Just wanted to raise a new topic about the word Socialism being used nowadays. But its actually an inappropriate word for what’s happening in our government today. The word that more closely matches it is fascism. Don’t jump to the obvious conclusion before reading a bit more, and examine the origins of fascism, before and not including the end result of World War II and the racist overtones that were added later. Fascism originated in Italy, when the far right and far left of the country united under an ideology that included elements of both. Fascism prior to Hitler’s incorporation and domination of Germany and Italy believed in private property and private business, as you find under Capitalism. But it also included state owned enterprises, like Sallie Mae, Fannie Mae and the Fed. It also redistributed funds to non-state owned enterprises and bailed some out that were deemed essential to the state, as you found with Wall Street and automobile corporations in the US. It utilized a national healthcare system based upon monopolies of a few state owned and state supported healthcare corporations, as you find in the Obama healthcare system, which, by the way, is based upon Republican ideas put forward by Newt Gingrich, and later implemented by Mitt Romney in Massachussetts.
Trade unions were gradually incorporated and adopted into the government, as you find with labor unions today and the Democratic party, where they have virtually become one and the same unit. At the same time, Italy included the executive officers of corporations in government, or made members of the government part of the governing boards, similar to the US governnment and the heads of the Fed and virtually every Treasury Secretary for the last 30 years.
Abortion and birth control were banned and considered indecent, since new soldiers would always be needed, much as you find in the Republican party. There was a vote in Italy, and it was considered patriotic to vote. Fascists made populist appeals to the middle class, especially the lower middle class, by promising to protect small businesses and property owners from communism, and by promising an economy based on competition and profit while pledging to oppose big business. This is much like the noise made by the right about socialism. But while saying this, the fascists supported monopolies of key industries, much as you find in Telecommunications, Petroresources, and Finance. Make no mistake, certain industries in the US are NOT capitalist at all. These few companies dominate and prevent true competition from occurring.
Benito Mussolini promised a “social revolution” that would “remake” the Italian people. The people who primarily benefited from Italian fascist social policies were members of the middle and lower-middle classes, who filled jobs in the vastly expanded government workforce, which grew from about 500,000 to 1,000,000 jobs in 1930 alone.Health and welfare spending grew dramatically under Italian fascism, with welfare rising from 7% of the budget in 1930 to 20% in 1940. This is very much in line with what has occurred under both parties in the US. As much as the Republicans talk a big game, they introduced the largest expansion since Roosevelt when they added the Medicare drug bill under Bush. And you won’t hear a peep from anyone on the right about this, Tea Party included. But obviously the Democrats introduced all of this under Roosevelt.
But this was not done as any sort of social justice, just a means of control. The Fascists believed in social darwinism. They cut funding for the sickest, oldest and poorest members of society so that the stronger members would survive. This belief is the element that was the seed for what happened later. At the same time, they cut capital gains taxes to zero, cut taxes on the wealthiest members of society, and cut taxes on foreign owned enterprises to encourage investment. And the economy tanked. Bad.
So, what am I trying to say with all of this. Obviously, there are a lot of differences. Our society would never support euthanizing an entire race of people. We have two parties, instead of one. We have a great deal of influence at the local level, as well as a free press and freedom to assemble, though our press is now corporate owned.
What I perceive is that some corporations and many politicians have been slowly and subtly manipulating us and our institutions for their own gain, using methods set out by governments in the past. The two parties are basically a lie. The Tea Party started as something, but in my opinion has been stolen by the more extreme elements of the Republican party, and is a lie. That if you criticize our government, you are also criticizing corporations, even if you don’t know it, because they are more and more closely becoming one and the same. That obviously, we need to balance the budget, but all the theatrics are nothing more than a CALCULATED tactic designed to replace the social issues that were used for 20 years as a means of keeping the American people so angry at each other that we are unable to see what’s happening and do something about it. The only reason the social issues (gays, abortion, etc) are no longer important is because the government supported financial corporations took a big dump on the American people and destroyed the economy so bad that we jumped into the worst recession since the Great Depression and Americans don’t care any more.
Except for the last few years of the Clinton Presidency (and first couple years under Bush, who rode Clinton’s economy for 2 or 3 years) , we have ALWAYS had a large, sometimes massive deficit, that includes Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush and Bush. Do we need to balance the budget or come close? Yes. Is it going to fix this shitty economy? Nope. It’ll actually make it worse in the short and medium term, as shown in many recessions in the past. But because the deficit is an economic issue, and does have LONG TERM impact, its an excellent way to change the subject and keep the American people at each other’s throats. The Republicans claiming to be Tea Party supporters are nothing more than tools who are screaming at the top of their lungs “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”. The Democrats are little better.