Refuting the “right wing” equals “fanatic wacko” canard *UPDATED*

In the past, I’ve tried to explain that the Nazis were not right wingers and that the nomenclature of “left” versus “right” is pretty meaningless in today’s political world.  Matthew Burden takes on the same issue in his Cavuto interview, explaining that American conservatives are not the same as white supremacists and that, more specifically, one wackos deadly acts do not mean that American veterans are an extremist threat to American citizens.

Why do we keep having to explain this over and over again?

That’s a rhetorical question, by the way.  I know the answer, especially as I was once on the Progressive side myself (although I always understood that the Nazis were socialists who believed in aggregating to the state all power existing in a nation).

UPDATE:  David Swindle is an interesting guy.  He’s ferociously intelligent, which may explain why he made in a few years the journey it took me thirty years to make — from liberal to conservative.  Although coming at it from a more personal and intellectual slant than I did in my old “statist versus individualist” post, this FrontPage Magazine interview shows David touching upon some of the same differences in conservative versus liberal thinking.

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  • David Foster

    The Nazis were heavily influenced by the socialists, but they differed in important ways. Unlike the socialists, they did not aspire to run industry directly, but rather to leave it in ostensibly-private hands while making it completely beholden to the government. This is partly because they did not view economic matters as being at the core of human life in the way that many socialists (Soviet Communists, for example) did. For the Nazi/fascist, for example, war is a good thing in itself: for the socialist, it is only a means to an end.

    There is a significant difference in the emotional tone of socialist and fascist belief, captured well by this quote from Aldous Huxley:

    “In the field of politics the equivalent of a theorem is a perfectly disciplined army; of a sonnet or picture, a police state under a dictatorship. The Marxist calls himself scientific and to this claim the Fascist adds another: he is the poet–the scientific poet–of a new mythology. Both are justified in their pretensions; for each applies to human situations the procedures which have proved effective in the laboratory and the ivory tower. They simplify, they abstract, they eliminate all that, for their purposes, is irrelevant and ignore whatever they choose to regard an inessential; they impose a style, they compel the facts to verify a favorite hypothesis, they consign to the waste paper basket all that, to their mind, falls short of perfection…the dream of Order begets tyranny, the dream of Beauty, monsters and violence.”

    I believe that our present-day “progressives,” although they clearly are influenced by Marxism, are in some ways closer to the fascist worldview.

  • Ymarsakar

    I think calling progressives close to fascism would be unfair.

    To fascism that is.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Welcome to our fold, David Foster. You are in good company.