In the last fortnight or so Ian Dale has slyly set off a no doubt intended brouhaha in the left blogosphere by claiming that Socialism and Fascism were kissing cousins; the dread Nick Cohen further fuelled this with a review of some book which absurdly claimed that Liberal America shared intellectual roots with Fascism. Lots of the left have lined up to disabuse them of this silly conceit. A moment’s thought – actually, a moment in a GCSE History class – shows the reason why: Fascism was a rightwing response to the challenge Socialism and the growing power of organised labour posed, a century ago, to the rule of capital. Insofar as it shared some policy features with the left it did so to defuse the challenge, and re-found the rule of capital on what was intended to be a more secure basis. It didn’t work out like that, obviously, but that was always the intention.
No: all they need today is re-branding. The so called Swedish solution - temporary nationalisation of the banks, the setting up of a bad bank and resale of 'good' assets back to private sector - isn't really nationalisation at all. Oh no - its 'pre-privatisation'.
*I’ve not given up hope for the next crisis, though. People’s views will change as this one bites.