Friday, February 28, 2014

Conservatives are fascists because liberals are communists

I've seen this argument happen before: conservatives (at least libertarian-oriented conservatives) point out that, while communists may be liberals... fascists also happen to be liberals. The stock example - and I've used it myself - is to simply point out that the Nazi party in Germany were explicitly socialists, right in their name.

Now, the resistance still happens - and while I think the counter-arguments are wrong, despite there being some interesting rationales in them, I think a fundamental problem is closer to something like this: the commonly acknowledged political sides need a kind of roided-up monster-version of itself. For the liberals, that side is the communists. The communists and the fascists hated each other, ergo it makes sense that the fascists were on the other end of the spectrum, and since the communists are 'extreme left', then the fascists must be 'extreme right'. Left and right, yin and yang - the opposing side, taken to an extreme, must be scary.

Otherwise... well, it's just not fair. If communists are liberals and FASCISTS are liberals, well shit. Liberals are kind of double-monsters in that case, aren't they? Where's the scary small-government, religious-rights conservative example in history? That there may not be one seems unfathomable.

5 comments:

The Deuce said...

That's something liberals just can't swallow. If we admit that the Nazis were on the left, well that means that the Left is responsible for basically ALL of the great atrocities of the past century. And, well, that pretty strongly implies that there is something intrinsically sick and evil about left-wing ideology as such, and also that their dire scenarios of totalitarian conservative theocracies mass-exterminating blacks and gays are nothing more than pure paranoid fantasy with no basis in history or fact.

And how are they supposed to claim any sort of moral high ground and defend against conservative accusations that they're a being bunch of totalitarian thugs in things like the recent gay wedding cake hubbub while simultaneously admitting that their ideology is a variant of the one responsible for all totalitarian governments, all of which also tried to claim the moral high ground? It would make it far too obvious that they're just following the same basic pattern again that leftists always follow.

Crude said...

And how are they supposed to claim any sort of moral high ground and defend against conservative accusations that they're a being bunch of totalitarian thugs in things like the recent gay wedding cake hubbub

They try to maintain the moral high ground by casting the entire situation as 'conservatives want the right to deny people a cake just for being gay!' What they should be doing is crafting legislation specifically worded to allow them to turn down providing services for acts and events they're morally opposed to.

The Deuce said...

Well, the Arizona law was specifically worded for gay weddings, but that didn't stop them. They (including the media "reporting" it) simply ignored that fact and constructed their own reality in its place.

darrenl said...

Hard left or hard right...they usually end up in the same spot.

Catholic as I am, I find myself a political orphan due to the current binary nature of politics these days.

Crude said...

Deuce,

Was it? Because the law I looked at was a convoluted mess of legalese. I have no doubt that that's what provoked the legislation, of course. But what wording are you talking about?

Darren,

I'm actually questioning that - I'm not sure they end up in the same spot. The parties may, but then again the Republicans are very good at acting liberal.

That said, I think both conservatives and liberals have serious failings. The problem is I think they radically differ in those failings.