Jesse Ventura, former governor of Minnesota, says he is leaving the United States, labeling it a fascist nation. Anger over dismissal of his lawsuit against Homeland Security’s TSA for unnecessary groping that led Ventura to make the outlandish accusation about the USA. But let’s take a look. It may not be as outlandish as it seems.
Few words are as carelessly and callously thrown about as is the word fascist. The term “fascist pig” is commonly enough applied to conservatives to be included in the online Urban Dictionary as an identifier for right wing thinkers. In this use, fascist is purely an epithet, an insult. The word has been detached from its meaning, just as calling someone a bastard is no longer a reference to the circumstances of his birth. The distortion of bastard is complete but the meaning of the term fascist is still in transition.
Merriam Webster defines fascism as:
a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition. (emphasis is ours)
Benito Mussolini bragged that he had made Italy a Fascist nation before WW II. The left enthusiastically embraced the idea at the time. Mussolini’s version brought the means of production under government control whereby assets owned by the private sector could be converted to the public good without the need to nationalize and pay for them. Mussolini’s fascism was a central planning concept.
Ventura’s assertion doesn’t look so quite so outlandish in this light. Remember Hugo Chavez’s expression of admiration and envy when Barack Obama gained control of General Motors without violence or force, without even paying for it through nationalization. That’s the appeal of fascism. If you can have the milk without buying the cow, why buy the cow?
Does any objective and knowledgeable person doubt that the Solyndra Corporation was a tool of the Obama administration? It was the poster boy for the president’s green energy program. He chose a Solyndra facility as the location for a speech touting government commitment to financing green corporations like Solyndra at a company facility. The company owed its very existence to the government, short lived though it was. Some of that money was expected to find its way back in campaign contributions. We only know about the Solyndra affair because it blew up. How many others are there that we don’t know about?
If fascism is government control of privately held assets, then wouldn’t preventing Boeing from building airplanes in the state of their choice be a fascist act.
Jesse Ventura, you misused the term but thank you for bringing up the point. However, I would have more respect for you if stayed to fight and not just whine and leave.