How Team Biden is getting more and more corporations to do its bidding
Fascism involves government control, but not ownership, of the means of production. Private companies exist, but they’re simply arms of the government.
That’s pretty much how things work in America today, except that even functions traditionally government-performed in countries like Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy have been outsourced to private organizations.
Take reordering the economy. The Nazis’ program of Gleichschaltung rearranged everything to suit the party’s goals, with the supervision of party officials and government boards.
In America, on the other hand, the corporations that control the commanding heights of our national economy do it themselves, following the philosophy of environmental, social and governance investing.
Before ESG, they were supposed to run their companies for the benefit of shareholders, something required by their fiduciary obligations to the people who, you know, actually own the company.
But under the ESG philosophy, they are supposed to run their companies for the benefit of “stakeholders” — who can be employees, customers, “the community” or pretty much anyone they want — and things like “social justice” and environmental preservation, buzzwords that let them do pretty much whatever they want.
In practice, they’re given guidance not by some political party or government board but by various nonprofit groups that aren’t really accountable to anyone but, oddly enough, all seem to espouse pretty much the same programs.
But if you had any doubt these organizations are basically doing the Biden administration’s bidding, look at what happened when Congress tried to block 401(k) accounts from being run according to ESG guidelines: a Biden veto promise.
People rely on 401(k) funds for their retirement savings. If managers can run those funds with goals other than maximizing customers’ returns, it’s basically a tax on retirees to fund the managers’ social goals.
The Labor Department ruled this is kosher, and now that Congress wants to put an end to it — with legislation that passed both the Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate — the Biden administration is making sure the rule stays in place anyway.
Team Biden would have to raise taxes to tax people for these purposes itself, which would cost votes. By deputizing fund managers to do this, it avoids responsibility.
If your retirement savings tank, you’ll blame the fund, not President Joe Biden. At least under traditional fascism, people knew to blame Der Führer or Il Duce when things went bad.
Likewise, Congress passed the CHIPS Act to bail out US semiconductor companies. Now the Commerce Department decrees that along the way, the firms must provide their employees free child care.
For years, mandatory national pre-K has been Democratic policy; instead of enacting it themselves, they’re mandating that corporations do it.
And you can bet the federal government and the usual tag-along swarm of lefty nonprofits will have the major say in what is taught.
Even that mainstay of fascistic oversight, censorship, has been outsourced.
In early-modern England, the Court of Star Chamber licensed printers and punished those who got out of line. In Germany, Italy and the Soviet Union, government oversaw what people said, wrote and published.
Now there’s deniability: Big Tech censors people.
Did you criticize lockdowns or suggest the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health or World Health Organization might have been wrong about the COVID pandemic? (Which they often were.)
Did you share stories (perhaps from this very newspaper) about Hunter Biden’s laptop?
Then you got silenced by Big Tech companies, from Facebook to Twitter to Google.
They acted at the behest of government — Elon Musk’s publication of the Twitter Files made plain just how thoroughly, with these platforms eager to please bureaucrats by silencing their critics — but again, the actual action was by private actors.
It would have been much harder and more awkward for Anthony Fauci or Joe Biden to shut critics down directly; it was easy for tech firms acting at his behest.
Other politically incorrect groups are silenced at the bidding of organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center that purport to identify “extremist” groups but only ever seem to focus on critics to the right.
And it’s all made easier by a media/political class that is basically an ideological monoculture that doesn’t welcome opposing ideas.
If that’s not enough, the Biden administration wants to ensure everyone is under the corporate thumb somehow. Biden’s nominee for labor secretary, Julie Su, is an enemy of freelancers and gig workers.
If you’re independent and self-employed, it’s harder to put the squeeze on you. If you work for a corporate boss who’s in the Democrats’ pocket, it’s much easier.
Su was the architect of California’s AB5, which wrecked the prospects of freelancers, independent truck drivers and other people outside the reach of corporatist America. If given the chance, she’ll do that nationwide.
Is what we’ve got now a kinder and gentler fascism than we saw in Germany and Italy? Sure. But it’s fascism nonetheless. And it must stop.