Ayn Rand Was Right: America Goes Fascist

Much has been written lately about whether America is becoming a socialist country. Socialism refers to the economic and social system in which everything is owned by the government.

Nobody has been writing about whether the United States has become a fascist system. Ayn Rand, author of “Atlas Shrugged” and “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal” wrote the following about fascism, many decades ago:

“Under fascism, men retain the semblance or pretense of private property, but the government holds total power over its use and disposal.” Also: “Under fascism, citizens retain the responsibilities of owning property, without freedom to act and without any of the advantages of ownership … the government officials hold the economic, political and legal power of life or death over the citizens.”

Isn’t this what we’re witnessing today? The government bails out AIG, Citibank and others. The government now owns as much as 80 percent of many of these companies. Yet the government leaves these companies free to “profit,” to pay for executive bonuses, vacations and the like with federal tax dollars. These former capitalist companies are permitted to go on existing as before, only funded by government rather than private dollars. On the course set last fall by President Bush and now even more aggressively by President Obama and Congress, America is becoming a fascist country. It’s fair to say this, because once banks and major financial institutions are owned by the government (yet are still nominally “private” and “for-profit”), you have embraced fascism, by Ayn Rand’s definition.

People mistakenly equate the term “fascist” with racism and Hitler-like concentration camps. These are not the essence of fascism, although they are the byproduct of it. Why? Because fascism, no more than socialism, cannot possibly work as a rational economic system. It routinely denies individual rights and eliminates personal responsibility through the creation of a massive welfare state. As society falters under this fiscally and morally disastrous economic system, government takes over in other ways and ultimately restricts basic individual, human freedoms. It starts with the nationalization of banks and health care–and ends with speech, religion and who knows what else.

America, like pre-Nazi Germany, is forsaking economic liberty for what a majority apparently still believe will lead to greater welfare for all. Has anybody yet made the connection that it doesn’t work this way? If you allow former private companies to still operate at a profit, using billions of taxpayer dollars, you get fraud and abuse. This sets the stage for the Barney Franks of the world to step in and essentially turn the whole thing socialist, leading to nothing less than permanent economic stagnation like the former Soviet Union.

Fascism holds an unhealthy appeal to a once capitalist, free country now in denial about the cause and nature of its woes. As a whole, the people of the U.S. do not want to collapse into communism or socialism. The pretense of private profit and ownership with government actually running the show seems appealing, at first, to those seeking a “third way.” Yet as Ayn Rand warned, it’s impossible. Fascism is no better than the evil of socialism.