Introduction: Revisiting material first presented in February of 1990, the program compares key features of Mussolini’s Corporate State  with salient aspects of the political and economic landscape of George W. Bush’s “Ownership Society.” Beginning with discussion of Treasury Secretary (former Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs) Henry Paulson’s $700 billion bailout proposal for American economic institutions, the broadcast notes Sean Olender’s claim  that the program’s exemption from judicial review constitutes fascism.
Much of the program reiterates material introduced in “Uncle Sam and Il Duce .” Highlighting the work of journalist, author and social critic George Seldes on the major aspects of Mussolini’s regime, the comparisons–originally with Ronald Reagan’s and George H.W. Bush’s administrations–are more unnervingly relevant today. Publicly represented as a populist regime that would benefit the majority of the population, Mussolini’s corporate state was actually a “spoils system,” designed to reward those members of the economic and political elite who had elevated Mussolini to prominence. Compare the features of fascist Italy’s economic landscape with those of George W. Bush’s America! The broadcast concludes with James Stewart Martin’s  1950 warning that fascism might come to America as “a calm judgment of business necessity” made by businessmen, who are “honorable men”!
Program Highlights Include: Excerpts from Mussolini’s book The Corporate State; American journalistic whitewashing of the multiple failures and brutal execution of Il Duce’s “Corporate State;” the murder of Giacomo Matteotti, the Italian socialist politician who exposed the fraud inherent in Mussolini’s regime, and its collusion with Italian and international big business; the deliberate budgetary misrepresentation conducted by Mussolini in order to mask the fiscal disaster wrought by his government; Mussolini’s proposal to abolish the inheritance tax in order to reward his wealthy backers; Mussolini’s governmental rescue of failed companies owned by some of those wealthy supporters; investment in Mussolini’s corporate state by American corporate interests.
1. Noting that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s proposal for a $700 billion federal bailout program for ailing financial institutions implements complete exemption of the program from judicial review, op-ed columnist Sean Olender asserts that the proposal constitutes fascism.
“Treasury Secretary Paulson’s edict to create a $700 billion fund to buy worthless mortgage securities from agitated wealthy bond investors is nothing short of a final step on the path to the end of the republic. The secretary claims he can only be effective if his decisions are beyond judicial review.
Our government and its owners appear to be testing how much the American public will tolerate. A few years ago, no one could have imagined that the silent majority would quietly accept thefts of this magnitude from a government that stopped tiny payments to single mothers with poor children in the name of welfare reform because the program’s $10 billion cost was breaking the federal budget.
This isn’t socialism, it’s fascism. . . .”
2. Next, the program highlights the fundamentals of Mussolini’s fascist state—characterized by Il Duce as “the corporate state.”
“ON THE CORPORATE STATE: Resolution drafted by the Head of the Italian Government and read by him on November 13th 1933, before the Assembly of the National Council of Corporations, on the eve of his important speech. ‘The National council of Corporations: ‘defines Corporations as the instrument which, under the aegis of the State, carries out the complete organic and totalitarian regulation of production with a view to the expansion of the wealth, political power and well-being of the Italian people. [The National Council of Corporations] declares that the number of Corporations to be formed for the main branches of production should, on principle, be adequate to meet the real needs of national economy. [The National Council of Corporations] establishes that the general staff of each Corporation shall include representatives of State administration, of the Fascist Party, of capital, of labor and of experts. [The National Council of Corporations] assigns to the Corporations as their specific tasks: conciliation, consultation (compulsory on problems of major importance) and the promulgation, through the National Council of Corporations, of laws regulating the economic activities of the country. [The National Council of Corporations] leaves to the Grand Council of Fascism the decision on the further developments, of a constitutional and political order, which should result from the effective formation and practical working of the Corporations.”
The Corporate State; by Benito Mussolini; Valecchi Publishing; copyright 1938 [SC]; pp. 7–8.
3. The program focuses on the work of the late investigative reporter George Seldes, specifically his writings about Mussolini’s regime: Can These Things Be?  (Brewer and Warren; [HC] 1931); Facts and Fascism  (In Fact, Inc.; [HC] 1943); and primarily, Sawdust Caesar: The Untold Story of Mussolini and Fascism . Originally posted as a reporter in Il Duce’s Italy, Seldes was obliged to leave the country under pressure his reporting on the regime’s fraud and collusion.
Of particular significance are the frightening similarities between the key features of Mussolini’s Corporate State and George W. Bush’s “Ownership Society” noted above!
4. Concluding with a warning presented in 1950, the program echoes James Stewart Martin’s observation that fascism might be brought to America by some of the same business interests who had helped to bring it to Europe. Charged with the ultimately unsuccessful attempt to break up the cartels (international monopolies) that had sustained and collaborated with the Third Reich, Martin noted that the implementation of American fascism might come as “a calm judgment of business necessity.”
“ . . . The moral of this is not that Germany is an inevitable menace, but that there are forces in our own country which can make Germany a menace. And, more importantly, they could create a menace of their own here at home, not through a deliberate plot to bring about a political catastrophe but as a calm judgment of ‘business necessity.’ The men who would do this are not Nazis, but businessmen; not criminals, but honorable men. [This is the last paragraph of the book!—D.E.]”