OmSigDavid asked me a question on this thread about North Korea,
but to me his question is actually a separate topic, so I'm moving his question and expanding the discussion to it's own little space here. Believe or not - it has nothing to do with guns (yet).
In your mind, what is the distinction between communist and fascist ?
I tend to view communism the way Marx did - over throw the powers that be and everyone gets a piece of pie. Fascists/Totalitarians love to dangle the promise of communism as an excuse to hold onto power by saying they are working on giving everyone an equal share, just don't expect it to happen in their lifetime. I always thought Marx needed to have dinner with Freud because Marx did not understand the human ego. People are not interested in being the same and having the same as everyone else. People want to be appreciated and rewarded for their individual efforts, it motivates us as a species. We will never have a truly communist nation as Marx envisioned- it goes against our nature, but I also think it's too bad his philosophy was corrupted by a bunch of dictators to justify their evil empires.
I actually see fascism as being more similar to capitalism. In both systems you have a few controlling the masses and the masses are under the illusion that it is for their own good. In fascism it tends to be one big shark, in capitalism it's a school of sharks. As capitalists, Americans have their lives dictated to them by corporations who control the government through lobbyists. If Americans think they are free they are kidding themselves. We are controlled by Nanny Corporations who decide how much health care we receive, what kind of retirement we can plan for, what food we eat, what chemicals will be in our water, what wars we will fight, etc. Americans are trapped in jobs because they depend on the benefits they cannot afford as individuals. Americans are told what to do and how to do it through Madison Ave style marketing. It's not so different from fascist rule and propaganda. It's still a form of mind control and controlling the masses through need. Capitalism works best for the selfish and the greedy, as does fascism.
I think the most free people are those who practice a mix of socialism and free enterprise. Denmark is a good example of this. You can still open a business and own property as an individual, but the society recognizes that people have certain basic needs and it is in the interest of the society for all to chip in and make sure those needs are met. As an American who owns property and a business, I know I could lose it all tomorrow if I become ill and cannot pay my medical bills. This is not a problem for a business owner in Denmark. The people of Denmark know it is to their advantage to make sure a person who needs help gets it, which can return them back to being a productive citizen who can again contribute to the system. In American style capitalism it's everyone for themselves. As an American you can't expect help until you are so far down the hole someone may or may not be able to reach you. Americans have to do a lot of begging to get the help they need. I know, I just came back from a fund raiser for an eight year old girl with leukemia. Her middle class parents are underinsured and will probably lose everything to pay for her treatment. We all put money in a little pink box that will go to pay her medical bills that her insurance company refuses to cover. I'm sure there are people who would like to beg in North Korea, but know they would be shot if they tried, so capitalism is probably better for beggars than fascism. I don't remember seeing any begging in Denmark.
I think China is the worst of all systems - anything goes capitalism under a totalitarian government. I think America has been plunging into this trap, but in reverse- a corrupt, weak government that espouses capitalism and is controlled by corporate fascists. I think it's ironic that American's are paying taxes to prop up their Nanny Corporations because they are too stupid to invest the money directly into their own security. We don't want GM to fail because we think of the all the people who will lose their healthcare and pensions. Capitalist TeaBaggers hold signs saying "Keep Your Gov't Hands off My Medicare". I'm not optimistic we will pull out of our 30 year nose dive into fascist capitalism.
I'm sure this more than you wanted, David, but I got on my soapbox and decided to hang on for a time. I hope I was somewhat coherent and answered your question. I probably haven't written anything this long and tedious since college.
Anyone else like to share?