Was Obama’s Bailout of the Banks Fascism?

Robert Taylor, an extremely radical super-Libertarian or more properly an anarcho-capitalist, suggests that Obama’s bailout of the banks was fascist. As such, he echoes a Tea Party line:

Robert, what would you call Obama bailing out the largest financial institutions if not Classical Fascism?

Under classical fascism, the corporations must work for the state. Otherwise, the state just takes them right out. The corporations don’t wish to be taken out, so they just obey the state. They have to do what the state tells them to. If they do, they are assured good profits.

Obama’s bailout is the opposite, and anyway it started with Bush. In modern America, the corporations control the state, not the other way around. The corporations were bailed out because they control the government. That’s the opposite of fascism. It’s not fascism if the corporations control the state. That’s just typical capitalism.

The bailout was surely necessary, but there should have been more provisions in there to pay us back. Actually, I wanted the state to completely take over many of those banks, at least temporarily. Take them over, make them solvent again, and then give them back. Even more radically, I would like a US National Bank along the lines of China’s.

Without the bailout, the economy would be way more screwed than it already is. However, it was necessary to pair the bailout with a lot of terms and conditions that effectively re-regulated the banks back to where they were in the 1930’s. That meant reinstating Glass-Steagall, the whole nine yards. The banks would have gone along with it or they would have had no choice. Or offer the banks a choice, we either regulate you or we are going to take your asses over. This is what Roosevelt did in the 1930’s. This was not done at all, hence the criminal nature of the bailouts.

The rightwing, as you see in this comment, uses the “fascist” meme to scare people away from any kind of socialism or state involvement in the economy. Yes, fascists had state involvement in the economy, but they were not pro-worker or even pro-middle class. Anyway, many,  many socialist states have had a great deal of state involvement in the economy and yet they were not socialist. They were mostly pro-corporate and especially supported a hyper-nationalist imperialist project abroad and a conservative, ultranationalist and anti-minority project at home.

I don’t necessarily oppose fascist economics though. The type of corporatism practiced in East Asia is actually a good idea. State control over corporations is actually a great idea. Fascists are bad in many ways, but their economic project is not so terrible.

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4 thoughts on “Was Obama’s Bailout of the Banks Fascism?”

  1. Robert: fine you can espouse your views on why you think bailouts are necessary or not.

    But now you’re trying to change the definition of words?

    Let’s assume for a second that you’re correct in saying that corporations own the government: That is not the definition of Capitalism. That’s a Kleptocracy.

    Marx would be disappointed in your bastardization of terms.

    1. Marx and Engels were explicit that there is never democracy under capitalism since the business class always owns the state. For the businesses or corporations to own the state under the capitalist mode of production is simply the normal state of affairs. What’s unusual is when they don’t.

  2. Some, probably most, of the Tea Party fools are supporting the GOP gubenatorial bid of ex rep John Kasich in Ohio. Yes, that would be “Lehman Brothers John” Kasich, also a proponent of NAFTA and outsourcing under Bush and Clinton. He’s billing himself an “outsider” & promising to bring jobs back en masse to Ohio.

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