Adopting the economics of fascism isn't quite how we'd see off the extreme right to be honest

But that is how Colin Hines sees it in his latest tome, Progressive Protectionism. Of course, this subject has been discussed before, around about the time he announced that he was going to be writing the book. That passage of the years in the work hasn't improved the idea it has to be said.

As proof we've Richard Murphy insisting that the ideas have merit. As every compass has its butt end so do we have an infallible test of a bad economic idea:

The essence of Colin’s argument is that global capitalism is not working. And, given that Colin is a long time environmentalist (having been around that scene since it near enough began), what we should do to replace it is build strong local economies. This is not only green, but he also argues it is the way to tackle many other issues. Capital controls, for example, would let us more effectively tackle tax abuse and so build a more equal and just society. They would also end a focus on speculation that is creating massively harmful inequality in our country, and others. Controls on trade would, Colin argues, support local economies and jobs and massively reduce the enormous carbon cost of much of world trade.

This free market globalisation has just produced the largest fall in absolute poverty in the history of our species. Sounds like a pretty good result from a socio-political system to us. But that's not how Hines sees it:

Under these circumstances, beggar-your-neighbour globalisation gives way to the potentially more cooperative, better-your–neighbour Progressive Protectionism.

The book does not advocate a return to the oxymoronic protectionism of the 30s, where the goal was often for each protected industry or country to increase its economic strength by limiting imports and then hoping to compete and export globally at the expense of others. Unsurprisingly the more countries did this, the less trade there was between them.

Progressive Protectionism aims at reducing permanently the amount of international trade in goods, money and services and to enable nation states to decide the level of migration that their citizen’s desire.

What is being suggested is a move toward autarky as Enver Hoxa enacted, as Ne Win did, as Mussolini, Franco, as North Korea does, as the BNP when still extant claimed should be done.

Do note that we are not suggesting that Mr. Hines is actually a fascist. We are just noting that he's recommending economic policies adopted by those who were.

At which point enough with the insults. His recommendations are idiot stupidity which will make us all poorer. Larding them with the word progressive isn't going to be enough to get them down society's gullet.