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Faster, Please! » We Are All Fascists Now

Back in the early thirties, before “fascism” became a pure epithet, leading politicians and economists recognized that it might work, and many believed it was urgently required. When Roosevelt was elected in 1932, in fact, Mussolini personally reviewed his book, Looking Forward, and the Duce’s bottom line was, “this guy is one of us.”

As an economic fix, the Corporate State was not a great success, either in America or in Italy. Roosevelt’s New Deal didn’t cure America’s economic ills any more than Mussolini’s Third Way did. In both countries, however, its most durable consequence was the expansion of the ability of the state to give orders to more and more citizens, in more and more corners of their lives. In the first half of the twentieth century, that was hardly unique to the “fascist” states; tyranny was the order of the day in the “socialist” or “communist” countries as well (not for nothing were so many learned books written about “totalitarianism,” which embraced both “systems”). Paul Johnson writes of a “new species” of “despotic utopias,” and Richard Pipes went so far as to call both Soviet Bolshevism and Italian fascism “heresies of socialism.”

This is why Jonah Goldberg’s popularization of the term “liberal fascism” is so important.

It is an article of faith on the left that fascism is the most evil system ever to exist – mostly because, for a short time, Nazi fascism seems to present a mortal threat to Russian socialism. But the divide was nothing more than a family squabble – which Mussolini, the “father” of fascism, recognized in Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the “father” of liberal fascism.

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.

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