Collectivism isn’t Right or Left

Jordan B. Peterson Is the Furthest Thing from the Alt-Right

Peterson’s claim that identity politics is “genocidal in its ultimate expression” is no exaggeration. Hitler’s military invasions and death camps were the ultimate expression of the racialist and nationalist identity politics that spiritually drove Nazism. And Stalin’s weaponized famines and “gulag archipelago” were the ultimate expression of the class warfare identity politics that spiritually drove Soviet communism.

Identity politics is necessarily collectivist. Alt-right or Ctl-left, Nazi or Communist: “Nothing outside the state, nothing above the state, everything within the state.”

The Defenestration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I am pleasantly surprised by the performance of President Trump. I retain major objections to his ignorant trade policies, among other things, but I did not expect him to perform as well as he has in general.

One of the things he’s accomplished is to expose the true intentions of the Progressives. Rather than the insidious slide toward Cultural-Marxism, he’s managed to bring them out of the woodwork all at once. Probably earlier than is good for their agenda.

Like everything, there’s a risky side to this.

I am of two minds about the uninterrupted, screeching hysteria from the Left. At first, Conan the Barbarian’s prospect of “crushing your enemies, seeing them driven before you, and hearing the lamentations of their women” – one woman in particular – was amusing.

However, I’m increasingly worried that the irrational cacophony is seriously damaging. Given the caterwauling, maybe I’m naive in thinking mutual respect, or at least feigned civility, ever actually existed. Of course, the President shares some blame for it via his puerile Tweeting habit. Still, those who own the protracted frenzy are the ones who control it.

Progressives will blame their actions on the President’s supposed racism and narcissism, but nothing he’s said is any worse than things said by former President Obama (and arguably not as bad as “typical white person” or “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow”).

It is not the President’s fault that his opponents are insisting upon a vision of race diametrically opposed to what we learned from Dr. Martin Luther King. How long will it be before there’s agitation to tear down King’s statues?

What Progressives are doing is teaching ideologues of a different tribe that Dr. King was terribly wrong about character, and that skin color trumps everything:

The Left Doubles Down On ‘Who? Whom?’

What’s interesting to me, though, are indications that the Cathedral — that is, the formal and informal cultural-liberal power structure — is going to double down on demonizing whites as a race…

…here’s what the Cathedral left needs to know: you aren’t going to be able to count on conservative people like me to help you oppose the alt-right, because you are their “respectable” left-wing mirror image

…increasingly fewer people on the right are going to listen to conservatives like me, because they see us as holding to outdated principles that are incapable of stopping the left-wing power grab. The Cathedralized left sees no reason to be fair, so why should they?

Read the whole thing.

False choice

Two short articles from Reason and The Weekly Standard:

Authoritarians to the Left and Right
The Nation and the Nazis

Imagine a line with a sliding indicator. On one end is Marxism and Antifa; on the other is Fascism and Alt-Right. Or, call it Black Lives Matter vs Stormfront.

Your job is to slide the indicator along this continuum to your preferred balance between these choices of extreme left and extreme right. Possibly, you choose the center.

What choice are you actually making? The choice of which statist minutiae you prefer.

Sliding the indicator to the center does not minimize your agreement with authoritarian policies. It indicates nothing about how much power you grant the State, that’s a constant. It means the continuum is wrong, so the choice is false.

Here’s the way the political spectrum really works:

Looking at it by group:

Update 2:40PM
See also.
Of Course the Alt-Right Is Against Capitalism

The Right hand knows full well what the Left hand is doing

In an ongoing effort to demonstrate the terms “Right” and “Left” amount to little more than a political taxonomy quibble, I enlist Dr. Stephen Hicks‘ book Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault. Highly recommended. Italics mine.

Counter-Enlightenment politics: Right and Left collectivism

After Rousseau, collectivist political thinking divided into Left and Right versions, both versions drawing inspiration from Rousseau… [M]y purpose in this chapter is to highlight developments in collectivist Right thinking and to show that in its essentials the collectivist Right was pursuing the same broadly anti-liberal-capitalist themes that the collectivist Left was.

What links the Right and the Left is a core set of themes: anti-individualism, the need for strong government, the view that religion is a state matter (whether to promote or suppress it), the view that education is a process of socialization, ambivalence about science and technology, and strong themes of group conflict, violence, and war. Left and Right have often divided bitterly over which themes have priority and over how they should be applied. Yet for all of their differences, both the collectivist Left and the collectivist Right have consistently recognized a common enemy: liberal capitalism, with its individualism, its limited government, its separation of church and state, its fairly constant view that education is not primarily a matter of political socialization, and its persistent Whiggish optimism about prospects for peaceful trade and cooperation between members of all nations and groups… While the details are messy the broad point is clear: the collectivist Right and the collectivist Left are united in their major goals and in identifying their major opposition…

By the early twentieth century, accordingly, the dominant issues for most Continental political thinkers were not whether liberal capitalism was a viable option—but rather exactly when it would collapse—and whether Left or Right collectivism had the best claim to being the socialism of the future. The defeat of the collectivist Right in World War II then meant that the Left was on its own to carry the socialist mantle forward. Accordingly, when the Left ran into its own major disasters as the twentieth century progressed, understanding its fundamental commonality with the collectivist Right helps to explain why in its desperation the Left has often adopted “fascistic” tactics…

The rise of National Socialism to political prominence during the 1920s brought the abstract debate to particular focus, as the National Socialists, the Communists, and the Social Democrats all argued variations on the same themes and competed for the votes of the same constituencies.

Right and left are cosmetic distinctions serving to mask the necessities of totalitarianism. Whoever rises to the top of an aspiring collectivist utopia will face the same forced choices. Across time, across cultures and embodied in dozens of fearless leaders, we have irrefutable evidence that collectivist state ideology results in economic disaster and human misery.

Because of the practical and moral failure of Marx’s “scientific socialism,” and since its predictions of economic class warfare have not been realized, the socialists have switched the game to promote victim identity-group warfare.

Right or Left? Wrong question.

Socialist Academics Contributed to the Rise of the Third Reich

Indeed they did.

Can anyone offer a single consequential difference between Fascism/Nazism and Communism/Socialism/Marxism?

Specifically, please explain the claim that Nazis are right wing, but Communists are left wing. If you really want to assist me, tell me how Antifa can possibly be anti-Fascist.

Seems to me those various labels just cover minor squabbles among the Totalitarianists. Cosmetic distinctions.