Deconstructing the “Left-Right” Spectrum: Part III
Part III: Fascism and Communism
For the longest time, there has been a narrative that Fascism and Communism are essentially the pinnacle polar opposites on the political scale: Fascism is the extreme right, and Communism is the extreme left.
There are three major ways in which this ridiculous notion can be completely destroyed – both through conventional political knowledge and through the original “left-right” definition I have laid out.
First, it is imperative to realize that between these two terms, only one of them is actually an “ideology.” Communism is an ideology – a particular idea revolving around the original ideas of Karl Marx, which included redistribution of wealth and an eventual utopian society of equality.
Fascism, by contrast, is not necessarily an ideology; in actuality, it is just another system of government. It is not a set of ideas, but is simply a way of running a state. Thus, it is just as much an “ideology” as democracy or republicanism. As my own take on the allegory of the ship goes: The form of government is the ship; the ideology is the cargo; the citizens are the passengers; the statesmen are the crew.
At the same time, take a good look at the definition of fascism: A totalitarian, one-party government, where the ruling party controls all and suppresses its opposition.
Does this sound familiar?
If you answered, “Because it describes communism,” then you’d be right. It does describe communism, just as much as it describes Hitler’s Germany, or Mussolini’s Italy.
Thus, the second way in which the whole “fascism vs. communism” spectrum can be dissolved is by looking at the many various ways in which fascism can be applied. Fascism, as a form of government, is not exclusive to any one kind of ideology - any state or society can employ fascism, regardless of their status as “left” or “right.” Whether it’s the traditionally “left-wing” communist governments of Stalin and Zedong, or the conventional “right-wing” dictatorships of such men as Hitler and Augusto Pinochet, fascism’s broad range of uses by ideologies on both sides of the political spectrum should be an obvious giveaway to the fact that it is, obviously, not an exclusively right-wing idea.
The third and final way that the “fascism vs. communism” debacle can be properly demolished, of course, is through the original definition of the “left-right” spectrum as I have explained it.
Obviously, as history’s examples have proven, both fascism and communism result in extremely tyrannical governments, with one-party rules and suppression of political rivals. Therefore, if anything, fascism vs. communism is not a matter of “right vs. left,” but by the original definition, is simply “right vs. right.” Having read that, you’d probably think that the notion of these two being polar opposites is pretty ridiculous – and rightfully so.
And that’s why, plain and simple, this notion that fascism is “far-right” and communism is “far-left” is just plain wrong. These two are not polar opposites, and indeed, more often than not, are actually one in the same.
And this actually provides a perfect segue into the upcoming sequel in this series, where I will thoroughly demolish the idiotic notion promoted by most in the mainstream media. I will directly go after the false labeling of today’s so-called “modern fascists:” Europe’s rising trend of right-wing parties.
You can follow the author on Twitter: @EricLendrum26