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The Fascist New Frontier

On December 16, 1962, Ayn Rand delivered a lecture at the Ford Hall Forum in Boston entitled "The Fascist New Frontier." She began by quoting from an unidentified political platform which demanded profit-sharing, government care for the aged, legislation favorable to small businesses, government scholarships, public health and "the Common Good before the Individual Good." She then surprised her audience by identifying this as the program of the National Socialist (Nazi) Party of Germany in 1920. Throughout her speech, she argued that the Democratic Party of John Kennedy was actually implementing fascism. In her April 18, 1965, speech before that same forum, entitled "The New Fascism: Rule by Consensus," she attempted to equate Lyndon Johnson's Great Society with fascism.

This equation carried conviction not only with her loyal admirers but also with many other conservatives. Throughout the 1960's and 70's, it was a set-piece of rightist rhetoric. Even today, one can find evocations of this thesis in conservative literature: a recent cover of the New American portrayed Bill Clinton standing with Hitler and Mussolini, haranguing the masses about his proposals for youth.

To understand the significance of Rand's charge, one must consider when her first speech was delivered. By the first year of the Kennedy administration, it was evident that the anticommunist movement had...

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