Llewellyn Rockwell’s The Fascist Threat speaks about past facts and present evidences for fascist existence. In our time, no one wants to be labeled a “fascist” for it has a derogatory connotation. No one wants to be identified with dictators like Hitler and Mussolini. Llewellyn Rockwell argues that great number of politicians, intellectuals, and political activists are not honest in this regard for if we will just look deeper into the structure and policies of mainstream politics and economics, we could not avoid, but conclude that fascism is very much alive. Rockwell understands fascism as:
…the system of government that cartelizes the private sector, centrally plans the economy to subsidize producers, exalts the police State as the source of order, denies fundamental rights and liberties to individuals, and makes the executive State the unlimited master of society.
With the above understanding of “fascism,” here we can obviously see why the writer concludes that “fascism” does not only exist in the United States, but even in the entire European continent. I suspect that includes countries that pattern themselves after the model set by the west.
Rockwell narrates both familiar and unfamiliar historical facts about fascism. Several of these facts are:
- The invisibility of fascism due to absence of great thinker like Marx actually makes it a far more serious threat to free market society
- Fascism is just one color of socialism among many
- Fascist’s economy described as “vampire economy” causing gradual death to free market
- An example of this “vampirism” is the entrance of women into the workforce. It was subtly hailed as fruit of progressive ideas flourished in women’s economic liberation. Unrecognized by the majority, the real cause is the rising standard of living.
- Origin of fascism associated with Mussolini
- Fascism as basically nationalist
- The role of the ideas of John Maynard Keynes for the implementation of centralized planning that basically characterized a fascist state
- The definitive study of John T. Flynn on fascism in his book, As We Go Marching
- Fascism as characterized by unusual collaboration between the extreme Right and the extreme Left
- Fascism as a political compromise between two extreme ideologies actualized in cartelization mechanism to please both laborers and business owners, and
- The subtlety of fascism for its toleration on private property, unequal salary, and religion
After narrating the above facts, Rockwell enumerates the 8 undeniable evidences for the current existence of fascism. I will just mention here five:
- The absence of limitation in government’s power. This is totalitarianism. Rockwell writes, “…no matter how much you may believe that you are free, all of us today are but one step away from Guantanamo.” He further believes that US was a “nation conceived in liberty, but has been kidnapped by the fascist State.”
- The government though not by law, but turns into a dictator in practice on the basis of “leadership principle.” The absence of a single dictator does not mean absence of dictatorship. The executive branch of government grows too powerful that the legislative and the judiciary can no longer provide balance. Related to this mark is the hope of the people for regime change. This is a lie for Rockwell rightly discerns, “The Obama State is the Bush State; the Bush State was the Clinton State; the Clinton State was the Bush State; the Bush State was the Reagan State” and that “rotation in office occurs not because of elections but because of mortality.”
- The government’s intervention of the free market results to economic stagnation. Expected economic growth is largely missing even after the end of the Cold War and technological advancement. Government bureaucracy is the primary obstacle to economic growth. Quoting Bastiat, Rockwell writes:
The real cost of the State is the prosperity we do not see, the jobs that don’t exist, the technologies to which we do not have access, the businesses that do not come into existence, and the bright future that is stolen from us. The State has looted us just as surely as a robber who enters our home at night and steals all that we love.
- Organization of producers into cartels with direct knowledge and influence of the government. “Syndicalism” is the favorite term used by Rockwell to describe this kind of economic monopoly. He cites the events of past three years as evidences where “giant banks, pharmaceutical firms, insurers, car companies, Wall Street banks and brokerage houses, and quasi-private mortgage companies enjoying vast privileges” at the expense of the public.
- The military receives the lion share in the total national budget. This is either rarely or never been seriously discussed in policy debates. The government wants to convince the American public that they are under serious threat from hostile regimes, instead of admitting that American militarism and imperialism as the primary threats to world peace.
Rockwell concludes his piece with a call to fight for liberty and a message of hope. He is confident that victory belongs to those who uphold liberty for it is based on truth and reality. He believes that fascism is ideologically bankrupt and about to collapse. In light of this, there is no reason for libertarians to despair, but to gather its strength and continue its fight for the future belongs to us. Such a movement is already on the rise:
It is not a formal alliance. It is made up of those who protest the Fed, those who refuse to go along with mainstream fascist politics, those who seek decentralization, those who demand lower taxes and free trade, those who seek the right to associate with anyone they want and buy and sell on terms of their own choosing, those who insist they can educate their children on their own, the investors and savers who make economic growth possible, those who do not want to be felt up at airports, and those who have become expatriates…It is also made of the millions of independent entrepreneurs who are discovering that the number one threat to their ability to serve others through the commercial marketplace is the institution that claims to be our biggest benefactor: the government.…The movement is intellectual. It is political. It is cultural. It is technological. They come from all classes, races, countries, and professions. This is no longer a national movement. It is truly global….We can no longer predict whether members consider themselves to be left wing, right wing, independent, libertarian, anarchist, or something else.