I am in the process of reading Liberal Fascism, by Jonah Goldberg. To this point is has been an eye-opening read. With our country on the verge of a new administration in Washington, everyone should read it. There are strong correlations between our president-elect's proposals and the actions of Mussolini, Hitler, and Woodrow Wilson.
I cannot begin to elaborate on the topic nearly as eloquently as Mr. Goldberg has done, but let me point out a few of the highlights from the book in addition to some of my own observations.
Mr. Goldberg points out that what fascism attempts to do is make government the be-all, end-all for society. "Everything in the State, nothing outside the State" to quote Mussolini. Read Orwell's 1984 for an example of this ultimate "Big Brother" form of government. The 2005 film V For Vendetta also portrays fascism, although in the film it is a theoretical, "conservative" fascist state. Goldberg makes the case that fascism is fundamentally a liberal phenomena, not a conservative one, as is so often argued.
There are of course very slight distinctions between communism, socialism, and fascism. Those slight differences are part of the reason for Nazism's rise (which is another slightly different movement, but part of essentially the same ball of wax) and the subsequent second world war. But as the old saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt.
After reading the initial portion of Liberal Fascism, and understanding some of Barack Obama's policies, it is scary to me how close we are to any one of these -isms. Take your pick between communism, socialism, or fascism. Read the book for yourself.
Then I realized today just what Obama was proposing by adding "Czars" to his administration. The Russian Czars were emperors many centuries ago. In more recent times the term has come to mean anyone with authority or power in a particular area, such as business. Obama wants to add up to eight "Czars" to his administration to be in charge of particular areas such as energy, education, and commerce.
May I ask, why we are proposing more departments, more bureaucracy, and more people to do what should already be done by something called The Cabinet? I thought we already had a Secretary of Education, now we need a Czar too? We're adding more people to be in charge of something with someone in charge of it already? What makes sense about that? And would someone please explain to me why these positions should be called "Czars"? Why are we hearkening back to emperors and kings when we are the land of freedom and democracy? Why do we look to Russia, a land known for bringing communism to the world in its various forms, for a title such as "Czar"? I understand that's it's just a word, but should we not be concerned with "just words"? Could there be an underlying reason behind the particular title? It's possible. Until we find out, go read Jonah Goldberg's book.