There has been much talk of the Great Depression, and Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal that rescued us from its disasters. But little has been said about Republican characterization of the bail-out as corporate socialism.
In particular, no one seems to have noticed the implications of that opposition: the fear that indeed, the only viable solution to the financial crisis ringing the world would be government control of the financial system.
The last time around, 1932, was the prelude to the Second World War, which was partly a war between fascism and communism. And so far, it doesn't look like we're going to get it right this time around. Fascism was a partnership between big business and government. Communists wanted the workers employed by big business to run things. Now we're seeing a partnership between big finance and government, and Republicans fear the logical implications of repeated government bail-outs: that workers might say "What's good for General Motors is good for us."
Meaning yes, we do want single-payer universal health care, such as they have in Canada, Europe, Japan and Singapore, where people get to choose their doctor in return for an equitable tax that enables the government to foot the bill without for- profit insurance companies adding to the cost.
If you pay attention to what our allies around the world are doing about the financial crisis, you'll notice that it involves significant government intervention in a sector that was already heavily controlled.
It will be interesting to see how long it takes the Republicans, brought up on blind faith in the free market, to come to the realization that the country does need corporate socialism if its economy is to survive.
The question is, will the next President be able to steer this country to an overall more socialist form of democracy, or will fascism avenge its Second World War defeat?
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