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Who are you voting for in the US 2016 Presidential Election?

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"Right/left wing" is a noun, "right-/left-wing" is an adjective. Just for reference. I did it that way to make more sense to myself.

Hmm, that's an interesting stance. Do you mean to imply that your stance on one dimension implies your stance on the other? In that case, people would tend to fall along a diagonal line, rather than be scattered all over.

Not in any direct way necessarily; but for instance if someone had a left-wing progressive social stance, with a left-wing communist economic stance, I think it would be fairly implied that they believe in an authoritarian government. That's why I believe those two dimensions, separate and also averaged into one, would be better than a combined scale that lacks societal views. I didn't mean it as either/or politics, or forced diagonals. It's just a reflection of the reality that certain economic and societal systems, when implemented, demand more government authority.


Though diagonals aren't required, as it's technically possible to hold any combination of views, I will say that they would likely emerge naturally through the course of logical thinking based on what you believe; when you realize that certain combinations of views on society and government power are contradictory, I mean. The reason certain social opinions and certain economic opinions are both considered right or left is because they both occur in similar thinking patterns and are found together often (it would be considered incredibly odd to meet a person with traditionalist social views and communist economic views, because those views just don't "click" and I'll explain more on that in a second); which is why I feel like redefining the meaning of "right and left" undoes a lot of understanding which is already there. If you leave the generally understood meaning in place, and apply it to both aspects for which there is already "common knowledge" (economic views and social views), it works much better both in application and communication.


I suppose it would be helpful to have government power as a third dimension, though, for cases where it would need to be clarified. A reason I mentioned it being an unnecessary dimension is that to me the thought of, "I need legality to ensure that everyone around me shares my social actions and opinions," sounds entirely leftist since it goes against the essential teachings of John Locke (in that the basic human rights are life, liberty, property, and self-determination). This another thing that leads me to call the American right wing, not actually very right-wing. Having traditional social views is right wing, but wanting to enforce them is left wing; that is my perspective. The American right wing does not understand that an authoritarian government dilutes core right-wing politics (the four basic human rights).


I would actually argue that the present-day American right wing is comparable as a right-wing parallel to the hippy movement. Hippies had left-wing opinions through and through in both economy and society, but they held a right-wing stance of individual freedoms; at the same time they got angry when anyone exercised the freedom they claimed to support, if said person chose to have a job and hold traditional social opinions, and violated that person's individual freedom by harassing them. Their views would only "click" if they had a more authoritarian stance on government power. This is also why people make fun of anarchists (the most extreme form of libertarian leftism), because it is hypocritical since anarchy defaults to monarchy and a lack of government power favors rightist social and economic views.


Everything I've said can boil down to this: true leftism inherently demands more centralized authority, true rightism inherently demands more individual authority. In the US, what I can say the right wing does that is usually consistent is fighting for state power; state power brings the power closer to the individual, while federal power centralizes it.

I have to disagree with you here. The Nazi party called themselves national socialists, but weren't they actually fascists? They were definitely more national than socialist.

It's really just the imprisonment of certain non-German groups which lands them at an authoritarian style of government. They were authoritarian in the sense that they took actions to, as they saw it, remove non-Germans from power in Germany's government and economy. That does make it harder to categorize, but the practices weren't consistent with fascism; fascism is a very invasive government even in the lives of the country's own people (see Italy in the 30s and 40s), and by all accounts Germans themselves were generally free under the Third Reich. So I believe national socialism is still a fitting label.

Even in the US, you'd think the debate between "Republicans" and "Democrats" would be whether we should have representational government (republic) or direct voting (democracy).

It's true that the names really mean nothing, and the parties even switched names at some point after the Civil War. That goes back to what I was saying before, about how neither party really pursues consistent goals (the US right wing being more guilty of that).

I'd have to see more examples to agree with you. For example Stalin and Gandhi are both "left"... how do you reconcile that?

My first whole section already talks about this, but Gandhi would be essentially socially leftist and economically leftist with a rightist belief in individual freedom, like the hippy movement.


I have been through this so many times editing it that I hope I didn't make it a mess. I usually start with an idea, figuratively take a walk through the woods as I'm writing, then get lost and spend an hour editing to get it back in line with what I started out trying to say.

Edited by TCK
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What you are referring to is horseshoe theory.


And no, from a Communist standpoint, most don't believe in authoritarian government. We believe in a dictatorship by the proletariat. The people are the government and own the means of production. What you think of "left wing" is you are associating us with liberals, and I can tell you many leftists outside of US paradigm of horseshoe theory politics don't like those people and those who act like liberals and claim to be communist obviously haven't read Marx or any other leftist writings. Especially when their talking points revolve around identity politics (LGBT, Race, sex, etc) and don't discuss anything related to class struggle.




When people think Communism is inherently authoritarian, they are referring to post Lenin with Stalin's 5 Year Plan or Mao's Great Leap Forward, which aren't mutually exclusive to Communism and not really a great representation of what it's supposed to be. They were communist by name, not by practice. Same reason why National Socialism wasn't actually socialism in the 1930s.



Edited by iTails
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Grumpy UNIX and Cloud Administrator | 90's Boomer

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I'm aware of horseshoe theory and what I said has little to do with it, save for possibly the anarchy part but only slightly. Most of what you've said is already answered in what I wrote but I do love talking about this so I'll restate it differently.


I can assure you I don't associate far leftists with US liberals, and I believe I've said several times how moderate both sides of the aisle are in the US relative to objective right and left.


Identity politics are inherently left wing; replace "gays and straights" with "proletariat and bourgeois," and you've simply slid from social to economic leftism. Leftism identifies a group it believes needs help, and begins to protest. That's a behavior from the very foundation of Critical Theory. I believe you've said you dislike the Frankfurt School which I understand, but it still is representative of much of leftist social thinking; so perhaps what you'd rather say is that you're an economic leftist but not a social leftist? That's what it's sounding like to me.


I have no real hard desire or belief for Nazi Germany to be truly national socialist, I just firmly believe they were not fascist. National socialist sounded the closest term to brand them, and actually based on what you're saying, it still does. They were nationalists first and foremost, and encouraged the citizens to help each other of their own free will within their individual rights. That sounds like a rightist form of socialism to me. And the Nazis vocally condemned Marx several times, and Hitler said that socialism was an unfortunate name for them to take, because it refers to nothing of the sort Marx was talking about; rather referring to men and women of Germany helping one another. Private property was still important to them, and Hitler said it was one of the most sacred rights to protect; this is why socialism was an unfortunate name to him. So you're correct, it is not the same as commonly understood socialism; but the name is still apt as far as I see.


You're somewhat correct about my statements on authoritarian leftism. Communism attempted in Soviet Russia resulted in an authoritarian government exploitative of the people; the same happened in Maoist China (and even present-day China), Cuba, North Korea, etc. What I'm getting at is this: when communism is attempted, and results in an authoritarian government, leftists scoff, "that's not communism, true communism or socialism has still never been tried." And like I said in my other post, that's technically correct because it IS technically possible to hold libertarian leftist views as the hippies did; however, it is my assertion that libertarian leftist views are contradictory and self-defeating because leftism requires a heavy centralized power while rightism requires heavy individual power. The heart of my theory is that causation goes both ways - an institution which favors individual freedoms would strengthen rightism in the society, while an institution favoring federal power strengthens leftism.


So consider now that "true socialism" is based on individuals choosing to work together and forfeit property of their own free will without government force, a feat only possible if individual freedoms are intact (if no one is making you, you are in control of your own person) which is a right wing concept. So the system is contradictory in that sense; the system will collapse when a single person chooses something different, which means one of two things for them - either choice was just an illusion and they really only had a choice if they made the choice to participate (you have just created a centralized, authoritarian government to enforce your socialism), or they actually do have freedom of choice and socialism ceases to be, defeating itself.


It is possible to hold any combination of social views, economic views, and views on government power; but certain combinations prove self-defeating. It is for this reason I say leftism is inherently authoritarian, and rightism inherently libertarian.


This paragraph isn't directly related to what you've said, but I feel it's more food for thought based on what I'm saying and it relates it to horseshoe theory. Anarchy (extreme libertarian leftism, a hypocritical system) defaults to monarchy (extreme authoritarian rightism, a hypocritical system) when the most powerful take charge (or it defaults to anarcho-capitalism, which then defaults to monarchy when the most powerful take charge); monarchy gives way to revolt (leftist uprising) for more power to the people, which results in either the annihilation of the country (anarchy again, the cycle repeats), a new monarchy (the cycle repeats), or a more stable form of government.

Edited by TCK


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