Nazism and fascism were very much about restoring an earlier, idealized order – the very definition of the right, as it has long been understood. Mussolini harkened back to the lost grandeur of the Roman Empire. Hitler sought to restore the mythical purity of the Aryan race. The nationalism of these totalitarians was far more extreme than their socialism, and their cultural predilections looked largely backward (build classical columns, ban “degenerate” art). Their appeal to their followers was in no small part that they would reestablish order against modern decay.
Latter-day admirers of the Nazis and fascists, such as James von Brunn, typically emphasize racial or national chauvinism over socialistic economics by a wide margin. They want to recapture a lost (and generally bogus) past, rather than remake the world according to a future vision. As such, they are on the extreme right. It does no credit to current-day conservatives, and adds nothing to understanding, to redefine the extreme right out of existence by claiming that it’s just another bunch of leftists.
Harking back to a romanticized past is conservative?? Has this guy never heard of Greenies? Has he never noticed the strong alliance between Greens and the Left? Conservatives conserve. They want to preserve the best of what has worked. They are wary of attempts to alter the status quo. It is reactionaries who want to return to the past and the chief reactionaries of today are undoubtedly the Greenies.
And this is particularly clear in the case of Hitler. The rural agrarian past that he romanticized seems to be very much the same as what the Greenies idealize. He even shared the Greenie obsession with running out of resources. He wanted Lebensraum in the East for Germany because he calculated that Germany was soon going to have difficulty feeding its population -- so he wanted to seize Slavic farmland to grow the food that Germany would need. And as for caring about the lives of others, what Greenie has ever expressed regret for the millions of lives lost to malaria in Africa because of the ban on DDT? Hitler had a LOT in common with the Greenies but nothing in common with conservatives. He in fact persecuted Germany's conservatives.
And Mussolini was a Greenie too. As well as being an "anti-globalizer", there were several other ways in which Mussolini would have appealed to modern-day Greenies. He made Capri a bird sanctuary and in 1926 he issued a decree reducing the size of newspapers to save wood pulp. And, believe it or not, he even mandated gasohol -- i.e. mixing ethanol with petroleum products to make fuel for cars. Mussolini also disliked the population drift from rural areas into the big cities and in 1930 passed a law to put a stop to it unless official permission was granted. What Green/Left advocate could ask for more?
So if the addled writer above wants to equate reactionary ideas with the "Right", let him go ahead. He can call Greenies "Rightists" all he likes for all I care. But just don't pretend that such a "Right" has anything to do with conservatives. And if it is "totalitarians" who are Rightists, I guess Stalin was a Rightist too.
Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here