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Hartmann and Sacks write: "It's about time someone injected the word fascism back into our political debate. Especially now that corporations wield more power today than they have in America since the Robber Baron Era."

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey. (photo: Whole Foods Markets)
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey. (photo: Whole Foods Markets)



Dear Whole Foods CEO, This Is What a Fascist Looks Like

By Thom Hartmann, Sam Sacks, Thom Hartmann Program

20 January 13

 

hole Foods CEO, John Mackey, doesn't know what a fascist is.

Speaking with NPR this week, multimillionaire Mackey tried to express how much he hates Obamacare. Back in 2009, he hated Obamacare so much that he called it "socialism." But now, in 2013, Mackey thinks Obamacare is "fascism."

"Technically speaking, [Obamacare] is more like fascism," he said. "Socialism is where the government owns the means of production. In fascism, the government doesn't own the means of production, but they do control it, and that's what's happening with our healthcare programs and these reforms."

Mackey has since walked back this description saying he "regrets using that word now" because there's "so much baggage attached to it."

But, whether Mackey meant to or not, it's about time someone injected the word fascism back into our political debate. Especially now that corporations wield more power today than they have in America since the Robber Baron Era.

First, let's take on Mackey's definitions of socialism and fascism, which he likely procured from the Google machine after typing in, "What are the differences between socialism and fascism?"

Yes, socialism encourages more democratic control of the economy. Or, if Mackey insists, more government ownership of the economy – in particular, ownership of the commons and natural resources.

Fascism, on the other hand, is something completely different. Reporter Sy Mukherjee, who blogged about this story over at ThinkProgress.org notes, "Although fascist nations do often control their 'means of production,' Mackey seems to have forgotten that they usually utilize warfare, forced mass mobilization of the public, and politically-motivated violence against their own peoples to achieve their ends."

The 1983 American Heritage Dictionary defined fascism as: "A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism." Fascism originated in Italy, and Mussolini claims to have invented the word itself. It was actually his ghostwriter, Giovanni Gentile, who invented it and defined it in the Encyclopedia Italiana in this way: "Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power."

In other words, fascism is corporate government – a Libertarian's wet dream. It's a government in which the Atlas's of industry are given free rein to control the economy, just how they're regulated, how much they pay in taxes, how much they pay their workers. It should be noted here that, ironically, John Mackey describes himself as a Libertarian.

In 1938, Mussolini finally got his chance to bring fascism to fruition. He dissolved Parliament and replaced it with the "Camera dei Fasci e delle Corporazioni" - the Chamber of the Fascist Corporations. Members of the Chamber were not selected to represent particular regional constituencies, but instead to represent various aspects of Italian industry and trade. They were the corporate leaders of Italy.

Imagine if the House of Representatives was dissolved and replaced by a Council of America's most powerful CEOs – the Kochs, the Waltons, the Blankfeins, the Dimons, the Mackeys, you get the picture.

Actually, that's not too difficult to imagine, huh? But, that'd be similar to what Mussolini defined as fascism.

As we know, fascism was eventually defeated in World War 2. But just before the end of the war, with the fascists on the ropes, the Vice President of the United States at the time, Henry Wallace, penned an op-ed for the New York Times warning Americans about the creeping dangers of fascism – or corporate government.

He defined a fascist as, "those who, paying lip service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion."

Under that definition we can throw those CEOs who've decided to evade Obamacare's mandate to provide health insurance to their employees, like New York City Applebee's franchise owner Zane Terkel, Papa John's CEO John Schnatter, and executives at Darden Restaurants.

Or, perhaps, Wallace is referring to the banksters at Goldman Sachs who knowingly evaded laws and sold investors "shitty deals" or scammed entire cities into bankruptcy or illegally foreclosed on thousands of Americans through fraudulently robo-signing all in the name of short term profits and all in the name of preserving their monopolistic, too-big-to-fail status.

Either way, evading laws meant to protect the public in order to pad your own pockets has become the name of the game in Corporate America today.

Wallace goes on to write, "The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact. Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism."

Can anyone say Fox News, or the rest of the Conservative media complex? Or, those on the Right who divide working people and turn them against each other: makers versus takes, public sector workers versus private sector workers, and white people versus brown people.

"They use every opportunity to impugn democracy," wrote Wallace. Does that sound familiar after months of Republican efforts to disenfranchise large swaths of the electorate with voter suppression ID laws, as well as restrictions on early voting and voter registration in largely Democratic areas?

Or what about what Republicans in Pennsylvania are doing right now to rig the next Presidential election by changing how Electoral votes are counted in the state?

Wallace continues, "They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection."

We often hear of free enterprise from the likes of Wall Street, Big Oil, and the defense industry. Yet these are the same corporations that also lobby to keep generous taxpayer subsidies, bailouts, and no-bid contracts in place that allow them to reign supreme over the markets and crush their smaller, more independent competition.

And the common man suffers as a result. Wages as a percentage of GDP are lower than they've ever been. Unionization rates are lower than they've ever been in more than a half-century. And yet, corporate profits as a percent of GDP are higher than they've ever been in American history.

At the time Wallace was writing this op-ed, he was confident that the fascists had been adequately held in check in America by the Roosevelt Administration. As he wrote, "Happily, it can be said that as yet fascism has not captured a predominant place in the outlook of any American section, class or religion."

But, he went on to warn that in the future, "[Fascism] may be encountered in Wall Street, Main Street or Tobacco Road. Some even suspect that they can detect incipient traces of it along the Potomac."

Sure enough, the bastions of fascism can be found on Wall Street. Main Street, which used to be lined with local independent businesses, is now lined with predatory, transnational giants. And along the Potomac, we find politicians who are more than happy to do the bidding of their corporate overlords.

Today in America, we are dangerously close to seeing Wallace's fascistic, dystopic America come into fruition. We see the traces of it everywhere.

Unfortunately, too many Americans just didn't have a word to define what's happening. But, thanks to John Mackey, and thanks to the foresight of Vice President Henry Wallace, we do have the right word now: Fascism.

 

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+253 # Binks 2013-01-20 09:42
Thom Hartmann has nailed it. Mackey has shut down tons of smaller health food stores in Whole Foods markets, took no stand against Prop 37 in California in order to not lose profits, hikes up his prices so high that the shopper is almost always white and monied and refuses to unionize his employees. Who is the "Fascist" here?
 
 
-145 # Rain17 2013-01-20 16:46
I shop at Whole Foods; and, compared to Safeway, where I used to shop, the cost isn't that bad honestly.
 
 
+14 # Texas Aggie 2013-01-20 21:27
Compare it to HEB. The difference is huge.
 
 
+23 # rockieball 2013-01-21 11:17
I agree with Rain on the cost and better quality. But I also agree with you. Wild Oats used to be out here and Whole Foods drove it out and also protested a farmers market sponsored by Mario from the Food Network.
 
 
+34 # reiverpacific 2013-01-20 21:29
Quoting Rain17:
I shop at Whole Foods; and, compared to Safeway, where I used to shop, the cost isn't that bad honestly.

So what's yer point as related to this article?
 
 
+170 # M. de la Souche 2013-01-20 10:02
Thank you both for this article. Now then, how do we plaster it on every wall, lamp post, and web site in the country?
 
 
+53 # DPM 2013-01-20 19:42
Join your local Occupy group and get out and tell the story.
 
 
+83 # The-Daily-Jab 2013-01-20 16:23
John Mackey is a delusional fool. He believes the things that he says but he is surrounded by sycophants that keep him in the dark about how his company actually operates. The much lauded "culture" at Whole Foods is a complete joke. The management is filled with either overly ambitious psychopaths or cult like followers that fall to their knees at the mention of his name. Neither of these groups will ever speak power to truth there and they will eventually fail like all cults. Our job is to just give them enough rope and watch them tie their own noose.
 
 
+13 # Texas Aggie 2013-01-20 21:28
I doubt that he really believes the things he says, or at least he didn't at the beginning. Once he keeps repeating the same theme, he eventually may stop realizing that he's peddling garbage.
 
 
+5 # Lowflyin Lolana 2013-01-23 21:29
If Obamacare is fascist then what the hell would he call our current system????

Patients forced to deal with life and death issues through customer service phone trees with "helpers" who get paid incentives to deny care?
Sure, that's really working out!
Obamacare might not solve everything but it's a start.
Medicare for everyone.
 
 
+3 # Cassandra2012 2013-01-24 11:02
Universal, single-payer healthcare ---- better, cheaper healthcare as in all CIVILIZED countries, like Canada, Europe and Australia.
The health 'insurance' industry is just that----an industry devoted to profit, not patient care!
 
 
+59 # juliajayne 2013-01-20 16:23
Methinks this Mackey guy should just shut up, since he can't seem to help showing his ignorance. Of course he can continue to show his ignorance at his peril, but if he makes any more stupid comments I may stay away from Whole Foods. I do shop there at least once weekly when I go into Dallas. Their produce is expensive but I buy the products that they offer more cheaply than local stores - Ezekial bread, their store brand organic butter, salad dressings, organic eggs and organic and lactose free milk and some Hail Merry treats which are GF, dairy free and sugar free. And awesome! But really, why do these CEOs behave so boorishly in public? Sure, they have a right to their opinion, but when they start with calling names and give voice to ignorant rants, I say they're hubristic enough not to really need MY business. And I always wonder how they made it so big when they're so dumb?!
 
 
+42 # Rain17 2013-01-20 18:56
You would think that CEOs would be smart enough to not to offend large segments of their customer base. I could be wrong, but I don't see the typical right-wing Republican as fitting the profile of the average Whole Foods shopper.

If I were the CEO of a company whose business was in the retail/entertai nment/hospitali ty sector, I would keep my politics to myself. I would not comment on controversial issues and leave my company name out of anything that might offend customers. I wouldn't want to do anything to drive customers away from my business.
 
 
+30 # Smokey 2013-01-20 20:15
[quote name="Rain17"] "I could be wrong, but I don't see the typical right-wing Republican as fitting the profile of the average Whole Foods shopper."

Wake up! There's nothing in the Whole Foods operation that's epecially "liberal" or "progressive." And there are plenty of Republicans with money who are wandering up and down the Whole Foods aisles.

Homer Simpson and Archie Bunker don't shop at Whole Foods. They can't afford the prices.... However, the George Bush and Ronald Reagan crowd love Whole Foods. And Mackey loves the country club people. They're his kind of folks.
 
 
+18 # ETNIKS 2013-01-21 12:05
Rain17
It's important to understand Capitalism promotes more self-centered, aggressive, money hoarding scumbags like John MacKey than unselfish, spiritual, loving and cooperative individuals like Gandhi.

It is in the essence of this sick socio-economic system to promote psychopaths, than spiritually motivated individuals.
=====
"How strange it is that a fool or knave, with riches, should be treated with more respect by the world, than a good man, or a wise man in poverty."
Ann Radcliffe (1764 - 1823)
 
 
+43 # LML 2013-01-20 19:53
"...if he makes any more stupid comments I may stay away from Whole Foods...."

We already know what he thinks and acts....but you think he needs to say more to keep you away from ontributing to his bottom line?
 
 
+5 # juliajayne 2013-01-20 21:15
You have a point, but those Hail Merry products are SO good. ;-) Actually, I do know a few of the employees who work at Whole Foods, and despite this man's public rhetoric, he's said to treat his employees well. But if anyone has any information to the contrary, I'd be interested in knowing.
 
 
+3 # Trueblue Democrat 2013-01-22 12:20
". . . despite this man's public rhetoric, he's said to treat his employees well."

Ain't benevolent paternalism grand?
 
 
+22 # brux 2013-01-20 16:32
Clever turn of the term ... or should I say re-turn since Mackey doesn't seem to understand it.
 
 
+19 # Rain17 2013-01-20 16:35
I wonder what the Whole Foods CEO was trying to achieve. I would venture to guess a significant share of his customer base is probably liberal and progressive. I don't think Whole Foods is the type of store that would attract the average conservative.
 
 
+17 # Smokey 2013-01-20 20:48
[quote name="Rain17"]" I don't think Whole Foods is the type of store that would attract the average conservative."

Amazing! Where do you think that folks like the Koch brothers get their groceries?

A few years ago, I can remember the local Republicans laughing at the New Age. Then, word around that one of the Republican leaders in our area was spending a lot of time with "alternative healers" and spa resorts. After that news leaked to the press, the conservatives stopped laughing over the New Age. (Maybe some of the corporate chiefs started going to massage parlors. Why not?)

Hitler was a vegetarian who worried about his diet. He would be easily accepted as a Whole Foods customer.
 
 
+61 # brux 2013-01-20 16:40
This is a very nice summation of what is going on. Thanks Thom Hartmann.
 
 
-47 # skipb48 2013-01-20 16:40
I take issue with your definition of socialism, it has little to do with democracy. Democracy and Dictatorship are political terms, while Capitalism and Socialism are economic terms. Either of the political terms can be joined by either of the economic terms.

The USA was ideally started as a democratic capitalist country, but has evolved. Today our country is better described as a simi-socialist democracy. Our government may not own the means of production and distribution, but we do exercise a good deal of control through government regulation.
The great debate in this country is just how much should that control be and that will be decided by the voting public. Thus all the hoopla in the media by the politicos. In the end Democracy still wins!
 
 
+14 # BradFromSalem 2013-01-21 06:01
skipb48,

You are very close to correct when you note that Capitalism and Socialism are economic terms. Either may be politically a dictatorship of some sort or a democracy of some flavor. So what we have are continuums. Or rather Venn diagrams. Capitalism is one circle, Socialism is another.
Now, when you take the two political circles, of dictatorship and democracy. If you totally overlap dictatorship with capitalism, you get Fascism. If you totally overlay dictatorshiip with Socialism, you get Communism.
Socialism totally overlaid with democracy is anarchy, and Capitalism totally overlaid with democracy has never existed, nor been defined.
All that is to point out that the US as defined in our Constitution is an itersection of all four. The Constitution is silent on Capitalism issues, but that was the emerging economic system at the time so they were uncertain how to define it. But it does call for democratic institutions and limited socialism, which was not yet defined either.
So at the rebirth America with the Constitution, we were a republic (a blend of dictatorship and democracy) with a defacto captalist and defined socialist economic structure.
But remember the Venn diagrams, just a slight shift of one of the 4 circles can make a dramatic difference.
 
 
+3 # Lowflyin Lolana 2013-01-23 21:22
The government exercises control through regulation?!!!! As in..rule of law for corporations?!! ! Don't make me hurt myself laughing at that!!!
You have it exactly backward.
 
 
-71 # Martintfre 2013-01-20 16:59
"Fascism conceives of the State as an absolute, in comparison with which all individuals or groups are relative, only to be conceived of in their relation to the State. "
Benito Mussolini. part of the Italian fascist dictators writing to the question "What is fascism"

Bankruptcy is free enterprise,
Bailout is government backed fascism.

So Like the modern socialist that predominate our democratic party they also have little respect for individual rights.
 
 
+16 # Smokey 2013-01-20 20:24
[quote name=""Bankrupt cy is free enterprise. Bailout is government backed fascism."

Bravo! You've provided a nice description of the way that things work in America. The small-time operators can sink or swim on their own. The big corporations get government protection.

It's not really "socialism." The appropriate terms are "fascism" and "corporate statism." Mussolini turned against the socialists and - in his last years - he cursed socialism and he sent a lot of socialists to prison.

However: If you like, try a different name... "National Socialist Party?" Might make a hit, don't you think?
 
 
+3 # Trueblue Democrat 2013-01-22 12:28
If you're struggling to find the right term to characterize this country, try "kleptocracy."

Accepting that definition spares you beating your head against a wall trying to understand why our so-called Democratic presidents and congressmen/wom en constantly do the bidding of the 1 percent. Just like the Rethuglicans.
 
 
+3 # brux 2013-01-23 07:27
Bailout is government backed fascism.

yes, that is right, and sometimes something that looks "fascist" if it was in the middle of a bunch of other fascist policies is fascist, and sometimes it is just government co-operation with corporations, ie. the plutocracy, corporatocracy, truth be told.

i don't have a problem with that sometimes, but what is happening for a long time and still escalating, now, is that the government passes secret sweetheart deals for the corporatocracy and has been ignoring everyone but the extreme poor in order to sour everyone on social programs, meaning that the American people are being lowered towards equality with their working counterparts in the third world.

what that does at the same time is to also undercut our rights, and we can see that happening as well.
 
 
0 # Cassandra2012 2013-01-24 11:07
"Fascism should rather be called corporatism, as it is the merging of government and corporate power."
~Benito Mussolini
 
 
+68 # fedupinredmond 2013-01-20 17:10
Makes me want to stop any shopping at Whole Foods. Glad to know though because I believe the only effective voice we have left in this country is Voting with our Dollar!
 
 
+27 # LML 2013-01-20 19:51
I hope you do stop shopping at Whole Foods,
 
 
+2 # Luis Emilio 2013-01-22 07:54
Quoting fedupinredmond:
[...] I believe the only effective voice we have left in this country is Voting with our Dollar!

Not much Dollars though ... So, not much of that kind of voice.
No, I don't think Dollar is the only effective voice we have. Hint: think 'Occupy'.
 
 
+41 # corey 2013-01-20 17:13
Hartman as always, opens my eyes. I dont listen to him to air anymore, suppose I could online/podcast, but I have a few of his books and he is b far the most easily readable author while offering the most information most authors can only dream of offering. After 9/11, my search for "Why" lead me to Hartman, Greenwald, and many others who spoke out during GW Bush's reign, while the same people who demonize Obama, called people like them and me, terrorist lovers for disagreeing with the Patriot Act. On a side note, only "left-wing" folks lost jobs when they spoke out against GW Bush. No "right-wingers" have been dumped from programs. Sure some have lost some of their sponsors, but thats because what they say is so outlandish people spoke up. However, no "left" movement could of stood up against FOX when GW Bush was king. America is in a sad state of affairs, and I for one am glad I am not just coming into this world.
 
 
-71 # moafu@yahoo.com 2013-01-20 17:18
TRUE........... .THOSE CORPORATIONS ARE ALMOST AS TYRANNICAL AS THE GOVERNMENT ITSELF !! Borrowing more than one's income? Borrowing money and giving it to one's enemies, taxation without representation. YUP....those corporations are sure trying hard to be like the government !!
 
 
+70 # giraffee2012 2013-01-20 17:32
On the article referenced by this article - with Wallace's ranting - I pledged to not shop at Whole Foods again. I keep that pledge and will boycott other such companies - i.e. I don't use Walmart (even though I might have to do without a cheap item)

It is an option to take down these "too big" and crazy pigs who support (lobby) the right wing agendas (union busting - to not hiring full-time 40 hour/ week employees) - get the picture?
 
 
-41 # Martintfre 2013-01-20 17:43
//Fascism originated in Italy, and Mussolini claims to have invented the word itself. It was actually his ghostwriter, Giovanni Gentile, who invented it and defined it in the Encyclopedia Italiana in this way: "Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power."//
Yes, exactly .. Almost like they invented it...

Fast forward to Present USA where the Banks, Insurances companies, Financial magnates, select Auto manufactures are bailed out deemed as "Too Big to fail" and the tax payers are forced to pay the bill to cover their incompetency.

Add to that forcing every citizen to purchase health insurance is a huge boost to the health insurance industry -- guaranteed customer base.
Clearly the Democratic party is fascist.
 
 
+25 # DPM 2013-01-20 19:47
As is the Republican party.
 
 
+16 # goodsensecynic 2013-01-20 17:47
There is one small flaw here. Yes, Mussolini-style fascism (after all, he invented it) was built on the pillars of an authoritarian state and huge private sector corporations. He also included the Roman Catholic church in his calculations ... but we needn't worry about that.

The main difference between North American fascism and Mussolini's was that it was also built on an "organic" theory of politics in which the individual achieved personal meaning by becoming an active part of the collective project (think bee hives).

So far, this romantic, emotional subservience to the state is only a theme but not a dominant one in the USA. So, I'd direct anyone interested to Sheldon S. Wolin's "Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism " newly published in paperback by Princeton University Press.

Wolin is about 90-years-old. He became famous among political scientists in about 1960, when he published "Politics and Vision", went off to teach a while and came back with this gem.

I like him when I didn't trust anyone over 30; I like him more now that I don't trust anyone under 65 (and not many over it either).
 
 
-2 # Martintfre 2013-01-22 10:07
//and huge private sector corporations. //

actually when the government is granting huge favors such as purchasing one companies goods over and other and not even permitting other companies to exist or to compete fairly -- that is not private sector it is just another wing of government.
 
 
+4 # brux 2013-01-23 07:33
I think you are missing the point, it is not government that owns the corporations, it is a top-level of corporatocracy that strips away the rights of people and replaces it with capital, and takes over the government, eventually at all levels, and viola, society has turned upside down and gone back in time 100 years.
 
 
+3 # brux 2013-01-23 07:30
> So far, this romantic, emotional subservience to the state is only a theme but not a dominant one in the USA.

I think you are very wrong about that.

It is interesting in the documentary after seeing the way farms have been industrialized and the nutrition has been squeezed out of the food and the respect for life out of the process, there was someone who made the point that if they treat animals like that, what are they treating humans like ... their employees or their customers ?
 
 
+59 # Barkingcarpet 2013-01-20 17:48
Never forget, Whole Foods did not really support prop 37 in Ca, to label GMO'o foods. Too little too late. They also have had some pretty suspect organic certification "practices" for their frozen food suppliers. They are about profits, not sustainability.
We can change our world with every waking # folks....
 
 
+3 # Lowflyin Lolana 2013-01-23 21:26
Jon Rappoport has made a good case that Food Ho actually helped prop 37 fail.
After all they sell lots of "natural" foods that would have to be labeled if they contained GMO's....
The campaign did not discuss the threat to health and agriculture...i t was all about "let's know what's in our food." I can just hear the conversations among the activists who believed the line that "simple is the best advertising" when being persuaded to stick to that idea and not delve into the deep dark nastiness that GMO's are, for the public campaign.
Ugh.
 
 
+39 # ishmael 2013-01-20 17:49
Let's get something straight: WWII wasn't about economic models in specific countries. It was far more about real fascism: exaggerated national primacy and ideas about racial superiority.

The right seems to succeed more than anything else in dumbing down conversations. The rest of us have to constantly correct their puerile, uninformed ideas about everything from climate change to whether the US President was born or not, the meaning of and reasons for the second amendment, the meanings of fascism and socialism and the list continues.

Their disdain for education in science and history is appalling.
 
 
+10 # Smokey 2013-01-20 20:32
[quote name="ishmael"] Let's get something straight...."

Second World War? It developed, in large part, because the big corporations in Italy, Germany, and Japan wanted protection from the Communists and better access to natural resources like oil and food-producing land.

Without the support of the big corporations - and the military - bums like Hitler would have stayed in the gutter.
 
 
+2 # ishmael 2013-01-21 06:18
From The World According To Faux, ubdoubtedly.
 
 
-59 # albertchampion 2013-01-20 17:50
and i think that we do know that obamacare is as clear an instant of fascism as is imaginable.

the legislation was crafted by the pharmaceutical industry. in concert with president obombya and his staff[was that liz foster?] and the corporate-owned congress.

i am certain that if a constitutional republic persists in the usa, that we shall eventually learn what a complete raping and pillaging of the public took place by large medical corporations with the connivance of the u.s. govenment. at all levels: executive, congressional, judicial.

when it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck - it is fascism.
 
 
-20 # MsAnnaNOLA 2013-01-20 20:15
So you guys cant take the truth? Affordable Care Act was a giveaway to insurance companies. Seriously. You Cant be independent if you can't be objective. Seriously negative 12? I am hoping the bankruptcy of Obamacare will lead to something better. In the meantime do readabout the water cure. It cured my chronic sinus infections. Www.watercure2.org. Eat sea salt and drink water. Most likely you are deficient of iodine and magnesium if you live in usa and eat a western diet. And use earth clinic . Com to get home remedys for every kind of ailment. Everything I have tried has worked. It is wonderful.
 
 
+5 # wwway 2013-01-21 10:17
MsAnnaNOLA Home holistic remedy market is just as corrupt and self serving as the American modern medical community so I don't agree with your perscription for all. I do agree with the flaw you mention.
However, the Affordable Healthcare Act is a start on a project that cannot be allowed to linger unfinished. There is much work ahead. Democrats in the House and Senate have already started this new legislative period by re-introducing the public option and other AHA re-inforcements .
While we all seek and find ways to be and stay healthy there are times when more advanced, more sofiscated medicine can mean the difference between life and death, a health future vs. a crippled one. Ensuring that this medicine is available to everyone is the goal. Why?
First it's humane. Most importantly, it enables individuals to take care of their families, work and be productive, enjoy life. Surely, that is a goal worth striving for.
 
 
-3 # ETNIKS 2013-01-21 12:32
I see. This Albertchampion guy is being given negative points for saying Obamacare is FASCISM???

So it means those negative votes are coming from pseudo-progress ive folks who STILL think Obama is "their leader"??

I like to clarify my thoughts on that.
Obama was the focus of my support in 2008 but soon enough after taking power I realized he was all talk while acting in the opposite to his promises.

Obamacare has NOTHING TO DO with a Universal Plan I LIVED WITH while I was in Canada for 18 years.

Obama was AGAINST having a Universal Plan from the very beginning of the backroom talks he held with BigPharma.

OBAMA IS NOT A PROGRESSIVE, he is in fact a TROJAN HORSE doing much more damage to progressives than Bush or Cheney ever could, precisely because pseudo-progress ives are supporting him against their best interests, just the same as Tea Partiers support Banana Republicans against their own interests.
 
 
-6 # Martintfre 2013-01-22 10:10
//So it means those negative votes are coming from pseudo-progress ive folks who STILL think Obama is "their FASCIST leader"??//

They just don't like to admit that Obama is a fascist, but they like all the bail outs and government forced payments to private companies that fascism promises.
 
 
+2 # Cassandra2012 2013-01-24 11:11
Rudeness invalidates any argument you might want to make.
 
 
+11 # cordleycoit 2013-01-20 17:50
Fascism sits slightly to the right of property Libertarians and so called 'free' market capitalism. Of course these forms of governance is supported by bayonets and spies.It is generally lead by a single person sometimes a Junta. A question for Makay, why do you hate the I.W.W. they are your wage slaves?
 
 
+46 # Robert B 2013-01-20 17:54
I've complained for years about unabashed fascists being called "conservatives, " at the same time "liberal" has become a dirty word. George Orwell would tell you that a fascist is one who would manipulate language to his advantage. If you've never read it, read 1984. One of the recurring themes is the dictionary that keeps getting smaller and smaller. The word "fascist" has belonged in the conversation for a long time now. And it looks a lot like an elephant.
 
 
+1 # Cassandra2012 2013-01-24 11:14
Yes, they chastised Sen. Durbin years ago for calling a fascist [i.e., Cheney/Bush] a fascist! He was right, of course, but they intimidated him!
 
 
+19 # LizR 2013-01-20 18:01
I'd just like to point out that the plural of Atlas is Atlases, not Atlas's.

Apart from that, as usual, a damn good article.
 
 
+23 # Vardoz 2013-01-20 18:07
I just watched the movie Ghandi. Everyone should watch it to remind themselves of what it takes to make change. It took Ghandi 20 yrs- people had to persist even though they were hurt. But perhaps we do not have the conviction to lean forward as Obama likes to put it. We must at the very least not reelect those who hate women, people of color, the middle class, the poor and Democracy itself. We've got a facist right wing congress whose agenda is to dismantel our Democracy. Special interests bribe them to do that and they obstruct and create laws that hurt everyone except those at the top who pay them.
 
 
+1 # Cassandra2012 2013-01-24 11:15
Gandhi.
 
 
+32 # cmp 2013-01-20 18:19
Let's see Mr Mackey, 42% of all Americans (130 million)have no dental insurance at all...

Mr Mackey, just in case you missed the billboard that stretches from coast to coast, we are now witnessing the 1st generations in American history to be worse off than their parents...

A couple of words come to mind: Arrogance.. Ignorance.. Shame..

The Corporate coup d'etat of "We the Real People's" government and the colonization of our communities by fictitious "citizens" (fat cats) has just gotten old. Way, too old..
 
 
-11 # John Somebody 2013-01-20 18:25
Try this.

Fascism is the means by which people deprive others of free will, self discipline, and personal responsibility.

The antithesis, is the means by which we accept those things, and refuse to delegate responsibility, to anyone. That includes earthly government, but also,"God". So if anyone believes in a God, who gives free will, that person believes in an Anarchist God.

Fascism, being the means by which we are deprived of, (which includes being deceievd into giving up), free will; deprives us of the means by which we can learn the value of co-operation, and learn from our mistakes. If we have to do as we're told, we're not responsible for what goes on, the people who give the orders are. So we can always blame them. It's the Nuremburg excuse.

Fascism includes red fascism. That's the way by which the majority deprive us of free will, instead of a dictator + followers.

We can be deprived of our free will, and thereby not have "souls", by our own figments of imagination, which may manipulate, and govern our lives. The figments may be of a great leader, an imitation "God", money, fear, addiction,a devil, the list is as long as whatever we can dream up, that can manipulate. The ultimate fascist has no power of its own. It is a parasite. Just like confusion, the more it manipulates, the more paranoid we become. And the stronger it gets.
You can destroy it, by not feeding it.
 
 
+28 # KrazyFromPolitics 2013-01-20 18:30
Thanks for this article, Thom Hartmann. I go nuts with the right wing's penchant for calling any policy that is left of center, and that they don't like, a fascist policy. I suppose that they know that our minds will go directly to Hitler and Mussolini.

When that doesn't work, the right will switch and call the same policy socialist, which may have a core of truth to it. However, they still connect it to Hitler, because the Nazis co-opted the word "socialist" in the acronym that stood for their party. Just further proof that the current right wing will say anything to advance their position without regard to the truth or what is best for the country.

What is irritating is how the right, or anyone for that matter, can label a policy as socialist, as though tending to the general (common) welfare is a bad thing. I suppose that will continue until the American Public educates themselves, and drops their over zealous support of the rugged individual, and stop their virulent opposition to people helping each other.
 
 
+38 # m... 2013-01-20 18:30
This Article describes EXACTLY what the biggest hoodwinking in American History- SMALLER GOVERNMENT- has been all about since day 1 of the Reagan Administration and which was sent into hyperdrive during the reign of BuSh-Cheney.
Many millions of Americans have been so well conned into believing in and supporting the quest for relentless less and Less Government (Smaller Government) as shoveled and foisted through the deregulated, now very narrowly owned and exploited 'Corporate-Amer ican' Media they believe its the Will of God..
It's sold as the Gospel pathway to greater freedom, liberty and prosperity for All. Yet, if anyone (especially over age 50) just paused and looked around at actual reality, they could see the TRUE outcome of 'SmallerGovernm ent' as brought about by 30+ years of less and less regulation and taxation of the Wealthy Global Corporate Class and privatization of evermore Government Functions into the hands of the Global Corporate Class.
America has been led down a path of self destruction, rapid decline, severe national division, less civil liberties, runaway corruption, an expanding reality of a two class system of haves and have nots, endless war, a corporate-contr acted national-securi ty state, less food and drug safety, a crumbling infrastructure, a declining standard of living--ETC. ETC..!
Less Government as promoted by the Corporate Right, has led to a lot LESS for Most and a lot MORE for Fewer and Fewer.
 
 
+2 # brux 2013-01-23 07:34
smaller government really only means
government without anyone from the small elite corporate boardrooms that all communicate and share the same ideals.

the government gets too big when average people have any part of it.
 
 
+1 # John Somebody 2013-01-20 18:41
And this.

What psychologists call subconscious mind, what Buddhists call monkey mind, what scientologists call reactive mind, (all misnomers, because the mentality of such a thing, ceases to exist, when mind is withdrawn from it; mind does not.), and what Christians and Muslims refer to as "Satan", are all the same thing. The ultimate, fascistic parasite, with no understanding, and no power of its own, other than to gain power, from our ignorance of what we can do, when we truly have internal stability. That's when we can function at optimum.
That's when we truly understand our situation, and the ignorant forces of reaction,have nothing to feed on. So they cease to exist.
 
 
+17 # Vardoz 2013-01-20 18:45
Democracy is a form of government in which all eligible citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Democracy allows eligible citizens to participate equally—either directly or through elected representatives —in the proposal, development, and creation of laws. It encompasses social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and equal practice of political self-determinat ion. If it was up to like Mackey millions would be left to die so that others could make their profits.

Because we have power insurance companies and reps that are easily paid off we the people are stuck in a horrible healthcare vice grip where people's lives are not as important as profits. This system is hurting tens of millions of people. What we need is universal health care like all the other developed nations.
 
 
0 # Martintfre 2013-01-22 10:12
//Democracy is a form of government in which all eligible citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. //

Democracy is majority rule such as two wolves and a sheep voting on lunch.
 
 
+16 # albertchampion 2013-01-20 19:15
well, i see that -11, and i wonder why.

let us consider the usa's medical industry for a moment.

among all the industrial nations with some notions of democracy, the usa medical costs are the highest by a pretty large multiplier.

crazier still, the results are not all that good. we don't get much for our money in the usa.

and why is this, do you think? it is because the medical industry runs the legislative process[via their lobbyists and pacs].

perhaps you missed the story of how amgen was able to insert an amgen-beneficia l clause into the recent "increase the debt" legislation.

how many lobbyists does amgen employ in DC? 74.

i have a pretty good sense of what a rip-off u.s. medical care is. i have had mri's in france, japan, montenegro. cost: no more than $150usd.

have you seen what mri's cost in the usa?

even mri's conducted with machines that were bought and paid for over a decade ago.

the citizenry in the usa has only two options, economically. cease all militarism, global invasive psycopathy, or cease all medical care.

amongst the medicos that i know, and i know way too many as i deal with stage 4 cancer, we often discuss how medicare funds are spent. i think it is more than 70%. they all expect medicare will be cancelled for u.s. citizens over 80 years of age.

now, there is a death sentence for millions of u.s. citizens. which will become a policy of the state.
 
 
+2 # geneBee 2013-01-20 19:47
Thanks much, Thom Hartman, for this concise clarification. I concur with the first commenter "Binks" and numerous others here on the same track. Caveat: Let's not give up totally on this CEO. With help from articles like this--and from brave WFM employees & straight-shooti ng customers & share-holders, fingers crossed Mr. Mackey may soon see the light!
 
 
+23 # Rich Austin 2013-01-20 19:57
Mackey is a self-absorbed, money grabbing punk.

WalMart and Whole Foods have both been on my “do not patronize” list for eons. Scratch the surface and you’ll find both are practitioners of putrid, morally bankrupt, neoliberal capitalism.

All you good and true folks who shop at whole foods: Please stop. Stop now! Find another food co-op. Whole Foods is just another of the behemoths referenced by Theodore Dreiser—“The government has ceased to function, the corporations are the government.”
 
 
-8 # DaveM 2013-01-20 20:08
Let's see now....Whole Foods gets its product from farmers, does it not? Farmers are not allowed to set their own prices for their products, face an artificially-ma nipulated system of supply and demand through government subsidies and related programs, receive tax breaks on fuel and other supplies, as well as tax credits on acreage....that 's just for a start.

That sounds a bit like the classic definition of socialism, doesn't it? Which means that Whole Foods, by profiting from the American agricultural system, is....?
 
 
+2 # Smokey 2013-01-22 14:47
[quote name="DaveM"]"L et's see now....Whole Foods gets its product from farmers, does it not? Farmers are not allowed to set their own prices for their products, face an artificially-ma nipulated system of supply and demand through government subsidies and related programs, receive tax breaks on fuel and other supplies, as well as tax credits on acreage....that 's just for a start."

Hmmmmm.... Good insights.... The age of small-scale farming has almost ended in America. Big corporations and their lobbyists manage the system. Call it "agribusiness."

The national government provides subsidies to tobacco farmers. Employers are free to abuse immigrant farm workers. And, of course, the farmers get lots of special supports from government.

The big-time producers control government programs? Call it "fascism."
 
 
+20 # margpark 2013-01-20 20:10
Perhaps this person doesn't recognize that the US is way behind the rest of the civilized world in recognizing a public right to health care.

Also we are doing it the expensive way by using insurance agencies. We need a government sponsored single payer way so the goverment can bargan to reduce health care. Every other modern country does it that way, and we are behind in health care and way ahead in cost of health care.
 
 
-2 # mccalljo@nmia.com 2013-01-20 21:28
The nuance in differences between a corporate Libertarian and a communitarian oriented Libertarian is huge. I don't think it helps to conflate Libertarians with Fascists, especially Green Libertarians. High dollar organic foods are the leading edge to low dollar organic foods. The trailblazers will pay more until we organize ourselves to continue the expensive and time consuming efforts that go into arranging healthy food distribution on a nationwide basis. It is good to be critical about what is happening on the progressive front but this is the same old destructive wrangling amongst socialists, communists, anarchists and and Libertarians that results in the domination of the center right coalition over and over.
 
 
+9 # tomwalker8 2013-01-21 10:38
Whole Foods' aura of concern for "natural" foods evaporates when one investigates the company's duplicity with respect to GMOs.
 
 
+12 # vgirl1 2013-01-20 21:29
Great article.

I definitely have no problem including the Whole Foods CEO in the category of a Fascist in cahoots with the TPrepublican machine.
 
 
+5 # wwway 2013-01-20 21:54
Facism, socialism, communism are words so freely used that those who use them don't know what they are, what they mean, describe how those economic systems work and what each system looks like and feels like to live with. The word capitalism is used in the conotation of an angel as an excuse to abuse workers and rob savings, pension and investment accounts.They can't even tell you what the father of capitalism said in the Wealth of Nations.
Those who complain about ObamaCare can't explain why they don't like it. They can't tell you how it works, how it hurts or what the rules are. They just don't like it.
Just because a guy got rich off an idea like Whole Foods doesn't make him an authority. His argument reveals his ignorance and his greed. It's really sad that some people like that in themselves and in others.
 
 
+8 # brider 2013-01-20 23:10
Several Corporations (CEO's) have made broad statements against Obamacare and the idea of paying a fair wage = health care. I have carefully noted the names and quit shopping at every single one. I have not failed to find a product I need or want. I am sure there are others that do the same but don't brag about it. they skate by but don't get to brag!
 
 
+9 # RnR 2013-01-21 05:30
Natural Grocers at Vitamin Cottage, a great alternative to Whole Foods who bought out Wild Oats here and totally destroyed it.
 
 
-9 # EcoInteractive 2013-01-21 07:20
"In other words, fascism is corporate government – a Libertarian's wet dream." ...... That is totally inaccurate. Libertarians promote individual rights, not corporate rights. Ron Paul frequently speaks out very strongly against corporatism:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwwXgPiySto
 
 
+4 # wwway 2013-01-21 10:02
Ron Paul's legislation and voting record supports or betrays your claim?
 
 
-2 # ETNIKS 2013-01-21 09:57
I agree with everything, but I regret you used Obamacare as an example.

Obamacare is a fraud for the benefit of the private insurance corporations.
Obama is a scumbag who is a sweet-talker stabbing all his supporters on the back with his actions.

To force people to purchase expensive private insurance to fatten their already bloating asses, is criminal.
 
 
+4 # tomwalker8 2013-01-21 10:34
What with CEOs threatening their employees should they have voted for Obama last November (another example of fascist incursion) and refusing to insure their employees, I am almost daily adding companies to a list of those I will no longer patronize. Sadly, and this has more to do with Whole Foods position(s) on GMOs than anything, Whole Foods is my newest addition.
 
 
+2 # jnest 2013-01-21 16:25
BradfromSalem: you should publish your venn diagrams. I think many of us would find them useful.
 
 
+6 # karen12643 2013-01-21 16:27
I saw Mackey on Morning Joe and he tried to compare himself with the CEO of Costco and this was after he said Obama care was fascist. Then he ranted about how his grocery business and he were here for a higher purpose, which never got explained. I was waiting for him to tell us God had spoken to him to start his grocery store. He definitely has some sort of God complex. Wonder if he belongs to one of the American religious cults, or is he starting his own for grocers only? What a moron. Never going near a Whole Foods again.
 
 
+3 # BeaDeeBunker 2013-01-21 22:38
I heard Mackey on a WNYC talk show interview, and was pissed off by what he was saying and claiming as a truth, that was in fact all BS! I was also annoyed when the interviewer did not challenge Mackey immediately.

Mackey is a rich person who has schooled himself in how to talk nonsense to people, while at the same time making them feel privileged, and real smart.
He is the kind of Fascist that loves to point out how Mussolini (that well known Fascist) made the railroads run so efficiently. His company is about Whole Foods, not wholesome foods. His political philosophy is that the ends justify the means, rather than the true progressive credo that the means justify the ends!

This complete issue is a prime example of how uninformed and disengaged the majority of the American public is when it comes to what it means to be a citizen, in what is touted as a democracy.

50% of our fellow citizens DO NOT VOTE! Of the 50% who do vote, too often more than 50% of those voters manage to elect people who are against these same voters' best interests. What is wrong with this picture?

Fact: We are a former colony of Great Britain.
Fact: In 2010 murder by gun in the USA was 8775!
Fact: From 9/2010-9/2011 murder by gun in Great Britain was 58!
Fact: Great Britain has 1/5 the population of the USA.

Do the math! Conclusion: We are an immature nation, bordering on uncivilized!
 
 
-8 # Martintfre 2013-01-22 10:21
Fact : The murder rate in England is higher then many states.
 
 
+6 # BeaDeeBunker 2013-01-22 15:07
EXCUSE ME! Where did you learn to read?
Fact: There are 50 states in the United States of America.
Fact: In 2010 murder by gun in the country known as the United STATES of America was 8775.
Fact: The country of Great Britain, the whole country, not just one 'state' in the country, had a total of 58 murders as a result of guns.
Fact: Since the population of Great Britain is one fifth that of the United States, five times 58 equals 290 murders by gun as compared to 8775!!!!

Your statement, comparing a COUNTRY with a STATE is an insult to the intelligence of the RSN community, and an indication that you need to be more careful in your reading of comments, and even more careful before you decide to comment.
 
 
-2 # antistaterick 2013-01-23 10:11
Thom is very confused. Yes, fascism is the corporate state, but corporate power comes from the state to begin with. Free-market libertarians are not for a corporate state. They are for no state at all. Lasseiz-faire and corporatism are opposed to one another. Thom is conflating the existing fascist (state-regulate d) market with a free-market (which we've never had).

John Mackey is right to call Obamacare and other forms of central planning and regulation of economic activity fascism.

The government regulated, bailed out, subsidized economy is fascism. So when Thom advocates a regulated economy, he is the one pushing fascism. The exact opposite of what libertarians (authentic liberals) advocate.
 
 
-3 # antistaterick 2013-01-23 10:17
Also, there is nothing "liberal" about state-socialist 'democracy.' It is authoritarian, unworkable, and contrary to true liberalism. It is trying to achieve liberal social goals through authoritarian, conservative means (statism). The only legitimate form of democracy is free-market anarchism.
 
 
0 # hoodwinkednomore 2013-01-27 18:22
free-market anarchism? Jeez, people get off the computer to give your brains time to regroup....
 

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