It seems to me that a good many people are confused as to what Left and Right wing “look like” and, as a result, what political ideologies fall where on the “left versus right scale.”
I would like, with this article, to talk just a little bit about how I understand things, so that others can either benefit from my understanding or, if they find it errant, correct me in my errors.
On this website (my blogging platform) is a blog entry that links to a video from the John Birch Society, that talks about this, but I thought it would be a good thing to help others to understand by reading from me and seeing how I differ and agree with JBS (as I’m NOT a member at this point in my life).
One thing with which I find myself in agreement with the John Birch Society, is how they express what it means to be on the left and the right from a political perspective. Even though that’s true, let me clarify.
Political left and right can be looked at as being on opposite ends of a scale. What PUTS them on opposite ends? The simple answer is, “On one end is total government control (farthest left) and on the other is NO government control (farthest right).”
What this means in the grand scheme of things is, very few people you’re EVER LIKELY TO MEET will be far left, or far right. This is because far left is well beyond the Orwellian work 1984 (if you haven’t read it, I urge you to do so as, though it’s horribly depressing, it’s a good descriptive of a society that is trending quite strongly to the left); and far right is essentially, anarchy.
So very few people who claim to be Constitutional conservatives, could make a case for no Federal government, and those same folks would have an even harder time by and large, of making a case for no state or local government.
At the same time, few folks who are the liberal by the definition commonly used in the United States could be said to be far left. That’s because, where most of them believe in far more government (and at higher levels) than do Constitutional conservatives, VERY FEW believe in a government even as overreaching as those in China or North Korea.
So talking about ALMOST ANYBODY in the United States as either “far left” or “far right” betrays the ignorance—if you will forgive my saying so—of the person so doing.
Put another way, a vast majority of U.S. Residents are centrists that LEAN to the left or right.
Having clarified the preceding, let’s talk about some political ideologies, and where they fall on the “political spectrum of left and right.”
To begin with, let’s make sure we understand that Nazism is a form of Socialism (having been the National Socialist Party of Germany by origin). If a person calls him or her self a Nazi, but DOESN’T support Socialism, he or she is CONFUSED. If he or she DOES support Socialism, then BY NATURE he or she is FARTHER LEFT than the average U.S. Liberal (at least, that’s my belief), much less the average Constitutional conservative.
To be clear then, Socialists OF ANY KIND are NOT on the “right” (not just not on the FAR right, but not on the right AT ALL—in point of fact, they are BY IDEOLOGY, farther LEFT than most on the left in the U.S.).
If one looks at the ideal of Communism, it is in THEORY, a moderately far right ideology. The end of Communism is supposed to be VERY close to anarchy. Essentially, people are supposed to be adjusted to the point that the needs of the society come FIRST, and then, essentially be left alone.
PRACTICALLY though, Communism NEVER GETS EMPLOYED. Let me explain. All of the “proof texts” for Communism essentially say that what must happen is that, society must become “fed up with” the way a standard societal entity functions and there must be a “revolt.” The “end of” that revolt is essentially a despotic or totalitarian regime that is essentially (in most cases where Communism has been tried to this point) Socialist in nature.
The result of this? Well, it’s that societies that aim themselves towards Communism, must go through a phase that generally looks more like “strong” Socialism rather than communism. Even though there’s no love lost between Communists and Socialists (being on the road to opposite ends of the political spectrum), effectively, they end up being the same thing—at least as a part of the Communist process.
The final problem is that once most Communist “transitional leaders” get a “taste of power and wealth,” they tend to like it too much to leave. This means that most entities that call themselves Communist WON’T EVEN END UP NAMING THEMSELVES something Communist. Don’t believe me? Consider the following: The Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republics, The People’s Republic of China, The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea).
Monarchy and Oligarchy
People like to separate the idea of Monarchy and Oligarchy, but in truth, they tend to be effectively the SAME THING. Why? Well because a monarch is typically unable to effectively run a country without an underlying power structure that supports their rule. Can there be an oligarchy that IS NOT headed by a monarch? I suppose there can, but as a rule, there’s pretty much ALWAYS a “figurehead ruler” of an oligarchy who may as well be a king or queen.
Funnily, in the end, oligarchies (and I include monarchies in oligarchies based on what I’ve said above), all tend essentially to be Socialist entities with inflexible leadership (which, frankly, is a HALLMARK of Socialism).
One of the WORST mistakes most people make, is to consider the United States a Democracy. Pretty much to a man, all of the founders and those who penned the founding documents, could not agree LESS, that the U.S. Was intended to be, or should ever become, a Democracy.
Why is this? Well, it’s simple really MAJORITY rule, amounts to MOB rule. If you can get fifty percent of the populace to agree with you (even if doing so drives the country to RUIN), you “WIN.” And since a large number of the electorate are unwilling to take the time and effort to understand the effects of the things they put into motion (or that are suggested to them as good things by those who wish to be elected to power), that’s pretty much NEVER a good thing.
The sad truth is, a representative republic is only as good as:
- The laws pronounced to make it a Republic and
- The enforcement and rigidity of the laws (particularly in the foundational ones).
Dictatorships and Totalitarian Regimes
Dictatorships and other types of Totalitarian Regimes are essentially “Socialism with a twist.” They may as well be considered in the same light as Oligarchy and Monarchy. As such, they barely deserve independent discussion.
Finally, we have Anarchy. As others have said (the John Birch Society among them), Anarchy is a “transition tool.” This is because Anarchy AS A RULE “invites” people of power and strength to come in and take over. So if Communism ever reached the essentially anarchistic final state, it would likely die in any case, because you can BET somebody would be there to take over after that happened.
So, if you ever hear somebody calling a leftist centrist an anarchist or a rightist centrist a Socialist, you can be sure that individual is BADLY CONFUSED.
As usual, thanks for reading and have a good day.