-- R.G. Menzies
LIBERTARIAN/CONSERVATIVE DIGEST AND COMMENTARY FROM AN ACADEMIC PSYCHOLOGIST in Brisbane, Australia. My academic publications are widely read
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Does the "Far Right" exist?
The so-called "Far Right" have Leftist beliefs
A video has just gone up in which I talk about the nature of authoritarianism. Authoritarianism was my major topic of study during my academic career. I was at one stage in the video asked about the extreme Right and The answer that I gave is that it doesn't exist. I thought I should explain that surprising statement more.
The Left are certain sure that the extreme Right exists. If you listen to them, you would conclude that the Left is surrounded by Far Rightists. Just about everyone who disgrees with them is either of the "Far Right" or is a "White supremacist".
When I was first called a white supremacist many years ago, I was simply puzzled by that. I had said nothing that expressed any belief in white supremacy so why was I being called that? I eventually realized, however, that it was simply a form of abuse with no real meaning -- a bit like SoB.
I in fact am and have long been a Northeast Asian supremacist. I am a psychometrician so know the evidence that the people of N.E. Asia (China, Korea, Japan) are on average about half a standard deviation (which is a lot) smarter than people of European ancestry. And given the very wide range of effects that IQ has, the N.E. Asians will by the end of this century be supreme in lots of ways. China is within sight of that already.
But Leftism comes in various flavours with some being clearly more extreme than others so why is that not also true of conservatives? But can you be extreme about not doing things? How can not doing things be extreme? That seems almost self-contradictory. But there is one way conservatives can be and are extreme. You can be extreme about governments not doing things. And that is libertarianism -- rejection of just about everything that governments do. They think that all governments should do only a tiny fraction of what they currently do. So insofar as conservatives are ever extreme they are libertarians, which is the diametric opposite of authoritarianism.
The most loved and most influential conservative leader of the 20th century knew what conservatism was about, of course. He said: "If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism..... The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom". And if Ronald Reagan did not know what conservatism was all about, who would?
When the Left use the term "Far Right", they are implicitly accepting the great lie that Nazism was in some sense Rightist, despite the fact that the Nazis called themselves socialists. That big lie has in fact been the most durable bit of disinformation to come out of Sovetskaya Rossiya. And is has been durable because postwar Leftists worldwide seized on it with gladsome hearts. So, to Leftists, "Far Right" means Nazi-like or at least racist. And almost any mention of race or a natural community will get you called "Far Right".
So the 2017 events in Charlottesville, Virginia, gave a lot of Leftists erections: There at last were some self-declared Rightists displaying KKK and Nazi symbols. But the KKK and the Nazis of history were Leftists so the extremists among the Charlotteville demonstrators were Leftists! They were not Leftists in the modern sense but their views had their origin on the Left.
Leftism is intrinsically authoritarian. As Mr Obama said to great cheers from his supporters, Leftists aim to "fundamentally transform" the society they live in. But the rationales Leftists use to justify their authoritarianism change over time. So the authoritarian nature of the KKK and the Nazis was part and parcel of their Leftism. And the authoritarianism of all forms of Leftism is what conservatives oppose.
So why was the Charlottesville rally arranged under the banner of "Unite the Right"? Before I address that, howeever, I think we initially need to make clear who was at that rally.
The great majority were Southerners who objected to the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, the great Southern hero who did NOT own slaves. The Southerners were there in memory of their struggle for independence against Yankee Fascism. And they could have remembered with some bitterness the treatment the South got even after the war during "Reconstruction" -- which was very authoritarian and corrupt. There were however a quite small number of KKK and neo-Nazi supporters also among the Southerners and the media did their best to keep their cameras focused on them. So why did those few old fashioned Leftists regard themselves as Rightists?
I will now make a small detour to explain that. I am an instinctive libertarian so in the 60s I was already interested in what later became the main focus of my psychological research: Authoritarianism. So I made a point of getting to know actual Communists and Nazis. My findings about Nazism were sufficiently interesting to gain publication in Jewish journals. See here and here. So I actually know both sides of the Charlottesville confrontation rather well. The guys I got to know were from a different time and place but the events of Charlottesville seemed very familiar to me. And the neo-Nazi guys I knew called themselves "The Right" too.
So why did they do that? Modern-day Leftists oppose all forms of racial and group discussion but "The Right" did NOT see any discussions about groups or races as impermissible. They in fact thought it was obvious that there are important racial differences. They were antisemitic but that also put them at odds with today's official Leftism. So they concluded that they, as opponents of Leftism, must be Rightists.
But they were not. I pointed out to them on a few occasions that Hitler described himself as a socialist so what did they make of that? They said that he was saying we should all pull together to get things done -- which is indeed what Leftists from Hitler and Mussolini to Hillary Clinton have also said. Clinton ran for President in the last election under the slogan "Stronger Together". She even wrote a book under that title. Leftists want everyone to jump when they say jump. And the whole point of the Roman Fasces was again strength in unity. So the neo-Nazis really were Leftists but didn't know it.
That may seem absurd but the entire American Left seems absurd at the moment so there is ample room for confusion about what Leftists stand for. What they stand for can change very rapidly. Senator Obama opposed homosexual marriage rather eloquently but President Obama endorsed it. Was he any less Leftist for that? Leftism can be very changeable. What it is today can be very different tomorrow. They all want to change the society they live in but that is the only uniformity.
And Hitler's form of Leftism -- eugenics etc -- was widely shared by Leftists throughout the world in the 1930s -- and by the American Left in particular. Hitler in fact got some of his ideas from American eugenicists. See here and here and here
And the Nazi belief that there are were some significant racial differences has once again emerged among modern Leftists. The Nazis and their ilk were heavily focused on whites and so are modern Leftists. There is much talk of white evil and white privilege -- and dead white males have to be erased from memory of course. It's as racist as can be but the modern Left has become totally suffused with hate so as long as you are doing a good job of hating you are pretty much OK. Conservatives are generally not interested in race. They just wish the Left would shut up talking about it. Leftists are obsessed with group identity. Conservatives are not.
And antisemitism is once again rife on the Left -- usually under the shallow pretence of Anti-Zionism but sometimes rather openly among the British Left. Leftists have been antisemitic ever since Karl Marx, who despised Jews even though he was one. Being antisemitic is no bar to "The Right" being in fact Leftist.
So the neo-Nazis are just behind the times. They are old-fashioned Leftists, not modern Leftists. "The Right" or "Far Right" as Leftists conceive it does not exist. All conservatives and all extreme conservatives are diametrically opposed to authoritarianism/Leftism both old and new.
I say more about neo-Nazis here and here -- JR
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I always thought that the hard right and the hard left were two sides of the one coin. One wants to rule by government, and the other by capital – both authoritarian forms of power.ReplyDelete
We have of course the modern hybrid – capitalist communism.
Many historians cannot agree whether Hitler was left or right wing or none of the above. The consensus seems to be “selective fascism” – cherry picked the best bits and bastardized the worst bits.