When I took World History in the 1970’s, we learned about this evil thing called “fascism” that sprang up in the Axis Powers during The Great Depression. Il Duce’s, Partito Nazionale Fascista, described it famously as “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”. Praised in Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” while imprisoned it was demonstrated for the world to see once elected as Chancellor in 1933. I remember hearing Reagan define it as private enterprise/ ownership but total governmental control and regulation when asked about the claim that “If Fascism comes to America, it will come in the name of Liberalism” in a 1975, “60 minutes” interview my senior year. Almost unheard of for 40 years, Webster’s defines it as “a governmental system of a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.” Lately it has become the “nom du jour” epithet to accuse those of racism and intoler- ance.
I disagree with both definitions. Modern fascism is what Benito Mussolini described it originally; “when corporations and government become merged.” Last fall, Americans rejected a candidate (Electorally, anyway) who was nearly unanimously funded and supported by US financials and corporations.
The so-called “populist” selected his economic advisory team right out of Goldman-Sachs. (Kushner, Mnuchin, Cohn, etc.). Many voters were repulsed by Clinton’s “coziness” with GoldmanSachs and Wall Street and outrageous “speaking fees” which she wouldn’t detail. But the problem is much deeper than the top of the ticket. Last week’s $400K 30 minute speaking fee to ex-President Obama by the group he labelled “Fat cats” for giving themselves huge bonuses from the “stimulus he pushed through just makes me shake my head. The stop-gap spending bill just passed written and benefitting every special interest group in DC just added another $1.1 Trillion in spending in the next 5 months. Unpayable war debts, divisive identity politics, violent, unending street violence reads like my History text.