The Fire Department Is Not Socialist
Answer: So Fascism is an extreme version of the Tea and Koch Party and Socialism is an extreme version of Occupy Wall Street. Well, it's quite a bit more complicated, but that's the rough alignment. Fortunately, most people in both groups are no where near the extreme.
December 6, 2011. Republicans like to call people socialists.
- Michele Bachmann calls Newt Gingrich a "frugal socialist."
- Michele Bachmann calls G. W. Bush a "socialist."
- The Wall St. Journal calls the Federal Reserve "socialist."
- New Gingrich call the Congressional Budget Office a "social institution."
- Fox News calls the Muppets socialists.
And they all call Obama and the Democrats socialists. The idea is that if it's related to government and you don't like it, then it's socialist.
But until the Republicans started this name game, socialist meant government "owning the means of production." You can define "production" pretty broadly, but traditionally it did not mean the fire department, even though those departments are quite productive. And it did not mean the defense department or the police department.
Presidential hopeful Rick Perry wants to eliminate the departments of Commerce, Education and, when he can remember, Energy. They're "socialist" because he doesn't like them. They have nothing to do with actual socialism, which means having the government own banks, steel mills and car companies.
Socialism vs. Fascism
Hitler's first target for destruction, was the German Socialist Party. The socialists fought Franco. He was a fascist. At first however Hitler subscribed to socialist views regarding capitalists, hence the name National Socialists. However once in power however the conservatives Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler moved Hitler away from these views and Germany end up essentially fascist. Big capital was allowed to operate profitably provided it cooperated with the state, and workers were completely excluded from power.
The difference between the two can be summarized roughly as:
- Under socialism the government—not capitalists—own the major industries.
- Under fascism, the big capitalists basically own the government.
Here's a little more detail: