Industrial Policy = Fascism

In the 1970s we saw something emerge in elite political and economic circles called “industrial policy”. Some willfully ignorant, backward-looking politicos of today are evidently yearning to return to those failed and bogus notions.

20th Century Progressives, influenced by British Fabian “Social Imperialism” and Bismarckian state socialism in Germany, believed in government by paternalistic “experts” or “wise men” who were above ideology. In England, these were the members of Viscount Alfred Milner’s “Kindergarten,” who fashioned the welfare-warfare state and plunged the empire into the abyss of two World Wars. Likewise in Germany this Hegelian “ideology of no ideology” was a precursor of what later emerged as National Socialism. In the U.S., FDR was hailed in the media as a great pragmatic leader, willing to try anything to get the country back on its feet and moving again. The same rhetorical cliches are being trotted out again, now applying to some of today’s Republicans. Its as though their handlers are using John T. Flynn’s As We Go Marching, as their Machiavellian playbook. Flynn analyzed the “good fascism” of Roosevelt’s New Deal, comparing and contrasting it with the “bad fascism” of Hitler and Mussolini:

The test of fascism is not one’s rage against the Italian and German war lords. The test is — how many of the essential principles of fascism do you accept and to what extent are you prepared to apply those fascist ideas to American social and economic life? When you can put your finger on the men or the groups that urge for America the debt-supported state, the autarkical corporative state, the state bent on the socialization of investment and the bureaucratic government of industry and society, the establishment of the institution of militarism as the great glamorous public-works project of the nation and the institution of imperialism under which it proposes to regulate and rule the world and, along with this, proposes to alter the forms of our government to approach as closely as possible the unrestrained, absolute government — then you will know you have located the authentic fascist.

But let us not deceive ourselves into thinking that we are dealing by this means with the problem of fascism. Fascism will come at the hands of perfectly authentic Americans, as violently against Hitler and Mussolini as the next one, but who are convinced that the present economic system is washed up and that the present political system in America has outlived its usefulness and who wish to commit this country to the rule of the bureaucratic state; interfering in the affairs of the states and cities; taking part in the management of industry and finance and agriculture; assuming the role of great national banker and investor, borrowing millions every year and spending them on all sorts of projects through which such a government can paralyze opposition and command public support; marshaling great armies and navies at crushing costs to support the industry of war and preparation for war which will become our greatest industry; and adding to all this the most romantic adventures in global planning, regeneration, and domination all to be done under the authority of a powerfully centralized government in which the executive will hold in effect all the powers with Congress reduced to the role of a debating society. There is your fascist. And the sooner America realizes this dreadful fact the sooner it will arm itself to make an end of American fascism masquerading under the guise of the champion of democracy.”

Will no one in the mainstream media call this bovine feces by its rightful name?


5:59 pm on August 27, 2020