Astute Socialists Opt for Participatory Fascism in Practice

Astute socialists (if that’s not an oxymoron) opt for participatory fascism, not outright socialism, in practice. They know that outright socialism—the nationalization and central control of all the major means of production—is a ruinous system. By opting for participatory fascism, they can get the bulk of what they seek, by means of pervasive regulation, heavy taxation, and floods of government spending, while allowing the fettered capitalists enough room for maneuver that they keep the economy from going straight to hell. Moreover, when anything goes wrong—and it will—they can blame the problem on capitalism, the fraudulently so-called free-market economy that remains in hobbled operation.

(For more on this idea, which I have been discussing for more than thirty years, see chapter 10 of my book Crisis and Leviathan or, in brief, this article.)

Robert Higgs is Retired Senior Fellow in Political Economy at the Independent Institute, author or editor of over fourteen Independent books, and Founding Editor of Independent’s quarterly journal The Independent Review.
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