#1 State Capitalism and Fascism - Ron Paul comments and more12-08-2010, 12:43 PM
I'd like to bring a few topics up for discussion:
State Capitalism is the first. Now, in America, we think of the "good" kind of capitalism as being the laissez faire version of free market capitalism. This is where the markets and the government are separate, this is what Reagan preached (although I submit it is not what he practiced) and it's the cause lifted up by the Tea Party and modern libertarians.
State Capitalism is what they have in China. This is when the government aligns itself with Big Business, and becomes a tool for the wealthy. In this system, the government itself functions as one massive corporation, and actively works to support the interests of Big Business, at the expense of anyone else who may suffer.
In China, the entrepreneurial spirit is extremely strong, and business is exploding, despite their claims of being an officially "communist" country. In China, the government handles finances and actively works to secure consumer markets for protected industries.
What we call Fascists are usually those who support State Capitalism. From this perspective, the Soviet Union would have been more appropriately called a Red Fascist state, rather than a bottom-up communist state.
It seems the line goes like this: left to right.
Communism - Dictatorship of the Proletariat - Democratic Socialism - Laissez Faire Capitalism - State Capitalism - National Socialism - Fascism
Ironically enough, the far left and far right on the spectrum have, in history, often come around and touched, blending "official capitalist" states with authoritarian structures, or "official socialist" states with limited or no democracy.
Now, it is a given in Marxist ideology that Laissez Faire capitalism is impossible and unstable and necessarily moves. This is because the nature of capitalism is to accumulate wealth into the hands of the few. Once few people hold most of the wealth, they are able to secure their positions through power grabs like buying politicians or flooding the privately-owned airwaves with propaganda. Before you know it, the government is working first and foremost for Big Business, and any leftovers trickle down to the regular working people like you and me.
I suggest that we are on a very fast track towards State Capitalism. For many decades, part of the propaganda campaign to win the Cold War was to assert through a variety of direct and subliminal means that Capitalism and Democracy were married. It was assumed that if Capitalism could be supported, Democracy would follow, and if Democracy could be supported, Capitalism will follow.
Now, this isn't always the case. For example: the 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état, where the guatemalan people democratically elected a socialist leader, and the CIA went in and destabilized the government in order to protect capitalist business interests at the expense of the people. However, despite the actions of our government, they've always preached the the same thing, that Capitalism and Democracy go together. This marriage is part of how we won the cold war. However, China is proving more and more than their system of State Capitalism with limited Democracy is actually a far more stable system for the people in power. Slowly but surely, as big business aligns itself with big government, we will find ourselves living in a Fascist State.
Finally I present one of the most honest men working in government today, Congressman Ron Paul: He argues that Corporatism is Soft Fascism and I agree.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wy-w6y6DTxwOriginally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
12-08-2010, 12:50 PM
Socialism is when the Government works as an active agent to protect the interests of working people and the community at large. Because of the inherent adversarial nature of the workplace, a Socialist governement generally fights against the interests of Big Business and for the interests of Labor. The goal is the reduce or minimize the effects of exploitation caused by the natural flow of privately owned capital.
The inverse of this, is State Capitalism, which I think many people often confuse with Socialism. Both State Capitalism and Socialism involve a Big Government, something that libertarians are generally against, but the difference is the role of that government. Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini described State Capitalism as "Socialism turned on it's head."
This is because in State Capitalism, exploitation is expected, but it's guided by the state to benefit big business, with the idea that whatever is good for Big Business is also good for the State and the People. In State Capitalism, big government is providing safety nets, bailouts, permanent buying markets and low labor costs for Big Business. It's upside down socialism.
I think it's very legitimate to disagree with socialism, but I also think it's important to clarify the different between State Capitalism and socialism.
All too often, people throw around the term "socialist" to mean anything that "increases the size of government". This is an extremely loose, vague, and unhelpful definition.
Last edited by Wei Wu Wei; 12-08-2010 at 12:53 PM.Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
12-08-2010, 01:08 PM
I'm a free market type of guy. I'm for less collectivisation and I think private is superior to public in all facets.
I disagree that corporatism is 'soft fascism'. It is pushing hard fascism. It's just easily disguised because of modern society. A corporation is not a free market entity. It cannot exist in a free market system of pure competition because it needs a government mandate to exist. Thus there is coercion of other businesses through the states hands.
Free markets ≠ CorporatismGun Control: The theory that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her panty hose, is somehow morally superior to a woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound - Unknown
The problem is Empty People, Not Loaded Guns - Linda Schrock Taylor
12-08-2010, 01:44 PM
This is where I feel Marx was more correct in his analysis of capitalism. I agree that corporatism is NOT the same as free market capitalism, however I feel that it is an inevitable transition. As wealth accumulates, so does power, and as power accumulates, the people with wealth find ways to bend Government to their will so that they never lose that power.
The ideal of free market capitalism has the players coming and going, being replaced by new competitors, but the realities of American capitalism do not reflect this. Instead it shows the slow accumulation of more and more wealth into the hands of fewer and fewer people. The tipping point of this was the bailouts, arguing that if we do not bailout failed institutions that the entire system would come down.
We are already at the point of Corporatism in the US. Free Market capitalism was choking out it's last bloody coughing breaths at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries.
Politicians gave up the idea of free market capitalism a long time ago. unfortunately, the rhetoric is still used. Just like the Soviet Union preached about communism and freedom while being a thinly veiled fascist society, our politicians love to espouse values of small government and free markets when the reality is a corporatist nightmare.
Free markets ≠ CorporatismOriginally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
12-08-2010, 02:00 PM
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I see no problem with Corporatism if that's what we've been working under since 1900 or so.
I much like our system as it is and has been, and I do not want a return to Laissez-Faire capitalism.
12-08-2010, 02:10 PM
Our markets collapsed and a debatable combination of FDR's New Deal along with the war effort pulled us out of it. Massive government intervention was used during the largest expansion of the middle class in our nation's history. Large scale infrastructure projects were undertaken during the 40's and 50's, and during this time of unprecedented growth, tax rates for the wealthy were nearing 90%.
The second half of the century was the time when labor unions lost nearly all of their negotiating power, corporations grabbed near total control over our government, and policies put forth by both Republican and Democrat politicians were aimed at benefiting the wealthy people who lined their wallets and engaged in systematic quid pro quos.
I know you are young but even in your lifetime huge steps towards Corporatism have been made. Since 9/11, Verizon and other communications companies broke the law and violated people's constitutional rights by agreeing to hand over information to the government, and then lobbied congress to pass laws that would retroactively make their actions legal. This is a total perversion of our democratic republic.
CITM, what you are endorsing is Fascism.Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
12-08-2010, 02:14 PM
Tell me, by what measure, do you consider this Corporatism to be a success?
Today we have huge accumulations of wealth side by side with large unemployed workers. You over-produced goods being thrown away or burned because they couldn't be sold at a profit, while milllions of people don't know if they will eat today. You have pharmacutical companies getting bailouts and government-backed consumer markets while working class families have to bankrupt themselves if their child gets sick. We have more vast resources than any society in the history of the world and still millions of Americans might lose their home and go hungry if they miss 2 paychecks.
in what way is this "working"?Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
#8 More freedom please12-08-2010, 02:40 PM
I'd prefer to have dozens and dozens of Amazon.coms or Verizon Wireless or Direct TVs. Currently you have about 2-4 major companies that dominate their particular industries. And people call that competition.
People have a false illusion of choices. I don't think people realize how much better a truly free market would be.
If you are not for laissez faire capitalism, then you are for government intervention in the markets..........which is what caused the economic collapse. A question you asked about in another thread.
Here's how it works.
No fannie freddie mac......no place to put the bad loans......no bubble in housing market.......no crash.
If there were more competition, then prices of housing would have been more affordable and people could use their earnings to put a down payment on a home of their choice instead of being beholden to bad credit agencies.Gun Control: The theory that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her panty hose, is somehow morally superior to a woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound - Unknown
The problem is Empty People, Not Loaded Guns - Linda Schrock Taylor
12-08-2010, 03:39 PM
state capitalism? Paint it any way you like - what china has is a COMMAND ECONOMY. When the government controls what is made that's socialism. When the government controls what is made but allows the appearace of public sector involvement - that's fascism.Stand up for what is right, even if you have to stand alone.
12-08-2010, 03:39 PM
Monopolies only exist with state intervention. They cannot exist in a free market.Stand up for what is right, even if you have to stand alone.
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