Monday, March 29, 2010

Is Obama really a fascist?

My much respected and appreciated reader NV has suggested I am way over the top on this, but I don't think so. The Obama regime really is fascist, in the style of Juan Peron. And if we do not reverse course very soon we are in for an Argentina-like fate. Here's a brief explanation focusing on the health care legislation that just passed. I'll expand this in the future.

A major focus of Obama's regime is expanding the role and power of the state into peoples' personal lives. The health care reform is a particularly unfortunate example. This legislation mandates "insurance" for every individual that meets criteria laid out by the Political Class. (The quotation marks are because this isn't real insurance. It is not insurance against risk: the requirement that pre-existing conditions must be ignored means this isn't insurance, but something else.) If you do not buy the insurance, you are subject to jail time, and a fine of up to $250,000. If your insurance exceeds these criteria by more than the Political Class deems appropriate, then you will be heavily taxed on it, unless you're associated with political supporters, like UAW, in which case your insurance is exempted.

This reform does nothing to curb government or private expenses on health care. It does offer rewards to the president's political supporters, and punishes opponents. As I have already documented, it actually worsens the federal government's precarious financial position. This is very much a Peronist sort of policy.

It will also lead to increasing intrusions into our private lives. Not only will we have to document our health "insurance," but we will see increasing control of our private behavior. For example, tanning salons are now required to collect a 10% tax from patrons. There's talk of placing federal taxes on beer, soft drinks, and snacks to make them less affordable. Eventually preventive checkups and treatments will be mandatory. Wait and see what is proposed regarding privately-owned firearms as a "public health issue." After all, now that one's health is a matter of public policy, so will be one's lifestyle. You might think I'm exaggerating, but I'm simply quoting what democrat politicians have themselves said. The authority of the state is being drastically expanded "for our own good, of course."

Meanwhile, critics of this scheme are being demonized as violent racists. The claims that Sarah Palin is calling for violence are so vicious and dishonest that I hardly know what to say. The claims the Tea Party opposition is simply racist is an enormous lie, but the democrats and the mainstream media are repeating these lies as if they are obvious facts. There are proposals in Congress to re-instate the "Fairness Doctrine" in order to muzzle conservative talk radio. Here's a despicable example of the progressive-fascist Big Lie from New York Times, and an excellent rebuttal by Pat Sajak.

As for the alleged Tea Party racism against the Congressional Black Caucus, there seems to be no evidence at all for it. See this post, and this one, and this one. (Yes, I'm even citing the Rockwellites on this!)

Because the legislation imposes a variety of new taxes on corporations, the passing of the bill meant they are required by law to re-estimate their long term projected earnings. AT&T did so and took a $1 billion loss from the bill; other corporations have similar results. Therefore, the Whitehouse has publicly condemned them as "irresponsible" and democrats in Congress are calling them into hearings to threaten them.

What is happening here is extremely dangerous. We have something that looks an awful lot like a one party state, and it is being wielded to impose a government takeover of a major sector of the economy. It is being used to take control over peoples' personal lives, and to try silencing opposition. Stylistically it is different from, say, Mussolini's fascism. But in substance, it's fascism, a the supremacy of the state -- or rather of the Political Class that controls it -- allegedly on behalf of the citizens.

Similar stories can be told concerning the financial sector and the energy sector. The democrats -- it really is a one-party show at this point -- are moving to entirely reshape the role of the state. We have been moving slowly in this direction for some time, but this is a wholesale rush.

Postscript: Here's how philosopher Tibor Machan describes Obama in the response to the question "What does the bill say about the Obama presidency?"

Tibor Machan: "That he is now an unabashed socialist, nearly exactly like Hugo Chavez. Chavez has done things in Venezuela that Barack Obama would no doubt like to do. The ascension of governmental ambition is the same – the gradual widening of state control not for purposes of efficiency but as part of a larger agenda. It is obvious, having observed Obama during his presidency, that the president's hope and change does indeed expand government's role dramatically on an ongoing basis and one would be foolish at this point to expect anything else from his presidency."

The entire interview with Machan is well worth reading.

Ok, you made a point here. What you are a c t u a l l y arguing is that your President is a populist. Well, I've got news for you, so are most political leaders, alas. It does not turn them into fascists.
Quite to the contrary, this is fascism. In the American context populism has been broader than fascism; I think it would be hard to argue that William Jennings Bryan was a fascist.

But Peron certainly was, and Obama is in a similar vein. American fascism certainly takes a different form from European versions, because America has very different style and myths. But the essence is the same.

American progressivism was heavily influenced by the German Historical School, e.g Gustav Schmoller. Many of the original progressive leaders studied in Germany, and returned with Prussian doctrines of the welfare state and the superiority of the state to individual rights.

We're getting this in full force from Obama & co.
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