Thomas Sowell says it’s absurd for people to claim that Obama is a socialist — because he’s really a fascist. The difference, he argues, is that socialists want the government to own the means of production, while fascists just want the government to be able to tell corporations what to do. He starts:
It bothers me a little when conservatives call Barack Obama a “socialist.” He certainly is an enemy of the free market, and he wants politicians and bureaucrats to make the fundamental decisions about the economy. But that does not mean he wants government ownership of the means of production, which has long been a standard definition of socialism.
Yes, I’ve said the same thing many times. The difference is that I don’t combine it with idiotic ideas like this:
What President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands. That way, politicians get to call the shots but, when their bright ideas lead to disaster, they can always blame those who own businesses in the private sector…
Thus the Obama administration can arbitrarily force insurance companies to cover the children of their customers until the children are 26 years old. Obviously, this creates favorable publicity for President Obama. But if this and other government edicts cause insurance premiums to rise, then that is something that can be blamed on the “greed” of the insurance companies.
The same principle, or lack of principle, applies to many other privately owned businesses. It is a very successful political ploy that can be adapted to all sorts of situations.
One of the reasons why both pro-Obama and anti-Obama observers may be reluctant to see him as fascist is that both tend to accept the prevailing notion that fascism is on the political right, while it is obvious that Obama is on the political left.
But by this “reasoning,” any government mandate on a corporation without taking over ownership of the company is fascist. When the government tells corporations that they can’t employ child labor, can’t dump toxic waste into rivers and streams and have to provide safe working conditions for employees, but doesn’t actually take ownership of the company, that’s “fascist.” And that’s moronic.