Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Do You Know Your Right From Your Left?

The proto-fascist Glenn Beck has been busy using Rupert Murdoch´s multi-billion dollar media infrastructure to convince Americans that fascism and communism are the same thing, both ´progressive´ ideologies of big government or ´socialist´ economy with no private property. I am certain that he is trying to deal with the American public´s overwhelmingly negative view of the Nazis as any far-right winger must do to resonate with a mass audience and get them on board for the American incarnation of fascism.

Let´s get back to basics here and figure our left from our right.

I´ll start with wikipedia (where else?) and the term <progressivism>

Progressivism is a political attitude favoring or advocating changes or reform. Progressivism is often viewed in opposition to conservative or reactionary ideologies. The Progressive Movement began in cities with settlement workers and reformers who were interested in helping those facing harsh conditions at home and at work. The reformers spoke out about the need for laws regulating tenement housing and child labor. They also called for better working conditions for women.

In the United States, the term progressivism emerged in the late 19th century into the 20th century in reference to a more general response to the vast changes brought by industrialization: an alternative to both the traditional conservative response to social and economic issues and to the various more radical streams of socialism and anarchism which opposed them. Political parties, such as the Progressive Party, organized at the start of the 20th century, and progressivism made great strides under American presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon Baines Johnson.[1]

Despite being associated with left-wing politics in the United States, the term "progressive" has occasionally been used by groups not particularly left-wing. The Progressive Democrats in the Republic of Ireland took the name "progressivism" despite being considered centre-right or classical liberal. The European Progressive Democrats was a mainly heterogeneous political group in the European Union. For most of the period from 1942-2003, the largest conservative party in Canada was the Progressive Conservative Party.

And right wing ?

In politics, right-wing and the Right are generally used to describe support for social stratification, the preservation of social order, and upholding traditional values.[1][2][3][4][5] The terms Right and Left were coined during the French Revolution, referring to seating arrangements in parliament; those who sat on the right supported preserving the institutions of the Ancien Régime (the monarchy, the aristocracy and the established church).[6][7][8][9]

The concept of a political Right became more prominent after the second restoration of the French monarchy in 1815 with the Ultra-royalists. Today the term the Right is primarily used to refer to political groups that have a historical connection with the traditional Right, including conservatives, reactionaries,[10]monarchists, aristocrats and theocrats. The term is also used to describe those who support free market capitalism, and some forms of nationalism.
. . . .
Linked with right-wing nationalism is cultural conservatism. Cultural conservatism supports the preservation of the heritage of a nation or culture, usually in the face of external forces for change.

And now how about the far right ?

Far right, extreme right, hard right, radical right, and ultra-right are terms used to discuss the qualitative or quantitative position a group or person occupies within right-wing politics. Far right politics involves supremacism, believing that superiority and inferiority is an innate reality between individuals and groups and involves the complete rejection of the concept of social equality as a norm.[1] Far right politics supports segregation and separation of groups deemed to be superior from groups deemed to be inferior.[2] Far-right politics and political views commonly include authoritarianism, homophobia, nativism, racism, sexism, and xenophobia.[3]

Ok, now what about Nazism ?

The Nazis claimed that the German nation represents the most racially pure Aryan people.[12] The Nazis deemed the greatest threat to the Aryan race and the German nation as the Jewish race, which the Nazis described as being a parasitic race that has attached itself to various ideologies and movements to secure its self-preservation, such as the Enlightenment, liberalism, democracy, parliamentary politics, capitalism, industrialization, Marxism, and trade unions.[13]
. . . .
In 1927, Hitler said: "We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are determined to destroy this system under all conditions.”[112] Yet two years later, in 1929, Hitler backtracked, saying that socialism was “an unfortunate word altogether” and that “if people have something to eat, and their pleasures, then they have their socialism”. Historian Henry A. Turner reports Hitler’s regret at having integrated the word socialism to the Nazi Party name.[113] The Nazi Party’s early self-description as “socialist” caused conservative opponents, such as the Industrial Employers Association, to describe it as “totalitarian, terrorist, conspiratorial, and socialist”.[114]

In 1930, Hitler said: “Our adopted term ‘Socialist’ has nothing to do with Marxian Socialism. Marxism is anti-property; true Socialism is not”.[115]
. . . .
The racist subject of Nazism is Das Volk, the German people living under continual cultural attack by Judeo-Bolshevism, who must unite under Nazi Party leadership, and, per the spartan nationalist tenets of Nazism: be stoic, self-disciplined and self-sacrificing until victory.[64]
. . . .
The Jewish–Bolshevism conspiracy theory derives from anti-Semitism and anti-communism; Adolf Hitler first developed his worldview from living and observing Viennese life from 1907 to 1913, concluding that the Austro–Hungarian Empire comprised racial, religious, and cultural hierarchies; per his interpretations, atop were the “Aryans”, the ultimate, white master race, whilst Jews and Gypsies were at bottom.[64]
. . . .
Private property rights were conditional upon the economic mode of use; if it did not advance Nazi economic goals, the state could nationalize it .[153] Nazi government corporate takeovers, and threatened takeovers, encouraged compliance with government production plans, even if unprofitable for the firm. For example, the owner of the Junkers aeroplane factory refused the government’s directives, whereupon the Nazis occupied the factory and arrested Hugo Junkers, but paid him for his nationalized business. Although the Nazis privatised public properties and public services, they also increased economic state control.[154] Under Nazi economics, free competition and self-regulating markets diminished; nevertheless, Adolf Hitler’s social Darwinist beliefs made him reluctant to entirely disregard business competition and private property as economic engines.[155][156] In 1942, Hitler privately said: “I absolutely insist on protecting private property ... we must encourage private initiative”.[157]

To the proposition that businesses were private property in name but not in substance, but, in Ther Journal of Economic History article “The Role of Private Property in the Nazi Economy: The Case of Industry”, Christoph Buchheim and Jonas Scherner counter that despite state control, business had much production and investment planning freedom — yet acknowledge that Nazi German economy was state-directed.[158]

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