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  • Alan Stevens - AWAH - Libertarianism, Freedom.

Liberty & the Right Political Spectrum

Updated: Oct 27, 2020

The current classification of political opinions is a mess. Murderous totalitarian socialists like Mao, Stalin Hitler and Mussolini all belong to the extreme left-wing. Supporters of liberty belong on the right.


The current classification of political opinions is a mess. Murderous totalitarian socialists like Mao, Stalin Hitler and Mussolini all belong to the extreme left-wing. Supporters of liberty belong on the right.


We often hear the expressions ‘Right Wing’ and ‘Left Wing’ used in political discussion and commentary. But a lot of people recognize there is something a bit strange about a way of looking at politics which puts murderous totalitarian dictators like Hitler and Stalin at opposite ends of the spectrum. Obviously, they belong together in the same dismal group.


Socialist propaganda has successfully muddied the waters. It has placed avowed socialists like Hitler and Mussolini on the so-called ‘extreme right’ where they do not belong. Hence the confusion. All socialists are believers in state power rather than liberty, and belong on the left wing.


They have then pulled off the trick of identifying libertarians as so called ‘extreme’ right wingers, implying we are in some way comparable to the totalitarian fascists like Mussolini and Hitler. Obviously, we are nothing of the kind, indeed quite the opposite. Fascism is merely an updated form of Marxist socialism and is the goal of freedom’s enemies - statist politicians, bureaucrats and crony capitalists everywhere. Far from being dead, Fascism is the greatest threat to the world’s prosperity and freedom.


Originally right and left were expressions which related to who sat where in, I think, the French National Assembly. By chance those who sat on the right side of room, presumably to the right of the door, were authoritarian conservatives. They adhered to the social ranks and traditional authority in church and state of pre-industrial Europe. They literally believed in privilege, that is too say, in different groups being subject to different laws from birth.


Opposite them on the left side of the chamber were liberals and radicals who believed in eliminating hereditary privilege and ecclesiastical intolerance. They were typically interested in equality before the law, property rights and freedom to trade and work. They attacked state sponsored monopolies – their version of crony capitalism.


Naturally the Assembly was also full of opportunist power grabbers of all kinds. The left included their share of revolutionary authoritarians. Nevertheless, modern Libertarianism clearly has much more in common with the non-authoritarian left-wing radical tradition of the eighteenth century than it does with the traditional right wing of hereditary privilege in an unchanging social order.


THE LEFT BECAME SOCIALIST AND THE RIGHT CONSERVATIVE

In the course of the Nineteenth Century the left split under the influence of Marxism or, as it became known, socialism. The left wing’s original, and correct, suspicion of the state as a group of insiders predating working people, was replaced by a new religion of the state.


The state became a redemptive mystical entity. Somehow it was going to use its power to end Marxism’s alleged oppression of working people by ‘capitalists’. Since the left now believed in the state as ‘a good thing’, there was no longer any need for limits on its power and duties. In other words, the rights and freedoms traditionally upheld by liberals and radicals could be dispensed with. The left became anti-libertarian.


The stage was set for the massive 20th century Democratic Socialist state run by self-interested career politicians. As the state became an illiberal force and a threat to property and liberty, the right wing became ‘conservative’. The right had completely, and rightly, lost its struggle to preserve intolerant, privileged and authoritarian structures based on birth.


Now it attracted the support of many people who wished to conserve as much of the highly successful Classical Liberal society and economy as possible. In particular they looked to the authoritative figures on the right to lead them in the struggle to avoid expropriation and revolution. So Conservatism was born as a programme of conserving as much as possible of a vaguely defined past period.


Since ‘Conservative’ politicians have been recruited from the same group’s of career politicians as their Liberal or Labour opponents, they in fact share the same statist, power grabbing mindset. Hence the tendency of Conservative politicians to betray their voters by promoting their own schemes of statist meddling and failing to roll back taxes and intervention established by their (alleged) opponents.


The result in America has been the Republican Party’s RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) who have constantly retreated before the century long socialist or progressive advance. Here we have a Conservative government indistinguishable from a socialist regime – which is emphatically not what its voters wanted.


FASCISM IS AN IMPROVED FORM OF COMMUNISM

The early twentieth century saw the emergence of a series of totalitarian socialist regimes variously identified as Communism (Socialism plus Electrification in Lenin’s phrase) in Russia, Fascism in Italy and the Nazi’s National Socialism in Germany. As discussed in an earlier post (‘Regulation, Fascism and Crony Capitalism’ June 23rd), Hitler, like Mussolini, was a socialist.


They believed, and Hitler explicitly wrote in ‘Mein Kampf’, that the socialist project of achieving total state control of society should be accomplished by stealth. Instead of formal expropriation or nationalization, a host of ostensibly well intentioned and regulations would be used to gradually destroy the reality of individual property and liberty.


A REVISED POLITICAL SPECTRUM

It is too late to change the identification of socialism, in other words support for an all-powerful collectivist state, with the left wing. What is needed is to move Fascism, National Socialism and the mish mash of third world authoritarian regimes to the extreme end of the left wing. There they join the Russian and Chinese Communists in the group of socialist totalitarian regimes which kept their people poor whilst murdering millions.


The correct spectrum of political opinion also puts Social Democratic parties and most traditional Conservative parties in the moderate left wing. They wish to expand the power of the state and promote the vested interests of state sponsored vested and bureaucratic interests, including crony-capitalist and inflationist banking elites.


In the corrected spectrum of political opinion, the left wing is the pro-state opinion and right wing is the pro-liberty opinion. What should define the central point of the spectrum of political opinion? The central point could be occupied by parties and political philosophies which on balance neither expanded nor reduced the size and power of the state.


Thatcher’s Conservative Government might belong near and somewhat to the right of the centre of the spectrum. It did little to reduce the size of the state, it centralised education and much else to little good effect and it failed to halt the EU’s continual power grab.


On the other hand, it eliminated exchange controls, liberalised rental housing and many industrial sectors and reduced tax, especially the higher rate taxes and taxes on companies. So on balance in libertarian terms Thatcher’s is a mixed record. That shows how difficult it is for any government to go against the strong tide in our society flowing constantly in favour of more state and less freedom.


STATIST PROPAGANDA AND SMEARING THE UK INDEPENDENCE PARTY

A party which clearly belonged on the moderate right of the spectrum of political opinion was UKIP. UKIP was a moderate Classical Liberal party, as I heard Nigel Farage explaining to bemused journalists on election night in 2014. It was in favour of lower taxation, and of scrapping hated taxes like the BBC licence fee, Inheritance Tax and Council Tax.


UKIP was in favour of free speech, and of a proper application of the scientific method to environmental issues. It was against the Green Fascism of the climate change lobby, and against the Marxist totalitarian movement known as political correctness. It wanted to scrap HS2 as a waste of money designed to feather the nest of the politically well connected.


Lastly, and crucially it wanted to take Britain out of the EU. All these policies chimed with the views of a majority (or at least a large minority) of public opinion. None, apart from the desire to leave the EU, was even reported by the mainstream media.


The EU’s is becoming a centralised European state whose rulers in Brussels are not directly accountable to any electorate. It has grabbed power precisely by following Hitler’s Fascist game plan. It has introduced countless regulations, each with some alleged public or environmental benefit, which collectively have steadily eroded the independence of member states and individuals’ freedom to live their lives as they see fit.


At the same time the EU’s supporters in politics and the mainstream media (MSM) smeared UKIP as ‘Fascists’. It is a key principle of propaganda that you accuse your opponents of being what you actually are. It confuses and enrages them. This sort of behaviour by the MSM made it clear that they were bought and paid for propaganda agents of the state.


In the United States currently, violent basically Marxist groups describe themselves as ‘Antifa’ - short for antifascist. They are using the same tactic of smearing their relatively pro-freedom conservative targets as being what they themselves are. Fascists and Marxists are brothers under the skin, and always were.


A REVISED VIEW OF THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM

So, all things considered, a better description of the political spectrum would be based on the clear opposition between liberty and the state. The more powerful and interventionist the state is the less liberty the individual has.


The state may pretend to disagree. Look at all the high-sounding rights accorded by the USSR’s constitution to Soviet citizens. In a police state with only one monopoly employer, rights on paper mean nothing. In the increasingly fascistic regimes of the West practical freedoms are being rapidly eroded under the cover of the Corona-virus scam.


With the Statist or Socialist tendency being identified as ‘left wing’ and Liberty as ‘right wing’ the extreme left-wing group comprises Marxist and Fascist totalitarian socialist regimes and figures including Mao, Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini. Next would come Police State authoritarians including many third world dictators. The centre-left position would be occupied by most First World social democrats, socialists and many so-called conservatives.


Both the Democrats and the Republicans in the US would be centre-left. However, the Democrat embrace of cultural Marxism, political correctness and green fascism, suggests that in practice they are moving closer to police state authoritarianism if not totalitarianism.


That doesn’t leave a lot of parties in the right half of the political spectrum. But then public opinion has been directed over the last century by the MSM and state education systems in a statism anti-liberty direction.


Leaving aside the disappointing libertarian party in the US (which is however the US’s third party) and similarly small liberal parties on the Continent, the centre-right would include some of the so-called populist and secessionist parties confronting the globalist march towards a one world green fascist mega-state.


As the current effort to implement yet another unviable socialist regime unfolds, expect to see resistance to develop in the form of a repopulation of the pro-liberty ‘right-wing’ end of the political opinion spectrum.

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