Sunday, March 02, 2008

Public Education's Political Spectrum

Last week I watched a fairly sensational documentary on Polish gangs. The facts and footage were fairly straight forward. Most of the gangs were a fancy blend of white supremacy and Polish nationalism. These guys were mean looking and mean acting. Both somewhat predictable, my problem lay in the fact the commentator kept referring to the gangs as right wing, and worse than that the gang’s rise of prominence was linked to a rise of right wing politics. Now I know the Euros don’t like a bush, but does the logic really follow.

Let’s go back to our high school years and go over our indoctrination into political science. We good, for the most part morally superior Canadians remember the mantra…
On the far left we have Communists. These guys seek to control and organize society’s economic and cultural life. In Communists countries all capital and recourses are owned by the government. Then on the far right we have fascists. Fascists also seek to control society from a moral and economic perspective, the difference being (I presume because I find this entire concoction entirely ludicrous) that capital and resources are not exclusively controlled by the state. Both are managed, with the blessing of government, by private entities, free from bureaucratic ineptness. Fascism, a highly nationalist and chauvinistic philosophy is naively portrayed in Canada and Europe as what happens when business becomes too powerful.

Then in the middle, taking the best from the left and the right (the communal morality of Communism and practical necessity of private ownership?) we have Canada. This is the basis of political knowledge from my public school years.

Here is the crux of a rational understanding of Communists and Fascists alike. They are one in the same. They are both spurned by the same collectivist methodology. A methodology that states “I know what is best for society, so this is how everyone shall live, and if they will not they shall live like I see fit, they will be put to death.” Both societies are completely regulated by the elite that are in charge of all aspects of a person’s private life. Both societies are completely dependent on the arbitrary whims of whatever madman is steering the ship. In this vain there is no difference between any dictators (Hitler, the Taliban, Pinochet, Stalin, the crazy from Iran, Chaves, Edi Amin...), regardless of what ideology they purport. People are not free from arbitrary rule in these countries. Does anyone really believe that businessmen were free from Hitler’s influence in Germany? Sure they kept profits, but they produced what he told them to produce (less widgets and more tanks) at the point of the gun. This isn’t freedom. Shouldn’t the opposite of a slave society be a free one?

Societies are not philosophically separated by the whims and actions of whatever dictator is in charge. What separates Canada from Fascism and Communism alike is the fact Canadians are not ruled by any absolute authorities. There are checks and balances that prevent a single madman from being able to prescribe what is best for society (whether it is forbidding religion or genocide). *It was hard for me not insert a Trudeau joke here*

The traditional dialectical understanding is absurd. I always ask people that still espouse this type of thinking: where do libertarians fit in? Where would Ron Paul fit on the spectrum? The spectrum should still be a single line going from left to right, but the standard used to place an ideology on this line, should be based upon the amount of control the government has over society, regardless of their explicit intentions.

So Canada is still in the middle, but for different reasons than the utopian ones we are taught in our public education


At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Charles said...

Although I largely agree with your thrust,I have never been given a clear enough definition of "facist" to be convinced that it is any different than a totalitarian socialist who knew that industry runs more efficiently and effectively with private ownership. I am convinced that Hitler was socialist at his core, although he let private enterprize, (which he completely controlled), keep Germany's economy afloat, it was I believe, in large part due to the fact that Germany was just getting back inshape and arming itself. Not exactly the perfect time for a workers revolution, so to speak.

"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 all determined to destroy this system under all conditions." --Adolf Hitler

(Speech of May 1, 1927. Quoted by Toland, 1976, p. 306)

At 12:47 PM, Blogger angryroughneck said...

"I have never been given a clear enough definition of "facist" to be convinced that it is any different than a totalitarian socialist who knew that industry runs more efficiently and effectively with private ownership."

You are correct. It is only in a Canadian classroom that we are taught there are differences between Stalin and Hitler. Although their hatred of each other also led to this confusion (they hate each other they must be intellectualy different).

At 1:42 PM, Anonymous Charles said...

Point taken. I do think it is more widespread than just in Canada though. Having spent 15 years in the States and having a wife from England,I have had many,many discussions with seemingly well taught people who believe there are socialists and then there are nazis, and that there is some real tangable difference in that nazis will coerce, bully, maim, and kill to get what they want but somehow the socialists will not.

At 2:46 PM, Blogger angryroughneck said...

"I do think it is more widespread than just in Canada though"

You are right. It is far more widespread than just Canada. In fact I believe this myth is even more prevelant in Europe than here.

This false dichotomy is much more benificial to the left though, because it allows them (leftists)to take freedom out of the question when discussing political ideology.

In their spectrum it assumed that man is destined to be ruled by an arbitrary force-- so try to pick the best one.

At 4:24 PM, Anonymous Charles said...

I had a discussion with my brother-inlaw (the conservative candidate for Wiltshire U.K.) about socialism, nazi-ism, conservatism etc. He says that nazis are evil right-wingers, socialists are just misguided souls, and conservatives should try to find some middle ground somewhere between full blown socialism and weak European conservatism. I am completely disillusioned by what conservatives in Britain and Europe have become, they are more in line with the far left of our Conservatives(red tories) than the Thatcherites that wrestled freedom from the jaws of socialism.
My Brother-inlaw says I am the same as an American conservative; I told him he is the same as an American socialist.

At 4:59 PM, Blogger Swift said...

Anarchists are the real far right. Hitler and Stalin were both aiming for world domination so of course they didn't agree. The Nazis and the communists cooperated in overthrowing the Weimar Republic and this time the communists were the useful idiots. That spoiled a beautiful relationship.

At 5:50 PM, Blogger angryroughneck said...

"My Brother-inlaw says I am the same as an American conservative; I told him he is the same as an American socialist."

I think we can agree that this best sums it up.

At 5:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honestly my fried. There are very few nazis in Poland. There is many gangs and mafias, but nazis are nerds. They are following a man who wanted the polish/slavic race dead, and he hated them with a passion. Any smart polish or slavic person would not ever become a nazi seeing how Hitler did not even consider them white.


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