A topic of discussion in the 1950s was how could a highly educated industrial country like Germany welcome a person like Hitler and fascism. Sadly, I’m watching fascism being introduced in the United States.
Mussolini, wartime leader of Italy, said fascism is the merging of corporate power with the power of the government. Free-market capitalism has only one objective, the accumulation of wealth.
Every authoritarian system I have studied had three characteristics: concentration of wealth, concentration of political power, and control over people.
Wealth in the United States is being concentrated to fewer people by lowering taxes, asset bubbles and corporations buying out competitors. Unlimited money corrupts the democratic processes.
The financial elite find it necessary to increase control of people to protect their investment as the political system becomes unstable. The truth is, what Republicans call socialism is necessary to save capitalism.
Germany and northern European countries have a market economy with thousands of medium companies and a rising standard of living. They consider people their greatest asset so they have single-payer health care and free college education.
The Republican Party in the 1960s stood for a balanced budget, a strong dollar, a trade surplus, that government should be as small and non-intrusive as possible, that government couldn’t borrow its way to prosperity, and communism is the enemy of democracy.
Today, the Republican Party is promoting corporatism. Government of corporations by corporations and for corporations.
Now we have a charismatic president that demands personal loyalty, which is fascism.