Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Cue Card Libertarianism - Fascism

The defining characteristics of Fascism do not include jackboots, smart uniforms and violent racism. Fascism is simply Socialism/Communism with a cosmetic difference: whereas Socialism/ Communism nationalises and abolishes private property and the 'commanding heights' of the economy, fascism permits the façade of private ownership of property to remain, while nationalising the people who own them.

Under fascism, the illusion of ownership remains but the government assumes power of use and disposal over the property – i.e. whereas under Socialism/Communism the state becomes the de jure owner, under Fascism the state becomes the de facto owner. “Let them own land or factories as much as they please,' declared Adolph Hitler: "The decisive factor is that the State, through the party, is supreme over them, regardless of whether they are owners or workers. All that, you see, is unessential. Our Socialism goes far deeper… Why need we trouble to socialise banks and factories? We socialise human beings.”

Hitler’s published utterances are an instructive testimony to the essential unity of Socialism and Fascism. His National Socialist Party’s political programme reads in part like a Green Party wish-list, which, when implemented, won plaudits from many collectivist politicians in freer countries. Unemployment was artificially eliminated, grandiose welfare programmes were enacted, onerous taxes, regulations and controls imposed.

For too long, people have allowed themselves to be diverted by a phoney dichotomy between Communism and Fascism, whereas careful analysis shows that both are forms of collectivism, treating the individual as a means to an end: the “common good.” Neither in theory nor in practice is there any essential difference between Marx's “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need,” and Hitler's “Each activity and each need of the individual will be regulated by the party as the representative of the general good.” The real dichotomy is not between Communism and Fascism, but between freedom and dictatorship. The 'dichotomy' between Fascism and Communism is merely between two competing forms of dictatorship.

* * * * *
You have two cows. Under Communism: the government takes both, and gives you a chit for vodka. Under Socialism: the government takes both, and gives them to your neighbour. Under Fascism: the government takes your milk. Under capitalism: you have two cows. You sell one, and buy a bull.

More reading: Nazism = socialism = totalitarianism - George Reisman
'The Fascist New Frontier' - Ayn Rand; published in The Ayn Rand Column
Ominous Parallels - Leonard Peikoff
* * * * *

This is part of a continuing series explaining the concepts and terms used by libertarians, originally published in The Free Radical in 1993. The 'Introduction' to the series is here. The list so far can be found on the sidebar.

Related:
Cue_Card_Libertarianism, >Politics,

Labels: ,

9 Comments:

Blogger Tristan said...

While I can see that under facisim and communism. the level of totalatersim is about the same.

you seem to miss the very important disscussion of distubution of wealth. It seems to me that theroatically at least facisims allows the accumlation of wealth by indivduals where as communism does not.

12/20/2005 10:30:00 am  
Blogger Rick said...

Yeah.

"De facto."

12/20/2005 12:27:00 pm  
Blogger Sean said...

The reason Hitler and Stalin despised each other had little to do with differences in policy - and all to do with the competition over followers. There are only so many who have a 'socialist' (read feeble minded and/or cowardly) mindset - and they were both after them. Eric Hoffer's classic "The True Believer" has more on this (and much else) - it's well worth the read (as is his life story).

12/20/2005 05:28:00 pm  
Blogger Sean said...

Besides, it avails one little to have private property when the State can take you out back and shoot you when ever it feels like it.

12/20/2005 05:31:00 pm  
Anonymous Sam Vilain said...

I note that in other posts you are in favour of Common Law, but by this definition, wouldn't the entire British Empire be fascist?

12/20/2005 08:32:00 pm  
Anonymous Justin said...

Great post, PC. But what some on the political right don’t seem to recognize or accept is that fascism has enjoyed the support of the right-wing constituency and has almost universally been in opposition (often violent opposition) to left-wing parties. All that the political right can say is they have done a (slightly) better job of washing their hands of fascism than the political left have of socialism. They can’t go the step further and disown fascism as a left-wing ideology – it’s a collectivist ideology, but then so is conservatism and nationalism, or whatever else they’re in to. Socialism and fascism (as are their “moderate” versions liberalism and conservatism) are different sides of the same collectivist coin.

12/21/2005 09:28:00 am  
Blogger PC said...

Yes, you're right Justin, that is, oh hell ... that is, you're correct that right and left are as bad as each other -- they're both happy, just quietly, to support their own favourite brand of authoritarianism.

It's as disgraceful seeing Margaret Thatcher and Milton Friedman praising Pinochet as it is seeing trendy liberals praising Castro. Breaking bread with thugs and murderers is breaking bread with thugs and murderers, wherever they are nominally on the spectrum.

"Socialism and fascism (as are their “moderate” versions liberalism and conservatism) are different sides of the same collectivist coin."

All too true.

Sam, you asked: "I note that in other posts you are in favour of Common Law, but by this definition, wouldn't the entire British Empire be fascist?"

Whatever else you can say about the British Empire, it did transport the idea and the practice of property rights and the rule of law across the globe, with the common law system being one of their best and most lasting exports.

You'd have to agree, Sam, that some of the best places in the world to live now are those where the British came, and saw, and then buggered off, leaving behind a framework of law and at least a passing interest in the protection of rights. And making the world safe for trade wasn't such a bad achievement either. :-)

AT, you say, "It seems to me that theortically at least facsism allows the accumlation of wealth by individuals, whereas communism does not." But there's little point in accumulating wealth when you're told how and where to spend it or invest it, or at least how not to spend and invest it. ~Wealth~ really doesn't mean money in the bank, it means having lots of choices available. When choice is limited, all the wealth in the world is of little use.

And of course, those who do accumulate wealth and power under fascism are the same cockroaches who accumulate privilege and power under communism. They differ only in the colour of the uniforms they suck up to.

Rick, there really is a village somewhere being deprived of an idiot. Hasn't your absence been noted yet?

12/21/2005 10:36:00 am  
Anonymous Sam Vilain said...

You'd have to agree, Sam, that some of the best places in the world to live now are those where the British came, and saw, and then buggered off, leaving behind a framework of law and at least a passing interest in the protection of rights. And making the world safe for trade wasn't such a bad achievement either. :-)

Yes, I agree with that much.

What I meant with my question was, because the law itself is supreme over property rights and is "supreme over individuals" by restricting individual freedoms, doesn't that make pretty much every country fascist?

12/21/2005 01:28:00 pm  
Blogger Rick said...


It seems to me that theroatically at least facisims allows the accumlation of wealth by indivduals where as communism does not.


RG-> Yeah
RG-> "de facto"

Let me just expand on that.

Yes, facisims allows the accumlation of wealth by indivduals where as communism does not. But, as already pointed out above, it is "de facto" accumulation of wealth by individuals. But this is in name only because it is, de jure, merely state accumulation of wealth by an insidious guise.

Essentially Tristan, or whoever you are, your point has already been addressed above as meditation on the words "de facto" should reveil to you.

Sorry if that was bluntly obvious the first time I was repeating what PC already said (and has now recanted as idiocy)....but that's what idiots do don't ya know? Repeat themselves.

Rick, there really is a village somewhere being deprived of an idiot. Hasn't your absence been noted yet?


Auckland seems to be getting by on a substitute for now. But I'll be back in Newmarket in a bit. Why you rushing me?

12/21/2005 11:02:00 pm  

Post a Comment

Respond with a polite and intelligent comment. (Both will be applauded.)

Say what you mean, and mean what you say. (Do others the courtesy of being honest.)

Please put a name to your comments. (If you're prepared to give voice, then back it up with a name.)

And don't troll. Please. (Contemplate doing something more productive with your time, and ours.)

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home