21 September 2008

Fascism: A Cure-all?

As diverse as the dissatisfaction with the economic, environmental, government status quo might be, there seems to be general agreement in the continued strengthening of central governments. The only disagreement lies in whose desires this power should obey. Virtually nobody suggests that strong central power will always attract a variety of powerful interests willing to pay to access that influence.

The environmentalists rejoice at the idea of using this power to force environmental legislation more universally upon the populous. They dream of invisible wind farms forests, and solar panel lakes, funded by government grants and subsidies, which are then funded by suffocating taxes on conventional nuclear and carbon-based power generation. Were such changes economical, they might happen in a free market, so implicit in these desires is the fact that they will reduce our quality of life, and must thus be achieved through via an enlightened, powerful government.

Likewise, a wide variety of conspiracy theorists, ranging from gold bugs to Lyndon LaRouche believe that big business interests control our current regime, but their solution is not to reduce government power, but to centralize it even further and put it in their enlightened hands.

The status quo major political parties also want more centralized power. Fascism, with a powerful central government exerting extensive control over private citizens and companies is the undisputed mainstream government of choice. The dominant parties differ only in how they propose to use that power and how enlightened a despot each leader claims to be. Though they may not have a complete plan for recreating utopia, they generally favor of bigger government, regulating more of our lives in everything from investment banking to education and health care. The resulting potpourri of policies are concocted with the intent of trying to please a wide variety of interest groups. A dollop of environmental legislation, a pinch of business deregulation, and a spoonful of income tax mollification.

Rather than continuing to dream that centralized power can avoid attracting power-mongers of all colors, perhaps we should consider allowing the markets to function. We can count on governments doing nothing efficiently and selling their influence to the highest bidder, so let us return government to its proper role defined in the Declaration of Independence. Alas, governments seldom willingly relinquish power. Any cure to encroaching fascism will likely involve war, revolution and depression. Let us hope, against most historical precedents, that the governments which follow such upheavals will protect our natural rights and freedoms, leaving market competition to bring sustainable prosperity to ourselves and our posterity.

No comments:

Post a Comment