In a Nov. 11 column in the New York Times, law professor Tim Wu examines the connection between economies dominated by monopolies and cartels and the rise of fascism. As a historical example, Mr. Wu, who specializes in anti-trust law, looks at pre-World War II Germany and the concentration of businesses that he argues led to the rise of Hitler and pushed the world into war.
While Mr. Wu acknowledges that no one factor led to the rise of Nazism and recognizes influences such as the fear of communism, anti-Semitism and political institutions that were failing to fulfill their responsibilities, he also notes that the concentration of economic power brings a marriage of public and private power that puts democracies at risk.
By allowing media, airlines, finance and technology platforms, among others, to be dominated by a select few, the nation loses safeguards and a democratic approach to managing economic policy, Mr. Wu asserts. After World War II, the Allies broke up the German monopolies and also enacted their own laws to prevent mega-companies from wielding too much power.