We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Monday, March 6, 2017
Trump and Saving Capitalism
Wolff cites commonalities and differences with the 1930s Nazi party. Both assume(d) the basic existence of the capitalist system, both are/were supported by major capitalists, and both attempt(ed) to deal with its many dysfunctions. This is another illustration of the affinity of capitalists for fascism whenever they feel that their system, the goose that lays their golden eggs of profit and power, is threatened.
One factor that he left out was the dramatic rise of the Soviet Union in which the government owned and controlled the economy except for small family enterprises. Thus many capitalists across Europe and North America financially backed the Nazi party and their takeover of Germany as a useful weapon that could destroy the Soviet Union. Hitler had even promised in his book Mein Kampf to use the Slavic countries as Germany's lebensraum (living space) to support the German economy. His racist beliefs also included Slavs which he saw as inferior human beings.
Because of this split affection for German fascism among capitalists, Western countries openly tolerated the dismantling of Spain's elected republican government by German and Italian militaries, easily succumbed to the German invasion of the Low Countries and France. Here in the US there were many fascist supporters and organizations, many of whom hid under the label of "isolationists". There were true isolationists, but these supporters of fascism were not. They just wanted Germany to destroy the Soviet Union which prohibited the practice of the private ownership and control of the economy (capitalism).
It was only when the German invasion of the Soviet Union in the late summer of 1941 met fierce resistance by the Soviets and appeared to be stalling that the Allied countries slowly began to seriously get behind an effort to defeat Germany and the other Axis powers. Even then, largely because of Churchill's influence, the Allies held off till June of 1944 to launch an invasion of western Europe.