How is fascism created from "capitalism in decline"?

Fascism is created from capitalism in decline via the following mechanisms:

1. Long-term decrease in real wages (i.e. loss of buying power, social status, etc.). Over time, it is inevitable that increased efficiencies, mass production and the search for cheaper labor and natural resources are exhausted — even as profit continues to be maximized at the same time — result in workers receiving less and less in real wages. And that is exactly what has happened in the U.S. since about 1972 — even as GDP and per capita productivity increased during that period, all that wealth went to the wealthiest owner-shareholders, and never “trickled down” to anyone else.

2. Loss of economic mobility. As income inequality expands, economic mobility decreases for the majority of a given population. So while they still are working just as hard (or even harder), the opportunities for advancement or even basic financial security evaporate.

3. Fewer jobs, and lower quality jobs. In order to fuel economic growth, the consumer base must expand as production costs shrink. This creates an ever-widening capture of cheap labor and resources, and an ever-enlarging global marketshare. Jobs must of necessity either be automated or exported away from affluent countries. Innovation can sometimes fill the job gap, but usually only for short periods.

4. A resulting frustration among formerly affluent populations. Factors 1–3 lead to increasing dissatisfaction and frustration among groups that had once held the most political, social and cultural capital. They become increasingly angry that the promise of economic freedoms and opportunities — and the cultural prestige — once afforded them has evaporated. But beyond that, there is real suffering as poverty begins to take root, and especially when yet another “false promise” in the form of increasing and inescapable debt adds fuel to resentments.

5. Xenophobic scapegoating and nationalistic romanticism. Someone has to pay for this loss of status, loss of affluence, and the snowball effect of failed promises. It could be anyone…and “big bad government” is a frequent target…but it is much easier and more concrete to scapegoat a powerless, vulnerable or “foreign” group than to rail agains more abstract institutions. Political scapegoating can, after all, backfire when half of the population is the group being targeted as scapegoats — they can rise up and exercise a dominant political will. But poor immigrants or helpless refugees fleeing violent oppression are much easier to villainize — especially when they are tarred and feathered as “attacking” a proud national heritage. It does not matter that that national heritage is being viewed through rose-colored distortions…only that it is being attacked by “Them.”

My 2 cents.

From Quora question:

Is calculated neglect the most powerful, most destructive weapon that no one sees, talks about, hears about or recognizes?

Thanks for the A2A Carl. Oh yes, absolutely I think you are correct. Calculated neglect (twin sibling to deceptive manipulation) is the Pit yawning behind the spectacle - the Abyss of Despair just beneath the superficial surface of panem et circenses. In terms of identification and disclosure, I think these are known threats to human well-being - and indeed human existence. But they are artfully concealed and (routinely) rhetorically dismissed. I find religious language from the Judeo-Christian tradition quite useful here. The references to the tactics and evidences of the Beast in Revelations, for example, align with surprisingly accuracy to globalized capitalism. And of course the warnings about evildoers in Proverbs are really…well…they are also spot on. In other words, whether one is religious or not, there is clear evidence that this kind of “evil” has been clearly identified - described in careful detail - for millennia. It’s just that we’ve gotten out of practice at recognizing it. We have, culturally and individually, lost our capacity for discernment.

My 2 cents.

From Quora post:

Does the mass media psychologically prey upon the audience?

Most certainly. I have studied this phenomenon for many years. There are exceptions - pockets of well-meaning public media, Open Source communities, etc. - but commercial/corporate media is mostly all about brute force deceptive manipulation to expand profits. There is nothing good about it. Even the folks who believe there IS something good about such manipulations (i.e. market fundamentalists) have arrived at this conclusion after being brainwashed by neoliberal propaganda - they have been marketed into submission. And of course many governments recognize the potential dangers of such nefarious marketing and advertising, which is why, for example, most developed countries in the world do not allow direct consumer advertising of pharmaceuticals, or constrain the advertising of cigarettes and alcohol to children, etc. But these are weak half-measures that cannot stem the tide of deceptive manipulation. We can say, almost definitively, that while awe-inspiring creativity has arisen in the marketing and advertising professions, and that there are of course many products and services deserving of persuasive media, the level of deception generally does correspond to the lack of clear benefit. If people must be artfully enticed with lies to try something, then they probably don’t have an existing need for it.

My 2 cents.

From Quora post:

What are the some main approaches toward social responsibility that a company can take?

Here are some ideas:

1. Move away from shareholder ownership and become worker-owned, then democratize the workplace. This is a great way to avoid wage-slavery, and it disrupts rent-seeking behaviors at the same time. It will also tend to inform everything else on this list (since workers will be voting on the direction of the company).

2. Calculate externalities as part of the cost of production (i.e. be aware of them and try to limit them), and practice the precautionary principle regarding innovation.

3. Create relationships within the community where the business operates, and invite community feedback on business practices that impact them.

4. Be responsible about sustainable sourcing and reducing waste.

5. Do not use business resources to exert political influence or lobby government to create a market advantage (i.e. do not participate in crony capitalism).

6. Produce something people actually need or that increases their well-being, that doesn’t hurt them, and that doesn’t create a dependency on your product.

7. Cap the ratio of highest pay to lowest pay in the company, and make that salary scale well-known to competitors.

8. Engage in giving back: to the community, to local charities, by not avoiding taxes, by actively participating in well-being of worker-owners.

9. Engage in “Friendly Competition.”

My 2 cents.

From Quora post: