Progressivism is Closet Fascism

Progressivism is Closet Fascism
By Hogeye Bill

Conventionally, progressivism is thought of as a left-wing ideology, and fascism a right-wing ideology. But this is more a problem of the simplistic left-right political model than a valid insight. When we look at actual policies or ideology, progressivism and fascism start looking like kissing cousins, if not identical.

What is progressivism? It is an ideology that favors the use of government action - the police power of the State - to promote social values. What these values are have varied with time. In the mid-1800s the thrust was primarily the abolition of slavery and alcohol prohibition. After the emancipation of slaves, temperance was still a major progressive goal, but also ending prostitution, assimilating "papists," passing blue laws, and elite control of education became the major moral concerns that (allegedly) had to be cured through government force.

There were also economic issues relating to industrialization and mass immigration, and the problems resulting from government subsidization of railroads, i.e. the lack of competition out west. Progressives of this era sought to regulate what immigrant children had to learn (good old pietist Protestantism) and how railroads (and later other industries) were permitted to operate.

Progressives were duped into thinking that "trust-busting" regulations were enacted to benefit the workers and the poor. As leftist historian Gabriel Kolko showed in "Railroads and Regulation: 1877-1916," this was not the case at all. The big existing railroad corporations supported the anti-trust regulations whole-heartedly. Why? Because their attempts to fix prices by forming a cartel failed in the (relatively) free market. Price-fixing cartels tend to be short-lived and unsuccessful because there is always a temptation for members to cheat. When someone has extra goods to sell due to artificially high prices, it is only rational to secretly sell them off at a lower price to clear the shelves. This works with everything, from railroad transport capacity, to oil, to Barbie Dolls.

But the big railroad corporations had a way to solve this problem of defection from their cartel - get the government to punish defectors. A cartel had a much better chance to maintain long-term price-fixing if defectors could be fined, imprisoned, and put out of business. And there was a bonus for using government-enforced cartelization. Regulations could be enacted that discriminated against smaller railroads without government pull, and barriers could be created to prevent new competition from startups. All for the public good, of course, to prevent "cut-throat competition" - a nasty sounding term for low prices. So the upshot was that big corporations screwed the working man by government-enforced price fixing, all the while advertising the scheme as "good for the working man." And the progressives bought it, hook, line, and sinker.

Once the railroad corporations pulled this off, corporations in other industries did the same. By the end of 1913, the railroad and shipping industry had the ICC cartel, the industrial farmers had the Agriculture Department cartel, and the banking industry had the Federal Reserve Board. We know how well these worked out for "the little guy." Today we have exaggerated boom-bust cycles due to the Fed banking cartel, and ultra-expensive medical services due to the AMA-run medical cartel.

What is fascism? Aristotle A. Kallis in "The Fascism Reader" wrote, "The most important claim made by fascism was that it alone could offer the creative prospect of a 'third way' between capitalism and socialism. Hitler, in Mein Kampf, spoke enthusiastically about the 'National Socialist corporative idea' as one which would eventually 'take the place of ruinous class warfare'; whilst Mussolini, in typically extravagant fashion, declared that 'the Corporative System is destined to become the civilization of the twentieth century.'" Corporatism is one of the defining characteristics of fascism. Corporatism is defined as a partnership between government and established firms characterized by regulatory government agencies that cartelize industries.

So now we see that the economic plan for both fascism and progressivism is corporatism. The only difference is the face it puts on for the public. Whereas progressivism puts on a populist pro-worker face, fascism puts on a patriotic nationalist face. Both require big powerful government and heavy-handed rulers. Both follow "fuhrerprinzip" - the leader principle. The US has its executive that can start wars at his whim, with his energy czars, food and drug czars, and financial regulatory czars with their respective fiefdoms.

People whose minds are shoehorned into the braindead left-right model tend to call the current US system "capitalist" (if they are lefties) or "socialist" (if they are righties) without ever having an inkling of the truth. We have a fascist system - a mixed economy to be sure, but essentially a "closet" fascist system called progressivism.

Read more: http://www.ozarkia.net/bill/anarchism/rants/Progre...

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  • hermes23 2010/02/27 21:01:56
    They've made a mistake and bared their ugly teeth with this administration. Now even those that have been asleep for so long can see the truth of this evil agenda.

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  • Racefish 2010/02/28 17:26:09
    Progressivism and Socialism are brothers. Each demands government control, subjugation of the electorate, and loss of individual freedoms.
  • JCD aka "biz" 2010/02/28 06:45:07
    JCD aka "biz"
    So Teddy Roosevelt was a fascist?
  • Racefish JCD aka... 2010/02/28 17:26:26
  • Daveman JCD aka... 2010/03/11 15:29:49
    It was very close.

    In a laudatory review of Roosevelt's 1933 book Looking Forward, Mussolini wrote, "Reminiscent of Fascism is the principle that the state no longer leaves the economy to its own devices.… Without question, the mood accompanying this sea change resembles that of Fascism."
  • urwutuis 2010/02/28 05:11:14
    While people are fighting over Liberal/Conservative the real culprit is robbing us blind.

    No one with the ability and desire to affect change will ever get his name on a ballot. much less elected. This is nothing new. We have been heading into fascism for a long time. It does seem to be accellerating though.
    The current manufactured financial meltdown is exactly what they did in the 20s.only this time they blame it on housing instead of the market I wonder how that bubble could have gotten there?.

    The people we elect are not in charge. "Capital" Hill is a puppet show that has been bought and paid for by the central bank and has been for generations. Find out who owns the Federal Reserve. They are the main crooks.
    Do you really think you would be allowed to vote it out of existence?
    "None are so enslaved as those who mistakenly believe they are free.". I don't remember who said it but it certainly is true.
    Voting is a joke, the illusion of choice. This handfull of bankers now control over 50% of the wealth of the entire planet including the world food supply.

    Who rules the world? $$$$$$$
  • Diane T 2010/02/28 01:39:38
    Diane T
    Great post thanks.. I had done a post about the fourth branch of govt. with almost 1,000 agencies, and bureaus creating their own laws via rules and regulations. With the Executive branch creating more thereby seizing more power into that fourth branch that no matter who is president grinds on.
    "They" are pout of the closet for sure.. I have been reading books by a journalist of FDR day he was against FDR's agenda. Excellent reads he lays out the facts and figures.
  • Murph 2010/02/27 22:26:23
    It's not a closet, it's an amphitheater, with a speaker system big enough for a Grateful Dead concert.
  • Rumpleteazer 2010/02/27 21:46:34 (edited)
    I agree. Progress is nice term for decline.
    We never left the jungle, just re-arranged the furniture

    But they are so deluded by their Hegelian left/right blinders they'll call you an America hater & go back to measuring their dicks like always.They've become exactly what they've always purported to despise. Ironic
  • santa6642 2010/02/27 21:13:24
    a greatn post,the truth alwayes come out.
  • hermes23 2010/02/27 21:01:56
    They've made a mistake and bared their ugly teeth with this administration. Now even those that have been asleep for so long can see the truth of this evil agenda.
  • chuck 2010/02/27 20:29:16
    I dont like its to close to communistion I been a domacratic for 50 years and these people arnet democratic the ones who voted for obama are nuts his the biggist lair ever
  • Heart Safire 2010/02/27 19:32:02
    Heart Safire
    Near as I can tell, the closet door has been standing wide open for some time.
  • Gr8hope Heart S... 2010/02/27 19:53:25
    You have hit on the comment I had. I agree with the thoughts Dana has expressed in this blog but disagree that this ideology is in the closet. It is obvious to all who are not blinded by their own self interest in government support or cannot fathom the evil that exists in the hearts of fellow Americans.
  • Heart S... Gr8hope 2010/02/27 19:55:53
    Heart Safire
    Yup, whatever skeletons are in THAT closet, ought to be sun-bleached by now!
  • STU~PWCM~JLA~POTL~AFCL 2010/02/27 19:14:55

    A fantastic thread. You are seeing something here that most people never realize. When you take two opposing ideologies, and make them extreme enough, they come full circle to the same thing. The psychic motivations are different to be sure, but the manifest result is the same.

    Extreme conservatism (fascism) and extreme liberalism (socialism or communism) subsumes individual freedom to the excesses of cult oriented tyrants. As you say, their advertsied "raison d'etre" are exact opposites, but their visible end results are identical.

    Even the maniac Hitler realized this. He once said that National Socialism is essentially Marxism. Given this realization, it is amazing to me that he had such an anti Bolshevik attitude. The only substantive difference between socialism and communism is that the latter replaces corporatism with syndicalism (meaning that the "partnership between government and established firms" is instead "complete ideoligical domination of established firms by the government"). This isn't much of a difference.

  • DanaR STU~PWC... 2010/02/27 19:36:45 (edited)
  • STU~PWC... DanaR 2010/02/27 19:40:18
    OK, I see the distinctions.

    Thanks, Stu
  • gsteinum DanaR 2010/02/28 04:10:18
    dana: on your planet and noone else's.
  • doofieg... DanaR 2010/02/28 04:18:27
    doofiegirl  BTO-t- BCRA-F ~PWCM~
    Sorry to piggyback! Evidently I've been blocked by the person who replied to me. Do you see any lies or hatefulness in my comment below? I rather thought it was the truth. I stepped on somebody's toes! That's ok. I still believe what I said
  • AL DanaR 2010/02/28 06:33:08 (edited)
    That's very true! Fascism is just another term for National Sociaism in fact!

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