I have not proposed fascism as "the answer" to communism. But given a choice between the two--which is what things boiled down to, at least for Eastern and Central Europe--fascism was less bad than communism.
No, it pretty much reads that way unfortunately. So I will repeat: Fascism is no more the answer and no less dangerous than communism. Given the remoteness/lack of immediacy of the communist threat compared to Germany and Japan, the decision is an easy one.
I also disagree with the assertion that either Hitler or Stalin were insane. To me, insanity implies a basic disconnect with reality. I would argue that having some awareness of reality is useful in rising to power--as both Hitler and Stalin did--just as it's necessary to remain in power. Both men were brutal, and Stalin was bloodthirsty. Neither were insane.
There moral compass and behaviour are both so far outside the realm of normal that insane seems the appropriate descriptor. Completely self-absorbed, paranoid, and exceedingly brutal. (And Hitler seems to have been less in touch with reality as things progressed.)
The only reason this policy did not result in Europe being overrun by communists was because of America's nuclear arsenal. That same arsenal could have been just as effective at supplying a deterrent to a victorious Germany or Japan.
Except that the arsenal might very well not have existed in your scenario. And certainly it would not have been demonstrated in advance so the deterrent really didn't exist.
It's also worth noting that in the postwar era, a new breed of Republicans strongly favored an anti-communist foreign policy. (As opposed to the old breed of Republicans, who were isolationists, or the Democrats, who like FDR were often pro-communist.)
That is crossing over into the extreme right wing revisionist form of history with the "pro-communist" assertion. It's a rehash of the same bunk that McCarthy was spewing.
One could make a far stronger argument to say that FDR and the Democrats of the 1930's are why the U.S. did not end up with a communist revolution. Providing jobs programs and a social safety net is not communism as much as you try to make it so. The alternative would have been a far greater number of unemployed young and middle-aged men with only a worsening economic future on the horizon...this is how revolutions occur.
This is false.
No, it is not false. I'm aware of the history. And as I recall Hitler sold out the Finns in 1939 (as well as the Baltic States).
Generalplan Ost was Hitler's solution. He was only able to implement a portion of it, because much of it was to be conducted *after* military conquest of the USSR. So the argument about relative Nazi benevolence lacks merit. However, it would understandably be more appealing to Germans than Soviet domination.
Pro-communists like FDR, working in the '40s, had no way of knowing that the Soviet system would collapse in the late '80s. Or if FDR did know that, then one has to wonder why so many of his own policies were so akin to communism.
This "pro-communist" bit is fiction most often stated by the fringe right wingers who make the birther & secret muslim arguments today. It isn't credible.
First, I'll address the causes of the Great Depression. I agree that one contributing factor was inadequate regulation in one specific area. Namely, there was nothing to prevent inaccurate corporate reporting. People had to guess how much of corporate reports were accurate, and how much were fiction. During times of optimism people assumed the best, and during pessimistic times they assumed the worst. Another source of the Great Depression was bank failure. This was not a case of absent regulation, so much as it was of misguided regulation which made banks more likely to fail.
I'm sorry, are you talking about the Great Depression or the present day? Because the problems then and now are largely the same. What caused the stockmarket bubbles in 2000 and the housing crash later in the decade: Intentionally misleading corporate reports (hiding debt off books), improper risk analysis by lenders, investors, industry and regulators (who operated then and now as an organ of the industry rather than as a referee.) The difference is that many of the issues were addressed in the 30's. Those regs were removed and/or unenforced in recent decades. Misleading/false financial reporting is the norm--which is why I've stopped investing in U.S. companies despite the government's best efforts to make it the only option (by eliminating any sort of reasonable interest return.)
The banks failed in the Great Depression because there was no safety net for them and they were overleveraged. The ONLY reason this didn't repeat as fully this time around is because there is the FDIC and govt. to prop up insolvent institutions. The banks again got heavily over leveraged. This time derivatives had a large hand in forcing failures of some kinds of institutions--but of course we have not regulated them. No, we left the implement of destruction untouched--the one that rewards faulty risk analysis and provides no benefit to the economy or society. The CDS swaps actually took individual risk and made it capable of destroying the entire system in one fell swoop. Privatizing profits and socializing losses has been the "solution" that the corporate conservatives pulling the strings have agreed upon (and yes, I include the current administration in that group of corporate conservatives.)
third source was the Federal Reserve. Its monetary policy was far too pro-growth during the Roaring Twenties. Conversely, the Fed had tightened credit far too much in the months leading up to the crash.
There is a major problem with simply blaming the Great Depression on the Fed, major recessions/depressions occurred before the Fed existed. Things have been actually more stable since its creation. Although that doesn't excuse obvious mistakes. But it was the lack of effective oversight of the credit/monetary policy that created the problem.
Same basic thing happened again this time around with regards to loose credit, with no risk analysis or oversight. Greenspan saw to it that actual regulation didn't exist. And when the developing problem was brought to his attention he didn't believe it.
The overarching problem over the past 11+ years is that supply siders (who can't operate a calculator or read a graph from what I've seen), supported by Greenspan's testimony cut our govt. revenue during good times driving us into deficit then, and resulting in deficits that are enormous now. (The result of all this supply siding excess that was supposed to be so stimulative has been the lowest economic growth rate of the modern era--a complete refutation of the whole premise.) They blew a massive bubble. Now in the aftermath we are stuck with exceptionally low interest rates trying to keep the economy from going into a Great Depression mode. We've got a consumer debt overhang that will take decades to work off. Meanwhile, we refuse to restore the lost govt revenue and at the same time won't do the needed actual economic stimulus because it is so expensive. Tax cuts are very ineffective economic stimulus, and are ironically weakest stimulus for the highest tax brackets...so that's all that we can get through with the supply siders in control. The economy needs to lift itself up by the bootstraps, but we won't spend the money to do it.
Ironically, it isn't the communists who endanger capitalism and drive us toward athoritarian rule, it is the short term thinking of capitalists that seems to pose the most threat today. As economic conservative Herbert Hoover said, "The only trouble with capitalism is capitalists. They're too damned greedy."
A fourth (and very important) source of the Great Depression was the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, and the resulting trade barriers which were erected around the world. The collapse of free trade was devastating to the world economy.
It was already well underway by the time that bit of Republican folly was passed. Appears to be another manifestation of agricultural conservative policies.
Of the four main sources of the Great Depression, one involved the government taking too little action; the other three involved it taking misguided actions.
Actually the count is about 4 to 1 or perhaps 3 to 2 the other way as I've pointed out. (You didn't include the lack of effective stimulus early on. That was the primary missing action that produced the death spiral.)
This is not to say that an unfettered free market is perfect; because it clearly is not. But if the government becomes involved, politicians ought not to act like economic idiots! Unfortunately, the average Washington politician does not understand the fundamentals of economics, and is not qualified to tamper with the economy. This makes it difficult for the government to engage in enlightened economic involvement where necessary (for example by requiring accurate corporate reporting) while refraining from involvement in cases where doing so would cause more harm than good.
The average economist rarely gets it right. Sorry, but it's a social science about people's behaviour with money, and it has more than its share of quackery. It's relationships are largely empirical constructs to describe general theories and the primary theories are divergent. Unfortunately the field is heavily overweighted by economic/corporate conservatives who have been the primary causes of the Great Depression, this Great Recession, and massive deficits.
And who has proven least competent at running the economy or budget? Business types (Dubya, Hoover) and economists like Greenspan!
Recently I've had a ringside seat for watching local govt. pick up the tab for the repeated failures of private enterprise and it has greatly undercut faith I had in private sector decision making/competence. Unlike business, local govt. can't just shut down and walk away from its debts and commitments and let somebody else pay to clean up its mistakes. It's costing jobs and services to pay for those businesses mistakes, because the budget has to balance.
Incidentally, FDR's administration did not solve the problem of non-enlightened government interference in the economy. On the contrary: his administration's actions represented misguided government interference the like of which has never been seen in the U.S. either before or since.
There were aspects of overreach and trying to control portions of the economy that produce the opposite of the intended effect. However, he got more right than wrong. By comparison any conservative approach would have been catastrophic. The one contraction that occurred was when conservatives forced FDR to adopt some austerity measures for 1937...
It is incorrect to imply (as you seem to have done above) that communist influence in this country has been exerted to guarantee workers a living wage or healthcare.
Uh, I never implied that, you did when you equated having a party stand up for the little guy as being "pro-communist". Communist influence in the U.S. is about nil.
For example, wages are the result of supply and demand. A relatively small workforce + high demand for labor = high wages. Demand for labor increases as individual workers become more productive. If an average worker can produce 20 widgets an hour instead of ten, that makes corporate owners eager to hire more workers! Communists have supported high paperwork requirements, complex regulations, and other burdens which greatly lower worker productivity. They have also formed an unholy alliance with American corporations in an effort to increase immigration rates. Communists favor high immigration as a means of eliminating Western Civilization in the U.S. and Europe. Corporations (correctly) see high immigration as a means by which to drive down wage rates. The measures communists favor lead to a large labor force + low worker productivity. Together, these factors imply a low free market wage rate. If one then attempts to artificially boost the wage rate through high minimum wages, the result will be a high unemployment rate. A high unemployment rate is not necessarily unwelcome to communists, because it increases the number of people who have to depend on government handouts for their next meal.
I've got no idea what you are going on about in this paragraph (or what country you area applying it to), but it isn't valid or real world economics and it is self refuting from many angles. I sense some xenophobia as well.
If fewer workers can produces more widgets, then the employer uses fewer workers to supply the market...and pockets the additional profit from reduced labor cost. See record corporate profits, little reinvestment, and high unemployment that have characterized this "recovery." Our low capital gains tax and negligible effective estate tax discourages reinvestment/hiring and encourages wealth accumulation.
We have very high worker productivity in the U.S. and yet we have also had have high immigration. (Or take a look at Singapore very high immigration.) As a result of the recession our unemployment has risen and immigration has fallen off... Actually, one of the issues to consider is that it takes a certain amount of immigration growth to keep the economy healthy. Everything they are paid goes right back into it...unlike the top 1% who accumulate but don't spend or reinvest or create jobs for the most part. For the past ~20 years real wages have declined, and the vast majority of the population has not gained net worth, while the wealthiest have done extremely well, basically capturing all of the wealth growth over the same period.
Companies aren't closing because of overregulation...actually quite a few collapses occur because of lack of regulation (crooks in charge and resulting in company destroying disasters.) They are closing plants to relocate in the cheapest labor markets (because there are no economic barriers such as tariffs and they can offshore their earnings.) They are closing/failing because they refuse to anticipate and adapt (see Kodak.) They want to produce decades old tech that is not in demand/or only in our regional markets, and ignore future demand drivers. You can lead the world or you can follow. If you follow your standard of living will suffer.
Companies that fail typically are in shrinking markets burdened with a large overhead for health care and retiree benefits, plant investment, other obligations. They can't survive shrinkage. So when they fail to anticipate or adapt, they collapse. Ironically, if the nation controlled its health care costs and had universal coverage like others do, this would be less of a problem...but until recent years the corporate types opposed this.