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Litmus test

George Washington has another interesting guest post up over at Yves place: Capitalism, Socialism or Fascism? The bottom line:

So what do we really have: socialism, fascism or an economy which calls itself “capitalism” but which allows looting?

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. They are just different brand names for the same basic type of economy. All three systems allow giant businesses which are friendly to the government to keep enormous private profits but to pass the losses on to the government and ultimately the citizens.

Whether we use the terminology regarding socialism (”socialized losses”), of fascism (”public and social losses”), or of looting (”left the government holding the bag for their eventual and predictable losses”), it amounts to the exact same thing.

I'd argue that any electoral politician* who doesn't make put this simple fact at the foundation of their thinking is doomed to irrelevance -- whether they're left or right. (The center is already irrelevant if Obama had his chance for an FDR moment, and blew it. We won't know whether that's true for awhile, but it sure feels to me like it's true.)

Ditto pundits and blogs.

NOTE Though not any analyst -- these formulations take no account of patriarchy, for example.

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DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

It is more Ferdinand Marcos than anything from the thirties.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

cause to me there's a huge difference between socialism and fascism.

what does blurring the discourse accomplish? that's what's being advocated here, right? "fuck it, who cares what we call it." is that a call to arms? a way to embrace our libertarian brothers? something else?

i'm with DCB. i'd call it "kleptocracy." it's also racist and patriarchal and heteronormative. and some other stuff. i'm not sure what's gained by making the argument, "meh, you say tomato."

Submitted by lambert on

.... at a top econoblog. That's quite remarkable to me, even if the analytical tools aren't all that those of us who are more on the political side of "political economy" would wish.