The title of this post may seem strange to those that believe that socialism and fascism are on opposites sides of the political spectrum. To assume a one-dimensional plane between left-wing and right-wing ideology is a very narrow view of the political spectrum. In my post, Exploring the Political Spectrum (Octagon Model), I discuss how expressing our views as either left-wing or right-wing oversimplifies our political stance. However, assuming the political spectrum is one-dimensional serves the two-party systems that most western countries have adopted. The terminology right-wing and left-wing is used to falsely demonstrate that the two parties support opposite political ideologies. Therefore, it is presumed, to oppose one ideology requires the support of the other ideology.
Socialism and fascism should not be described as opposites but rather as just different. Socialism is a theory or system of social organization that advocates the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, capital, land, etc., by the community as a whole, usually through a centralized government (dictionary.com). Fascism is a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism (dictionary.com). A key similarity between socialism and fascism is Government control. Socialism controls through ownership of means of production. Fascism controls by dictating rather than owning the means of production.
Capitalism has less in common with socialism than fascism. Capitalism is an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth (dictionary.com). Capitalism advocates the determination of production and distribution of goods and services through market forces rather than a centralised body. Most economies have elements of both socialism (state-ownership) and capitalism (private ownership). Fascism and capitalism could be considered compatible in regards to ownership of production (private ownership) but not in regards to distribution (i.e. Fascism dictates distribution and capitalism uses market forces).
Why would Socialism be an easier path to Fascism than Capitalism?
To exist, fascism requires a strong and powerful Government. It needs to be strong and powerful to be able to control private enterprise and the public. Capitalism does not require a strong powerful Government presence, as the market, instead of the Government determines production and distribution. Socialism requires the Government to have significant control, as a socialist Government requires control over the means of production and distribution. A government that leans towards socialism could do so by nationalising private companies, applying additional regulation, taxing profits and income, subsidizing particular industries and redistributing wealth. Once a Government has sufficient power and control, transitioning to fascism becomes much easier as they will face less resistance.
Socialism has the advantage of being easier to sell to the public than fascism. Fascism has a terrible reputation after the atrocities of World War 2. Very few people would support a direct fascist ideology. On the other hand, socialism can be disguised more easily as something virtuous. Political parties that push socialist agendas highlight potential benefits of a more ‘socialist/left-wing’ Government. These proclaimed benefits might include:
- Income, gender, and ethnic equality.
- Free education, childcare, and healthcare.
- Saving the environment.
- Less violence and wars.
- Reduced private debt.
- New infrastructure.
- The wealthiest contributing more to help the least wealthy.
- Overall higher standard of living.
- More caring and kinder society.
- Many other free things.
For the many, a more socialist society might sound like a stark improvement over the existing more capitalist society. Many countries that lean more strongly towards capitalism have also experienced increased income and wealth inequality. See Figure 1 for a comparison of wealth distribution between the top 1% and bottom 90% in the USA since the 1960s.
Figure 1: Top 1% vs. Bottom 90%
Source: Seattle Times
It is easy to blame capitalism for the widening of income and wealth inequality. However, increased Government intervention may not necessarily be the solution. It is quite likely Government intervention could further widen the gap. Good examples of widening the gap include providing more support to big businesses than smaller businesses during economic crises and downturns such as the 2008 financial crisis and the 2020 response to Covid-19.
Why would Government advocating socialism prefer Fascism to Communism?
Communism is a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state (dictionary.com). Communism seems like the logical next step from socialism. Communism is the absolute application of socialist ideology. However, implementing this next step would be very difficult. Nationalising all private companies would be close to impossible in large western countries such as the USA. There are simply too many large companies to acquire. For socialism to advance to communism, the socialist elements implemented need to be successful. Socialism has a poor track record for creating economic prosperity because of the inefficiency of Government. It is unlikely a socialist leaning Government operating in a representative democracy could hold office sufficiently long enough to transition to communism. The other option is a violent takeover of private assets. This would be an unlikely approach, which would have a high chance of failure.
Transitioning to fascism can be done much quicker. Private enterprise does not require a state takeover. The Government only needs to have sufficient power to control production and distribution. Private businesses can still make a high profit under a Fascist Government. During World War 2 many large German businesses benefited greatly from slave labour (ADL). In the USA, the current ‘socialist’ push is supported by many large businesses. These companies include:
- Walt Disney
- Under Armour
Source: Goods Unite Us
The great push for socialism
Many politicians are pushing socialism as being attractive but that alone is unlikely to be sufficient to convince the masses. Instead, various other tactics have been employed. These tactics range from exaggerating or inventing problems that would divide society, the use of celebrities and sporting events to further spread the message, and the use of lockdowns to create poverty and increased inequality of wealth.
Dividing society through racism
Racism is a form of discrimination based on race or ethnic group. Racism will exist for as long as there are people who believe they are superior based on skin colour. Identifying racial discrimination is often difficult. It is also often difficult to determine if racial discrimination is increasing or decreasing. A study by IGPA highlights the difficulty of determining attitudes towards other races. However, the data collected indicates greater social acceptance in regards to interracial marriage and equal opportunity in regards to education and jobs.
In many cases, people of different races are put at a disadvantage for reasons other than direct discrimination based on race. For example, law enforcement has been more aggressive at pursuing street crimes (e.g. war on drugs) than white-collar crimes (Joseph Martinez 2014). The cause of this type of discrimination is more likely to be based on social class than race (also a form of discrimination).
Street crimes are more likely to be handled with direct force than white-collar crimes. Therefore, there is a higher chance of injury or fatality when law enforcement attempts to apprehend suspects. I have used US data from 2017 and 2018 to calculate suspects killed by law enforcement as a percentage of violent crime. See Figure 2 below.
Figure 2: Suspects killed as percentage of violent crime
I believe violent crime to be a better metric for comparing fatal shooting by police than population, as we are making a more direct comparison of response of police to potentially violent criminals.
Note: Terminology ‘White’ and ‘Black’ has been used in Figure 2 and several other figures in this post. I do not particular like the use of this terminology, as it is vague. Unfortunately, data regarding race and ethnicity is presented using this terminology; therefore, for consistency, I have used that terminology as well.
Figure 2 does not strongly indicate that police shootings are more closely linked to any particular race or ethnicity. In 2017, Latino rate of police shootings was higher but in 2018, that dropped to very similar levels to that of ‘White’ and ‘Black’. More data would be needed to determine if data from 2017 or 2018 is more reliable in regards to Latino police shootings.
The number of police shootings may not indicate that police are targeting a particular race but the number of people killed by police could still be considered a problem. The USA has a much higher number of people killed by police per capita than other countries of comparable wealth. However, the USA also has far more violent crime (i.e. homicides) per capita than other countries of comparable wealth. See Figure 3 below.
Figure 3: Police Kills and Homicide (Data collected from either 2017, 2018 or 2019)
Note: homicides are used as a proxy for violent crime.
When the number of people killed by police are compared with the number of homicides, USA is similar to countries such as Canada and Australia (Australia has more people killed by police compared to homicides than the USA). Countries such as England, Wales, and Japan have considerably lower numbers of people killed by police per homicide. These statistics indicate that USA, Canada and Australia most likely have a problem with over-aggressive policing.
Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter is a ‘socialist’ movement claiming to oppose racism against ‘Black’ people. A key outward focus of this group is to oppose police brutality against ‘Black’ people. The group has organised thousands of protests since the end of May 2020, which they claim to have been sparked by the death of George Floyd (African-American man who died/killed during an arrest). Over 500 of these Black Lives Matter protests have been reported to have involved violence (ACLED). On several occasions, demonstrators at these protests have targeted ‘White’ people who do not support their movement as well as businesses that could have belonged to anyone. Black Lives Matter appear to promote the very behaviour (i.e. racism) that they claim to oppose.
Several major political parties that promote socialist agenda such as the Democrat Party (USA) and Labour Party (UK) openly supported the Black Lives Matter movement. It is even rumoured that donations to Black Lives Matter are being used to support Joe Biden’s (Democrat Presidential Candidate) campaign.
Black America is an easier target for socialist movements. On average, Black Americans earn considerably lower than White Americans (approximately 35% lower), see Figure 4.
Figure 4: Income by Race in the USA, 2018
Capitalism can be more easily blamed for this inequality when only ‘White’ and ‘Black’ incomes are compared. Figure 4 also shows that other ethnic groups earn similar incomes to ‘Black’ people. However, ‘Asians’ have the highest median and average incomes of the racial/ethnic groups. This indicates that a minority group can earn a high income in a predominantly capitalist economy. The USA’s history of racial discrimination and slavery also makes Black America an easier target for socialist propaganda disguised as ‘anti-racism’.
If Black Lives Matter truly cared about ‘Black’ lives, they would focus on the problems within the ‘Black’ community before blaming other races or capitalism for problems unrelated to both. For example, gun violence and ‘Black’ male death rates from violence; see Figure 5 for comparison of gun deaths by race and gender.
Figure 5: USA Gun Deaths by Race and Gender (2011 – 2013)
I believe Black Lives Matter are manipulating ‘Black’ people to support a socialist agenda, which is pretending to bring about racial equality. This socialist agenda will eventual become part of a fascist agenda which will bring about far more racial inequality than already exists.
It is worth noting that the George Soros’ Foundation is investing over US$220 Million into ‘racial equality’ groups; US$150 Million is for Black-led racial justice groups (New York Times). George Soros has also been one of the Democrats biggest donors (Politico). What do you think George Soros cares more about, racial equality or money and power?
Covid-19 and destruction of small businesses
Small businesses have been greatly affected by Covid-19 restrictions. Smaller businesses often do not have large reserves to last prolonged loss of revenue. A July article from Reuters highlights the problems that small businesses face because of Covid-19 measures. On the other hand, larger businesses, generally, are able to survive much longer. Many larger businesses have been able to earn a substantial revenue from online business activity. Some large businesses even experienced increased profits, the richest people in the USA have become substantially richer as a result of Covid-19 measures (Business Insider). Small businesses have also suffered from less support from Government during the lockdowns (CNBC). In the USA, most resistance to helping small businesses has come from Democrat representatives (i.e. supporters of socialism).
Hollywood pushing socialism
Hollywood actors and actresses have also played their part in promoting ‘socialist’ movements such as Black Lives Matter. Numerous actors have spoken out against racism through social media in both written and verbal messages. The ‘I Take Responsibility’ campaign was one such message. This campaign involved several well-known actors, apologizing for supposed racially insensitive behaviour. The use of Hollywood actors to spread messages can be very powerful because of their huge fan base and wide spreading influence. Social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Twitter can spread these messages to even larger audiences because of both usage and the control these companies have over the extent of exposure given of content.
Sports pushing socialism (Black Lives Matter)
The socialist agenda is being heavily supported in Sports. The National Basketball Association (NBA) is openly supporting Black Lives Matter with messages in their arenas and players wearing Black Lives Matter related t-shirts (Indian Express). The National Football League (NFL) is taking a similar stance with Black Lives Matter messages and the playing of the ‘Black’ National Anthem before the start of the games. The Minnesota Vikings paid tribute to George Floyd before the start of their first NFL game (TMZ). Black Lives Matter has been supported in several other sports such as Baseball, Formula One Racing, English Premier League, and Golf (PGA).
The mainstream media, which has consistently supported and manipulated the two party political system, is essentially rigging the 2020 US Presidential Election. This has been done through the exposure of just two candidates as well as limiting debates to just the same two candidates (Donald Trump Republican Nominee and Joe Biden Democrat Nominee). However, there are several other candidates, which the media have given next to zero coverage. These candidates include Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian), and Howie Hawkins (Greens) both of these candidates, in theory, could win the election and may actually have a chance if the media did not ignore them. There are many other candidates that are running in just a handful of States; these candidates include Gloria La Riva (Socialist and Liberation), Rocky De La Fuente (Alliance), Don Blankenship (Constitution), Brock Pierce (Independent), Kanye West (Independent), Brian Carroll (American Solidarity), Alyson Kennedy (Socialist Workers), and several other candidates (Wikipedia).
The mainstream media in the USA seem to divide themselves into Democrat and Republican camps. For example, CNN clearly favour Democrats and Fox clearly favours Republicans. This strategy is used to create tensions between both sides as well as fuelling the argument that in order to oppose one-side, you must support the other. The media also excessively uses the terminology ‘left’ and ‘right’ to push people into one of the two camps.
Bad image of existing Conservative leaders
It is easier to attack something when its faults are in plain view. This can be seen with several ‘conservative’ world leaders such as Donald Trump and Boris Johnson. Donald Trump’s behaviour often appears egoistical, sexist, and possibly racist. He often attacks any form of criticism by calling it fake news. He often spreads obvious misinformation that falsely portrays his presidency in a better light. He uses and appoints his own family members and friends to important roles relating to his Government. He closed down Government because he wanted to build a wall on the Mexican border. His bizarre fake orange tan further adds to his bad image. However, his policies have not significantly deferred from previous presidents. He has continued the tradition of awful foreign policy. He favours countries such as Saudi Arabia and Israel. He is biased towards countries such as Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. His flaws are very obvious, which makes him incredibly easy to attack. Socialist inclined media do not hesitate to point out these flaws and in some cases exaggerate them.
Boris Johnson, though not as obviously as Donald Trump, can be easily criticized for his image and glaring foolery. Since becoming Prime Minister of the UK, he has made numerous bold statements relating to Brexit, many of which he has not been able to fulfil. These include leaving the EU on 31st October 2019 (UK left EU on 31st January 2020), no border checks with Northern Ireland (i.e. contrary to the withdrawal agreement), and having a trade deal ready to implement with the EU upon reelection (it is mid-September 2020 and not close to reaching a deal). Boris Johnson has handled Covid-19 badly. The UK has had the highest number of excess deaths during the Covid-19 pandemic of any country in Europe (Daily Mail). The messaging around Coivd-19 has been confusing and often contradictory. Several new measures have been introduced long after the peak such as mandatory facemasks and restricting gatherings to six people. The organising of testing has been very slow, very disorganised, and unreliable. Boris Johnson’s appearance and use of language is often comical and unprofessional.
When existing leaders are incredibly easy to criticize because of obvious incompetence, arrogance, and dishonest behaviour, people will want or even demand a change in leadership. In a two party political system, people feel forced to support the only realistic alternative.
Forced opinions, cancel culture, and political correctness
Political correctness is being forced on people as an attempt to block freedom of speech. People supporting socialist ideology are forcing their views on other people (also a trait of fascism). If people disagree with these views, they are labelled as racist, sexist, homophobic, right-wing extremist or fascist. In some cases, this has gone beyond just insults and has resulted in people losing their jobs or restricted on social media so that they hindered in performing their jobs (Spiked).
Antifa is another movement pushing socialist ideology by attacking groups they claim to be fascist. Many of the people participating in Antifa appear to believe capitalism is a manifestation of fascism. The top definition of Antifa on Urban Dictionary reads as follows:
Antifa is a contradiction in terms. Essentially fascists posing as anti-fascists. Impulsive and intellectually lazy, AntIfa activists are unable to differentiate between actual white supremist hate groups calling for violence against non-white peoples, and the mainstream Republican Party which merely calls for limited government and deregulation (Urban Dictionary).
This definition is based on consensus opinion of what people consider Antifa represents. The definition strongly indicates the malicious and hypocritical nature of Antifa. The definition also supports my argument that socialist ideology is being used to support fascism. There have been numerous reports of Antifa protests turning violent (Fox News).
It is almost unanimously agreed that climate change exists. What has not been agreed upon is the response to climate change. A changing climate has both negative and positive effects. I describe these in my post Environment – Prevent, Solve, or Manage. The ‘socialist’ political agenda asserts that all climate change is bad and that Government intervention is the only response to save the planet (i.e. the human race). People that oppose this point of view are labelled ‘climate change deniers’. The evolutionary response to a changing environment is to adapt or die. The human race is unlikely to be any different. Adaption comes naturally through changes in human behaviour. Government intervention is unlikely to produce a good outcome. Climate change is also used as a fearmongering tactic to win support. Scientists that support Government interventionist strategies are more likely to obtain more funding and will be given a louder voice. Scientists that oppose Government intervention are more likely to be silenced.
Fascist movement has already begun in Australia
The socialist agenda has begun shifting to fascism in Australia. This shift has occurred mostly through Covid-19 lockdown, restrictions, and enforcement of these restrictions. Below are some examples of the early signs of fascism.
- Police have choked people in the street for not wearing a mask (Daily Mail).
- Police have arrested people in their homes for promoting anti-lockdown protests on social media (Daily Mail).
- Queensland Government denies family member the opportunity to bid farewell and attend funeral of father (Canberra Times).
- Curfews are imposed by Victorian Government even though it was not a recommendation from health experts (Daily Mail).
- Some States in Australia have closed borders to other States (Reuters).
- In Western Australia, breaking quarantine rules between States can result in a 6 month prison sentence (Standard).
- In Victoria, 76 people were arrested and over 176 fines were given out for protesting against the strict Government lockdown regulations and laws (Daily Mail).
- Police prevent and arrest media that are attempting to cover protests in Melbourne (Facebook).
- Western Australia are using tracking devices such as angle bracelets to ensure people do not breach Covid-19 quarantine (Sky News).
- Man is hit by a police car and then kicked and stomped on by police causing him to be put into a coma (BBC). This incident was not Covid-19 related. Instead, it is claimed the man had mental health issues.
The lockdowns, restrictions and laws were claimed to be put in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19. However, Australia has been barely hit by Covid-19 in comparison to most other countries. According to worldometer, as of 14/09/2020, Australia is ranked 54th in the world with 816 deaths relating to Covid-19. However, only 9% of these deaths recorded no comorbidity (i.e. Covid-19 is the sole cause of death), that is about 74 deaths caused solely by Covid-19. To put this figure into context, in Australia, on average, 136 people a day die of cancer (AIHW). The response to Covid-19 in Australia is completely disproportionate to the threat. The three Australia States mentioned in the above dot points all have Labour State Governments (i.e. socialist leaning Governments).
Socialism is often treated as the opposite to fascism. However, socialism shares a very important characteristic with fascism, which is a controlling Government. Once Government has gained significant power, they become difficult to stop. A government that has pushed socialist ideas could transition to a fascist Government with minimal resistance. Governments are likely to find fascism to be more desirable than communism, as fascism does not require the State to takeover private businesses. Instead, they just need to control production and distribution. Private businesses can benefit from low cost labour and reliable demand. Fascism would be easier to implement if the private sector was dominated by a few large businesses rather than many small businesses. The response to Covid-19 will reduce the number of small businesses; this will; make the transition even easier.
A world of fascism is a very bleak world for us all but it is also a world that we do not necessarily have to accept as inevitable. We can choose to resist socialist ideology. We can choose not to be manipulated by our favourite celebrities, athletes, mainstream media, and sports teams and associations. We can choose to think for ourselves, draw our own conclusions based on the evidence we see around us as well as our own logic. The year 2020 has seen the world fall into chaos; out of that chaos, our world could collapse into a totalitarian nightmare or we could change the world for the better. All that is wrong with world is being exposed. We can simply stop supporting and complying with our very broken system.
I write about an alternative future in my post, Blockchain Economy. Capitalism has been mostly successful over the past 100 years but it is flawed in many ways. Government has been offered as a solution to these flaws but they have often made them worse. The Blockchain Economy has the potential to solve many of these problems. I will write several more posts explaining how the blockchain can resolve many of these problems.
You may wonder why a Government would be motivated towards controlling its population. In my post Power, Money and Me Me Me. I discuss how perception influences motivation and how people land in various positions. For example, those in power become powerful because they crave power.
If you want to read any of my other posts, you can click on the links below. These links will lead you to posts containing my collection of works. These 'Collection of Works' posts have been updated to contain links to the Hive versions of my posts.
My New CBA Udemy Course
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Future of Social Media