THE COMING OF CORPORATE FASCISM: THE END OF LIBERAL DEMOCRACY AS WE KNOW IT, OR A NECESSARY EVIL IN THE EMERGING GLOBAL CONFLICT?
When we think of WWII, we usually think of the valiant struggle of democracy in its fight against fascist tyranny and all of its accompanying horrors.
But the truth is, as our institutions of democratic governance suffer continuing attacks and erosion, coupled with the current economic meltdown and its comparisons to the 1929-39 eras, we only have to hark back to that very period to see where the seeds of our current situation were sown.
After WWI, corporate power grew by leaps and bounds. In fact, many have argued that the Great War itself was a result of a variety of different empire’s systems of monopolistic and oligopolistic capitalism, coupled with strong ethnic and linguistic nationalism, which touched off an orgiastic feast of bloodletting wherein empires competed for market share and resources.
As a result of the Great War, Communism took hold in Russia, and the corporate elites all around the world now feared for their very lives as this new ideology, through its propaganda, or ‘marketing’ branch, the Comintern, fanned out throughout the world and infiltrated every union movement on the planet, advocating for the dismantling of the free enterprise system.
North American and especially European society therefore became very polarized. One only has to study interwar Europe, both East and West to see that it was a free for all of extreme left wing socialist and communist governments, and mostly extreme right wing fascist, or proto-fascist sympathizer governments, with very little in between.
But what exactly, then, is Fascism? First of all, the word comes from the word ‘fasces’, which is derived from a Latin word meaning a bundle of rods, with an axe head and protruding blades, which used to be carried in procession before Roman magistrates in ancient Roman times, as a symbol of their authority. We now use something similar in the democratic system in the form of the mace, which is carried into Parliament by the sergeant at arms, symbolizing his authority to maintain order.
This symbol, and word, eventually became applied to an ideology which adhered to a system of government characterized by rigid one party dictatorship, forcible suppression of opposition, private economic enterprise under centralized governmental control, belligerent nationalism, racism, and militarism.
The most well known governments which adhered to this ideology in its day were Nazi Germany and Italy’s Mussolini. What we fail to realize, as staunch believers in liberal democracy, is just how similar were most of all the other countries of North America and Europe to Nazi Germany and Italy at the outbreak of the war. If you dig into the sources and opinions of most politicians, including Winston Churchill, William Lyon Mackenzie King, as well as most other social, political, and business elite leaders of their day, you would be shocked to discover just how deep-seated was the level of anti-Semitism amongst these people, or their opinions about such things as Eugenics, and Social Darwinism.
These last two ideologies were very much prevalent in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and most ‘educated’ people subscribed to them wholeheartedly. These ideologies preached such fine things as the racial and genetic superiority of the Anglo-Saxon race, the genetic inferiority of Eastern Europeans such as Poles, Ukrainians, etc, and utilized such arguments as an excuse to exclude them from the democratic process, and/or from paying them fair wages. These people also advocated for the sterilization and castration of the mentally deficient, the mentally ill, etc…In fact, Emily Murphy, one of the so-called ‘famous five’ women, who won the right to have women declared persons in 1929, and became the first female magistrate in the British Empire, publically advocated some of these ideas.
What scared these people is that Hitler and Mussolini had now taken the ideology one logical step further, and were now playing God, and espousing a so-called ‘final solution’, by exterminating an entire race, and more. This is the only reason we went to war against them. We actually liked their method of corporate-style economic management, etc, and a lot of their social ideas, but, gosh, they had gone too far and had to be stopped.
We didn’t particularly like Stalin, if fact we despised him and what his Communist ideology stood for, but Churchill knew history. He knew that the last line of defence against the Chinese was the Russian Motherland and her people. It wasn’t so much about having Stalin on our side to stop Hitler, but to potentially stop the Japanese if ever they made it out of South East Asia. Churchill knew who’d stopped Genghis Khan and the Mongols. We weren’t going to miss our shot this time either.
Which brings us back to our current predicament: Once fascism was supposedly vanquished, it essentially went into hiding: In Latin American dictatorships, in the hearts and minds and boardrooms of corporate America, and its right wing think tanks. We had a brief shining moment of prosperity whereby since we aided and abetted the emergence of the Russian Bear’s Bolshevik Incarnation in two world wars, we now found ourselves with its guns pointed at our heads, compelling our corporate elites, and their liberal-democratic mouthpieces to actually act in the best interest of the common person, and bring in such things as Medicare, pensions, EI, social services, minimum wage, etc.
However, as those structures were being built, people like Ronald Reagan were already plotting to tear them down. As far back as the mid 1960s, when he was governor of California, and taxes were going up on the middle classes to pay for the emerging welfare state, Ronald Reagan was already planning his shot at the White House, and if he got in, he vowed he’d do his level best to dismantle what had been built, increase military spending, beat the Russians with an arms build-up, and save the free world from the scourge of Godless Communism.
The only problem with that is that we now see a corresponding decline in the strength of the civil state, as the corporate fascists lobby more and more for lower and lower taxes, cuts to government services, privatization, increased military spending on the armed forces and security, a widening gap between the haves and the have not’s, etc…
All of this has led us to the current economic crisis, with increased government control over the economy, like in a fascist state, especially in matters of security in the US and Canada. What worries me, ultimately, though, which touches on the last part of the title of this article, is that all of this may very well be a necessary evil that we must endure, at least temporarily, until what I call ‘Earth Final Conflict’ has been resolved.
What I mean by this is the following: The Cold War was basically just a warm up for the big rumble which is emerging between what will likely be America, allied with Russia (see previous paragraphs about keeping out the Asians), and Communist China likely allied with some sort of consortium of Arab-Muslim states.
America is still the uncontested master of the seas, with her Navy, along with some help from Britain, France, and other allies like Canada. China, however, is sitting on the world’s biggest single chunk of cash, mostly US dollars, which it has earned mostly by selling cheap stuff to the Americans from its factories.
Up until now, China has seen fit to reinvest that capital in US Treasury notes, essentially buying up the US debt, thereby allowing the US to continue to deploy its armed forces, especially its Navy, overseas, thereby projecting US power, opening up new markets for western-style capitalist-liberal-democratic governance, which then allows America to sell more Chinese stuff at retail outlets in these countries, bringing more money into China, and then the whole process starts over again.
However, here’s the rub: There’s probably a movement afoot amongst the top generals in China to stop financing the US war machine by buying up its debt, thereby giving it the dubious honour of being the supplier of cheap stuff to the American Empire. What they would prefer is to use their big stash of cash and build their own fleet of aircraft carriers and a new bunch of nuclear submarines. They’ve already started the latter, and are contemplating the former. This would essentially contest America’s naval supremacy on the high seas for the protection of global commerce.
A new arms race would emerge, and competition for resources would-be fierce, as each Navy would race to sign treaties with African, and Asian nations to gain access to ports, minerals, goods, trade secrets, shipping lanes, etc… This is where the Arab-Muslim connection comes in: Assuming that petroleum is still the dominant source of energy at this point, and that we haven’t all drowned under melting polar ice, we could see a frantic race for the hearts and minds of Arab-Muslim nations to gain access to petroleum, with many states siding with China, in the hopes of defeating America and her possibly weakened empire, supplying China with almost unlimited petroleum reserves to stoke her war and civilian economies, hoping at the same time to propagate Islam and their fundamentalist ideas throughout the world by being Communist China’s ally and America’s nemesis.
This would in turn compel countries like Canada and all of Latin America, Western and Eastern Europe, including Russia, to throw their weight behind America with unlimited supplies of troops, minerals, petroleum, food, etc. It could mean an unprecedented further opening up of Canada’s most untouched and unspoiled northern hinterlands in the quest for minerals, petroleum, the construction of roads, military bases, on a scale we have never seen since either WWII or the Cold War.
So what I’m getting at, from the point of view of corporate fascism being a necessary evil, is that, at this point, faced with imminent destruction of the entire edifice of western civilization as we know it, Canadians, Americans, and everyone else of the western alliance, will essentially, choose the lesser of two evils, and throw their full weight behind an increasingly corporate fascist-style American Government and its corporate-led military-industrial complex. The alternative, would be much worse: Our entire way of life would be annihilated by 1,3 billion Chinese Communists, whose government flouts the rule of law at will and does whatever it sees fit to squelch the rights of the individual in the name of maintaining law and order. We would also be over run by radical Arab-Muslims, bent on establishing sharia law throughout its territory and setting back the rights of women and girls hundreds if not thousands of years.
What, if anything will emerge from this final, titanic struggle for supremacy of our blue planet? One dares not try to even think that far. Will it be the long-foretold Armageddon of the Bible? Who will survive? How many? How will civilization be organized in the wake of such a cataclysmic and potentially apocalyptic event?
My calculations are that this coming tempest will be a triumph not only of corporate fascism, but of the life sciences. Out of the labs of the agri-food, and agri-business, pharmaceutical, and emerging life sciences corporate behemoths will come the biological weapons of mass destruction which will be integrated into the Arsenal of Democracy and shall be unleashed with unparalleled fury upon the enemies of the Great Republic, laying waste to their populations, yet leaving their physical infrastructure, and their ability to grow food intact.
Once the power of biology and the life sciences have been utilized to perpetrate mass destruction of human life, essentially reducing the population down to a more reasonable and manageable size, said life sciences inventions which heretofore had been used to take life, shall henceforth be used to give life, controlling every aspect of life on the planet, from human reproduction, to the production of spare body parts, cloning of humans and animals, and the growing of food. It will also be used to cure every form of disease, because henceforth, said biological technologies will be able to be controlled so as to be able to determine ahead of time, the statistical likelihood of what diseases humans will develop based on the food that has been bio-engineered for their consumption, thereby allowing the corporate elite to better control what medical procedures and medicines to develop to cure the diseases that will already be essentially pre-ordained, thereby consolidating the corporate elite’s economic, and therefore, political control over the lives of the average person from conception, birth, to death.
This control over the average person’s life will, at some point, become so oppressive, that it will serve as a selling point to encourage the people of earth to go and live in the so-called ‘off-world’ colonies, either on mars, or elsewhere. Because by this time, the international space station will have led to a manned mission to mars and elsewhere and the depletion of resources and biosphere here on earth which will have resulted from the final pacification process, will compel many people to seek out a better life elsewhere, thereby pushing the frontier once again just a little further beyond our borders.
Frederick Jackson Turner in his seminal article ‘The Significance of the frontier in American History’, put forth the idea that the frontier was the defining element which shaped America’s and American’s ideas concerning liberty and democracy. As the frontier moved west, settlers left behind ideas from the east and were better able to create a new civilization free of insititutional constraints. America and other empires before her have developed this planet on a system of core/ periphery relationships, each one becoming bigger and bigger than the last. Currently, there are only two ‘core’ groups of nations left on this planet, and they are running out of frontier, or ‘periphery’ to exploit to keep themselves functioning. I speak of course of America and her allies, and China, and the Arab-Muslim group of countries.
It is eminently clear that it is inevitable that one day, these two geo-political Techtonic plates will collide, and the resulting friction and deflagration shall determine the ultimate future of liberty in this world and beyond. Turner spoke of the frontier as a place where liberty thrived, free from the constraints of government control.
One can only imagine that in a society where the future appears to foretell of a society of total governmental control, wrought from the desperate necessity of having to submit to the imperatives of corporate fascism so as to save us from an even worse evil, that it will definitely be out on the frontier that not only will liberty thrive, but freedom, democracy, and justice for all also.
When I think back to WWII, I never would have thought that such a struggle could have led us, as a global civilization, to the dawn of what appears to be emerging now: A new economically-driven political dysfunction which shall lead to the ultimate reordering of all economic flow of capital on earth and the emergence of a new world order, with a true form of global governance, with a genuinely multilateral 24hrs/day 7 days/week, 365days/year command and control structure both military and civilian to govern all activity on the planet and to protect it from hostile extra-planetary threats.
The price that we will have to pay for this is enormous, in terms of money, human lives, destruction of property, and nature, and especially, destruction of our most precious resource of all: our 20th century definition of liberal democracy, especially in its post WWII 1945-1990 incarnations. It will be essentially gone for the foreseeable future, relegated to the dustbin of history, and forced into exile on another world, where it will be free to flourish unimpeded by the convoluted complexities of the intertwining of plutocratic technocracy, corporate fascism, as well as a whole host of unholy horrors too long to mention, but all arising out of sense of societal exhaustion wrought from thousands of years of evolution, leading up to the inevitable post-modernist impasse of over-evolved social constipation, which will have led to the inevitable societal implosion/explosion/apocalypse.
I don’t know if the people of 1929-39 fully foresaw the prophecy, but the authors of the 1984s and Brave New Worlds of this planet sure seemed to have a pretty good idea as to where the wind was blowing.
Smile, Big Brother is watching you!!!! (Oh Ford!!!!)
Peter Anthony Stuart
Aug 22, 2009