Joseph Farah 
is editor of 


    Redefining the 
political spectrum

 I've believed for some time now that the greatest threat to America's freedoms is not from socialism or communism but rather an "ism" you seldom hear much about these days -- fascism. 

We're not just slouching toward Gomorrah, as Robert Bork has written. We're slouching toward Rome. 

To understand what I mean, most people need to rethink their notions about the political spectrum. At the left end, most people agree, you have communism -- total government control over the means of production and property. It's at the other end of the spectrum that many get confused. 

Ask most left-wingers and they'll suggest that fascism is on the extreme right -- 180 degrees from communism. Unh-uh. I've got news for you, friends. Fascism and communism are ideological kissin' cousins. I would place fascism and any other brand of socialism just a few degrees to the right of communism. 

Remember, both fascism and socialism mean -- to one degree or another -- government control of production and distribution. The only thing that distinguishes fascism from socialism in economic theory is how they get that control and how they maintain it. 

Fascists realize the government doesn't need to own industry to control it. Through regulation and taxation, fascists know they can achieve the same results without nearly as much work and responsibility. 

Fascism, of course, has become a dirty word because of its association with Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. But just because none dare speak its name doesn't mean it is dead. Fascism is actually on the rise today precisely because no one recognizes it for what it is and calls a spade a spade. 

It is in wide practice today in what we call Communist China. Beijing has not achieved communism. And instead of moving toward the Marxist-Leninist goal, it is moving steadily toward fascism -- a hideous blend of state and private partnership. And guess what? The United States is moving in the same direction. Every time you hear Bill Clinton or one of his fellow travelers talk about "public-private partnerships" I want you to understand what they are talking about -- fascism, pure and simple. Is it any wonder Clinton gets along so well with his buddies in Beijing? Think of how Rome, Berlin and Tokyo matched up so well in 1939. 

So what's at the other end of that political spectrum? This surprises a lot of people, but it's really quite logical, if you think about it. If total government control in the form of communism is at the left end, wouldn't it make sense that anarchy -- no government control -- is at the extreme right? 

I envision many libertarians nodding in agreement as they read this. So where do they fit in? Just a few degrees to the left of the anarchists, of course. Conservatives, favoring less government as they do, would find themselves 20 or 30 degrees to the left of the libertarians, while liberals could shake hands with the socialists and fascists to their left. 

And that's really why we're facing a serious threat today. You see, most liberals think they hate fascism. They equate it, understandably, with Nazism, Hitler, Mussolini, racism, anti-Semitism and imperialism. But they forget what the definition of fascism is. 

Listen, Bill Clinton is no democratic socialist. He's no Marxist. He's a pragmatic politician -- just like Mussolini. Like his predecessor's dream of making the trains run on time, Clinton's goal is for the economy to lumber along at a 2.5 percent growth rate. Whatever deals need to be cut with big business to make that happen are OK with him. If he needs to sell some corporate favors for campaign contributions, that's just political expediency. If he feels it's time to arm the Environmental Protection Agency to put more teeth into enforcement of the Endangered Species Act, who could blame him? 

It's not just economic, either. Look at the way we have abdicated our individual liberties in favor of "group rights." That's a fascist concept. Look at the way we demonize certain groups (whether you're talking about smokers or Bible-believing Christians) and elevate others (native Americans and homosexuals come to mind as the new noblemen or chosen people) in our society. That, too, is a fascist concept. 

One of the reasons America is moving toward fascism today is because it has lost its constitutional moorings. We're supposed to believe in limited government in the United States. The federal powers are enumerated in the Constitution. But, in recent years, Washington has far exceeded its authority. And very few politicians -- Democrats or Republicans -- seem to give a darn. 

Even worse, most Americans don't even seem to be aware of the problem. 

Is there any hope? Well, unless we understand what we're up against, it's difficult to fight it. We have to redefine our terms, comprehend the nature of the beast. That's always a good first step on the road back to freedom.

© 1999, In

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