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Thursday, February 2. 2017
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Hitler!!! Yes, there are Nazis in American politics today. They are on the left and they are using violence to stop the other side from even being heard. A compliant media cheers their every assault.
That the Nazis are on the left is not a surprise. Most political violence and assassinations come from the left. Hitler was on the left and today's Brownshirts are paid for by the Democratic party and George Soros.
Hitler was a socialist, true. But I can't argue he was leftist as much as he was right wing. His fight against communists in Germany was part of that.
Stalin and Pol Pot were lefty thugs.
Socialism is a leftist ideology. The fact that Hitler was against a particular brand of socialism doesn't change anything. Opposition to socialism is a key feature of right wing politics.
That was a family feud - the worst kind of fight.
Absolutely nothing Hitler believed in would be considered "conservative" here in the U.S.
I dislike having him on my side of the spectrum as much as you do. The left today is against national borders. Hitler was an uber nationalist. My lefty friends are always pointing out that Hitler hated "modern" art and wanted to glorify landscapes and romantic images. I agree with him on that, btw.
For every one of those points I can come up with, there is a counter argument that I could use to place him on the left:
A) his eugenics obsession and policies are like those of the "progressive" left in America at the same time.
B) he pushed for more government programs and more state control of everything economic.
C) he wouldn't tolerate dissent or even opposition parties.
So I agree that the left has as much or more of a claim on him than the right does.
If you want a day by day account of Hitler's rise to power, this is as inclusive as it gets: https://www.amazon.com/Hitler-Ascent-1889-1939-Volker-Ullrich/dp/038535438X
At that time in Europe anyone opposed to the communist was lumped into the "right wing" regardless of their underlying political or ideological beliefs. Hitler was very much aligned with communism his fight with them was for dominance not against their ideology. It was more about which of them would rule Europe. 90% of what Hitler did and believed was in perfect alignment with the prevailing left wing philosophy of the time and 0% of it aligned with what we today would think of as a right wing philosophy.
SweetPea: At that time in Europe anyone opposed to the communist was lumped into the "right wing"
As communism is on the extreme left, nearly everyone else is to their right. However, that doesn't make them right-wing when considered against other groups. In pre-WWII Germany, there were groups on the left, center, and right. The Social Democrats were on the left; the Democratic and Catholic Center parties were in the center; while the German Nationalist Party was on the right.
SweetPea: 90% of what Hitler did and believed was in perfect alignment with the prevailing left wing philosophy of the time and 0% of it aligned with what we today would think of as a right wing philosophy.
White Aryan supremacy, which characterized Nazism, is the most exaggerated hierarchical society imaginable. That puts it clearly on the political right.
Apparently the Nazis considered themselves the "true" socialists, with the regime in Russia espousing an imperfect version. I read once that a senior officer in Hitler's regime was openly saying when they invaded Russia that the Germans would show the Russians the right form of socialism.
Dangerous Dean: Hitler!!! Yes, there are Nazis in American politics today. They are on the left and they are using violence to stop the other side from even being heard. A compliant media cheers their every assault.
Nearly all scholars, then and now, place Nazism on the political right. Nearly all ordinary usage, then and now, place Nazism on the political right. Nazis garnered their primary support from the political right, and their primary opposition was from the political left, including democratic liberalism, which they believed they were supplanting. Today, whenever you read about neo-Nazis, they are associated with the political right.
You are conflating means with ends. Extremists use extreme means, and can be found on the political left or the political right.
You'll have to come up with some example of a right-wing theme, not just an isolated policy or statement from Hitler to call him a creature of the right. He wanted complete control of virtually every aspect of life from eugenics to create the master race to socialism to control the economy. None of that is consistent with "right wing" ideology.
mudbug: You'll have to come up with some example of a right-wing theme ...
If you redefine right-wing to suit your ideology, then that probably isn't possible.
mudbug: not just an isolated policy or statement from Hitler to call him a creature of the right.
We pointed to scholarship, then and now, to ordinary usage, then and now, and to the use of neo-Nazism today, to show that the ideology is considered to be on the political right.
The term originated in the French Revolution, with those on seated on the right of the Estates General being supporters of the Ancien Régime, with power strongly concentrated in the monarchy. Those advocating a more equal distribution of power were on the left. Nazism is characterized by extreme authoritarian nationalism, a strictly hierarchical society.
The attempt to redefine the left-right spectrum as equivalent to authoritarian-libertarian is a very recent phenomenon among the U.S. political right. However, it doesn't comport with either scholarly or ordinary usage. For instance, it would mean the French monarchists were left-wing, that the recent anarchist riot in Berkeley was right-wing, that neo-Nazis in Europe are leftwing, and so on.
mudbug: He wanted complete control of virtually every aspect of life from eugenics to create the master race to socialism to control the economy. None of that is consistent with "right wing" ideology.
There are authoritarians on the political left and on the political right. There are libertarians on the political left and on the political right. There are extremists on the political left and on the political right. You confuse means and ends.
Z: We pointed to scholarship
Actually, you didn't point to anything. You said:
Nearly all scholars, then and now, place Nazism on the political right.
You offered no policies of Hitler's to back up your or their assertion.
mudbug: Actually, you didn't point to anything.
Sure we did. Noting that you are apparently using heterodox definitions, we pointed to the origin of the terms left and right, to how they have been used historically, and to how they are used today.
mudbug: You offered no policies of Hitler's to back up your or their assertion.
Sure. Using the standard definition, the political right is characterized by the advocacy of hierarchies. In its moderate form, that means holding to traditional institutions and mores. In an extreme form, Nazism advocated for white Aryan supremacy and the extermination of the Jews, about as hierarchical a goal as can be conceived.
From an earlier comment re. the definition of "right wing":
Z: If you redefine right-wing to suit your ideology, then that probably isn't possible.
That works both ways.
mudbug: That works both ways.
We have supported our views by pointing to scholarly and ordinary usage, and by showing why your view is inconsistent with how the terms are used.
This is what happens when people on the left call themselves The Resistance. Sooner or later, someone is going to take that seriously.
That's what I've been told about conservative rhetoric, anyway. Even when a liberal kid who doesn't even see Sarah Palin's website goes out and shoots a congresswoman, it's still Palin's fault.
I once had a professor who made this left vs. right confusion simple since it changes depending on locations and time.
Any ideology that suggests few control many others is leftist: a monarchism, totalitarianism, fascism, etc. Any ideology that calls for no control whatsoever, such an anarchy, is rightist. Democracy is 50%-plus-one; i.e. mob control, some more benevolent than others. A constitutional republic is a bunch of steps to the right of mob control depending on the constitution.
All are in a constant state of flux with outcomes depending on the participants involved and their internalized beliefs in individualism.
jma: Any ideology that suggests few control many others is leftist: a monarchism, totalitarianism, fascism, etc.
That makes no sense whatsoever, as the political left was defined as opposition to the monarchy. Rather, the left is defined as advocacy of egalitarianism, which can be found in moderate or extreme forms.
For once I agree with Z. I think both left and right conceive themselves often to be on the side of liberty, but they disagree over who is threatening liberty. Leftists tend to think it's Mr. Moneybags, a/k/a the Joooooooz, so freedom comes in the form of liberating the means of production and un-enslaving the workers. Rightists in present-day America, at least, tend to think a too-powerful state threatens liberty, and by extension a tyrannical majority. So freedom for them comes in the form of small government, especially Constitutional limits on what the majority can vote to get the government to do.
Leftists see this rightist program and interpret it as unfettering the powerful rich, who will use their liberty to oppress the little guy and the worker. Rightists see the leftist program and interpret it as sending in the state to confiscate what they've earned and saved, so it can be redistributed.
One of the infuriating things about all this is the utter silence about these riots in the media. The Tea Party folks gather, and all we hear about is the projection from the media on how hateful they are. These thugs gather and riot, destroy property, assault people...crickets from the media.
How many where arrested? One or two? By the fact that the democrats do not say one word to even distance themselves from these actual fascists, means that they fully support them. This will not end well. I have been thinking more and more about concealed carry. I really don't want to shoot someone, but it is looking more and more likely that violence is coming to America. I well protect myself and my family. The more times that these riots are given a pass, the more likely that the violence is really going to erupt.
B Hammer: By the fact that the democrats do not say one word to even distance themselves from these actual fascists, means that they fully support them.
The rioters were reportedly left-wing anarchists, which is as far from fascism as one can be. Not distancing themselves from rioters may be evidence that someone provides tacit support, but remains circumstantial evidence. In any case, many people on the left have condemned the rioters.
Anarchy is not so different from fascism. But more to the point it is what these people who call themselves anarchist do that should be defined. In that they act like classic left wing fascists who use violence and mayhem to punish and stifle freedom and individual rights. You can call them whatever you want to but you cannot whitewash what they do and what their left wing philosophy is.
SweetPea: Anarchy is not so different from fascism.
Fascism is authoritarian, not anarchistic.
Ask one of these pansy-assed hipster guerrilla fighters who Mario Savio is and you'll probably get pepper sprayed, or hit with a pipe. This is the fruit of unchecked Leftism run amok in academia, nothing else...
There's no excusing rioting to protest Milo Yiannopoulos, just as there is no excusing Milo Yiannopoulos's white nationalist rhetoric.