Left is to communism as right is to ____?

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Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby gib » Thu Nov 19, 2020 7:20 am

It's said that if you go far enough out on the left wing, you get to communism. They also say, in a rather reactionary way, that if you go far enough out on the right wing, you get to fascism. But I don't think this dichotomy is right. For one thing, the right doesn't stand for racism. Right wing ideology stands for minimizing government and maximizing free markets. Laissez Faire. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. For another thing, how can you stand for a fascist regime when you detest the idea of giving government too much power? If you're thinking of the Nazi regime in particular, they were socialists. They called themselves the National Socialist German Workers Party. They wanted to engineer society from the top down.

I think associating the right with fascism and nazism is just a convenience because, in a way, they were two of the greatest super powers of the second world war which were pitted against each other. So it's convenient to think of Communism and Fascism in stark contrast to each other, the two ends of a single spectrum. But this is a grave misunderstanding. Just because they went to war with each other doesn't mean they stood for opposite principles. The only reason the nazis were fascist and the Communist were not is because the nazis were nationalist to the point of being obnoxiously prejudiced--but that has nothing to do with being socialist or capitalism, left wing or right wing. In all other respects, they were far more similar to each other than different.

I also think fascism comes to be associated with the right because racists tend to flock towards the right more than the left. But this shouldn't be confused with what the right stands for, it's an unintended side effect. Racists leech off the right, but they don't define the right at its core. What the right stands for is tolerance--tolerance of individual differences, of unflattering opinions, of people being jerks--tolerance for the sake of respecting the rights and freedoms of the individual. The right believes that as long as you don't violate my rights or the law, you're free to do and say whatever you want. You do you. Thus, they end up being the ones more likely to tolerate racism. They don't necessarily support racism, but racists know that if they are to seek out the support of one side or the other, their best bet is the right (though it may not be that sure of a bet).

So I think a lot of people, as they traverse the spectrum from left to right, they find themselves getting closer to minimized government and free markets, but at a certain point, they deviate along the path of racism and fascism. IOW, they end up, without realizing it, following a different but intersecting spectrum that has racism and fascism at one end and equality and universalism at the other (the latter being tightly connected to left wing ideology). But if you're careful not to follow that deviation, sticking to the right-wing path, where do you end up at the extreme end? Where else? Anarchy! If the left is all about Big Government, about giving absolute power to an elite class in order to solve all society's problems by enforcing solution by law and coercion, then the right would have to be about small government, tiny government, government that blips out of existence as it becomes small as a particle--that is, the extreme right--and what else would that be but anarchy, the state of every man for himself--you solve your own problems, you really pull yourself up by your bootstraps.

So I find it funny that ANTIFA is a tool of the left. I don't know if they realize that ANTIFA is not a socialist group. They're anarchists. They want just to tear down the fabric of society. BLM, which is a socialist group, also wants to tear down the fabric of society--so it's not a big surprise that they team up--but I think they're going to have to part ways once the revolution has fulfilled its goal of completely demolishing America--that's when BLM and other left wing extremists are going to start rebuilding. They're going to start erecting their socialist utopia on the ashes of what used to be the American way of life. At that point, they'll dispose of ANTIFA--useful as a tool for tearing down American society, but now not only useless, but dangerous to the new socialist order.

Anyway, I digress. Point is: left is to communism as right is to anarchy.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Dan~ » Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:34 am

To me, left and right is some crap that dummies decided to paint.
It's not real. It's just an effort to sort and confine, and judge, and simplify.

Simplification is often a fallacy of small minds.
Make the idea simple enough that a fool will understand it.
Instead of making ideas non user friendly.
Ideas that only a wise person would understand.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby promethean75 » Thu Nov 19, 2020 1:30 pm

"To me, left and right is some crap that dummies decided to paint.
It's not real."

Partisan style government is a natural development that is caused by very real class divisions in society. Because these classes are in perpetual conflict with each other, they have competing interests... which those two sides of the partisan style government then come to defend.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Thu Nov 19, 2020 1:58 pm

There is left anarchism, which is not like communism, for example.
Fascism would be one form of extreme right government. One can be for a fairly streamlined government that has tremendous power and be right wing, for example.
There can be all sorts of populisms.
There can be even an anarcho-capitalism on the right.
The right has tended to be pro law enforcement and pro military (both of which ends up being large government, at least in those areas). But they can also be skeptical about the former and isolationist in regard to the latter.

There are a lot of forms out there.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby obsrvr524 » Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:10 pm

gib wrote: left is to communism as right is to anarchy.

I'm really not seeing that.

Left - lawlessness (anarchy, liberal to eventually inspire oligarchy, "communism" in name only)
Right - lawfulness (depends on which nation - rigid Constitutional or Parliamentary)
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:26 pm

gib wrote:I also think fascism comes to be associated with the right because racists tend to flock towards the right more than the left. But this shouldn't be confused with what the right stands for, it's an unintended side effect. Racists leech off the right, but they don't define the right at its core.
I think a case could be made that the right leeches off racists. Or the non-racist right leeches off them, at least right wing politicians. I mean if we go through Trump's statements he said not much that by itself is racist. However unless he's a moron he knew how the racists were going to hear those things. The neocons are not particularly racist (Trump is not really one of them) since they don't care who they fuck up, but their campaigns will use code and hints that will appeal to the racists. They want those votes. They want that hatred of liberals on their side. That hatred, not just other ones. And then, generally, the racists don't reall get what they want from the right, in the US say, perhaps a bit less of what they don't want. So, the right draws their energy but really is a cock tease.

What the right stands for is tolerance--tolerance of individual differences,

That sounds like libertarians, at least on paper. But no way as a generalization. I find both the left and right to be highly intolerant, though of different things. Jeez most people on the right I have known were extremely critical regarding what they consider weird or hard to categorize or even creative. Now you may say that's not the core, but put me in a bar with right wing voters and I know there are things I had fucking better not wear. There are ways I would not dance. And extremely rigid around how men and women SHOULD look and act. The left has their own versions of this and this has really, really escalated in recent years.

Now some of the Right would judge and shame, perhaps, people who are different from norms, but they would also defend their right to be different. But this does not so much good while children are growing up around this shaming, control, peer pressure, authority pressure.

as far as the Right defending freedom of expression, there used to be significant portions of the left that did this. ACLU, consider communist I am sure by many people here, have defended Nazi parades and other forms of expression, assembly, publication. That was the Left I grew up in. But that has been changing.

So I think a lot of people, as they traverse the spectrum from left to right, they find themselves getting closer to minimized government and free markets, but at a certain point, they deviate along the path of racism and fascism. IOW, they end up, without realizing it, following a different but intersecting spectrum that has racism and fascism at one end and equality and universalism at the other (the latter being tightly connected to left wing ideology). But if you're careful not to follow that deviation, sticking to the right-wing path, where do you end up at the extreme end? Where else? Anarchy! If the left is all about Big Government, about giving absolute power to an elite class in order to solve all society's problems by enforcing solution by law and coercion, then the right would have to be about small government, tiny government, government that blips out of existence as it becomes small as a particle--that is, the extreme right--and what else would that be but anarchy, the state of every man for himself--you solve your own problems, you really pull yourself up by your bootstraps.
There's an affinity between libertarianism and anarchism, but these are not the only extremes of the left and right.

So I find it funny that ANTIFA is a tool of the left. I don't know if they realize that ANTIFA is not a socialist group. They're anarchists. They want just to tear down the fabric of society. BLM, which is a socialist group, also wants to tear down the fabric of society--so it's not a big surprise that they team up--but I think they're going to have to part ways once the revolution has fulfilled its goal of completely demolishing America--that's when BLM and other left wing extremists are going to start rebuilding. They're going to start erecting their socialist utopia on the ashes of what used to be the American way of life. At that point, they'll dispose of ANTIFA--useful as a tool for tearing down American society, but now not only useless, but dangerous to the new socialist order.
Well, the right has the same parallel collisions. The Neocons want a powerful oligarchy with minimal social support. So, big armies, big law enforcement, lack of privacy...a corporatocracy. That will not sit well with what you are calling the core right, at all. They are also interventionist. Then you have the religious right also.

Anyway, I digress. Point is: left is to communism as right is to anarchy.
I get what you mean, but there is the anarchic left. And the anarchic right is in a minority. And most of the right has no idea that it is already an oligarchy out there. And while politicians talk about free markets, the markets are being divided by few and fewer corporations and the power and money is getting centralized (and under dems and reps admins both).

You can't have a smaller goverment when you privitize the government and the power in the hands of the few, along with making vast intelligence agencies with black budgets and exceptional powers, a vast military and a vast law enforcement. That will not end up as anarchy. That will end up as fascism, without racism. It'll be streamlined in many areas of government but overall extremely powerful and not democratic. And it's already there. The right blames the left for the trend. The left blames the right. Neither side, in general, really wants to notice how far the process has gone and how alike the two parties are and how little power the individual has.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Thu Nov 19, 2020 3:23 pm

Beautiful post gib.

It can get confusing with anarchy, because the left also claims to want it. But, again, if you stick to the right-wing path and seek always for smaller government, less state, you will find the real anarchists and those pulling your anarchist heart strings to impose a top down design. "Just give us absolute power to fix a few things and then we'll disband." Disingenuous bastards.

Republicanism is nothing but an extremelly sophisticated anarchism, thay takes into account all of human history and thinks in millenia.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby obsrvr524 » Thu Nov 19, 2020 3:30 pm

Pedro I Rengel wrote:But, again, if you stick to the right-wing path and seek always for smaller government, less state, you will find the real anarchists and those pulling your anarchist heart strings to impose a top down design. "Just give us absolute power to fix a few things and then we'll disband." Disingenuous bastards.

I'm not seeing that in the US. Do you have some examples?
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby gib » Thu Nov 19, 2020 4:10 pm

Dan~ wrote:To me, left and right is some crap that dummies decided to paint.
It's not real. It's just an effort to sort and confine, and judge, and simplify.


I agree that it's an over-simplification, but I don't think it's unreal. It's two opposing views on the role of government. There are as many definitions of left and right as there are people (see obsrvr's definition), but my understanding is that the left believe the role of government is to solve all society's problems, usually by law, and so ought to be given all the power it needs to do so. The right believe the role of government is limited to do whatever it does best, usually (in the US case) what the constitution originally stipulated. But certainly people can hold views that can't easily be pigeonholed into these two camps, or don't fall anywhere on the spectrum. One might believe the role of government, in some situations, in some countries, at some periods in history, ought to be to solve all society's problems, but in other situations, in other countries, at other periods in history, ought to be limited to a much more narrow sphere. Some might believe the role of government ought to be to enforce a particular religion. Others might believe there is no "ought" when it comes to the government's role, that it's whatever men in power make it.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:There is left anarchism, which is not like communism, for example.


Would that be like socialism by the people without government?

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Fascism would be one form of extreme right government. One can be for a fairly streamlined government that has tremendous power and be right wing, for example.


How are you defining right-wing such that it supports a tremendously powerful fascist government?

Karpel Tunnel wrote:I think a case could be made that the right leeches off racists. Or the non-racist right leeches off them, at least right wing politicians. I mean if we go through Trump's statements he said not much that by itself is racist. However unless he's a moron he knew how the racists were going to hear those things. The neocons are not particularly racist (Trump is not really one of them) since they don't care who they fuck up, but their campaigns will use code and hints that will appeal to the racists. They want those votes. They want that hatred of liberals on their side. That hatred, not just other ones. And then, generally, the racists don't reall get what they want from the right, in the US say, perhaps a bit less of what they don't want. So, the right draws their energy but really is a cock tease.


Anyone can leech off anyone. Yes, right-wing politicians can appeal to racists to gain support and votes, but I'm talking about right-ism, not right-ists. Right-wing ideology, at least as I understand it, has nothing to do with racism.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:That sounds like libertarians, at least on paper.


Yes, I consider libertarians a form of extreme rightism (or so I've been taught).

Karpel Tunnel wrote:I find both the left and right to be highly intolerant, though of different things. Jeez most people on the right I have known were extremely critical regarding what they consider weird or hard to categorize or even creative. Now you may say that's not the core, but put me in a bar with right wing voters and I know there are things I had fucking better not wear. There are ways I would not dance. And extremely rigid around how men and women SHOULD look and act. The left has their own versions of this and this has really, really escalated in recent years.


I think this says more about the people than the ideology. Again, right-ists rather than right-ism. Anyone who is polarized or balls deep into an ideology will tend to be intolerant of other views, even if they say they're not.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Now some of the Right would judge and shame, perhaps, people who are different from norms, but they would also defend their right to be different. But this does not so much good while children are growing up around this shaming, control, peer pressure, authority pressure.


Right, because rightists are big on the first amendment. It seems to revolve around where they draw the line. Speech, even hate speech in many cases, is on the "ok" side, whereas violence or coercion is on the "not ok" side. And many rightists will be so cognizant of the line that they not only avoid stepping over it but defend others' rights to exercise what they rail against from the "ok" side.

I agree about the harm it might cause children. Children will far quicker learn the lesson of "God hates the gays" before "God likes tolerance" even though the expression of one's hatred of gays without transgressing their rights is a demonstration of tolerance. These children may even grow up never learning that lesson, and you get a generation of prejudiced people who haven't incorporated the virtue of tolerance. I wouldn't say this makes them right-wing though; I would just say they have become less right-wing.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:as far as the Right defending freedom of expression, there used to be significant portions of the left that did this. ACLU, consider communist I am sure by many people here, have defended Nazi parades and other forms of expression, assembly, publication. That was the Left I grew up in. But that has been changing.


I could believe that. Leftism and liberalism used to mean the same thing, but these days the left are going to such extremes with their ideology that classical liberals are dis-identifying themselves from them. The classic liberals of today often do defend the first amendment. While leftism *can* mean silencing voices they find offensive, it doesn't have to mean this. If leftism means using government to solve society's problems, like I said, then it depends on what they believe to be the bigger problem: offensive views or suppression of expression.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:There's an affinity between libertarianism and anarchism, but these are not the only extremes of the left and right.

...

Well, the right has the same parallel collisions. The Neocons want a powerful oligarchy with minimal social support. So, big armies, big law enforcement, lack of privacy...a corporatocracy. That will not sit well with what you are calling the core right, at all. They are also interventionist. Then you have the religious right also.

...

I get what you mean, but there is the anarchic left. And the anarchic right is in a minority. And most of the right has no idea that it is already an oligarchy out there. And while politicians talk about free markets, the markets are being divided by few and fewer corporations and the power and money is getting centralized (and under dems and reps admins both).


This all comes down to definitions. The problem I find when I enter into these discussions is that I bring with me definitions of right and left that I learned in school--the "formal" definitions--whereas most people don't learn textbook definitions but (to take a page from Wittgenstein) observe how the terms are used in day-to-day discussions and events. "Right" seems to be used to label these religiously oriented, sometimes racists, sometimes sexist, often gun toting, patriotic red-necks--really nothing at all to do with the role of government. And "left" of course is used to label their opposition--these atheistic, egalitarian (at least on the surface), feministic, gun banning, America-hating college preppies--really nothing to do with the role of government. Unfortunately for me, language is driven, first and foremost, by its use in popular culture, and so even though I try to stick to formal definitions as they've been taught to me, I find the popular culture typically takes over the definitions and the words come to mean just what they think they mean.

I'd be interested to know what your definitions of right and left are, and to see if they match up with what you said.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:You can't have a smaller goverment when you privitize the government and the power in the hands of the few, along with making vast intelligence agencies with black budgets and exceptional powers, a vast military and a vast law enforcement. That will not end up as anarchy. That will end up as fascism, without racism. It'll be streamlined in many areas of government but overall extremely powerful and not democratic. And it's already there. The right blames the left for the trend. The left blames the right. Neither side, in general, really wants to notice how far the process has gone and how alike the two parties are and how little power the individual has.


That's probably true, but I think we have to distinguish between the actual effects/results of implementing specific parts of an ideology from the expected effects/results. This can be seen most clearly on the left when it is criticized for implementing an ideology that sounds good in theory but never pans out that way in practice--Marxism: for each according to his ability, to each according to his needs--a utopia of equality and fair treatment for all--but everywhere it is attempted, it ends in some of the most horribly repressive and economically stifling regimes the world has seen. We usually conclude that leftism doesn't work rather than that leftism is all about repressive and economically stifling regimes. I think the same can be said about the right--if free markets and a bulky military budget eventually lead to a corporate oligarchy, then rightism doesn't work, not that rightism stands for Big Government and a military dictatorship.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Thu Nov 19, 2020 5:47 pm

gib wrote:How are you defining right-wing such that it supports a tremendously powerful fascist government?
I'd be interested in your definition. I find nothing that says Right Wing means they want a small government. Republicans talk about that but they also have with great regularity increased the power of the government. (as have liberals though in a different way). Right Wing tends to mean conservative/reactionary. Want to sustain traditional hierarchies and also are content that there are hierarchies. These can be market determined or already determined by the class structure in the society. There are right wing people who want to reduce government size, but rarel government power. Though this happens also. The right wing has tended to support large military budgets, large law enforcement powers and budgets, low oversight over corporations, freedom for Wall st. (and the liberals do this also, though usually with tinier shifts). You can't reduce governmental control over corporations while increasing the power of the police and military without creating, in the long run an oligarchy. The US in contrast to some degree with Europe, say, has the corporate left doing precisely the same thing. You can't be President without being a billionaire or having Wall st. support.

Anyone can leech off anyone. Yes, right-wing politicians can appeal to racists to gain support and votes, but I'm talking about right-ism, not right-ists. Right-wing ideology, at least as I understand it, has nothing to do with racism.
i didn't argue that it did.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:That sounds like libertarians, at least on paper.


Yes, I consider libertarians a form of extreme rightism (or so I've been taught).
I would consider it one form of rightism, that is more towards the fringe (and I don't mean that critically, just descriptively). But there are others also.
I think this says more about the people than the ideology. Again, right-ists rather than right-ism.
I don't think its a coincidence that on the right you have a shame based rigid social hierarchy and on the left you have a guilt based rigid social control.

You were talking about the core of the right wing. But if most right wingers are a certain way, that is more real than what something is supposed to be on paper. And, in fact, I don't think it is clear what right or left wing should mean on paper.

Anyone who is polarized or balls deep into an ideology will tend to be intolerant of other views, even if they say they're not.
Sure, but also of how humans want to be in the world.


I agree about the harm it might cause children. Children will far quicker learn the lesson of "God hates the gays" before "God likes tolerance" even though the expression of one's hatred of gays without transgressing their rights is a demonstration of tolerance. These children may even grow up never learning that lesson, and you get a generation of prejudiced people who haven't incorporated the virtue of tolerance. I wouldn't say this makes them right-wing though; I would just say they have become less right-wing.
I am not sure why you get to define what a real right wing person is. I don't mean that as snotty as it might read. I am looking at how right wing is used as a description in general of governments and positions.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Ecmandu » Thu Nov 19, 2020 7:41 pm

I would say more articulately...

The extreme right (conservatism) is anti change. It’s not flexible (by definition)... it’s rigid.

The extreme left (liberalism) (because of how humans generally work) will always get crushed by the right if they are too liberal.

As Jefferson stated (paraphrase): democracy can only be maintained by eternal vigilance.

In this rather pessimistic view, we can never take it for granted.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Silhouette » Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:06 pm

Political Compass anyone?
Surprised nobody's mentioned this.

It distinguishes the economic scale from the social scale, left to right relating to the former and authoritarian to libertarian relating to the latter.
This quite easily solves the issues raised in the opening post...

The free market prevalence in most of the West is more "right", and the more socially conservative/controlled/traditional of these are "authoritarian right".
By contrast, I advocate for more social freedom outside the world of work, and more economic controls - placing me under "libertarian left".
This is how the political left used be characterised (caricatured as free-lovin' hippies), but these days the "left" are unfortunately more represented by the "authoritarian left". They're as fascist as the authoritarian right, but are after both social and economic controls - no thanks.
The other corner is the "libertarian right", which is where you'll find the anarcho-capitalists - politically more niche compared to mainstream, but the position probably has a reasonable amount of sympathy on this forum.
Obviously you don't have to be in a corner, you can be centrist along one scale and/or another to whatever extent and anywhere in between.

Generally you can more clearly identify where people lie on this 2-dimensional model by identifying what they most strongly oppose.
For example the extreme opposition to the "authoritarian left" that we hear all the time here is a pretty good indication of the "libertarian right".
Foolishly they often clash with the "libertarian left" on the grounds that they oppose "authoritarian leftism", which the "libertarian left" do as well - just only with respect to their authoritarianism and not with their leftism. But too easily the "left" are conflated in the minds of these poor thinkers as all the same. The "libertarian left" actually support social freedoms just as much as the "libertarian right".

Probably not coincidentally, all 3 of "libertarian right", "authoritarian left" and "libertarian left" are all anti-establishment in their own different ways. The status quo in the west is "authoritarian right", and these 3 types of non-conformists each have their own opinions on what's wrong with the status quo. Both parties in the US are authoritarian right, so it's ridiculous for the slightly less extreme of these parties to be lumped in with Socialism. And the answer to "left is to communism as right is to ____?" is "neo-liberalism".
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby gib » Fri Nov 20, 2020 1:10 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:I'd be interested in your definition.


I gave my definitions in my response to Dan:

gib wrote:the left believe the role of government is to solve all society's problems, usually by law, and so ought to be given all the power it needs to do so. The right believe the role of government is limited to do whatever it does best, usually (in the US case) what the constitution originally stipulated.


Karpel Tunnel wrote:Right Wing tends to mean conservative/reactionary.


Yes it does. And "conservative" is probably an even more volatile word than "right", if for any reason because its root is "conserve". What's being conserved is not only unclear but differs from one country to another and one period in history to another. But the most comprehensive definition that I know of is, at least in the case of the US, to conserve the American system and way of life as determined by the constitution in its original form (plus a few amendments). Conservatists, as I understand it, believe that the authors of the constitution had the best recipe for a free and prosperous nation the world has ever seen, and nothing since qualifies as an improvement. This ties directly into limiting government because that's exactly what the constitution was designed to do. It was designed by men who were trying to get away from tyranny and the tendency of governments to grow too powerful to be kept in check. They believed their design would allow the people, and the different branches of government, to keep a chokehold on the government's power, and the role of government was limited to only that which was explicitely outlined in that document.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Want to sustain traditional hierarchies and also are content that there are hierarchies. These can be market determined or already determined by the class structure in the society. There are right wing people who want to reduce government size, but rarel government power. Though this happens also. The right wing has tended to support large military budgets, large law enforcement powers and budgets, low oversight over corporations, freedom for Wall st.


This makes sense from my understanding of what the constitution stipulates to be the role of government.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:You can't reduce governmental control over corporations while increasing the power of the police and military without creating, in the long run an oligarchy. The US in contrast to some degree with Europe, say, has the corporate left doing precisely the same thing. You can't be President without being a billionaire or having Wall st. support.


And that just may be the lesson to be learnt from 250 years of this experiment.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:I don't think its a coincidence that on the right you have a shame based rigid social hierarchy and on the left you have a guilt based rigid social control.


Shaming is well within the purview of right wing ideology. Tolerance doesn't mean respect, it means, as far as right wing ideology is concerned, refraining from the use of force or violation of rights to change a person's views, speech, or behavior.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:You were talking about the core of the right wing. But if most right wingers are a certain way, that is more real than what something is supposed to be on paper. And, in fact, I don't think it is clear what right or left wing should mean on paper.


This is what I was saying about language. It follows the popular trends in the usage of words rather than formal dictionary definitions. I hate that because I learn the meanings of words from some kind of formal authority (books, teachers, schools, etc.) only to find that not only do most laypeople misunderstand the meaning of the words but almost invariably coopt the meaning and take it over.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:I am not sure why you get to define what a real right wing person is.


Who said I get to define what a "real" right wing person is? I simply have my definition. I'm perfectly fine with entertaining alternate definitions if that clears the air of any confusion. But you have yet to tell me yours. How do you define right wing and left wing?

Silhouette wrote:It distinguishes the economic scale from the social scale, left to right relating to the former and authoritarian to libertarian relating to the latter.
This quite easily solves the issues raised in the opening post...

The free market prevalence in most of the West is more "right", and the more socially conservative/controlled/traditional of these are "authoritarian right".
By contrast, I advocate for more social freedom outside the world of work, and more economic controls - placing me under "libertarian left".
This is how the political left used be characterised (caricatured as free-lovin' hippies), but these days the "left" are unfortunately more represented by the "authoritarian left". They're as fascist as the authoritarian right, but are after both social and economic controls - no thanks.
The other corner is the "libertarian right", which is where you'll find the anarcho-capitalists - politically more niche compared to mainstream, but the position probably has a reasonable amount of sympathy on this forum.
Obviously you don't have to be in a corner, you can be centrist along one scale and/or another to whatever extent and anywhere in between.

Generally you can more clearly identify where people lie on this 2-dimensional model by identifying what they most strongly oppose.
For example the extreme opposition to the "authoritarian left" that we hear all the time here is a pretty good indication of the "libertarian right".
Foolishly they often clash with the "libertarian left" on the grounds that they oppose "authoritarian leftism", which the "libertarian left" do as well - just only with respect to their authoritarianism and not with their leftism. But too easily the "left" are conflated in the minds of these poor thinkers as all the same. The "libertarian left" actually support social freedoms just as much as the "libertarian right".

Probably not coincidentally, all 3 of "libertarian right", "authoritarian left" and "libertarian left" are all anti-establishment in their own different ways. The status quo in the west is "authoritarian right", and these 3 types of non-conformists each have their own opinions on what's wrong with the status quo. Both parties in the US are authoritarian right, so it's ridiculous for the slightly less extreme of these parties to be lumped in with Socialism. And the answer to "left is to communism as right is to ____?" is "neo-liberalism".


Ok, interesting. So you reserve the terms "left" and "right" for economic stances and "authoritarian" and "libertarian" for social (political?) stances. However, I still don't see a mapping of either of these dichotomies onto the dichotomy of communism vs fascism, which is what's criticized in the OP. If I understand you correctly, left/right refer to centralized planning of the economy vs. free markets (respectively). And authoritarian/libertarian refer to totalitarian control of the people by a powerful government vs freedom of the individual without government interference (anarchy in the extreme case). I would still lump communism and fascism together into the authoritarian camp and also the leftist camp. Well, communism at least. Communism is, by definition, centralized control of the economy, which, if I understand you, is an economic position and thus leftist. Fascism, on the other hand, is a social/political stance--namely, the view that some groups of people are better than others (typically race based). I've only ever seen authoritarian examples of fascist regimes but I suppose you could have, in principle, a libertarian society in which everyone believed in the superiority of one group over another. So I'd throw fascism into the authoritarian camp for sure, but I hesitate to throw it into the leftist camp since leftism, as an economic position (according to you), seems to apply egalitarian principles to how wealth is distributed, which goes against the superior/inferior hierarchy that fascism encourages. But I guess that depends on what the principles of leftism actually are with respect to the economy. Leftists in the US definitely want to apply egalitarian principles to wealth outcomes, and they know they have to apply authoritarian measures to enforce this (since hierarchies of merit inevitably come out of free markets), but what is it that you see as being the defining principle(s) of the left with respect to the economy? Do you see it as centralized planning or egalitarianism? If it's just centralized planning, that could work perfectly well with fascism. But egalitarianism, not so much.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Gloominary » Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:01 am

For me, left/right politics is less important than real/fake politics.

Real politics is populism, going after the richest 1%'s wealth and liberty, while at the same time, protecting the bottom 99%'s wealth and liberty as much as possible.
Raising taxes and regulations on the richest 1% and big business while reducing taxes and regulations on the bottom 99% and small business as much as possible.

So how high should taxes on the 1% be?
We can either tax them minimally or maximally.
Minimally would be taxing them just enough to provide universal healthcare, universal higher education and universal basic income (say 1000 $ a month), taxing them maximally would be as much as possible without reducing their 1% status or shrinking the economy to provide everyone with more than a basic income.

In addition to that, real politics is wanting more democracy and transparency in government.
Of course the elite have been getting away with murder for decades, everything from arms, drug and sex trafficking to assassinations, coups and false flags, it would be nice if we could use government to investigate all that, instead of them using it to commit and cover it up.

So what's fake politics?
Fake politics is elitist politics, going after the 99%s wealth and liberty while protecting the 1%'s wealth and liberty as much as possible.
Fake politics is left/right politics.
This idea that we have to choose between having extreme or more conservative or progressive authoritarianism across the board or having extreme or more libertarianism across the board.
We can go after the 1%'s wealth and liberty while still protecting ours.

Fake politics is 'war on' politics, war on drugs this, war on terror that...
Fake politics is 'preemptive strike' and 'regime change war' politics i.e. imperialism.
Fake politics is identity politics, the politics of division: gender, race, religion, sex...
Fake politics is Climate, Covid and other forms of alarmism and hysteria (I'm not saying there aren't genuine environmental concerns, like wanting clean air, food and water, ending animal cruelty (not a vegan or vegetarian, but the way we treat our livestock is atrocious and probably not healthy for us too), wildlife conservation, but this idea that the sky will fall if we don't impose carbon taxes or completely do away with carbon emissions altogether is absurd).

As for the whole nationalism, globalism thing, I think we can have a referendum on that.
If people want more nationalism, so be it, and if people want more globalism, so be it.
However, if we are to have more globalism, we have to be smart about it.
It's okay to freely import people from and export jobs to other nations who freely import people from and export jobs to us, but if we freely import from and export to nations who selectively import from and export to us, we'll be taken advantage of.

In summary, fake politics, which left/right politics is a part of, is a distraction from real, 99%/1% politics.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Silhouette » Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:46 am

gib wrote:Ok, interesting. So you reserve the terms "left" and "right" for economic stances and "authoritarian" and "libertarian" for social (political?) stances. However, I still don't see a mapping of either of these dichotomies onto the dichotomy of communism vs fascism, which is what's criticized in the OP. If I understand you correctly, left/right refer to centralized planning of the economy vs. free markets (respectively). And authoritarian/libertarian refer to totalitarian control of the people by a powerful government vs freedom of the individual without government interference (anarchy in the extreme case). I would still lump communism and fascism together into the authoritarian camp and also the leftist camp. Well, communism at least. Communism is, by definition, centralized control of the economy, which, if I understand you, is an economic position and thus leftist. Fascism, on the other hand, is a social/political stance--namely, the view that some groups of people are better than others (typically race based). I've only ever seen authoritarian examples of fascist regimes but I suppose you could have, in principle, a libertarian society in which everyone believed in the superiority of one group over another. So I'd throw fascism into the authoritarian camp for sure, but I hesitate to throw it into the leftist camp since leftism, as an economic position (according to you), seems to apply egalitarian principles to how wealth is distributed, which goes against the superior/inferior hierarchy that fascism encourages. But I guess that depends on what the principles of leftism actually are with respect to the economy. Leftists in the US definitely want to apply egalitarian principles to wealth outcomes, and they know they have to apply authoritarian measures to enforce this (since hierarchies of merit inevitably come out of free markets), but what is it that you see as being the defining principle(s) of the left with respect to the economy? Do you see it as centralized planning or egalitarianism? If it's just centralized planning, that could work perfectly well with fascism. But egalitarianism, not so much.

It's not my model, but the economic/social distinction is a useful step towards parsing all the different political positions out there.

If you click on the link, the "analysis" will clearly show you the difference between Fascism (authoritarianism) and Communism (leftism/collectivism), which are opposed to Anarchism (libertarian) and Neo-Liberalism (rightism/libertarianism) respectively. It's interesting that it distinguishes between "Libertarian" and "Libertarianism", make of that what you will - but like I said: not my model. The point is separating out the economic from the social.

You bring up Fascism and Communism in particular: Stalin is pegged as both - and that's certainly true of authoritarianism. I'd actually disagree that in conjunction with the extreme planned economy this exemplifies Communism though. In my understanding, Communism is collectively run - so it's basically the exact opposite of being run by some central autocratically led State. Even Socialism is collectively run, the only purpose of the State there is to prevent counter-revolution. It's completely distinct from a Fascist State where the whole intention is to do what Stalin ended up doing, although Fascism can be rightist, leftist, even centrist as in the case of the Nazis (the political compass places them as "Authoritarian Centrist". But back to Communism and Socialism, which are distinctly different, I wouldn't say that a collectively run economy is the same as a planned economy. It's true that a more planned economy is the intent of the "Social Democatic" model, which is just "State-mediated Capitalism", which is a far cry from both Socialism and Communism. So there's "left-of-neo-liberalism" but go far enough and it's not State-Capitalist at all, it's as free as you like but just worker-organised. That far left and it's not a lack of freedom anymore because it's you making the economic choices yourself along with everyone else: basically spontaneous democratic management in the workplace, which is already what happens all the time in many companies today under State-mediated Capitalism despite "ownership" being centralised to the private owners only, and not the workers who're actually using and managing what they don't own. In that sense, you almost go full circle back to the right - except there's no ownership of capital, it's shared. So my understanding goes deeper than this Political Compass that I mentioned - I only bring up the political compass for the reason I mentioned earlier - so separate the "economic" from the "social" because that allows a better understanding than merely "right/left".

Of course, "right/left" began in France with being for "order" and for "movement" respectively - which applies to the conservativism/progressivism dynamic. These days conservatives are caricatured as regressive and the progressives as twisting human nature, and maybe at their extremes this might be the case but either is often taken as that extreme when it isn't. Currently conservativism (right) is "keeping economic freedoms and social controls", so progressivism (left) would be "more economic control and less social control". Since there are more models out there than just these two, that's why the political compass is the next step in understanding all of them. But to understand them even better than the political compass allows, you need to appreciate "who" is in power - to use economic terms by analogy: is it a monopoly of social power (like Stalin), an oligopoly of social power (indirect democracy) or perfect competition of social power (Communism)? If you appreciate this, you appreciate the extreme difference between Fascism and Communism.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby promethean75 » Fri Nov 20, 2020 1:14 pm

You'd probably not find a better example of how stupid conservatism is, than toryism. This restoration movement and the philosophy behind it. All this nonsense is perfectly reminiscent of that same crap the ancient Greek aristocrats and their lackey philosophers made up after the fact of gaining and holding their political power. So of course conservatism was the ideal philosophy for the wealthy aristocratic classes. Duh! It justified the state structures that allowed them to acquire their wealth and justify their possession of it.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Gloominary » Fri Nov 20, 2020 1:20 pm

___
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Gloominary » Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:08 am

Communism in theory: What's mine is yours, what's yours is mine.
Capitalism: what's mine is mine, what's yours is yours.
Altruism: What's mine is yours, what's yours is yours.
Egoism: What's mine is mine, what's yours is mine.
Fascism: What's ours is ultimately the dictator's, what's the dictator's is the dictator's.

Under fascism, the people treat the dictator and his admin altruistically (out of love, respect and/or fear) while the dictator is mostly an egoist, altho a clever dictator takes adequate care of his subjects.
So fascism is quite unlike both capitalism, and communism, at least in theory, in practice communism and fascism are very similar.

In practice, politically, they're both authoritarian dictatorships.
Economically, communism is state capitalism, whereas fascism is mixed, some capitalism, corporate and social welfare, but little state capitalism.
Socially, communism is more progressive (feminist, nondiscriminatory), but not nearly as socially progressive as contemporary progressives (misandrist, anti or reverse discrimination), whereas fascism is patriarchal, discriminatory.
Spiritually, communism is atheistic, whereas fascism is mostly secular, a bit theistic but not much.
On foreign policy, communism tends to be internationalist and expansionist, fascism nationalist and expansionist.

But in theory, communism is shared ownership of everything, involuntarily or voluntarily, in a state or stateless society, it's nothing like capitalism and even less like fascism, it's nothing like anything we've ever seen on a grand scale for that matter.
At least for the foreseeable future, it remains a pipedream.
That being said, social democracy is feasible.

Of course our society is a far cry from a purely classical liberal democracy.
Comparing our society to communism in practice and fascism, we live under a corrupt, two party dictatorship which isn't entirely different from a single party dictatorship.
Economically we're more fascistic, but socially we're far more progressive than the communists were.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Silhouette » Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:07 am

Gloominary wrote:Economically, communism is state capitalism

Apparently I never get tired of pointing this out:

Wikipedia wrote:Communism (from Latin communis, 'common, universal')[1][2] is a philosophical, social, political, economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of a communist society, namely a socioeconomic order structured upon the ideas of common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes, money[3][4] and the state.[5][6]

And no, it's not Wikipedia being wrong - Communist literature backs this up as wiki references (N.B. that famous quote about "the withering away of the state").

Historically, backward basically-feudal countries rebelling against their oppressive dictatorships with the promise of replacing it with Communism, and ending up merely supplanting the former model under a different name apparently confuses everyone.
It's too easy for rebellions against tyranny to merely replace one tyranny for another - absolutely.
This isn't the same as Communism necessarily being Statist, even if just "in practice at least". Even Marxist Historial Materialism places Capitalism after Feudalism: there needs to be a transition through Capitalism first to get to Socialism, and then Socialism to Communism once the Socialist State withers away. But it doesn't wither away when you try to skip steps, apparently it just ends up as the same thing claiming to be something else and confusing everyone. I'm even skeptical that revolution from late-Capitalism won't get us to the Statelessness that defines Communism. Does that mean there's no way to get there? Anyone with a remotely scientific approach knows that conclusion is far from confirmed.

The only thing that's certain is that Communism is in no way Fascism. The compass is laid out such that you can combine the two different things (e.g. Stalin) but like I explained: a highly regulated economy by the State isn't the same as workers collectively being free to decide how to organise the workplace without owning capital. The compass clarifies that social issues are distinct from economic ones, but the philosophy of politics goes deeper than just that.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby gib » Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:51 pm

Gloominary wrote:For me, left/right politics is less important than real/fake politics.

Real politics is populism, going after the richest 1%'s wealth and liberty, while at the same time, protecting the bottom 99%'s wealth and liberty as much as possible.
Raising taxes and regulations on the richest 1% and big business while reducing taxes and regulations on the bottom 99% and small business as much as possible.


This sounds like just a relabeling of left/right. Your "real politics" is leftism.

Silhouette wrote:I'd actually disagree that in conjunction with the extreme planned economy this exemplifies Communism though. In my understanding, Communism is collectively run - so it's basically the exact opposite of being run by some central autocratically led State.


Right, I'd forgotten about that. The idea of communism is that the society as a whole collectivizes and runs the show themselves, applying egalitarian principles for all. Marxism isn't the idea of a strong centralized government that plans and determines the means of production and the economy as a whole, but the dissolution of government, over time, giving way to the collectivist state--all that's needed is a temporary dictatorship of the proletariat. But no example in history exists where a communist system has been able to take it beyond the dictatorship stage--temporary is never temporary--and so I often think of communism as centralized economic power.

I also wonder what people are thinking when they talk about things like anarchic communism--collective ownership without a government--the idea of such a society. Are they saying the world could actually see such a society, or are they saying this is the idea only. I mean, suppose you setup a society to operate in some configuration--capitalist, anarchic communist, libertarian, whatever--and then let it go. What are the chances it will remain that way forever? What are the chances it will eventually undo and regress to a more natural state (whether that be a dictatorship, capitalism, anarchy, whatever). Does human nature always lead to a single type of society?

Gloominary wrote:Communism in theory: What's mine is yours, what's yours is mine.
Capitalism: what's mine is mine, what's yours is yours.
Altruism: What's mine is yours, what's yours is yours.
Egoism: What's mine is mine, what's yours is mine.
Fascism: What's ours is ultimately the dictator's, what's the dictator's is the dictator's.


I'd be interested to know everyone's definitions of these terms. ^ I don't know if the above count as definitions, but I don't think fascism is defined as the dictator owning everything. And altruism and egoism aren't political systems.

I think a huge portion of confusion, and thus argumentation, stems from the use of conflicting definitions without questioning them. Even the thought that we might be using different definitions doesn't come to mind (and often one doesn't even care because the point is to attack your rival rather than come to a common understanding). Silhouette, for example, helped clarify a few things for me by reminding me that communism is originally defined in terms of collective ownership by the people in a governmentless state rather than the totalitarian regimes we call communist states today where there are no governments more powerful and where the economy is fully controlled by those governments.

So backup what you say with definitions (please).
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Zero_Sum » Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:05 pm

It's all a matter of what flavor of tyranny you prefer concerning all different forms of governments, anarchy is the ideology of adult sized children and anarchists ironically during every communist revolution are the first ones lined up at the shooting square.

Yet anarchists still ally themselves with communists today, these adult sized children never seem to learn.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Zero_Sum » Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:15 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:There is left anarchism, which is not like communism, for example.
Fascism would be one form of extreme right government. One can be for a fairly streamlined government that has tremendous power and be right wing, for example.
There can be all sorts of populisms.
There can be even an anarcho-capitalism on the right.
The right has tended to be pro law enforcement and pro military (both of which ends up being large government, at least in those areas). But they can also be skeptical about the former and isolationist in regard to the latter.

There are a lot of forms out there.


There is no such thing as anarcho capitalism, it might as well be called neo-feudal capitalism and libertarianism falls into that category. Really though, there is no such thing in existence as a kind of society without a government, a form of government always prevails one shape or another.

Even within criminal organizations like the mafia for instance there is a form of leadership, social hierarchy, and authority.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Zero_Sum » Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:23 pm

Both communism and fascism is about centralized power along with strong handed government intervening policies within society, the difference between the two is merely ideological or economic.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Zero_Sum » Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:31 pm

obsrvr524 wrote:
gib wrote: left is to communism as right is to anarchy.

I'm really not seeing that.

Left - lawlessness (anarchy, liberal to eventually inspire oligarchy, "communism" in name only)
Right - lawfulness (depends on which nation - rigid Constitutional or Parliamentary)


Oligarchy is prevailing through all societies, some even more compared to others, human greed exists everywhere that society or civilization takes root. The only way to keep oligarchy in check is to intimidate the oligarchs themselves keeping them in a constant state of being fearful, if an oligarchy is not afraid of societal reprisal they'll come to own your society or nation, pretty simple really.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Zero_Sum » Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:38 pm

Silhouette wrote:Political Compass anyone?
Surprised nobody's mentioned this.

It distinguishes the economic scale from the social scale, left to right relating to the former and authoritarian to libertarian relating to the latter.
This quite easily solves the issues raised in the opening post...

The free market prevalence in most of the West is more "right", and the more socially conservative/controlled/traditional of these are "authoritarian right".
By contrast, I advocate for more social freedom outside the world of work, and more economic controls - placing me under "libertarian left".
This is how the political left used be characterised (caricatured as free-lovin' hippies), but these days the "left" are unfortunately more represented by the "authoritarian left". They're as fascist as the authoritarian right, but are after both social and economic controls - no thanks.
The other corner is the "libertarian right", which is where you'll find the anarcho-capitalists - politically more niche compared to mainstream, but the position probably has a reasonable amount of sympathy on this forum.
Obviously you don't have to be in a corner, you can be centrist along one scale and/or another to whatever extent and anywhere in between.

Generally you can more clearly identify where people lie on this 2-dimensional model by identifying what they most strongly oppose.
For example the extreme opposition to the "authoritarian left" that we hear all the time here is a pretty good indication of the "libertarian right".
Foolishly they often clash with the "libertarian left" on the grounds that they oppose "authoritarian leftism", which the "libertarian left" do as well - just only with respect to their authoritarianism and not with their leftism. But too easily the "left" are conflated in the minds of these poor thinkers as all the same. The "libertarian left" actually support social freedoms just as much as the "libertarian right".

Probably not coincidentally, all 3 of "libertarian right", "authoritarian left" and "libertarian left" are all anti-establishment in their own different ways. The status quo in the west is "authoritarian right", and these 3 types of non-conformists each have their own opinions on what's wrong with the status quo. Both parties in the US are authoritarian right, so it's ridiculous for the slightly less extreme of these parties to be lumped in with Socialism. And the answer to "left is to communism as right is to ____?" is "neo-liberalism".


Freedom doesn't really exist especially for huge swathes of the lower economic classes, freedom as a concept is merely tied to financial affordance because freedom is an expression of capital or money only, freedom is an extension of your financial bank account regarding economic social mobility within society. Those without means to any significant degree of financial economic capital lack freedom simply put.

In communism there is no freedom either even when the experiment to contain or limit economic capital to the point of destroying economic class itself ironically. The component of human greed is always prevailing even within so called socially egalitarian societies like that of communist ones. There's no escaping, destroying, or containing the component of human greed which is why every experiment to do such ends in spectacular failure.
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