Republican presidential candidate US Representative Ron Paul (Reuters / Brian Snyder)
Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul slammed America's system of governance at a rally in Kansas City, saying businesses and government are pushing the country into twenty-first century fascism.
But before you start picturing fair-skinned, blue-eyed CEOs and bureaucrats running amok and with their right arms held high, calm down. What the outspoken Texas Republican meant was fascist corporatism – an economic model most prominently seen in Mussolini’s Italy of the 1920s to the 1940s. Fascist economic corporatism involved government and private management of full sectors of the economy – which Paul says is par for the course in today's America.
“We’ve slipped away from a true republic,” Paul told thousands of his supporters at the rally. “Now we’re slipping into a fascist system where it’s a combination of government, big business and authoritarian rule, and the suppression of the individual rights of each and every American citizen.”
His words, which a few years ago might have been dismissed by most, rang loud and clear in Kansas. Paul’s rally coincided with long-established Missouri and Kansas GOP events – from which many attendees actually slipped away to hear Paul deliver his speech. Drawn out and bled dry by ongoing and expensive overseas military campaigns, Americans are more and more receptive to a foreign policy of peace, which is what Paul promises to deliver.
The presidential hopeful echoed words already once delivered to the American people – by their president. Dwight Eisenhower said, in his farewell address to the nation, “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”
The disastrous rise, it seems, has happened. In 2009 alone, the United States was responsible for almost half of the world’s total military spending – 46 per cent, or 712 billion US dollars. Since then, the figures have only grown, to the point that American military spending now exceeds that of China, Russia, Japan, India, and the rest of NATO combined. The US has more than 700 military bases in 130 countries around the world.
But, one might ask, can’t the American government – which oversees the world's highest gross domestic product – afford some extra military spending?
The simple answer is: no.
The wealthiest nation also happens to have the biggest national debt in world history. With the dollar acting as a global reserve currency, the Federal Reserve leaving the printing press running around the clock, and manufacturing and production being outsourced to cheap foreign labor markets, the US economy looks more like a Ponzi scheme. And as former president George W. Bush told his Argentine counterpart Nestor Kirchner, "The best way to revitalize the economy is war, and the US has grown stronger with war."
But Americans are tired of war – and are tired of waiting for the magical day when war will magically revive the economy. Which is why Ron Paul may have found the perfect note to strike with voters as he continues to fight in the Republican primaries.
Katerina Azarova, RT