Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Liberal Fascism and Obama

By Chadwick Ciocci
Ciocci@Fordham.edu

(This article was originally published on The Americano.)

Jonah Goldberg’s book Liberal Fascism is already a must read, but it will undoubtedly become known as visionary if the Obama administration continues its– pardon me– fascistic ways. When the President was (still is?) a candidate, opponents on the right vehemently held that he was a socialist- a real leftist potentially inspired by Marxist ideology and certainly by the radicalness of his associates such as Reverend Wright. And while this assessment isn’t completely off, the fact is that the Obama Administration has proven itself to be far more fascist than socialist.

Take for example this administration’s economic policies. One of the hall-mark signs of European fascism as exemplified by Italy’s Mussolini was government support of big businesses such as banks, manufacturers, etc. Sure, Mussolini removed a few heads of these companies (maybe literally) but supporting these companies became a matter of national prosperity, not just the economic success and failure of the companies themselves.

And while one might assume that businesses did not like this (because those on the left and right both almost always assume that businesses- especially large ones- prefer a capitalist environment,) the fact is that so long as they were doing well, businesses and government alike were hunky-dory. Then came the bad times, when business wasn’t so good. But what was around the corner? Government bailouts.

Fast-forward to today, where government inspired bubbles and regulation not only created the environment where businesses could make good money but alsocreated the conditions under which these businesses (used in the absolute broadest sense) would fail and then require government help to survive. It is a classic Fed/government inspired bubble that hurts everyone in the long run.

Now we have the White House removing and appointing CEO’s and regulating executive pay, and while this might upset the capitalist, who other than the CEO’s and executives being directly affected really minds this fact: we now live in a country where the government will not allow large businesses to fail and collapse. This is classic economic fascism, and yet it gets worse.

Let us move from the economic to the political, where the White House has declared war against Fox News and apparently has an enemies list deeply reminiscent of not just the Wilson administration’s war against the press but Nixon’s misguided attempts at silencing his opposition. Not only was Wilson deeply inspired by the fascistic tendencies that pervaded the Progressive movement he was a leader of, but he implemented those policies with zeal.

Now we have the Obama administration which has essentially nationalized certain companies, directly or indirectly controls the leadership of others and is openly trying to undermine the press which opposes him, and yet we’re surprised by all of this when he and others in his administration openly call themselves progressives!

Don’t be fooled: progressives aren’t the friendly but misguided liberals who live next door. They’re part and parcel of a serious movement in this country with deep intellectual and political roots which seeks to make both individuals and institutions dependent on government well beyond what any socialist in capable of.

Chadwick Ciocci is an editor for Parcbench.com, a student of philosophy and theology at Fordham University and running for his fourth-term in public office in Connecticut.

5 comments:

DSKohn said...

Nixon's attempts to deal with his critics in the media were nothing such as Obama's. Nixon did not have a single ally in the media whereas most of the media outside Fox and talk radio worship Obama.

Nixon's extreme paranoia was not just a phenomenon of his personality. There was a complete conspiracy to take down President Nixon. It is very safe to say that if Nixon had been with Monica Lewinsky, he would not have survived the impeachment proceedings.

Nixon had an attack dog in Spiro Agnew similar to the one John McCain tried to create in Sarah Palin. But Nixon completely lacked the personality to sway the media. But the American people were with him.

When Nixon asked for the support of the Silent Majority, letters of disapproval flooded various media outlets.

Obama does not need to push for more control as Mussolini did because the Fourth Estate is giving it to him without him even asking for it.

Charles said...

Let's not forget that the company in question now has G. Gordon Libby (who you might rightly recall as the man who lead the first Watergate break in) and is now helmed by Rodger Ailes, a man who you may not recall as having gotten his start as a Nixon media consultant. That being said, no action has been taken by the White House to silence their critics at FOX News, as had taken place in Nixon's (and Bush II's, for that matter) to illegally wiretap and blackmail those who would be critical in the media.The Obama White House (despite any clownish accusations regarding the so-called "press pool incident") has been forthright in its criticisms of FOX on a rhetorical level. While many Right wing tears have been shed over the WH criticisms, few have been honest about how open, honest and transparent they are.

An effective argument could be made saying that the Nixon-era paranoia has a direct pipeline to the present in the form of the Right's perpetual culture of victimhood in the nascent 21st century.

This paranoia can also be found in Jonah Goldburg's abysmal armchair poly-sci book "Liberal Fascism." Unfortunately for him, and for you, Mr. Ciocci, not allowing big business to fail, followed by strong anti-trust regulations (check the pipeline kiddos) is NOT fascism, it's called common sense. Saving the American people from the hardships of another Depression has no bearing on Mussolini's strong handing of Italian businesses, it has more to do with learning lessons from American history and dealing with it. (See; Ben Bernanke on 60 Minutes)

Mr. Goldburg, and now you too, Mr. Ciocci have been big fans of drumming up ludicrous historical analogies in the name of Talking Points. Which is a shame because it cheapens the dialogue and also shows your poor grasp on what it means to be a liberal in the 21st Century.

Phil said...

I particularly enjoyed the discussion on economic Fascism in this piece.

Fascism, over the years, has incorrectly been associated with pure free-market capitalism. This is in large part due to the fact that it is considered an "extreme right-wing" philosophy.

As you correctly stated, the economics of Fascism are far from capitalism. They involve government subsidy for big corporations, as well as government input into these corporation's business decisions, grounded in the ideas of infinite State power.

Therefore, upon comparison of the economic systems of Fascist Europe with the economic system of America today under President Obama, one must conclude the American economic system is indeed becoming Fascist.

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