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Beating Back the Nazi 'Sickness'

Jonah Goldberg's tome traces the leftist roots of fascism.

Thomas Sowell had a great piece at Townhall last summer which highlighted the fundamental characteristics of fascism and how they have come to fester within American jurisprudence.

It bothers me a little when conservatives call Barack Obama a "socialist." He certainly is an enemy of the free market, and wants politicians and bureaucrats to make the fundamental decisions about the economy. But that does not mean that he wants government ownership of the means of production, which has long been a standard definition of socialism.

What President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands. That way, politicians get to call the shots but, when their bright ideas lead to disaster, they can always blame those who own businesses in the private sector.

Politically, it is heads-I-win when things go right, and tails-you-lose when things go wrong.

You can own your factory, but the state will tell you what you can do with it. You can keep your insurance, but the state will tell you what it has to cover. You can buy land and build a home, but the state will tell you how big it can be. You can open a business, but the state will tell you who you must employ and how much you must pay them.

All such encroachments upon the individual’s ability to act upon their own judgment in pursuit of their own happiness are manifestations of the real Nazi sickness, albeit several degrees less egregious than ghettos and concentration camps. When we misidentify racial hatred as the chief culprit, we actually enable the very evil we should seek to overcome. For if racial hatred is the primary problem, any legislation which attempts to compensate for it appears justified.

Shooting virtual Nazis feels good because the criminal institution they represent offends our objective sense of justice. In future posts, we’ll take a look at other villain archetypes who frequent our digital fantasies.