year, or abstain?

JD Curtis said...

I'll vote for Captain Underoos over the Serengeti Saviour anyday

The Maryland Crustacean said...

Not sure I ever figured out any significant difference between fascism and socialism. After all, the term "Nazi" signified "national socialism", did it not? Perhaps in keeping with the Soviet model, socialism is more "international"? I don't know, but it seems to me there is not a hill of beans worth of difference; both involve government control of the means of production. The distinction drawn by Sowell is interesting, and I certainly defer to his superior knowledge on the subject.