There is a common misbelief among Americans that socialism and fascism are polar opposites. The belief, fostered by the political left, is that fascism is a philosophy embraced by the far right. Nothing could be further from the truth. The official name of the Nazi Party in Germany was the National Socialist Party. Hitler was a socialist. Stalin employed fascist tactics in communist Russia. The reality is that fascism is a philosophy that has been embraced by both the far right and the far left.
So what exactly is fascism? Fascism is a philosophy that exalts statism over individualism. It is a philosophy that enforces extreme social and economic regimentation. Under fascism there is no room for individual beliefs and expression. Uniform acceptance of whatever the state dictates to be correct belief is expected and no deviation from this acceptance is tolerated.
The move toward political correctness in the U.S. is simply one symptom of the trend toward fascism. Anyone currently opposing the philosophy espoused by the far left is branded a bigot. Conservatives are accused of being racist because they are opposed to the use of higher taxes to redistribute wealth. The Catholic Church is attacked for being intolerant because it is opposed to same sex marriage. Universities are now issuing lists of acceptable Halloween costumes so as not to offend any particular ethnicity. Hate crime legislation has been enacted to criminalize and thereby prosecute those who violate political correctness. Conservatives argue that the left is intolerant of their beliefs but they miss the point. Fascism is not about tolerance, it is about enforcing a uniformity of belief endorsed by the state.
The passage of the Affordable Care Act and the consequent establishment of a healthcare cartel comprised of the major healthcare insurers in collusion with the federal and state governments is yet another indication of the trend toward fascism. Mussilini referred to fascism in Italy as corporativism because of the collaboration between the state and corporations to create economic and social regimentation in Italy. It is disturbing that 1/5th of the U.S. economy has now been brought under such fascist control. What may be even more disturbing is the lack of attention paid to this and the consequent lack of discussion surrounding this. While there is plenty of argument over the affordability of the Affordable Care Act, there is virtually no discussion of the loss of freedom implicit in the move to provide a uniform level of mediocrity in healthcare for all Americans. This loss of freedom is not confined to consumers who can no longer keep their doctor if they like their doctor or keep their health plan if they like their health plan. This loss of freedom may soon apply to the ability of any doctor in the U.S. to practice medicine as he or she sees fit.
Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law a bill (AB 72) in California allowing insurance companies to set rates charged by all physicians in California, even those who are out-of-network and therefore have no contract with the insurer. Doctors in California are consequently now being denied the same right to engage in commerce as anyone else in California, just as Jews in Nazi Germany did not hold the same rights in business as other Germans. It is likely that California insurers will now set physician rates below the cost of practice to force doctors out of private practice and into employment arrangements with them. These are the consequences of social and economic regimentation under fascism. How long before our socialist government recognizes that healthcare cannot exist in a vacuum and applies the same cartel model the other industries in the U.S.?