Michael Ledeen, radioing in from planet "The Corner" is upset that New Yorker contributer Hendrik Hertzberg accuses him of labelling Barack Obama a fascist:
I wrote that Newsweek was wrong to say “we are all socialists,” because Obama et. al. aren’t at all interested in abolishing private property. But they are very interested in controlling large sectors of the economy, and of creating public-private partnerships and joint ventures, just as Mussolini was. It’s what the “corporate state” was all about.
I said that this similarity with the fascist state did NOT extend beyond the economic sphere.
What Ledeen doesn't mention in this response, however, is that he basically defines "fascism" as anything lying to the left of Laissez Faire Capitalism and to the right of Communism:
Socialism rests on a firm theoretical bedrock: the abolition of private property. I haven’t heard anyone this side of Barney Frank calling for any such thing. What is happening now–and Newsweek is honest enough to say so down in the body of the article–is an expansion of the state’s role, an increase in public/private joint ventures and partnerships, and much more state regulation of business. Yes, it’s very “European,” and some of the Europeans even call it “social democracy,” but it isn’t. It’s fascism.
Silly me, and all this time I though Hitler had lost the second World War.
At any rate, what Hertzberg wrote in the New Yorker and what seems to have irked Ledeen is the claim that once a movement (in this case U.S. conservatism) starts spotting "facists" hidden under every rock it turns over, chances are that movement is in decline. So it's rather peculiar for Ledeen to defend himself against such charges by claiming that pretty much every modern, industrialized economy is a fascistic one.