OPINION:  Thomas DiLorenzo - The Rise of Economic Fascism in America

When people hear the word “fascism” they naturally think of its ugly racism and anti-Semitism as practiced by the totalitarian regimes of Mussolini and Hitler. But there was also an economic policy component of fascism, known in Europe during the 1920s and ‘30s as “corporatism,” that was an essential ingredient of economic totalitarianism as practiced by Mussolini and Hitler.

So-called corporatism was adopted in Italy and Germany during the 1930s and was held up as a “model” by quite a few intellectuals and policy makers in the United States and Europe. A version of economic fascism was in fact adopted in the United States in the 1930s and survives to this day. In the United States these policies were not called “fascism” but “planned capitalism.”

The word fascism may no longer be politically acceptable, but its synonym “industrial policy” is as popular as ever.

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A retired economics professor, DiLorenzo is a senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and the author of 14 books including How Capitalism Saved AmericaHamilton's Curse, The Real Lincoln:  A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda and an Unnecessary War and The Trouble with Lincoln