Monica Crowley, conservative pundit, has been going around promoting her new book that calls for a “happy warrior” to unite the Republicans and lead them onward to glory. Somebody like Ronald Reagan. (Surprise!)
In a book-promoting interview with the Daily Caller, she accuses President Obama of carrying out “economic fascism”. This is a rather ingenious accusation, because it allows her to associate Obama with fascism by citing a characteristic of fascism that was not a distinguishing feature of it. It is the old Jonah Goldberg maneuver, only more brazen than Goldberg usually is.
It is true that the fascists did indeed believe in regulating the economy, and intervening in markets and yes–they even believed in doing it to benefit the poor, so long as “the poor” were of the approved nationality and/or race. All this is true. But it is not the hallmark of fascism; the hallmark of fascism is ultra-nationalism and, in the case of the Nazis especially, violent racism. The economic policies of the fascists are just that–economic policies. They are by no means unique to fascists, nor does belief in them necessarily imply belief in their other tenets.
There are kinds of socialism: national socialism, aka fascism, aka Nazism. And then there is international socialism. The two are very different. And then there is the artistic, peaceful socialism, like that described by Oscar Wilde. And moreover, there are all sorts of economic policies that involve government intervening in the economy for one reason or another, and fascism is but one of them.
Saying Obama’s policies are “economic fascism” is like saying he is a “Nazi tie-wearer”. It is true that he wears ties. And it is true that Nazis wore ties. And yet that is not the tell-tale characteristic of a Nazi, so it is merely an insult, not an analysis.