The opening remarks by Obama at his news conference yesterday evening reflect this underlying premise:
Great are the tasks of the National Government in the Sphere of Economic Life. Here all action must be governed by one law: the people does not live for business and business does not exist for capital, but capital serves business and business serves the people. —Adolf Hitler on March 23, 1933 (his 52nd day as Chancellor of Germany).
[Hitler, Adolf (1941) The New Germany Desires Work And Peace. Speeches By Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler The Leader Of The New Germany. With An Introduction By Dr. Joseph Goebbels. (Berlin: Liebheit & Thieson), p. 20.]
The essence of Fascism and Nazism (National Socialism) is the contradictory attempt to preserve and control capitalist institutions in the pursuit of socialist goals. As I have written elsewhere,
Socialism, Fascism, and Nazism (which essentially is Fascism with some racism thrown in) differ from each other in superficial ways, as sects of the same religion differ. Each worships some group—an economic class, a nation, a race—and demonizes and subjugates the individual. Each is derived from the philosophic tradition of Plato, culminating in the ideas of the German philosophers Kant and Hegel. According to Hegel, Marx, Mussolini, and Nazi writers, particular individuals are not really real. What is really real is the whole of society. The consequence of this view of reality is the ethics of sacrifice of the individual to the group. Hegel wrote, “A single person, I need hardly say, is something subordinate, and as such he must dedicate himself to the ethical whole.” His next sentence was: “Hence if the state claims life, the individual must surrender it.”
Under Socialism, the means of production are owned by the state. Under Fascism and Nazism, in contrast, individuals are allowed to retain ownership of some property. But this ownership is in name only; the property is controlled by the state, which tells the owners what products they can produce, to whom they can sell, what prices they can charge, whom they can hire and fire, what wages to pay, and what to do with the profits if any. This policy is like saying, “We’ll let you stay married to whom you want, but we’ll tell you whom you can live with.”
Capitalism is freedom; capitalists are free. If you control capitalists, they are no longer capitalists, and they will no longer be productive.
Another aspect of the basic contradiction of Fascism and Nazism is the attempt to marry the productiveness of capitalism with the altruist goals of socialism. Socialism claims to seek prosperity for all. But such a purpose brings only death for all. As I have written elsewhere, capitalism has a different purpose:
Political freedom, which still exists in America more than anywhere else, is not designed to end poverty and suffering. A person who does not produce will be—more precisely, deserves to be—poor and miserable no matter what country he lives in and no matter how rich his neighbors are. The difference between a free country and a dictatorship is that in a free country an individual can produce if he so chooses. In a free country, the productive get richer, and the non-productive do not. Americans have the right to pursue happiness, not to have their happiness supplied by others. In short, you get what you earn.
Like all advocates of tyranny since Plato, the tyrant Obama blames the past tyrants for not doing a good enough job of tyranny: the past administration did not regulate financial institutions well enough when the financial institutions bought and insured bad mortgages created by the government; the schools, run by government, must be run better by the government; health care, socialized and regulated to near-death by the government, must be run better by the government. The tyrant’s diagnosis of the problem is that selfish individuals keep wiggling out of the old regulations, they keep seeking their own selfish gain instead of supporting the socialist goal of “shared prosperity.” The new tyrant’s solution, like every past tyrant’s solution, is to make the new tyranny more complete.
The Socialist/Fascist/Nazi tyrant never questions his goal of “shared prosperity.”
Thanks to some of the giants of Western thought—John Locke, Amerca’s Founding Fathers, Ayn Rand—the real solution is so simple: Respect the individual’s right to his own life, his own liberty, his own property, his own pursuit of prosperity and happiness.