No less relevant now than it was when it was written back in 2015, this article by investigative historian and author Eric Zuesse takes as its premise “privatizations are increasingly fashionable, such as in Greece, Ukraine, the U.S., and UK — and privatizations are a central feature of fascism.”
By Eric Zuesse
First published on Strategic Culture, Aug 28, 2015
Privatizations are increasingly fashionable, such as in Greece, Ukraine, the U.S., and UK — and privatizations are a central feature of fascism.
The core of fascism is the idea that there is some elite, whether ‘Aryan’ or ‘chosen by God,’ or otherwise, who should run things, and that everyone else exists in order to serve that elite. Inevitably, this official elite consists of the people whom the powers-that-be assign as constituting the owners of almost everything that’s valuable. Increasingly, things become those people’s private possession — even what was formerly a public asset becomes now private. Beaches become private. Schools become private. Natural resources become private. It’s not just the art that was stolen by the Nazis and privatized to them and/or shown at museums that they control, which becomes private; it’s whatever the elite want to have, and to control: it’s all now private. That’s the fascist ideal.
The legal system accommodates the legal owners, in any fascist nation, just as the legal system accommodates the legal owners in any nation at all. And, in fascism, the legal owners are the aristocracy, which are the people who have helped bring the system into being as it now is. Typically, they are the aristocracy that already exists in the given nation, if it was formerly a democracy (aristocrats tend to hate democracy; so, they bring into being fascism to replace it), but they can also be a group that is partially new and that is also partially composed of merely the winning segment of the old aristocracy — the segment of the old aristocracy that had won the type of intra-aristocratic conflict that always exists, within any aristocracy. Whereas any aristocracy is always at war against the public, there are also competitions within any aristocracy to determine which aristocrats will be the dominant ones.
Any fascism is controlled by the nation’s aristocracy, and serves those people — not really the public, who receive nothing but propaganda from the aristocrats’ regime. Even in a dictatorship, not only in a democracy, the press or media are needed in order to sell the government’s policies to its public. If the press is privatized, it’s owned by members of the aristocracy. If the press is owned directly by the government, it still is propaganda. The great majority of the public have no way around propaganda. If aristocrats are in control, few people will even know that that’s the case.
Privatization thus replaces public, government-owned, assets, by privately owned assets, and so it transfers control from publicly elected (government) leaders (who are answerable to everyone at ballot-boxes), to private ones — to private stockholders who decide how those assets will be used — regardless of whether the asset happens to be schools, or hospitals, or land, or natural resources, or roads, or whatever. Anything can be privatized. Anything can be run by an elite, by an ‘owner.’ Fascism tries to maximize that: private ownership of what was formerly public property.
Consequently, the first group of privatizations occurred in the first fascist nation, Italy, in the 1920s; and the second group of privatizations occurred in the second fascist nation, Germany, in the 1930s. Privatizations started under Mussolini, and then were instituted under Hitler. That got the fascist ball rolling; and, after a few decades of hiatus in the wake of fascism’s embarrassing supposed defeat in WW II, it resurfaced and then surged yet again after 1970, when fascist forces in the global aristocracy, such as via the CIA, IMF, Bilderberg group, and Trilateral Commission, imposed the global reign of the world’s main private holders of bonds and of stocks: the world’s aristocrats are taking on an increasing percentage of what were previously public assets.
Privatizations, after starting in fascisms during the pre-WWII years, resumed again in the 1970s under the fascist Chilean leader Augusto Pinochet; and in the 1980s under the fascist British leader Margaret Thatcher (a passionate supporter of apartheid in South Africa) and also under the smiling fascist American leader Ronald Reagan (who followed the prior success of Richard Nixon’s «Southern Strategy» of White domination in the by-then resurgent-conservative U.S., and might even be said to have been America’s first fully fascist President); and in the 1990s under several fascist (formerly communist) leaders throughout the former Soviet Union, under the guidance of Harvard University’s fascist economics department, which transferred control from the former nomenklatura, to the new (Western-dependent) «oligarchs».
Mussolini was the man-of-the-future, but — after Franklin Delano Roosevelt died, and finally Thatcher and Reagan and other ‘free-marketeers’ came into office — Mussolini’s «future» has increasingly become our own «now»: the Axis Powers’ ideology has actually been winning in the post-WW-II world. Only, this time, it’s called instead by such names as «libertarianism» or «neo-liberalism», no longer «fascism», so that only the true-believing fascists, the aristocrats, will even know that it’s actually fascism. It’s their Big Con. It’s their Big Lie. Just renaming fascism as «libertarianism» or «neo-liberalism», has fooled the masses to think that it’s pro-democratic. «Capitalism» has thus come to be re-defined to refer to only the aristocratically controlled form of capitalism: fascism. The ideological battle has thus apparently been won by a cheap terminological deceit. That’s all it takes for dictatorship to be able to win.
The democratically controlled form of capitalism, such as in some northern European countries, has commonly been called «socialism»; and, of course, it’s opposed to all forms of dictatorship, both communist and fascist. Socialism is the democratic form of capitalism. It’s the form of capitalism that serves the public, instead of the aristocracy, at any point where the two have conflicting interests. It subordinates the aristocracy to the public. Fascism instead subordinates the public to the aristocracy, which is the natural tendency (because the «World’s Richest 0.7% Own 13.67 Times as Much as World’s Poorest 68.7%», and the «World’s Richest 80 People Own Same Amount as World’s Bottom 50%»).
(Thus, recognizing those just-linked-to shocking realities, the basic decisions for the future of the world can actually be made by perhaps as few as only a hundred or so people, whose representatives at forums such as Bilderberg can coordinate things in private, and so can provide a sort of global supra-government, with those representatives serving as ministers to their principals, who, of course, will then carry out the details of whatever has been agreed upon between their agents, on their behalf. Payments then can be made in the normal way, between their respective corporations, and this arrangement can include payments to lobbying firms, etc., as well as to media companies, for advertisements, both of a commercial, and of a political, nature, in order to keep everything in line with the mutually-agreed-upon global-aristocratic plan.)
Within recent decades, the international aristocracy, with America’s in the lead, has, in fact, set into motion a plan to privatize an emerging world government, so as to prevent it from being democratic: instead of socialist, this would be a fascist world government. Its origins can even be found in the writings by Mussolini himself. (If he might be said to have had a «Plan ‘B’», then this could have been his, and the plan’s ultimate adoption seems now to be only a matter of time. The present informal fascist system, via Bilderberg meetings etc., as was just summarized, would then operate only around the fringes of that more formal system, which would destroy national sovereignty and any trace of democracy, regarding many currently governmental matters, such as regulating the environment and product-safety. In a sense: virtually the whole world would then be a prison containing the public, and only aristocrats would have keys to unlock it, if and when and where they wish to let someone out into their tiny luxurious free world.)
Mussolini, incidentally, did not create fascism; he learnt it from his personal teacher, Vilfredo Pareto, who was one of the founders of the microeconomic theory that exists to this day and that is intrinsic to all cost/benefit analyses in capitalist economics. (It’s actually fascist economics, neither socialist nor communist economics. No microeconomic theory for a democracy — no socialist microeconomics — has yet been put forth, or else none has survived that was.) Aristocrats liked Pareto’s theory, so it became embodied in what’s called «welfare economics», which is designed to fit with his political theory, which is fascism. Pareto was even rightly called «the Karl Marx of fascism.» For example: According to Pareto, freeing a slave from his or her master would be wrong unless the master accepts it as part of a transaction in which the slave is being sold and the master is satisfied with the payment that is being offered in the transaction. If the master isn’t satisfied, then the transaction would be «inefficient», in the terminology of fascist microeconomic theory, which is the foundation of the existing type of capitalist economics — the type of economics that is being taught around the world.
America’s President Abraham Lincoln was one of the first people to advocate coherently for socialism. Whereas, to Pareto, property came first; to Lincoln, persons came first. To Pareto, property-rights were supreme. To Lincoln, human rights came first.
Lincoln was tragically shot by a conservative, and the political Party that he had helped to found (the Republican Party) was then quickly taken over by America’s aristocrats (and it, too, is described at that last link, making clear that Lincoln would have despised the Republican Party that followed after him; he would repudiate it).
Although the America of today is opposed to socialism, America’s two greatest Presidents, Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, were both socialists: they both placed human rights above any property rights; they both favored democratic capitalism. Unlike FDR, Lincoln existed before fascism did; so, in his era, the equivalent was feudalism, and he was determined to end that in the U.S. South — thus, the Civil War.
Even an ordinary American scholar has argued that both Lincoln and FDR were «socialist», and in the case of Lincoln he lists the actions this President took, as being the reasons for calling him a «socialist.» Lincoln wasn’t merely a pioneering socialist; he was, indeed, a very bold one.
America did not become fascist until recent decades. At the end of an analysis of polling-data in 2012, I had concluded: «The danger of outright fascism coming soon in Washington is real – the culmination of Reagan’s rightward thrust. It’s shown not just in the polling data, but in each day’s news, especially when viewed in the light of history. Everyone should be made aware of it.» But now I would say: We are already there.
And the last U.S. President before Ronald Reagan, which was Jimmy Carter, has recently said, in a startling outburst of honesty, reflecting upon what has happened to the United States after he left office:
Now it’s just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or being elected president. And the same thing applies to governors, and U.S. Senators and congress members. So, now we’ve just seen a subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect, and sometimes get, favors for themselves after the election is over.
He just described fascism: the privatization of the government itself.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.