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FTR #649 The Corporate State Revisited

[1]MP3: Side 1 [2] | Side 2 [3]

Intro­duc­tion: Revis­it­ing mate­r­i­al first pre­sent­ed in Feb­ru­ary of 1990, the pro­gram com­pares key fea­tures of Mus­solin­i’s Cor­po­rate State [5] 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 [6] that the pro­gram’s exemp­tion from judi­cial review con­sti­tutes fas­cism.

Much of the pro­gram reit­er­ates mate­r­i­al intro­duced in “Uncle Sam and Il Duce [5].” 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 [7] 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. . . .”

“The End of the Repub­lic” by Sean Olen­der; San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 9/23/2008; p. B7. [6]

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? [8] (Brew­er and War­ren; [HC] 1931); Facts and Fas­cism [9] (In Fact, Inc.; [HC] 1943); and pri­mar­i­ly, Saw­dust Cae­sar: The Untold Sto­ry of Mus­soli­ni and Fas­cism [10]. 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.]”

All Hon­or­able Men; by James Stew­art Mar­tin; Lit­tle Brown & Co. [HC]; 1943; p. 300. [7]