Massive Resistance and the Government Shutdown

 By Mike Appleton, Guest Blogger 

“We pledge ourselves to use all lawful means to bring about a reversal of this decision which is contrary to the Constitution and to prevent the use of force in its implementation. 

-The Southern Manifesto,  Cong. Rec., 84th Cong. 2d Session, Vol. 102, part 4 (March 12, 1956)

‘This was an activist court that you saw today.  Anytime the Supreme Court renders something constitutional that is clearly unconstitutional, that undermines the credibility of the Supreme Court.  I do believe the court’s credibility was undermined severely today.” 

-Michele Bachmann (R. Minn.),  June 26 2012

Most people are familiar with the opinion in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, et al., 349 U.S. 483 (1954), in which a unanimous Supreme Court summarily outlawed public school segregation by tersely declaring, “Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” 349 U.S. at 495.  But many people do not know that Brown involved a consolidation of cases from four states.  The “et al.” in the style refers to decisions on similar facts in Delaware, South Carolina and Virginia.  And the response of Virginia to the ruling in Brown provides an interesting comparison with the actions leading to the current government shutdown.

In 1951 the population of Prince Edward County, Virginia was approximately 15,000, more than half of whom were African-American.  The county maintained two high schools to accommodate 386 black students and 346 white students.  Robert R. Moton High School lacked adequate science facilities and offered a more restricted curriculum than the high school reserved for white students.  It had no gym, showers or dressing rooms, no cafeteria and no restrooms for teachers.  Students at Moton High were even required to ride in older school buses.

Suit was filed in federal district court challenging the Virginia constitutional and statutory provisions mandating segregated public schools.  Although the trial court agreed that the school board had failed to provide a substantially equal education for African-American students, it declined to invalidate the Virginia laws, concluding that segregation was not based “upon prejudice, on caprice, nor upon any other measureless foundation,” but reflected “ways of life in Virginia” which “has for generations been a part of the mores of the people.”  Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, 103 F. Supp. 337, 339 (E.D. Va. 1952).  Instead, the court ordered the school board to proceed with the completion of existing plans to upgrade the curriculum, physical plant and buses at Moton High School.  When the plaintiffs took an appeal from the decision, the Democratic machine that had for many years controlled Virginia politics under the firm hand of Sen. Harry Byrd had little reason to believe that “ways of life” that had prevailed since the end of the Reconstruction era would soon be declared illegal.

When the Brown decision was announced, the reaction in Virginia was shock, disbelief and anger. Reflecting the prevailing attitudes, the Richmond News Leader railed against “the encroachment of the Federal government, through judicial legislation, upon the reserved powers of the States.”  The Virginia legislature adopted a resolution of “interposition” asserting its right to “interpose” between unconstitutional federal mandates and local authorities under principles of state sovereignty.  And Sen. Byrd organized a campaign of opposition that came to be known as “Massive Resistance.”

In August of 1954 a commission was appointed to formulate a plan to preserve segregated schools.  Late in 1955, it presented its recommendations, including eliminating mandatory school attendance, empowering local school boards to assign students to schools and creating special tuition grants to enable white students to attend private schools.  Enabling legislation was quickly adopted and “segregation academies” began forming around the state.  Subsequent legislation went even further by prohibiting state funding of schools that chose to integrate.

In March of 1956, 19 senators and 77 house members from 11 southern states signed what is popularly known as “The Southern Manifesto,” in which they declared, “Even though we constitute a minority in the present Congress, we have full faith that a majority of the American people believe in the dual system of government which has enabled us to achieve our greatness and will in time demand that the reserved rights of the States and of the people be made secure against judicial usurpation.”

Throughout this period the Prince Edward County schools remained segregated, but when various court rulings invalidated Virginia’s various attempts to avoid integration, the school board took its final stand.  It refused to authorize funds to operate any schools in the district, and all public schools in the county were simply closed, and remained closed from 1959 to 1964.

There are striking similarities between Sen. Byrd’s failed plan of Massive Resistance and Republican efforts to prevent implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  There was widespread confidence among conservatives that the Supreme Court would declare the Act unconstitutional.  When that did not occur, legislators such as Michele Bachmann, quoted above, attempted to deny the legitimacy of the Court’s ruling.  Brent Bozell went further, denouncing Chief Justice Roberts as “a traitor to his own philosophy,” hearkening back to the days when southern roadsides were replete with billboards demanding the impeachment of Chief Justice Earl Warren.

The House of Representatives has taken over 40 votes to repeal the ACA, quixotic efforts pursued for reasons known only to John Boehner and his colleagues.  And in accordance with the Virginia legislative model, the House has attempted to starve the ACA by eliminating it from funding bills.  Following the failure of these efforts, Republicans have elected to pursue the path ultimately taken by the school board of Prince Edward County and have shut down the government.

Even the strategy followed by Republicans is largely a southern effort.  Approximately 60% of the Tea Party Caucus is from the South.  Nineteen of the 32 Republican members of the House who have been instrumental in orchestrating the shutdown are from southern states. It is hardly surprising therefore, that the current impasse is characterized by the time-honored southern belief in nullification theory as a proper antidote to disfavored decisions by a congressional majority.

In reflecting upon the experience of Virginia many years later, former Gov. Linwood Holton noted, “Massive resistance … served mostly to exacerbate emotions arrayed in a lost cause.”  Republicans would do well to ponder the wisdom in that observation.

1,677 thoughts on “Massive Resistance and the Government Shutdown”

  1. Really, Skipples.

    That’s just precious.

    However, I don’t think you’re in any danger of anyone mistaking you as an expert on much anything. Whew! You sure dodged that bullet.

  2. RTC/TONY C:

    I use codes and standards in my work all of the time. I think AISC and ACI are fine orgs. The IBC and the IRC use those codes along with input from industry to develop theirs.

    IBC and IRC are minimum standards.


    many people in the trades with your time dont know what they are doing either, I dont know how many times some one has told me they have been doing it this way for 27 years and I have to tell them they have been doing it wrong for 27 years.

    I bet you grouse to your wife about stupid engineers all of the time, well I guess they were smart enough to go get a degree, werent they?

  3. Tony: No big deal about the beer. Keep doing what you’re doing; it certainly seems to be working. I am quite enjoying your posts and if the Skipper and Gilligan aren’t learning anything , then rest assured, some of us them edifying as well as entertaining.

    I’d like to nominate you to be a Guest Blogger

  4. Bron,

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – you’re ideas make you sound like you’re a twenty year old raised in a cult of angry survivalists. That said, I’m sure your parents were lovely people and I’m glad you made it through your career without serious injury.

    You have to remember in the days before building codes, builders learned from the contractor’s they worked for, sort of like an apprentice program, and if the guy you learned from didn’t know what he was doing, chances are, neither did you. Many times, it was trial and error. As an owner of a home built a hundred years ago, I can tell you not all those old timers knew what they were doing back then. They don’t build them like they used to and much of the time that’s a good thing.

    There was a time before the codes when structures collapsed, particularly during fires. Fire departments and insurance companies were, and still are, among the biggest drivers behind the development and enforcement of building codes. The codes are based on research and rigorous testing. Manufacturing groups, like the APA or Simpson Strong-Tie, develop products to make structures better and more profitable to build all the time. So what? They work. And if your building is subject to earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, or tornadoes, you ignore them at your peril.

    Here’s the thing you’ll really appreciate about building products, though. Nobody’s placing any limits on production like the way they do with oranges and tractors. That’s a good thing right? Very perceptive of you to catch that thing with the oranges. Obama played the ol’ razzle dazzle with health care, when all along he wanted to place limits on the number of oranges. He did that as a favor to pineapple growers, so people would think he was born in Hawaii. I don’t know why he placed a limit on the number of tractors; I think he just doesn’t like them.

  5. Bron: So what, exactly, is your point? I have read the IBC, there is nothing in there but safety measures, and as you said it is adopted throughout the USA (with local additional requirements in California, and perhaps some coastal areas or other areas prone to particular flavors of natural disaster).

    The IBC is primarily devoted to fire prevention, fire escape, and prevention of collapse. It is devoted to protecting occupants, visitors, and neighbors.

    Your desire to be able to build without regard to any building code or permits is a desire to be allowed to harm others, either physically or financially reduce the value of their immovable property, in the name of your convenience, whim, and petty “phuck you all” attitude.

    You don’t care that other people might build fire traps and burn children to death; they aren’t your children so phuck ’em. You don’t care that other people might choose to build factories or slaughter houses on their property that destroy the value of nearby homes, those aren’t your property, so phuck ’em.

    The rest of humanity disagrees, and sees people with your attitude as wannabe criminals that need to be kept in check. So we have building codes that set minimal standards of safety, and we have zoning laws that keep people like you from destroying the value of your neighbors property for your own selfish interest in doing whatever the hell you want no matter who it may kill, hurt, or financially devastate.

    I think that’s fair, your “phuck you” attitude gets returned in kind.

  6. DavidM: Remember, Hitler was also the guy who said, “Jews? What Jews? We’re not rounding up any Jews. They’ve all gone on holiday in Crimea. Now are you gonna surrender or what?”
    I’m surprised you found the Skipper’s contention about Norway so educational. I mean, the guy’s American, right? What could he possibly say about Norway that would have any meaning? And he didn’t go into the last hundred years of Norwegian economic history, so how valid can his point be?

    The reason I’m surprised is because you dismissed one the more important books on politics and economics to come out in the last two decades out of hand simply because Naomi Klein is Canadian, like as if she can’t know anything about American or global politics.

    You also didn’t think a history of the free market was worth reading if it didn’t cover the last hundred years. That’s like going back to the Holy Roman Emperor in order to make a statement about how Nazi’s came to power in Germany. For a guy who went to college for nine years, one would think you might appreciate the value of a study focusing on a particular effect.

    Instead, you’re out there with the Skipper on a three hour tour.

  7. tony c:

    The International Code Council (ICC) was established in 1994 as a non-profit organization dedicated to developing a single set of comprehensive and coordinated national model construction codes. The founders of the ICC are Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc. (BOCA), International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO), and Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc. (SBCCI). Since the early part of the last century, these non-profit organizations developed three separate sets of model codes used throughout the United States. Although regional code development has been effective and responsive to our country’s needs, the time came for a single set of codes. The nation’s three model code groups responded by creating the International Code Council and by developing codes without regional limitations; the International Codes.”

    Industry has a say in ICC codes, committe members come from more than just building code officials.

    1. Are these government created or mandated organizations operating as non-profits? I just happen to be taking an insurance licensure course right now and wondered how much the insurance lobby affects building codes.

      FYI: I questioned my neighbor on fascism last night and he stated that it was essentially corporatism. The collusion of government and business settling law and regulation. Hence he believes the U.S. to be fascist. Like I said there are a lot of opinions on what it means. We all know the results but I’m still not happy with the vast array of opinions and more importantly, the specific operational aspects of how it was implemented. For instance I know prior to WWII, the German government and industry were selling massive amounts of gold backed bearer bonds to much of the world, especially the US, so many Americans actually helped fund their campaign of terror. Obviously they didn’t know it at the time of their investment. I was able to see some of the actually bonds that a guys grandfather had bought. He was actually kind of coerced into buying them as part of maintaining a steam ship operations back and forth between Germany and the US.

  8. RTC:

    “Bron: What do you know about the IBC? Seriously. Or OSHA. I’ve been working in the trades for 27 years. If a fraction of projects that I’ve seen done by hacks even came close to the code, they would have been improved exponentially. And job safety? You don’t know shit. As one old timer once told me, “there are only so many ways you can build something, but there are a million ways to bump your nose (get hurt).”

    You’re the kind of guy that not only gets hurt, you get others injured as well. I doubt you’re qualified to build a doghouse.”

    Good for you, a good tradesman is worth his weight in gold. My structures prof used to tell us if we got stumped on something, find the oldest guy on site and ask him how he would do it. The prof was right and I have benefited from that piece of advice many times in my younger days.

    I dont get out in the field much anymore and miss it, I like the activity and the feeling of being part of a team bringing something into reality from an idea in an individual mind.

    I cant walk anymore and so I stay away from the field, too many ways to get hurt, as you mentioned, and I dont want to cause an injury to someone trying to keep me safe.

    I have been hurt a couple of times, not bad but enough, I have never put another person at risk though nor has anyone been injured due to negligence on my part. Although I know the type you speak of, I used to avoid them like the plague when I worked as a roustabout and roughneck in the oil field. The young engineers and the guys in lower and middle managment were the worst. The young engineers because they didnt know better and the lower level managment guys because they looked on you like another pipe wrench, if you got hurt who gives a fuk, hire another warm body.

    I probably am qualified to build a doghouse because that is pretty much just structure, I dont know sh*t about electrical or plumbing. Although a plumber I worked with once told me the only thing about plumbing you need to remember is that sh*t flows downhill.

  9. Then that would make you simply wrong in addition to not understanding what constitutes critical thinking, Skipples.

    But that is manifest at this point.

    Your pride is not required.

    1. Gene, Why do you have such a difficult time doing anything intellectually constructive. Nobody thinks your comments are funny or amusing. Why did you even send me that story from Wiki on Germany. Our culture has been hearing and reading this stuff for our entire lives. We all know Germany ended up fascist and started out democratic socialists.

      What I’m trying to get you to understand is that various policies had to be a part of this change. I’m surely not an expert on German history, especially it’s socio-economics and therefore I do not know what specifically transpired. I do know however that something has to occur that caused the transformation.

      I’ve given your fact after fact showing you that almost all governments display some level of fascism, yet you just can’t seem to grasp the concept that there will be some level of oppressive legislation that will be a part of every society. The ignoring of this fairly common knowledge is why I think you have a problem. Critical thinking? No just always critical.

  10. Why don’t we start off by sending you here, which states in relevant part:

    “Nazism, or National Socialism in full (German: Nationalsozialismus), is the ideology and practice associated with the 20th-century German Nazi Party and state as well as other related far-right groups. Usually characterised as a form of fascism that incorporates biological racism and antisemitism, Nazism originally developed from the influences of pan-Germanism, the Völkisch German nationalist movement and the anti-communist Freikorps paramilitary culture in post-First World War Germany, which many Germans felt had been left humiliated by the Treaty of Versailles. Prior to the emergence of the Nazi Party, other right-wing figures had argued for a nationalist recasting of “socialism”, as a reactionary alternative to both internationalist Marxist socialism and free market capitalism. [. . .]

    Fascism was a major influence on Nazism. The seizure of power by Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini in the March on Rome in 1922 drew admiration by Hitler who less than a month later had begun to model himself and the Nazi Party upon Mussolini and the Fascists.[75] Hitler presented the Nazis as a German fascism.[76][77]
    Benito Mussolini (centre in suit with fists against body) along with other Fascist leader figures and Blackshirts during the March on Rome

    In November 1923, the Nazis attempted a “March on Berlin” modelled upon the March on Rome that resulted in the failed Beer Hall Putsch in Munich.[78] Other Nazis—especially those at the time associated with the party’s more radical wing such as Gregor Strasser, Joseph Goebbels and Heinrich Himmler—rejected Italian Fascism, accusing it of being too conservative or capitalist.[79] Alfred Rosenberg condemned Italian Fascism for being racially confused and having influences from philo-Semitism.[80] Strasser criticised the policy of Führerprinzip as being created by Mussolini, and considered its presence in Nazism as a foreign imported idea.[81] Throughout the relationship between Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, a number of lower-ranking Nazis scornfully viewed fascism as a conservative movement that lacked a full revolutionary potential. [. . .]

    A number of other Nazis held strong revolutionary socialist and anti-capitalist beliefs, most prominently Ernst Röhm, the leader of the Sturmabteilung (SA).[156] Röhm claimed that the Nazis’ rise to power constituted a national revolution, but insisted that a socialist “second revolution” was required for Nazi ideology to be fulfilled.[23] Röhm’s SA began attacks against individuals deemed to be associated with conservative reaction.[23] Hitler saw Röhm’s independent actions as violating and possibly threatening his leadership, as well as jeopardising the regime by alienating the conservative President Paul von Hindenburg and the conservative-oriented German Army.[24] This resulted in Hitler purging Röhm and other radical members of the SA.”

    This last bit about the purge of socialists from the Nazi Party is known as The Night of the Long Knives.

    Considering that Wiki is an open encyclopedia and the volume of historical work done on WWII, the Nazis and fascism, one would think that experts would have corrected this by now. Or that it is correct in the first place. I’ve read literally hundreds of books on WWII and Nazis. While the basic encyclopedia captures the essence of all of that material, I do invite you to dig as far in to the history of Nazism all you like. The facts confirm what I’ve said.

    Just because you are intellectually lazy doesn’t mean I’m going to spoon feed you. I’ve pointed you in the right direction. Do your own leg work.

  11. DavidM says: I have never claimed to be religious,

    Oh, so you are an atheist, then? I am pretty sure you have said differently; but I don’t have time to look it up.

  12. Gene H – I remind you that I offered some evidence where Mussolini’s policy was such that he clearly distanced himself from his earlier adherence to socialism. Where is similar evidence for Hitler? That is the kind of thing I am interested in reading.

  13. Gene says: blinds you to the fact that great personal wealth is possible in a fascist economy.

    Although this is true, I think you meant Skip is blind to the fact that great personal wealth is possible within a market socialist economy. (If that is not what you meant… I will add that; all the “socialist” countries have some citizens with great wealth due entirely to business success.)

  14. David,

    I’ve also said – repeatedly because this is what history shows – that the Nazis sold socialism and delivered fascism.

    Charles Manson said he was a Messiah. Didn’t make him one.

    Things are what they are in action.

    As for the rest? I’m not saying Skipples arguments are wrong because he’s Skipples. That would be ad hominem. I’m saying he’s wrong because . . . he’s wrong. My acerbic wit is sometimes an acquired taste, but politics is a bloodsport and calling someone “Skipples” is pretty mild considering Skipples called me a fraud – which was ad hominem. Free speech. It’s a rough game. Wear a cup. You are guaranteed to be offended at some point. Speaking of offensive, do you know what I find really offensive? Bad arguments based in wrong definitions and built with poor logic, which brings us to . . .


    Unhappy soul, eh? Your concern is touching, but I’m quite a content person. Do you know what I find particularly enjoyable? Turning bad arguments inside out. It makes me smile.

    The rest of what you say is pure drivel based in your insistence that words mean what you say they mean even when an entire school of knowledge and historical fact disagrees with you. I read, Skipster. Unlike some people I understand what I read and I don’t have the bad habit of believing something solely because it appeals to confirmation bias. I’m what is known as a critical thinker. This means I examine any belief, claim or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the evidence that supports it and the further conclusions to which it tends using evidence through observation, comparative analysis of collateral evidence to provide context, understand the applicable theoretical constructs for understanding the problem and the question at hand, understand the relevant criteria for making the judgments well, and apply logic, clarity, credibility in source materials, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, significance, and sometimes fairness to come to my conclusions.

    What I don’t do is make it up as I go along or cherry pick data.

    Which is something both of you do in abundance.

    An example of making it up?

    “Your biggest mistake Gene is not recognizing that fascism is primarily a political term whereas socialism is primarily a term describing an economic system.”

    No, that mistake is entirely yours. Socialism refers to both a set (containing many flavors) of political ideologies that just happen to coincide with particular tools in the economic modelling tool box, namely various degrees of economic planning. Just so, fascism is a less varied political ideology that relies upon state planned economies as applied to both the public and private sector in a fascist economy (which is again geared toward supporting a strong central leader and/or oligarchy, ultranationalism and using war and violence as a mean of imperialistic expansion) and the prosperity of private enterprise depends on its acceptance of synchronizing itself with the fascist state’s economic goals. It is neither true capitalism nor true socialism. It is a state planned and tightly controlled economy geared toward militarism and perpetuation of an oligarchy (often fronted by a strong leader). It is a very specific thing, a fascist economy, and it is driven by fascist ideology (as I accurately outlined above). In that it involves central planning and some state ownership, it shares a common tool with the various forms of socialism, but that is where the similarities end. China’s current practice of state capitalism shares economic similarities with laissez-faire capitalism, but that does not make them the same thing in practice as their goals are intrinsically different as defined by the underlying political ideologies. The goals of the driving fascist political ideologies are antithetical, but especially antithetical to democratic market socialism which is geared toward servicing the needs of the people (as in all of them) and allowing markets to determine prices for the allocation and accounting of the means of production, thus retaining the process of capital accumulation (to either state controlled market segments or privately controlled or publicly traded means of production).

    You are simply wrong.

    Again and as a matter of fact and basic definition of principle terms. That’s not just opinion. That’s opinion soundly based in fact and critical analysis.

    However, if you believe people can’t become wealthy individuals in a (democratic) market socialism environment, I suggest you take it up with Sweden’s Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA. He grew that lil’ business in a market socialist economy and it has worked out pretty well for him.

    Then again, your preoccupation with wealth accumulation (aka greed) blinds you to the fact that great personal wealth is possible in a fascist economy. Individual’s personal wealth isn’t the proper measure of either a political ideology or an economic model. The proper metrics are measurements of production capacity, the aggregate standard of living and the happiness of the citizenry.

    1. Gene H wrote: “I’ve also said – repeatedly because this is what history shows – that the Nazis sold socialism and delivered fascism.”

      You keep repeating this, but you do not give much background to support a general understanding about when the Nazis supposedly changed their agenda of socialism. You offer no policy statements, nor historical examples demonstrating it. You juxtapose socialism and fascism, but such seems artificial, something just made up in your head in order to distance yourself from the pejorative connotations inherent in the term fascism. In the absence of any substance to your argument, you expect us just to bow to your authority rather than the evidence before us that Hitler and the Nazi regime was at its core socialist and fascist.

      By the way, the fascist nature of Hitler’s policies is clearly seen in Mein Kampf. Such is not something that suddenly appeared later. Both socialism and fascism is expressed in his early writings. I can pull out quotes for you if you require it.

    2. Gene, I’m actually proud of a portion of what you wrote on that last post of 10:27 am. except for all the nonsense about critical thinking and preoccupation with wealth creation, bla, bla, bla. I wouldn’t be posting on this thread if I did not already know you were a critical thinker. Tony C. is a bright guy also, even though I think you both have a very altruistic understanding of the various statist socio-economic terms and the policies they represent.

      I disagree with the component of imperialism as a necessary trait of fascism. Militarization absolutely. The military state mind set appears to be a part of the equation. Actually many of the atrocities were committed by the German police so the police also appear to be an is important component to fascism. Perhaps we should called a military/police state. “Guys with guns that go around forcing Citizens to obey laws which usurp their rights.

      I sure that we can find some fascist countries around the world today that are not imperialistic.

      I think it might be interesting to see if Japan during WWII could have been classified as a fascist state.

      Additionally it is hard for me to believe that there are not some elements of fascism in the Chinese system as well. Just how the quell dissention appears fascist to me.

      Both Italy and Germany according to a recent book, Hitler’s Private Bankers as well as other sources, indicate they the Bank of International Settlement, the Central Bank of the Central Bankers located in Basil Switzerland, not only helped finance them, that the BIS played both sides of the fence as the Warburg banking family financed both Germany and the Allies during WWI. One son worked for the German Government and I think it was Paul Warburg, one of the other sons that worked for the US government, both prominent out spoken war hawks. Go figure. So is the world Central banking system a necessary component of fascism?

      1. hskiprob wrote: “I think it might be interesting to see if Japan during WWII could have been classified as a fascist state.”

        Of course Japan has been classified as a fascist state during WWII. Kamikaze pilots are one of the best examples of its existence.

        Following is an interesting quote from a Japanese bureaucrat:

        “Once upon a time men were proud to call themselves fascist. “I am convinced,” wrote a leading Japanese reformist bureaucrat in the early 1930s, “that from now on the spirit of the civilization and politics of mankind is fascist ideology … Before the iron laws of historical development, the downfall of the liberalistic, individualistic, capitalistic world is unavoidable.”

        And the following quote includes an admission of the lack of consensus in categorizing Japan as fascist:

        “A major reason for the lack of consensus over the validity of the term ‘Japanese fascism’ is the difficulty of defining fascism in general. Historians and political scientists have been unable to agree whether fascism is primarily revolutionary or conservative, modern or traditional; whether it was essentially a product of the First World War or of the general process of social modernisation; whether it belongs to a particular stage of capitalism or whether it depends on the nature of the adjustment of agriculture to economic modernisation; whether it was above all a form of ultranationalism or whether it was most concerned with maintaining or restoring the status structure. In particular they have differed over whether the concept applies only to Italy and Germany or whether different categories of fascism can be distinguished. Some go so far as to apply it to all modern developmental dictatorships, and one recent comparative study even states that ‘Japan was fascist before the word was invented’. In the absence of an accepted theoretical definition of fascism, the most logical approach to the question of ‘Japanese fascism’ is to examine the parallels and differences which existed between Japan and Italy and Germany.”

  15. Juliet,
    Good point in your comment at 7:14PM just above. They somehow think they are winning arguments when in fact they just look silly. Volume of verbiage is not the same as substantive argumentation. Arguments are not won on word count, but substance.

    Skippy projects imagines that Gene is somehow unhappy, when in fact he is one of the most cheerful and optimistic people I know.

    Seems odd they only participate when stories about social security and affordable care insurance are discussed. To be fair to David, he does comment once in a while about unrelated topics, and I sometimes agree with him once he gets away from subjects economic.

  16. DavidM says: Adolf Hitler in 1927 said…

    And if a serial killer tells you he is setting people free that were miserable with life but just did not know it, you would believe him, even knowing the death toll. Because, after all, he said it.

    And if somebody tells you that selfishness is the ultimate good, and causing misery and suffering are just bumps in the road to creating a better humanity, even if it kills people, you believe them. Because, after all, they said it.

    And if somebody tells you that wealth, no matter how it was achieved, is an indicator of goodness and a healthy economy, you believe it. The wealthy person told you so, and they don’t think they did anybody any harm in getting their wealth. Sure, they lied and cheated and bankrupted people, but that was a good lesson for them, right? They aren’t victims, they are just students of life that will be better at detecting lying and cheating in the future, if they don’t die of exposure first.

    It is truly hilarious, how the people that claim they are religious, upstanding citizens, the ones that think morality is enough to restrain people, so quickly resort to lies and deception and the abandonment of all principles the minute their claims are proven to be empty and indefensible rhetoric grounded in fantasy. That’s you, David, a hypocrite extraordinaire.

    1. Tony C wrote: “… the people that claim they are religious, upstanding citizens, the ones that think morality is enough to restrain people, so quickly resort to lies and deception and the abandonment of all principles the minute their claims are proven to be empty and indefensible rhetoric grounded in fantasy. That’s you, David, a hypocrite extraordinaire.”

      Several problems for you Tony. I have never claimed to be religious, nor have I taken the position that morality is enough to restrain people. I believe government and the law is needed to punish evil.

  17. Skip: What we have been trying to get you to focus on is the actual outcomes. If the government serves the people, instead of the corporations, then the government “owning” something is the people owning something, and operating it to their benefit.

    YOU are the one with your panties in a bundle over words like “Communism,” “Socialism,” and “Fascism.”

    Fascism is an oppressive regime where the business sector and the government collude to oppress the citizens in their own selfish interest. How they do that is immaterial, in fact in our country we are leaning toward Fascism when the Government treats corporations as if they have Rights of free speech and unlimited political influence and donations to “campaign finance” (aka bribery) unavailable to common citizens. The government does not have to OWN the pharmaceuticals to do their bidding, in restricting importation and outlawing price negotiation by government entities. That is collusion, that is fascism, skewing law to favor profits for the very wealthy business class at the expense of the common people. That is why Fascism is totalitarian; by limiting freedom it increases the exploitation of people for the benefit of the corporations.

    Social Welfare states (what I have called Modern Socialism) uses the government to prevent the powerful from exploiting workers. It doesn’t prevent people from getting rich or owning property. It only prevents them from using those assets as leverage to exploit, coerce, and subjugate others, by providing their citizens with the alternative of walking away from employer demands that are too harsh or too demanding.

    That does not prevent employers from making a fair deal with employees, it does not prevent sellers from striking a fair deal with customers, what it does is prevent them from forcing employees (or customers) to accept an unfair deal because their only alternative is starvation or homelessness or death or despair.

    By providing that alternative, the society is happier, and all the stats show the economies actually produce more and employees work harder (lower unemployment, higher productivity (partially due to higher education and learned skill sets), higher GDP per capita).

    You have nothing to show Modern Socialism, meaning a strong safety net and free education, will “collapse” or “go bankrupt.” It has been going strong for many decades in multiple countries with no signs of trouble, and producing the happiest and richest countries in the world to boot.

  18. Skip: You can’t get the labels right. But that said, why does it matter?

    Below, from the 2013 World Happiness Report of the U.N., are the top 5% out of 149 countries surveyed. The first parenthetical number is their happiness score, on a scale of 1 to 10, as self-reported by a large survey of citizens. The second parenthetical is the % of GDP the government spends on social safety net and education of citizens.

    1. Denmark (7.693) (38%)
    2. Norway (7.655) (33%)
    3. Switzerland (7.650) (32%)
    4. Netherlands (7.512) (27%)
    5. Sweden (7.480) (38%)
    6. Canada (7.477) (23%)
    7. Finland (7.389) (32%)
    8. Austria (7.369) (32%)

    17. United States (7.082) (19%)

    If you do not detect a pattern there, happiness is highly correlated with a strong social safety net.

    Advocating against it is to advocate for unhappiness, in the name of some amorphous “freedom” that is supposed to do what? Make us happy?

    I will note that in all those countries, people are free to form businesses, get rich, choose their work, live where they want, eat and entertain themselves as they want.

    If your goal in your political philosophy is to increase the happiness of the people as they see it for themselves, then this form of “profit sharing” providing a strong social safety net and low cost or free education is the well-trod, proven path to that goal.

    If that isn’t your political goal, then whatever IS your political goal it involves a higher degree of unhappiness and despair in the population, and that makes it a very hard sell in a Democracy. Easy to sell to the elite, and criminals willing to corrupt politics, but it isn’t what people want. People want happiness more than they want some ideological excuse for why they are unhappy, coerced, and denied happiness.

    Forget the labels, they ultimately make no difference if the result among the citizens is not wanted by the citizens.

  19. Gene H – It really annoys me that you constantly refer to Skip as Skippy. How would you like us all to call you Genie? I know you don’t care, but I thought I would register my complaint in case anybody else does. I think a forum moderator should operate with higher standards than you do in the arena of personal insults.

    1. Do you wanna know what annoys me? You and Skippy continuing with your diarrhea of drivel after being so thoroughly pwned by Gene, you should leave the blog forever. You’re embarrassing yourselves, and I’m embarrassed for you.

  20. “By the way, you still have not defined fascism. You gave us the social memes and social characteristics promoted by the government at the time.”

    Utter gibberish, Skippy. The Nazis sold themselves as socialists – which is what you wrongly labeled them in your astounding ignorance – but in reality they were fascists. Explicitly so in their actions and in their modelling the German economy after that of contemporaneous Italy. Things are what they are in action, not what the salesman calls them. If a salesman sells you a dishwasher that is actually a bear, you are going to get a really bad result when you try to stick dishes in it and they are going to be dirtier than when you started. It doesn’t matter if it says “GE” on the side. Why? Because it isn’t a dishwasher simply because some asshat told you it was a dishwasher.


    I gave you the correct political science definition of fascism. If you actually knew what you are talking about – and you don’t – you’d know that. If you took the time to look in an encyclopedia, you’d know that. But no. Fascism is whatever Skipples thinks it is and the rest of the world and students of political science can go hang.

    After all, you’re an Objectivist and reality is what you think it is because you are the center of the universe.

    Or not.

    But like I said, I’m not trying to teach you anything. You’re a true believer. Your tea cup is full. That it is fully of untruths and feces is manifest. However, anyone curious as to whether the definition I provided is correct will quickly confirm that it is with a minimal amount of research, the ability to read and the ability to understand what they read; three things you lack in abundance.

    However, the cause of Nazism wasn’t social programs, dipstick. The cause of Nazism was . . . wait for it . . . Nazis and their political ideology.

    1. David2527, that’s because Gene is an unhappy soul. Look at just about all his posts. Most of last posts where questions that he couldn’t answer so he just rants on about preconceived notions and criticisms without thoroughly understanding the concepts. My questions were to try to get him to think beyond the typical rationale, but it didn’t work. He doesn’t understand that one cannot ask such in-depth questions unless one has a very good understanding of socio-economic system.

      Although there are a lot of different opinions written on fascism, Gene’s understanding is the only one that is correct. lol

      No Gene H. You don’t obviously read what is written here are anywhere else that is provided here from third parties. I believe that most socio-economic systems are combinations of various ideologies with a subjectively determined predominant model. For instance the Norway government owns major industries within it’s economic system. That is a communistic trait according to the father of communism, Karl Marx. They also have adopted socialistic programs like public education and socialized medicine. Public education as are aware of is the 10th platform of communism as well. So as I’ve been contending, there are overlapping elements within the socio-economic spectrum that people like you get all bent out of shape over.

      What I’ve been trying to get you to understand about fascism is the economic elements. We all understand the social elements. A dying economic that people think they can recover using oppressive government policies as tools. What are the social policies the use is the important questions.

      You wrote: Fascist systems are totalitarian, have either a vanguard party or a sole party and are organized on principles of fascist ideology, namely ultranationalism, viewing imperialistic war and/or political violence as a viable tool for expanding their power and a bent toward militarism.

      Seems like a lot of countries have done this over history, so what make one fascist and one say social democratic. Although appointed, Hilter and Mussolini both came into power through the democratic process. Whey is it that many countries call themselves democratic republics whey they are really predominately democratic socialist and fascists.

      You don’t need to get you panties in a bunch Genie. Just asking questions.

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