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.)

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Robert Higgs

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Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy at the Independent Institute and Editor at Large of the Institute’s quarterly journal The Independent Review. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University, and he has taught at the University of Washington, Lafayette College, Seattle University, the University of Economics, Prague, and George Mason University. He has been a visiting scholar at Oxford University and Stanford University, and a fellow at the Hoover Institution and the National Science Foundation.

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