As we take stock of our Republic on this 4th of July, I'm indebted to some recent discussions I enjoyed with Jack Wheeler, the well-known adventurer, columnist, and insightful commentator on the "District of Corruption" headquartered on the Potomac.
A Rose by Any Other Name
As Ludwig von Mises observed,1 Fascism, Nazism, and Socialism are varying versions of the same core conviction: that it is the sacred duty of popular government to prevent the emergence of profits by public control of production and distribution.
What distinguishes Fascism and Nazism from Socialism in economic theory is how they translate "public control" into reality.
For the socialist, it means outright nationalization-government ownership-of private business. In a socialist state, the government owns and operates the airlines, railroads, banks, phone companies, and any other business you can think of. Everyone is an employee of the State.
For the fascist, public or government control is just that-control, rather than nationalized ownership, via complete bureaucratic regulation of ostensibly private business.
As an ardent admirer of Marx, Mussolini coined the term "Fascism"2 for his brand of authoritarian, patriotic Marxism. Fascism operates under the principle of "might makes right," through the exercise of raw, naked governmental police power.
In America today, the increasingly rough-shod violation of constitutional rights by government agents in the name of "protecting the environment" or the "war on drugs" is an indication of how far we are proceeding in this direction.
Intellectually, fascism is far more dishonest than socialism, which at least has the courage to assert legal ownership of the economy and thus assume the legal responsibility for its functioning.
Fascism places the responsibility for the economy on business, which is rendered seemingly private, with the facade of private ownership. The result of both socialism and fascism is the same: the destruction of economic freedom, replacing the individual's choice of how to make a peaceful, honest living with state edicts. Fascism accomplishes this, however, more insidiously.
Instead of being a straightforward employee of the government, you and I are told that our lives and businesses are still private, while any attempt to act as such is proscribed by a myriad of regulations-until we are trapped and immobilized in Washington's web.
We become enmeshed in this web because it has been spun around us so slowly-strand by strand over many years-so slowly that we have barely noticed. We could call this slow spinning of the fascist web "Fabian Fascism."
(Advocacy of what became known as Fabian Socialism was in vogue in the early part of the 20th century, particularly among British socialists such as Sydney and Beatrice Webb and George Bernard Shaw. They argued that socialism could best be achieved by "not frightening the horses"; that is, not through immediate revolutionary action, but in small, incremental steps.)3 Since the gargantuan growth of governmental power in the United States has not been sudden, but slowly accumulative, we can accurately and aptly call the process "Fabian Fascism."
Dictators have traditionally created external crises to consolidate internal power. People are then freely willing to trade freedom for security. The great discovery in recent times is that social crises can be just as effective as military ones. "Curing poverty," or a "war on drugs" has become the banner under which the government can increase budgets, create new bureaucracies, and obtain new powers over the people.
But there is a big difference between an excuse and a purpose. These excuses are simply convenient subterfuges to trick the American people into letting the Washington Oligarchy expand its power.
After Johnson's War on Poverty, Nixon's War on Drugs, and Carter's Energy Crisis, then came the premier liberal crisis of modern times, the Environmental Crisis. It was only thanks to Hillary Clinton's hubris that the latest fashion in crisis-mongering failed - the Clinton Health Care Crisis.
All of these crises offered one, and only one, type of solution to the alleged crisis: vast government programs at taxpayers' expense. None ever offered free market solutions, nor were they used to expand individual freedom rather than restrict it.
The media predictably plays an enthusiastic accomplice in these schemes, not just because its members are mostly liberal, but more importantly, crises generate more readers, viewers, and listeners. This is why the principal product American media sells to its customers is crisis, not information.
Certainly there are problems in our society, often severe, regarding poverty, drugs, the environment, et al. But the last thing these situations need is massive government intervention, which just makes them worse.
If these problems were actually solved, all these government programs and bureaucrats wouldn't be needed. Thus, the crises must be perpetual, never solved, always requiring another program, another intervention, more taxpayers' money, more authorities granted, etc.
The game is not to solve the problems but to use them to control people through regulations and subsidies, increasing their dependency upon the people writing and enforcing the regulations and providing the handouts. People who are dependent upon you are people who vote for you.
The result is a form of fascist rule imposed upon a citizenry, not by a dictator who seized power by force, but by freely elected leaders. We could call it Democratic Fascism, whereby a people's freedom is not taken away from them by dictatorial force, but is voluntarily surrendered.
Americans have imposed the tyranny of Washington upon ourselves. By a patient Fabian strategy taking many years, the American people have been persuaded, unwittingly and almost unconsciously, to voluntarily chain themselves to their masters in Washington.
No longer innocently oppressed, America has become a nation of belligerent beggars, demanding with insufferable arrogance an endless cornucopia of government handouts, subsidies, and "entitlements," deferring the multi-trillion dollar tab upon our children and grandchildren.
This is, indeed, America's real drug crisis: the most addictive and destructive drug ever invented-welfare and special interest subsidies. Thus we have voluntarily taken upon ourselves the tyranny of our increasingly fascist state.
Who's accountable? We are, in our failure to hold our elected representatives accountable to us!
And much of the blame also needs to be laid on our silent pulpits. The same abrogation of responsibility that contributed to the Holocaust in Germany is evident in America.
God has blessed us with a unique heritage-and it is rarely declared or acknowledged from our pulpits. There is a deplorable lack of that God-given fiduciary responsibility-a sanctified form of patriotism-exhorted from our Christian pulpits.
I believe that our stewardship of our unique God-given heritage is one for which we will uniquely be held accountable.
One of the most critical strategic assessments we each must make is regarding the feasibility of rolling back to a constitutional government.
If we have a government that doesn't obey the Constitution, we have an outlaw government-literally acting outside the law.
The Bright Spots
There are some bright spots, however. Exploiting treaties is one of the most serious threats to the erosion of our national sovereignty.
Larry Becraft, a bright constitutional lawyer, is compiling, among other things, a challenge to all implementing legislation that would be unconstitutional if it weren't for some treaty.
Larry is also compiling a history of Supreme Court rulings which clearly state that treaties cannot be used to supersede or amend the Constitution.4
John Shadegg of Arizona has cleverly inserted into the House Rules that any proposed bill has to specify just where in the Constitution such legislation is authorized.
Phyllis Schlafly is currently embarked on an effort to get Congress to use its Constitutional authority to restrict the jurisdiction of federal judges, and of federal courts in general.
There are also some surprising powers intended to reign in our over-reaching judiciary.5
Clinton's Next Job
Have you ever considered what Bill Clinton's next job will be? When he finishes his second term, he'll only be 54 years old.
Have you noticed the extent to which the Clintonistas have been enthusiastically transferring our sovereignty to the United Nations whenever they can get away with it-such as the "World Heritage" sites, over which the UN has jurisdiction?
There are speculations that Clinton's next goal is to be President of the World: Secretary General of the United Nations-but permanently.
Wouldn't that be exciting? He is just getting started with his life... and running yours.
(There is a way to stop this; See our article on impeachment.)
Your Personal Response
Are we going to bequeath to our children an outlaw government or a constitutional government?
Are we going to relinquish our "government of the people, by the people, and for the people" through the neglect of duties of citizenship?
Are we going to let this all continue? The answer is inside ourselves.