Monday, November 10, 2008

Is Bush Actually A Socialist?

Is George W. Bush a socialist? Is George W. Bush a fascist? Did George W. Bush purposely destroy the United States economy so that the government would have to nationalize everything? What does it mean to nationalize a bank?

From The Financial Crisis: Will the U.S. Nationalize the Banks? by Dan La Botz:

The economy is already in a recession. Whatever the ultimate bailout plan, the financial situation could well continue to unravel, curtail credit, and shrink the broader economy, leading to a deep recession or depression. The U.S. Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, might then be forced -- despite their deep aversion to any form of government ownership -- to not only bail out the banks but to buy them. The increasingly popular sentiment that the bankers should be made to pay for the crisis opens the door to the notion of nationalization of the banks. What would it mean to have the government own the banks?

Historically the Populists, various labor parties, and the Socialist and Communist left have raised the slogan of nationalization of the banks as part of a process of bringing about socialism. Their argument has been that if the banks were owned by the government, and the government were controlled by the people, we could democratically plan an economy to meet the needs of all. Nationalization of the banks would form part of a plan of socialization of the economy -- banks and corporations, mines and factories, airlines and railroads -- brought under the control of a combination of citizens, workers, and consumers. We would put our children, the elderly and the infirm first, and organize the economy to provide jobs, housing, health care, education, and retirement benefits for all. Bank nationalizations in reality, however, have usually just been a stage in the boom-bust cycles of modern economies, a period when the state lends its strength to finance to see it through hard times, and once finance has recuperated, the state returns it to its private owners so they can continue to reap the benefits of wealth plus interest.
Read more here.

From U.S. is getting a socialist economy by Gwynne Dyer:
After Comrade George W. Bush nationalized the two giants of the U.S. mortgage market, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, earlier this month, Anatole Kaletsky wrote in the Times of London that "the most capitalist administration ever, in the world's most capitalist country, (has) decided to wipe out the private owners of its biggest and most important financial companies and replace them with state-appointed bureaucrats."

Wikipedia defines "nationalization" as "the act of taking an industry or assets into the public ownership of a national government. It is a central theme of certain brands of estate socialist' policy that the means of production, distribution and exchange, should be owned by the state ... Nationalization may occur with or without compensation to the former owners. If it takes place without compensation it is a case of expropriation."
Read the rest here.

From Yet another wignut pundit claims Bush is a “socialist” by Paul:
Since we socialists can’t seem to agree on even the colour of shit, there are about as many different interpretations of socialism as there are socialists. But the one thing that we have in common (along with some anarchists such as Noam Chomsky) is that we believe that the state can (and should) be used for a time to curtail the power of capitalists, to remove them from their position of ridiculous power and to redress the gross imbalance in wealth that they have accumulated for themselves while 18 million people (3 times 9/11) die globally every year due to poverty.

Fascists on the other hand believe in using the power of the state to preserve and enhance the power of capitalists (see, for instance, the collusion between Nazi Germany and the infamous Krupp family or Mussolini’s Corporatist rĂ©gime) at the expense of workers.

I know, I know, it’s hard. They both deal with the state AND capitalists! It’s so confusing. But here’s an easy mnemonic device to help remember the difference between the two for next time.

Saying that Bush’s fascist move this week is actually the same thing as “socialism” just because it involves the state and capitalists is a bit like saying that cancer-causing cigarettes are the same thing as chemotherapy because they both involve cancer and its spread.
Are there wignuts out there, or is that just a spelling error? Paul definitely thinks outside of the box. I’m not sure that I agree with him, but I find what he has written about the financial crisis to be interesting. What do you think? Is all of this socialism or fascism? Or neither?

Paul has a link to this video. I assume the wignut/wingnut pundit he refers to is Andrew Sullivan:


Both Sullivan and Naomi Klein bring up some good points. One thing that bothers me about Sullivan’s point about personal responsibility is his denial of outside pressure. The advertising business is based on outside pressure. It wouldn’t be as large of an industry as it is if outside pressure didn’t work. People were inundated with outside pressure to use credit for all kinds of things. And after all the problems that going into too much debt have caused for all of us, the outside pressure still continues. My home loan is with Countrywide. Nearly every month I receive a letter telling me how much available home equity I have, and asking me if I am interested in refinancing. I just received another one the other day.

From Bush Embraces Obama’s Socialism by Cliff Kincaid:
The point was that Obama is a socialist. Biden called the accusation “ridiculous.”

The problem for the Republican ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin is that their fellow Republican, President George W. Bush, may do more damage to American-style capitalism during his last months in office than Obama could ever do in a four-year term as president.

In short, we already have a socialist president―and his name is Bush.
The irony is that the same socialist process begun by the Republican president, Bush, could be dramatically expanded under a Democratic President, Obama. This time, the “bailouts” and “rescues” will be global in nature and used to benefit the rest of the world, using U.S. tax dollars.

The inevitable result will be global government financed by global taxes. The last time this was tried in America was when King George attempted to impose taxes on what became the founders of the greatest country in human history, the United States of America.

The cry of “no taxation without representation” led to a revolution.
I find all of this to be very interesting, but it does make my head hurt.

I plead ignorance. I really don’t know what the solution is to the financial crisis. What scares me is that either the people in charge of fixing things know as much, or less, than I do. Or they know what they’re doing, and the only people that will benefit from their solutions are the rich and powerful. Either way, the word “screwed” comes to mind.

I also plead confusion. Is George W. Bush a radical right-wing nut (my definition) or is he, as described by Andrew Sullivan) a left-wing socialist?

Maybe he is simply an immoral, fascist asshole.

Update:
But wait, there’s more! It appears that perhaps “the people in charge of fixing things know as much, or less, than I do.”

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