“Participatory Fascism” is the future?

By Robert Higgs

“Socialism with Chinese characteristics” = Chinese fascism
“American capitalism” = American fascism
“Post-Communism in Russia” = Russian fascism
“Scandinavian Third Way” = Scandinavian fascism
“Italian fascism” = Italian fascism
“German fascism” = German fascism
“European corporatism” = European fascism

Are you starting to see a pattern?

Many people continue to perceive the presence or impending advent of socialism here, there, and everywhere. But full-fledged socialism is almost extinct. Aside from North Korea, hardly any country has government ownership, management, and control of all the major means of production; central planning of resource allocation and income distribution; and an almost complete absence of private property rights except for very small properties and some personal items. Almost all countries on earth permit major elements of private property, combined with extensive government intervention and regulation of private property use and extensive taxation, subsidization, and government provision of a variety of “welfare” and other types of goods and services.

Moreover, almost all countries have elections of public officials; hence the term I’ve used for more than 30 years (borrowed from my Ph.D. student and friend Charlotte Twight), participatory fascism. (Never mind that the elections are often rigged and fraudulent.) This, amigos mios, is clearly the wave of the future. Unlike full-fledged socialism, which leads to mass poverty and economic decay, participatory fascism permits entrepreneurs enough room for maneuver that they can in some cases get rich; also enough that they can keep output at a tolerably high level and in some cases even generate positive economic growth. Hence this system, even if it contains the seeds of its own destruction, does not destroy itself nearly as quickly as full-fledged socialism does.