I know, I know, after reading the epic post below, the one thing you want is more. But since I merely asserted that Klein didn’t understand, or even read, Liberal Fascism I figure I should at least justify the statement.
He writes that the “essential point [of Liberal Fascism] was a simple one: fascists believe in state control of almost everything, and so do liberals.”
“There was one small flaw in this argument, though,” Klein continues. “Liberals don’t believe that at all. They may favor government action to bail out the auto companies, but they don’t favor government auto companies.”
I love that Klein sees this as something of a knock-out punch. I can even see him doing his best Howard Cosell yelling “Down goes Goldberg! Down goes Goldberg!” And no doubt there’s a strawman somewhere struggling mightily to get off the mat.
First of all, the whole idea behind Fascist economics is that it doesn’t seek to take over whole industries, but merely regulate or bully them as de facto, though not necessarily de jure, extensions of the state. As long as you play ball with the government’s agenda, the government will let you keep your “independence,” and, often, your profits.
This is called “corporatism” (though the Nazis called it Gleichschaltung) and it’s a subject that has been discussed a great deal over the last three years, in no small part because that is exactly what we’ve witnessed from President Obama’s treatment of the auto industry (not to mention, finance, green energy, healthcare etc). Klein seems to have missed this national discussion entirely including in Liberal Fascism, which he claims to have read.
As for liberalism, it’s not so much that liberals want to control everything. But they do have a hard time explaining what isn’t the state’s business. Just consider the Supreme Court’s ObamaCare hearing. The Court asked the Solicitor General for a “limiting principle” to the role of government under the Commerce Clause. Can the government really compel citizens to eat broccoli? The Obama administration couldn’t say. And, I suspect, neither could Klein.