The particular form of economic organization, which is becoming more and more
apparent in this country, as an outgrowth of the power of pressure groups, is
one of the worst variants of statism: guild socialism. Guild socialism robs
the talented young of their future—by freezing men into professional castes
under rigid rules. It represents an open embodiment of the basic motive of most
statists, though they usually prefer not to confess it: the entrenchment and
protection of mediocrity from abler competitors, the shackling of the men of
superior ability down to the mean average of their professions. That theory is
not too popular among socialists (though it has its advocates)—but the most
famous instance of its large-scale practice was Fascist Italy.
In the 1930’s, a few perceptive men said that Roosevelt’s New Deal was a form
of guild socialism and that it was closer to Mussolini’s system than to any
other. They were ignored. Today, the evidence is unmistakable.
It was also said that if fascism ever came to the United States, it would come
disguised as socialism.