On this Memorial Day, please take the time to read John T. Flynn’s classic 1944 warning of approaching American totalitarianism, As We Go Marching.
Those with limited time can skip to Part III of the book, entitled “The Good Fascism”, in which Flynn looks at 1944 America through the lenses of both the Italian and German fascist structures – both of which were still extant as he wrote.
Or you can use this Mises excerpt of the work and see Flynn’s description of fascism’s essence:
…As we survey the whole scene in Italy, therefore, we may now name all the essential ingredients of fascism. It is a form of social organization
– In which the government acknowledges no restraint upon its powers — totalitarianism
– In which this unrestrained government is managed by a dictator — the leadership principle
– In which the government is organized to operate the capitalist system and enable it to function — under an immense bureaucracy
– In which the economic society is organized on the syndicalist model, that is by producing groups formed into craft and professional categories under supervision of the state
– In which the government and the syndicalist organizations operate the capitalist society on the planned, autarchical principle
– In which the government holds itself responsible to provide the nation with adequate purchasing power by public spending and borrowing
– In which militarism is used as a conscious mechanism of government spending, and
– In which imperialism is included as a policy inevitably flowing from militarism as well as other elements of fascism.
Wherever you find a nation using all of these devices you will know that this is a fascist nation. In proportion as any nation uses most of them you may assume it is tending in the direction of fascism…
Thus the terrible irony of the iconic image above, occurring near the culmination of what Bill Buppert calls “the war to save Josef Stalin” as Flynn’s book was circulating amongst those demonized as “isolationists” and the Bretton Woods global financing infrastructure was being built:
Average Russian soldiers meeting average American soldiers, each fighting a horrific war on behalf of their own respective dictators and bankers against average German soldiers commanded by another group of dictatorial monsters and their financiers.
Now roll the film forward seventy years and view the players again:
– The vanquished German National Socialist empire was dismembered, borders recast, dissolved again, borders drawn again, and now stands primus inter pares at the core of the (soft) totalitarian European Union superstate;
– The triumphant Soviet Socialist empire crushed its brownshirted competition on the European continent and snarled at its American imperial former ally for 45 years, then dissolved, resurrected, and is stretching its sinews once again towards its former geopolitical positions; and
– The equally-triumphant American democratic socialist empire stood astride the globe for decades, defying the laws of arithmetic, extinguishing individual liberty within its borders as it proclaimed itself the global guardian of freedom, and spending itself into feckless impotence.
A Memorial Day moral to the story?
1) Remember the dead, as this commenter eloquently states.
2) But remember as well the soft-palmed men who got them there, as well as the international banking syndicates that, today just as yesterday, stir conflict and suffering for profit.
3) And know always that anyone understanding the formula of private property and individual freedom is an ally for prosperity and the defeat of the ruling classes, whether you are a Thai marcher in Bangkok, a Novorussian freedom fighter in Donetsk, a Christian home-church leader in Zhejiang, or a Three Percenter building his family’s cabin in the American Redoubt.
The struggle for freedom is universal and eternal, as are the adversaries.
However you can.
No matter what.