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Fascism and the Dangers of Economic Concentration

[1]

Tech­nocrats march­ing in sup­port of aus­ter­i­ty, ready to slash gov­ern­ment spend­ing.

A 1980 broad­cast high­lights eco­nom­ic con­cen­tra­tion and its his­tor­i­cal rela­tion­ship to fas­cism. The issue of the “1%” ver­sus the “99%” is not new.

After dis­cus­sion of the Amer­i­can cor­po­rate con­nec­tions to the Third Reich, this pro­gram con­cludes with analy­sis of the per­ils of the con­cen­tra­tion of eco­nom­ic pow­er.

Sev­er­al min­utes in length, the con­clu­sion of that pro­gram can be accessed here: Lis­ten [2].

Of para­mount sig­nif­i­cance is the pos­si­bil­i­ty that con­cen­tra­tion of eco­nom­ic pow­er in the Unit­ed States might even­tu­al­ly pro­duce for Amer­i­cans what it did for Ger­mans in  the 1930’s.

The fact that many of the most impor­tant U.S. com­pa­nies and indi­vid­u­als were deeply involved with Nazi indus­try and finance informs us that such a pos­si­bil­i­ty is not as remote as it  might appear at first.

(These same inter­ests attempt­ed to over­throw Franklin D. Roo­sevelt [3] in a coup attempt in 1934, seek­ing to install a gov­ern­ment mod­eled on Mus­solin­i’s “cor­po­rate state.” [4] Mus­soli­ni and his fascisti are pic­tured at right.)

With the very able assis­tance of co-host Mark Ortiz, Dave record­ed the first of the archive shows, Uncle Sam and the Swasti­ka (M11) [5], on Memo­r­i­al Day week­end of 1980 (5/23/80).

The pro­gram echoes at the dis­tance of thir­ty years the warn­ing that James Stew­art Mar­tin sound­ed in his 1950 book All Hon­or­able Men [6]. Not­ing how attempts at break­ing up Hitler’s Ger­man eco­nom­ic pow­er base had been foiled by the Ger­mans’ pow­er­ful Amer­i­can busi­ness part­ners, Mar­tin detailed the same pat­tern of con­cen­tra­tion of eco­nom­ic pow­er in the Unit­ed States that had led to the rise of Nazism in Ger­many.

In 2005, Uncle Sam and the Swasti­ka was dis­tilled into For The Record #511 [7]. Since then, the Amer­i­can and glob­al economies have tanked and may well get worse. The sig­nif­i­cance of an eco­nom­ic col­lapse for the imple­men­ta­tion of a fas­cist cabal fig­ures sig­nif­i­cant­ly in the sev­er­al min­utes of this excerpt.

At more than 30 years’ dis­tance from the orig­i­nal record­ing of Uncle Sam and the Swasti­ka, the ques­tions raised in this broad­cast loom large. Will the “calm judge­ment of busi­ness necessity”–fascism–that Mar­tin fore­saw in 1950 come to pass?

We should note that Mus­soli­ni termed the fas­cist system–which he christened–“the cor­po­rate state.” Anoth­er way of con­cep­tu­al­iz­ing it would be to think of fas­cism as “cap­i­tal­ism on full auto.”