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Thread: Which extreme is more dangerous to America?

  1. #181
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    Re: Which extreme is more dangerous to America?

    Tough question. I think Social Conservatives and Fiscal Liberals are the dangerous in America, but there's no option for that.
    "An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it." - Gandhi

  2. #182
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    Re: Which extreme is more dangerous to America?

    Which extreme is more dangerous to America? Both, that's why they are called extremes.
    Nationalism in high dosages may be hazardous to your health. Please consult a psychiatrist before beginning a regular regimen, and if feelings of elitism and douchbaggery continue, discontinue immediately before you become unable to do so on your own.

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    Re: Which extreme is more dangerous to America?

    Little quote from a radio commercial, " Nobody wants to hear the ultra conservative side, but nobody needs to ultra liberal side."
    "Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem." - Ronald Reagan

  4. #184
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    Re: Which extreme is more dangerous to America?

    I'll have to disagree with that on the basis of the collusion between state and corporate power and the financial success enjoyed by private corporations in Nazi Germany, for example, who chose to collaborate extensively with the Third Reich. No brand of economic "leftism," whatever your description of it, could tolerate such broad sustainment of private property rights.
    Corporations benefiting is not the only aspect of fascism. Fascist governments forbid opposition, which is not at all in line with ideals the right advocates. It opposes individualism, which is also a "right" philosophy (in contrast with collectivism) Fascists want government control over business and labor. They are pro big-government.

    It is not far right or far left. It is a combination and exaggeration of the worst aspects of both.
    Last edited by Lakryte; 07-24-09 at 03:14 PM.

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    Re: Which extreme is more dangerous to America?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lakryte View Post
    Corporations benefiting is not the only aspect of fascism. Fascist governments forbid opposition, which is not at all in line with ideals the right advocates. It opposes individualism, which is also a "right" philosophy (in contrast with collectivism) Fascists want government control over business and labor. They are pro big-government.
    That's not been an observable facet of traditional fascist regimes. For example, consider Buchheim and Scherner's The Role of Private Property In The Nazi Economy: The Case of Industry:

    Private property in the industry of the Third Reich is often considered a mere nominal provision without much substance. However, that is not correct, because firms, despite the rationing and licensing activities of the state, still had ample scope to devise their own production and investment profiles. Even regarding war-related projects, freedom of contract was generally respected; instead of using power, the state offered firms a number of contract options to choose from. There were several motives behind this attitude of the regime, among them the conviction that private property provided important incentives for increasing efficiency.
    There's no widespread behavior of "forbidding opposition" in an arrangement wherein "freedom of contract was generally respected." Incidentally, collectivism requires voluntary entry in order to be legitimately collective in nature, else it typically constitutes an oligarchical state of affairs.

  6. #186
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    Re: Which extreme is more dangerous to America?

    That's not been an observable facet of traditional fascist regimes. For example, consider Buchheim and Scherner's
    Once again, the private property issue is not the only thing fascists believe. They are oppressive, and the government is large. The right is usually associated with less government, not more.

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    Re: Which extreme is more dangerous to America?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lakryte View Post
    Once again, the private property issue is not the only thing fascists believe. They are oppressive, and the government is large. The right is usually associated with less government, not more.
    Actually, this point weakens your argument further, which is a common deficiency of the lineal political scale. The specifically oppressive functions of the fascist government lie in the direction of maintaining expected cultural conventions and mores that are typically of a socially conservative character, which is consistent with rightist authoritarianism. This is obviously inconsistent with the "rightism" advocated by such figures as Milton Friedman, but well in line with that advocated by Augusto Pinochet. So portions of the right are associated with less government, just as portions of the left are associated with less government (anarchists would be an illustrative example, obviously). But even the greater "government" advocated by portions of the left (such as Leninists, if you want to include them with the "left") is not directed toward the sustainment of social conservatism but economic authoritarianism through dictatorial central planning. This is directly at odds with the economic libertarianism advocated by others on the left (anarchists, again) and distinct from the economic rightism common to both Friedman and Pinochet.

  8. #188
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    Re: Which extreme is more dangerous to America?

    Actually, this point weakens your argument further, which is a common deficiency of the lineal political scale. The specifically oppressive functions of the fascist government lie in the direction of maintaining expected cultural conventions and mores that are typically of a socially conservative character, which is consistent with rightist authoritarianism. This is obviously inconsistent with the "rightism" advocated by such figures as Milton Friedman, but well in line with that advocated by Augusto Pinochet. So portions of the right are associated with less government, just as portions of the left are associated with less government (anarchists would be an illustrative example, obviously). But even the greater "government" advocated by portions of the left (such as Leninists, if you want to include them with the "left") is not directed toward the sustainment of social conservatism but economic authoritarianism through dictatorial central planning. This is directly at odds with the economic libertarianism advocated by others on the left (anarchists, again) and distinct from the economic rightism common to both Friedman and Pinochet.
    Not really. How is the government banning criticism a far right ideology? That is an aspect of fascism. I see your point, but the problem is fascism has plenty of leftist qualities as well. It isn't left or right.

    What do you see as far right/left? (don't name something like communism etc. name the beliefs and values.)

  9. #189
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    Re: Which extreme is more dangerous to America?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lakryte View Post
    Not really. How is the government banning criticism a far right ideology? That is an aspect of fascism. I see your point, but the problem is fascism has plenty of leftist qualities as well. It isn't left or right.
    I didn't merely refer to a ban on criticism. There are other aspects of fascists' social agenda that diverge quite significantly from social leftists' preferred policies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lakryte View Post
    What do you see as far right/left? (don't name something like communism etc. name the beliefs and values.)
    Far rightism involves a desire for preservation of traditional social mores and conventions and the willingness to use military force to uphold law and order. Far leftism involves radical progressivism (typically civil libertarianism) and economic egalitarianism or the professed desire to implement it.

  10. #190
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    Re: Which extreme is more dangerous to America?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agnapostate View Post
    It's a matter of legitimately "left-wing" ideology being either explicitly socialist in nature or bearing an identifiable family resemblance to socialism. So I'll again mention something I've spoken of before, namely, the contradictions between fascism and socialism. I usually draw from Umberto Eco's conception of "Eternal Fascism" and Zanden's Pareto and Fascism Reconsidered to do this.

    Firstly, as Zanden puts it, "[O]bedience, discipline, faith and a religious belief in the cardinal tenets of the Fascist creed are put forth as the supreme values of a perfect Fascist. Individual thinking along creative lines is discouraged. What is wanted is not brains, daring ideas, or speculative faculties, but character pressed in the mold of Fascism." This is not consistent with the socialist principle of elimination of alienation as defined by Marx's The Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844. Such elimination necessitates revolutionary class consciousness, which obviously conflicts with "obedience, discipline, faith, etc." Revolutionary class consciousness is also rather inconsistent with the "cult of tradition" identified by Eco as an integral tenet of Eternal Fascism. "[T]here can be no advancement of learning. Truth already has been spelled out once and for all, and we can only keep interpreting its obscure message."

    From an insistence on revolutionary class consciousness comes opposition to class itself on the part of the socialist. This is egregiously contradictory to the elitism that constitutes a core tenet of fascism. As Eco writes, "[e]litism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology, insofar as it is fundamentally aristocratic, and aristocratic and militaristic elitism cruelly implies contempt for the weak. Ur-Fascism can only advocate a popular elitism."

    Fascism also has a necessarily anti-democratic nature. As Zanden notes, "the mass of men is created to be governed and not to govern; is created to be led and not to lead, and is created, finally, to be slaves and not masters: slaves of their animal instincts, their physiological needs, their emotions, and their passions." Similarly, Eco writes that "the Leader, knowing his power was not delegated to him democratically but was conquered by force, also knows that his force is based upon the weakness of the masses; they are so weak as to need and deserve a ruler." This strongly conflicts with the participatory elements of socialism, as it necessitates the collective ownership of the means of production. For instance, the anarchist Noam Chomsky notes that libertarian socialism is "based on free voluntary participation of people who produce and create, live their lives freely within institutions they control and with limited hierarchical structures, possibly none at all." Other forms of socialism are of course necessarily democratic at the very least, if not libertarian in nature.
    From this, I would be led to believe that the USSR was Fascist, at least in some respects. Am I incorrect in this conclusion, in your opinion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agnapostate View Post
    Anarchism was developed as a pre-Marxist form of socialism, and modern anarchists maintain an opposition to the state and capitalism as facets of their general opposition to hierarchical social, political, and economic arrangements. There are of course capitalists who claim to be anarchists, but they're generally regarded as phonies by the more traditional anarchists, who maintain that anarchism requires socialism.
    I have heard this definition of Anarchism from you in another thread. It may be correct. I have not checked into it.

    However, would you not agree that a currently popular view of the meaning of the word "Anarchism" is "the complete lack of any government structure whatsoever"?

    Not that such a state could exist for any length of time, as most people (I like to think) automatically start banding together for mutual protection.

    Quote Originally Posted by Agnapostate View Post
    I'll have to disagree with that on the basis of the collusion between state and corporate power and the financial success enjoyed by private corporations in Nazi Germany, for example, who chose to collaborate extensively with the Third Reich. No brand of economic "leftism," whatever your description of it, could tolerate such broad sustainment of private property rights.
    Interesting. I was, perhaps, thinking of a situation wherein some "leftist" ideals were forced upon people by a fascistic system.

    I understand that, in your opinion, the methods of fascism are contrary to the ideology of a leftist, but could the above not occur? This, of course, might not mean that the fascism itself was left, but that the system it was a part of was.
    Education.

    Sometimes I think we're alone. Sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the thought is staggering. ~ R. Buckminster Fuller

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