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War profiteering
August 28, 2003 10:11 AM   Subscribe

Can it be called war profiteering? The size and scope of the government contracts awarded to Halliburton in connection with the war in Iraq are significantly greater than was previously disclosed and demonstrate the U.S. military's increasing reliance on for-profit corporations to run its logistical operations. Independent experts estimate that as much as one-third of the monthly $3.9 billion cost of keeping U.S. troops in Iraq is going to independent contractors.
posted by dejah420 (66 comments total)

 
deja indeed - isn't this the subtopic of magullo's post, two below this one?
posted by jonson at 10:19 AM on August 28, 2003


Well, Haliburton says it isn't:
Wendy Hall, a Halliburton spokeswoman, declined to discuss the details of the company's operations in Iraq, or confirm or deny estimates of the amounts the company has earned from its contracting work on behalf of the military. In an e-mail message, however, she said that suggestions of war profiteering were "an affront to all hard-working, honorable Halliburton employees."

Yeah, Wendy, but what about the sleazy ones?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:19 AM on August 28, 2003


I didn't see magullo's second link. D'oh.
posted by dejah420 at 10:20 AM on August 28, 2003


suggestions of war profiteering were "an affront to all hard-working, honorable Halliburton employees."

Like this one?
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:23 AM on August 28, 2003


Am I the only one who thinks that Dick Cheney and C. Montgomery Burns are the same person, just existing in different dimensions?


posted by psmealey at 10:39 AM on August 28, 2003


Excellent.
posted by signal at 10:52 AM on August 28, 2003


It's from war, it's profiteering, and two plus two still equals four.
posted by xmutex at 11:20 AM on August 28, 2003


war profiteering?! Wouldn't that mean a company made a profit off a war?

Brown and Root's revenue from Operation Iraqi Freedom is already rivaling its earnings from its contracts in the Balkans, and is a major factor in increasing the value of Halliburton shares by 50 percent over the past year, according to industry analysts. The company reported a net profit of $26 million in the second quarter of this year, in contrast to a $498 million loss in the same period last year.

oh. I guess that does fit the definition. I'm just happy to know that Halliburton paid more to the Veep this year than the entire country. Well, until you realize that Halliburton itself is getting that money from the taxpayers, so I guess, in a roundabout way, it's just giving a raise to Mr. Cheney for doing such a bang-up job of increasing revenue.
posted by wah at 11:25 AM on August 28, 2003


psmealey, the Simpsons encompasses all aspects of "American" culture. IMHO, it tells it like it is, and rarely neglects to address a stereotype or important meme.





Homer wore this shirt on their trip to Brazil...

If you're looking for cues aimed at the current administration, I would recommend googling for: simpsons "rich texan"
posted by zekinskia at 11:39 AM on August 28, 2003


of course it can be called war profiteering, but let's step back and think a second. if i take home a paycheck from my tool and die shop, am i war profiteering? if i support a president who begins a war and then awards my company a share of the cleanup, am i war profiteering? if i AM a president who begins a war and manipulates billions in contracts to my cronies am i war profiteering? what is the deal with prepending the word 'war'? to the predators who suck profit from any slender source they can detect, people who wail about war profiteering are ignorant schlubs. to them, war is simply good business. and it is. the point is, we tend to get enraged only in certain circumstances - war being one of them. when, for example, the nextel predators paste billboards across the country claiming "coast to coast - now THAT's a walkie talkie!" and the fact is the product will not work from and to MOST PLACES, nary an eye is raised. the casualties will lose money, gain frustration, but still have thier lives, so it is ok, it is 'just business'. when the worlds largest software company lies about every aspect of every product it has ever stolen, bald-facedly, when it runs ads which state the precise opposite of truth, that's ok. never mind the uncounted billions in productivity lost, an entire new industry has sprung up to hold the hands of the victims who purchase lemonware. money is being made! when entire industries spring up to facilitate guiding predators through a deliberately byzantine tax code so as to avoid tax payment and sluff the slack over onto the wage slave, that's ok. no, it makes no sense at all to be outraged about "war" profiteering when the entire logical background of our nation's business practices makes it ok. you cannot wink, pocket profit, and feel good about yourself when you've put someone on the skids or sold someone a piece of shit, and then moan and wring your hands when others take that same bottom line logic to its ultimate conclusion. george bush and cronies are the pride and glory of the unfettered capitalist dream. take it all. kill anyone who gets in the way. it's just competition. may the best man win. if you can't take the heat, etc. no, to piss and moan about 'war' profiteering is to ignore the root of the problem. there's monsters loose among us, and everyone is too afraid to kill them, because we survive on the scraps of the shredded carcasses they leave in thier wake.
posted by quonsar at 11:58 AM on August 28, 2003


if anyone wants it, I made that shirt in cafe press.
posted by condour75 at 12:03 PM on August 28, 2003


For all any of us know, Halliburton might be the objectively best choice for the job -- cheapest, most efficient, most capable, etc. But even assuming all that to be true, I continue to be shocked by how utterly clueless this administration is to how rotten stuff like this looks. I would think just the appearance of impropriety would put the kibbosh on any big contracts to Halliburton. Either they don't care, or they don't get it. I'm not sure which is more disturbing.
posted by pardonyou? at 12:04 PM on August 28, 2003


and FWIW, the Simpsons quote on the profiteering subject:

Monty Burns: Smithers, we're at war!
Smithers: I'll begin profiteering, sir.
Monty Burns: And hoarding. Leave it to the Democrats to let the Spaniards back in the pantry.
posted by condour75 at 12:05 PM on August 28, 2003


can we start using the word fascism now, legitimately? its time that the word be adopted back from the radical left and used in mainstream intellectual life to describe what is going on in this country. benito would be bush's biggest fan.
posted by Hammerikaner at 12:05 PM on August 28, 2003


The word 'fascist' should be reserved for SUV drivers who cut you off in high volume. And of course, the chief of police in Malibu.
posted by condour75 at 12:09 PM on August 28, 2003


STAY OUT OF MALIBU DEADBEAT
posted by Dr_Octavius at 12:28 PM on August 28, 2003


quonsar, is that a throbbing axiomatic argument in your rants, or are you just pleased to be here?

Thanks for reminding me. Sometimes that consent manufacture gets to me.
posted by asok at 12:30 PM on August 28, 2003


ok, someone want to list all the companies that can do the work that halliburton can do? What, we are going to do, go to Home depot? Hire a french firm? I know, lets give all new construction bids to Bin Laden Co.

Just to be fair.
posted by clavdivs at 12:38 PM on August 28, 2003


Fluor Corp
ABB Lummus
Jacobs
Parsons
Earth Tech

But I'm sure the administration carefully considered all these choices before going with Halliburton.

Or maybe not.
posted by condour75 at 12:56 PM on August 28, 2003


You've a point quonsar, but you're missing the larger one.

People killed or grievously injured by Nextel billboards: 0
People killed or grievously injured by Windows software: 0

People killed or grievously injured in order to secure no-bid
Iraqi oil and infrastructure contracts for corporations friendly to the Bush administration: Thousands (note: the US government will give no official estimate)

Profiteering is ugly. War Profiteering is hideous. It's the distinction between being literally, rather than figuratively, cut throat.
posted by aladfar at 1:00 PM on August 28, 2003


Here's a very interesting anecdote from Riverbend, a blog written by a female geek in Baghdad. Basically it boils down to the fact that her cousin is an engineer, his local company gave the US a quote on repairing a bridge for $300,000. Instead, the project was given to an American company for $50,000,000. Obviously this is anecdotal and who knows how much truth there is to it, but anyone with experience working for the government knows this kind of stuff happens all the time.

The larger point (that Riverbend makes) is that it's kind of funny (in a sad, sick way) that all these American companies are getting these huge contracts to RE-build Iraq.

Considering that it's a RE-building project, and that the people who built the cities in the first place are still there! Would it not benefit Iraq and the much-loved Iraqi People much more to put millions back to work RE-building the country that have built???
posted by cell divide at 1:05 PM on August 28, 2003


someone want to list all the companies that can do the work that halliburton can do?

Well, Halliburton's not one of them, clav.

Halliburton basically subcontracts out all its work. Admittedly, some of those subcontractors are Halliburton subsidiaries, but that doesn't mean they don't take a finder's fee of 2-5 per cent. In short, you could do Halliburton's job with a copy of the yellow pages. That's what makes it stink.
posted by riviera at 1:05 PM on August 28, 2003


If you're gonna knock me up, get me fired, and run up all my credit cards, at least have the decency to talk the dealer down on the new Camaro you bought with my student loan.
posted by condour75 at 1:14 PM on August 28, 2003


But I'm sure the administration carefully considered all these choices before going with Halliburton.

see, now i'm excited.

The Bechtel Group, one of the world's biggest engineering and construction companies, has dropped out of the running for a contract to rebuild the Iraqi oil industry

why is that? Halliburton specializes in Oil...stuff, has equipment and is already on the ground so they "should" get the bid. In heavy industrial construction, Bectel is the largest. But the cost to Bectel would be greater then Halliburton because...well we already know that.

The industry is about bids. and the lowest bidder wins in the Governments eye, well in theory at least.

that was dead on accurate and well said and done Condour75.

as to if this is war profiteering?
well, if it costs more to destroy then to rebuild....no.
how could that be.
posted by clavdivs at 1:25 PM on August 28, 2003


Why do we now live under a fascist government? It all started with Santa Clara County v. the Southern Pacific Railroad Corporation

While reading up on this a bit, I came across a review for a book named "Unequal Protection" by author Thom Hartmann has the following well-organized assessment of the situation with corporations:

Because of a mistaken interpretation of a Supreme Court reporter's notes in an 1886 railroad tax case, corporations are now legally considered "persons," equal to humans and entitled to many of the same protections once guaranteed only to humans by the Bill of Rights - a clear contradiction of the intent of the Founders of the United States. The result of this corporate personhood has been:
The question is for how long will we tolerate the continued erosion of our rights to corporations?

The government (now run by the corporations) owns you, and you may do nothing or say nothing against it without fear of being locked away without due process.

Just look at how bad it's gotten in the past three years. We've had to begin to question the effectiveness of our votes, our ability to protest, and even our rights of due process are no longer guaranteed.

... all in the name of greed.
posted by joquarky at 1:29 PM on August 28, 2003


Why is everybody so bent up about profiteering?

Its war I'm against...
posted by Ogre Lawless at 1:33 PM on August 28, 2003


'as to if this is war profiteering?
well, if it costs more to destroy then to rebuild....no.'

Hehehe... yeah, I'm beginning to think Iraq might be the world's largest broken window. (with apolgies to Bill Gates. Remember when he was the biggest asshole? How quaintly 20th century)
posted by condour75 at 1:35 PM on August 28, 2003


It all started with Santa Clara County v. the Southern Pacific Railroad Corporation

so they used banded axes to chop the rails?
I dare say inequality and oppression was with this country in the form of slavery many years before railroads. And let us not forget the Chinese-Americans whom built many a rail road. (anti-chinese laws for example)

... all in the name of greed.


hmm, watch what the american people will do with gas at $2.95 a gallon for say one and one half years straight, no price drop.

what would happen in this greedy little scenario.
posted by clavdivs at 1:38 PM on August 28, 2003


insert conspiracy theory here



"Services performed by Halliburton, through its Brown and Root subsidiary"

"The practice of delegating a vast array of logistics operations to a single contractor dates to the aftermath of the 1991 Persian Gulf War and a study commissioned by Cheney, then defense secretary, on military outsourcing. The Pentagon chose Brown and Root to carry out the study and subsequently selected the company to implement its own plan. Cheney served as chief executive of Brown and Root's parent company, Halliburton, from 1995 to 2000, when he resigned to run for the vice presidency. "

So he contracted them, and then went to work for them... ok

"Brown and Root's revenue from Operation Iraqi Freedom is already rivaling its earnings from its contracts in the Balkans, and is a major factor in increasing the value of Halliburton shares by 50 percent over the past year, according to industry analysts. The company reported a net profit of $26 million in the second quarter of this year, in contrast to a $498 million loss in the same period last year"

Company that was losing ass of money, that Cheney was attached to now profitable. hmmmm......

I am reminded of bush expanding oil minning rights when assuming the oval office, in alaska into protected lands. Previously I thought it was just the bush dynasty making money on that insidious maneuver, but then I read this...

"In addition, the company has earned about $705 million for an initial round of oil field rehabilitation work for the Army Corps of Engineers, a corps spokesman said. "

Not that I'm paranoid, but i hear black helicopters... i am going to run now.
posted by sourbrew at 1:43 PM on August 28, 2003


Now that Halliburton has the money, how does it spend the money? Buying other firms. I do not think we will see a "true" auction here too, since money is needed for the next electoral campaign.
posted by MzB at 1:45 PM on August 28, 2003


but that doesn't mean they don't take a finder's fee of 2-5 per cent.

2 to 5 per cent? Riviera, I'd love to know where you get that. Even in the real world there's often little relationship between what the primary contractor charges and what they pay the subcontractors that actually do the work; certainly not 95-98%. I've been on subcontracting gigs where we were paid as little as one-third the rate that the primary was billing for our work. And this is in the competitive private sector, not a no-bid pork deal shoveled out by an top government official who also happens to be on the contractor's payroll to the tune of seven figures in (ha ha, "deferred") salary alone.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:45 PM on August 28, 2003


opps, that scenerio has been done

The fallacy of the onlookers' argument is that they considered the positive benefits of purchasing a new window, but they ignored the hidden costs to the shopkeeper and others

hidden costs like children and young men and women?
I dare say that is a good retort and valid to some degree but this broken window can cost more then bread.
posted by clavdivs at 1:47 PM on August 28, 2003


Sounds great to me, clavdivs... maybe they'd finally take transportation issues seriously.
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:49 PM on August 28, 2003


Why is everybody so bent up about profiteering? Its war I'm against...

Ogre Lawless, when the people with the power to wage war (or who have close business ties to those who do) are in a position to profit hugely from it, wouldn't you say the issues are related?
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:53 PM on August 28, 2003


For all any of us know, Halliburton might be the objectively best choice for the job -- cheapest, most efficient, most capable, etc.

I would imagine it's safe to assume that a private company could perform these tasks more efficiently than any government agency. besides that, "profiteering" != "profiting". It means "to make EXCESSIVE profit". Do we actually know the margins on the work?

Ah geez people, no need to get all riled up on something none of us know anything about. Making assumptions about finders fees and throwing around terms like "facist" does nothing but make it clear you're speaking from your emotions rather than raw data.

Wait, i guess that's what we do around here. nevermind.
posted by glenwood at 1:55 PM on August 28, 2003


when the people with the power to wage war (or who have close business ties to those who do) are in a position to profit hugely from it, wouldn't you say the issues are related?

Why would you wage war if you weren't going to profit from it in the first place? There's nothing wrong with a bit of profit, you dirty hippies. Leave the materialistic folks alone and go back to your drug-infested love shacks, where all of you can hold hands and sing old Joni Mitchell songs. And remember, it's your materialistic parents footing the bill for your pad.
posted by bradth27 at 2:20 PM on August 28, 2003


Glenwood, let's see . . . the Government won't tell us what the profit is (the contract is open ended) and Halliburton won't disclose it's true margins, so we should all just forget about it and trust that our money is being spent well, huh?

Meanwhile Dick Cheney's 2001 financial disclosure statement, states that Halliburton is paying him a "deferred compensation" of up to $1million a year following his resignation as chief executive in 2000. At the time Cheney opted not to receive his severance package in a lump sum, but instead to have it paid to him over five years, possibly for tax reasons.


The company would not say how much the payments are. The obligatory disclosure statement filed by all top government officials says only that they are in the range of $100,000 and $1 million. Nor is it clear how they are calculated.

posted by ahimsakid at 2:27 PM on August 28, 2003


From the broken window explanation:

Austrian Economists, and Bastiat himself, applied the parable of the broken window in a more subtle way. If we consider the parable again, we notice that the little boy is seen as a public benefactor. Suppose it was discovered that the little boy was actually hired by the glazier, and paid a dollar for every window he broke. Suddenly the same act would be regarded as theft: the glazier was breaking windows in order to force people to hire his services. Yet the facts observed by the onlookers remain true: the glazier benefits from the business, and so does the baker, the cobbler, and so on. Bastiat suggested that people actually do endorse activities which are morally equivalent to the glazier hiring a boy to break windows for him.

Specifically, Bastiat, Hazlitt and others would equate the glazier with special interests, and the little boy with government.


Hmm...


posted by gottabefunky at 2:30 PM on August 28, 2003


Making assumptions about finders fees and throwing around terms like "facist" does nothing but make it clear you're speaking from your emotions rather than raw data.

That's such a good point, glenwood. But you're right -- exagerration is practically woven into MetaFilter. Every once in a while, though, I try to trot out this little Strunk & White gem in the hopes that someone might remember it doesn't help your cause when you blow something way out of proportion (e.g., screaming "fascism!"):
7. Do not overstate. When you overstate, the reader will be instantly on guard, and everything that has preceded your overstatment as well as everything that follows it will be suspect in his mind because he has lost confidence in your judgment or your poise. Overstatement is one of the common faults. A single overstatement, wherever or however it occurs, diminishes the whole, and a single carefree superlative has the power to destroy, for the reader, the object of the writer's enthusiasm.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:34 PM on August 28, 2003


Here's a modest proposal (TM):

Instead of going to war with other nations, let's just have an exchange of citizens.

- The people who want to be able to question their government, associate freely, and demand an accounting of what's being done with their soldiers' lives and their tax money can come and live in America.

- The people who say we mustn't question the government, who like more scrutiny in their lives -- even to the point of which consenting adults they can sleep with --, who have no problem with blatant electoral fraud, who favor things like detention without charges and who trust their officials to wage war whenever they like and for whatever reason they can cook up, can go and live in places like Iraq under Saddam.

That way, everyone is happy, everyone lives under the kind of regime they approve of and nobody has to go to war.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:37 PM on August 28, 2003


But you're right -- exagerration is practically woven into MetaFilter.

Ugh. Exaggeration and bad spelling, apparently.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:37 PM on August 28, 2003


George_Spiggott: you're right. I misread the line that 'KBR would claim the cost of its services plus two to five percent depending on how it executed the job' to mean that the 'cost' would be what it was charged by its subcontractors. In fact, I'd imagine it's just a nice little bonus premium, and the huge markup that comes out of subcontracting won't get mentioned.
posted by riviera at 2:45 PM on August 28, 2003


The occupation authorities have been cracking down on the emerging labor movement in Iraq, which has been peacefully protesting the discriminatory treatment of Iraqi workers by the American occupation administration and the handout of contracts for the country's rebuilding to politically connected US corporations...

The issue of the foreign contracts has become a hot controversy among Iraqi workers because the US corporations bring workers into the country to work under those contracts. A Kuwaiti firm subcontracting to the US construction giant Kellogg, Brown and Root, for instance, was recently found to be bringing Asian workers into the port of Basra to perform repair and reconstruction work. Meanwhile, Iraqi workers with long years of experience sit idle.
posted by SenshiNeko at 3:06 PM on August 28, 2003


one of the key statements in the article appears to have been overlooked, "stands to make hundreds of millions more dollars under a no-bid contract awarded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers"

Emphasis on the no-bid contract part, if there were no other companies allowed to bid then this appears to be alot of both war profiteering and also just a little old-boy-networking. Ol' Dicky Cheney figured out a way to give the contract to his company and whammo, he gets a paycheck from it.

This would appear to be yet another extraordinarily open and corrupt action by a government that couldn't make a straight line with ruler.

And they'll never be held accountable because that would be rude or something.
posted by fenriq at 4:01 PM on August 28, 2003


By July 2000, Cheney claimed on ABC's ''This Week'' that neither Halliburton nor its subsidiaries dealt with Iraq at all. ''Iraq's different,'' Cheney said at the time. ''I had a firm policy that we wouldn't do anything in Iraq, even arrangements that were supposedly legal.'' But in fact from 1997 to 2000, when Cheney was running Halliburton, two of its subsidiaries sold Saddam Hussein's government a total of $73 million in oil-field supplies. The deal didn't violate U.S. sanctions because the subsidiaries, Dresser-Rand and Ingersoll Dresser Pump Company, were foreign.

KBR/Halliburton, then, has rounded the bases when it comes to Iraq. It got rich doing business with Iraq, it got rich preparing to destroy Iraq and it's now getting rich rebuilding Iraq. (emphasis is mine).

From an article entitled Nation Builders for Hire that appeared in the NYT and that was discussed in a WarFilter thread where some additional Halliburton links are posted.

Also see All in the Family, a recent 60 Minutes report on Cheney and Halliburton.

posted by madamjujujive at 4:11 PM on August 28, 2003


glenwood:
Give me a defnition of the word "fascist."

Mussolini said, "Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism as it is a merge of state and corporate power." I submit that he knows more about fascism than you or me. As fucked-up as it may be, "fascism" is absolutely a word that should be in play here."

please explain, glenwood, why fascism is not a concept that is relevant to this discussion.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 4:24 PM on August 28, 2003


pardonyou?:
Same question. Why is "fascist" an inappropriate or inflammatory word? It has an historical definition, no? Can't we evaluate its relevance?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 4:26 PM on August 28, 2003


pardonyou? - I agree, and maybe you should fax that page to the White House for the next time they try to make the case for going to war.
posted by pitchblende at 4:31 PM on August 28, 2003


one might think twice before signing up for a tour duty as a "hard working, honorable haliburton employee"
posted by specialk420 at 4:52 PM on August 28, 2003


Nice shirt, condour75! Can you use your skillz to make one of Comic Book Guy saying "Worst...president...ever." ? I've always wanted one of those (well, okay, only since Bush got into office)....
posted by uosuaq at 4:58 PM on August 28, 2003


please explain, glenwood, why fascism is not a concept that is relevant to this discussion.

i will answer, because i can go to the white house and yell

THE GOVERNMENT IS CORRUPT

and not get hauled off to some celler to have my teeth removed.

having the criteria of fascist to be strictly used in an economic fashion and not include the other stuff like VIOLENCE against one's political enemies. (like mussolini did with them commies)
is simply....

ah
disingenuous.
posted by clavdivs at 4:59 PM on August 28, 2003


i will answer, because i can go to the white house and yell THE GOVERNMENT IS CORRUPT

Yes, and I can go to a government office and get armfuls of free pamphlets. That must mean we live under Communism!

To invent a ludicrously selective and oversimplified single criterion for characterizing a sociopolitical state is simply...

ah
disingenuous.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:14 PM on August 28, 2003


that's a great idea uosuaq, and thanks. I'll be here until the cease and desist order comes in from Fox.
posted by condour75 at 5:25 PM on August 28, 2003


clavdivs, P.S. Mussolini was bald, and Bush isn't. Therefore by your reasoning what we're describing cannot be Fascism, right? Oh, and people spoke Italian in Fascist Italy, and we, like, speak American here, so, like, yer right, we can't be talking about Fascism now can we.

Sheesh.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:40 PM on August 28, 2003


Yes, and I can go to a government office and get armfuls of free pamphlets. That must mean we live under Communism!

pray tell how you come by this comparison.
because, imagine yourself in Italy 1934 and you go to the Duces office and yell THE GOVERNMENT IS CORRUPT...say everyday.

what do you think would have happen?

Now go and get an armful of free paper and see what people will do. Most likely they will say "Have a nice day"

having the criteria of fascist to be strictly used in an economic fashion and not include the other stuff like VIOLENCE against one's political enemies

that make sence to you george or do you need a semantic walkthrough?
posted by clavdivs at 5:46 PM on August 28, 2003


so, you anticipated my retort? good, i thought you would slink back into what ever argument you are trying to convey.
heres a book for you

now go and build some real arguments.
posted by clavdivs at 5:50 PM on August 28, 2003


that make sence to you george or do you need a semantic walkthrough?

No, it doesn't. It's like saying China and Vietnam are in no way Communist because private enterprise is sometimes allowed there. The posts above describe certain behaviors of our government as Fascism. You haven't refuted that, only identified a congruent property of a Fascist state which we currently lack.

The United States is not a Socialist country, because we lack many of the properties of Socialism. Therefore by your argument, the New Deal policies could not have been Socialist because they, for example, didn't abolish private industry.

By your argument, for a policy or a practice of a goverment to be called Fascist, the state must be uniformly and monolithically indistiguishable from a certain reference Fascist state in all respects. In a word, rubbish.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:00 PM on August 28, 2003



having the criteria of fascist to be strictly used in an economic fashion and not include the other stuff like VIOLENCE against one's political enemies

posted by clavdivs at 6:11 PM on August 28, 2003


Yes, you said that already, and I've addressed it a couple of different ways. Oh, and by the way, you're also wrong in that the posters above are not using it in a strictly economic fashion. "Other stuff" like military and foreign policy are also factored in. But apparently you've settled on a single criterion, that of violence against political enemies, and your logic says that if one characteristic is not present, no characteristic can be present. Which is wholly fallacious.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:25 PM on August 28, 2003


ok george
but at least the trains ran on time....
(that single criterion is what my point is, how can you have one without the other knowing about how the fascists gained power)

a more palatable analogy would be the Medici IMO.

but who cares?
posted by clavdivs at 7:27 PM on August 28, 2003


--The United States is not a Socialist country

Defense Spending Drives Economic Growth
posted by larry_darrell at 7:56 PM on August 28, 2003


Those are great links, clavdivs, thanks. By the way, speaking of retaliation against political enemies. It may not constitute physical violence but if he's right about the who and the why of it, it seems close enough to qualify under your definition, don't you think?
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:54 PM on August 28, 2003


having the criteria of fascist to be strictly used in an economic fashion and not include the other stuff like VIOLENCE against one's political enemies

Well, there was that violent mob of Republicans that rampaged through Miami's County Hall back in November 2000 that intimidated the canvassing board into stopping the recount of ballots - which was directed by Republican congressional staffers whose shenanigans were paid for by the Bush campaign.
posted by SenshiNeko at 9:32 PM on August 28, 2003


having the criteria of fascist to be strictly used in an economic fashion and not include the other stuff like VIOLENCE against one's political enemies

Can fascism be outsourced to Cuba? How about unconstitutional political persecution of its political enemies?

Keep in mind the beginnings of Italian fascism. It began as nepotism and autocracies borne of family corporations. Sheesh, I'm glad that parellel falls apart.

and by the way, props to calvdius. i may disagree with you, but i bet a lot of people appreciate your discussing fascism as a set of political conditions, not as a synonym of "really bad."
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:08 PM on August 28, 2003


I'm with Ignatius J. Reilly and George_Spiggot on the appropriateness of the term fascism.

Dave Neiwert probably covers the issue better than anyone has in recent years.

A great read if you're at all interested.

Finish reading Dave's excellent arguments (there's a PDF link if you'd prefer or HTML links) and then come back and tell why the use of the term fascism isn't accurate and appropriate for today's political/economic environment!
posted by nofundy at 5:39 AM on August 29, 2003


Keep in mind the beginnings of Italian fascism. It began as nepotism and autocracies borne of family corporations. Sheesh, I'm glad that parallel falls apart.

then we should talk of this as a term yes?

notice the wiki example gives Italy as an example..

so? would not this type of government be more suitable to the discussion?

By the articles example, Portugal was at one time the greatest corporate state the world had seen. That brief moment when her ships rules the seas (in western history)

hmmm
posted by clavdivs at 12:11 PM on August 29, 2003


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