Socialist or Fascist, by Thomas Sowell. Economically, fascism is private ownership but government control— the government just commands private interests as it sees fit.
What President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands. That way, politicians get to call the shots but, when their bright ideas lead to disaster, they can always blame those who own businesses in the private sector.
Historically fascism arose in the 1920s, as a deliberate fusion of communism and nationalism by disillusioned communists returning from WWI, such as Mussolini, who observed that people fought for nationalism but not for the working class interests they had in common with the soldiers in the opposing trenches.
It was properly regarded then as a left-wing system, but the competing communists liked to portray fascism as “right-wing” in distinction from themselves as truly “left-wing”. While German nationalism certainly appealed to many right wingers, the Nazi program was economically extremely socialist.
What socialism, fascism and other ideologies of the left have in common is an assumption that some very wise people — like themselves — need to take decisions out of the hands of lesser people, like the rest of us, and impose those decisions by government fiat.
The left’s vision is not only a vision of the world, but also a vision of themselves, as superior beings pursuing superior ends. In the United States, however, this vision conflicts with a Constitution that begins, “We the People…”
That is why the left has for more than a century been trying to get the Constitution’s limitations on government loosened or evaded by judges’ new interpretations, based on notions of “a living Constitution” that will take decisions out of the hands of “We the People,” and transfer those decisions to our betters.
The self-flattery of the vision of the left also gives its true believers a huge ego stake in that vision, which means that mere facts are unlikely to make them reconsider, regardless of what evidence piles up against the vision of the left, and regardless of its disastrous consequences.
Think of the three big issues of today, which the left fights for furiously: bigger government, open borders, and global warming. That last paragraph of Sowell’s so applies. That’s what it’s all about.