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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Nazi party as a left-wing phenomena. The comparison to other political parties

While it may seem contraversial to view the Nazi Party as being to the left of the political spectrum, it is not entirey unheard of. For example, on pgs 74-75 of Jonah Goldberg's book Liberal Fascism, we read..."The notion that communism and Nazism are polar opposites stems from the deeper truth that they are in fact kindred spirits. Or, as Richard Pipes has written, "Bolshevism and Fascism were heresies of socialism." Both ideologies are reactionary in the sense that they try to re-create tribal impulses. Communists champion class, Nazis race, facists nation. All such ideologies-we can call them totalitarian for now-attract the same types of people.

Hitler's hatred for communism has been opportunistically exploited to signify ideological distance, when in fact it indicated the exact opposite. Today this manuever has settled into conventional wisdom. But what Hitler hated about Marxism communism had almost nothing to do with those aspects of communism that we would consider relevant, such as economic doctrine, or the need to destroy the capitalists and bourgeoisie. In these areas Hitler saw largely eye to eye with socialists and communists. His hatred stemmed from his paranoid conviction that the people calling themselves communists were in fact in on a foreign, Jewish conspiracy. He says this over and over again in Mein Kampf."

While looking through different articles on this subject, I came across one from libertarian columnist Vox Day which gives us a pretty good indication of how we can view the Nazi Party when compared to the communist, democrat, republican and libertarian parties over 10 different areas. Day ranks them 0-10 with zero meaning total state control and incrementally less control as we move closer to a ranking of 10. The final tally when all ten factors were considered and added up?



Communism- 0

Nazi Party-15

Democrat Party-36

Republican party-52

Libertarian-85




Read 'em and weep ladies.



"This political spectrum of freedom is by no means complete, and I would certainly welcome any suggested modifications or additions from thoughtful readers. What it does provide, however, is a reasonable starting point for a discussion of the left-right political spectrum based on identifiable facts and philosophy instead of ignorance, deception and half-baked history." Vox Day




24 comments:

Andy said...

WND, Vox Day and the book "Liberal Fascism". All that's missing is a link to Conservapedia.

JD Curtis said...

Andy, I want your opinion. In the linked article from Day, do you think he's wrong about the comparisons Re:

Religious Freedom
Right to Life
Gun Control
State Money Standard
Private Property
Freedom of Press
National Sovereignty
Standing Army
State Schools
Central State Authority

and if so, in which area is he incorrect and why?

ATVLC said...

Libertarian opinion columnist picks arbitrary values that are important to libertarian opinion columnists, gives subjective values and finds other ideologies are not libertarianism.
Ever heard the phrase "not even wrong"?

photogr said...

If you think about it, all political theologies are not that good. It is just one is better than most of the others.

JD Curtis said...

No ATVLC, I havent. What parts of his rankings do you disagree with? I might disagree with partts of it myself. Don't be shy.

If you think about it, all political theologies are not that good. It is just one is better than most of the others.

Agreed PHOTOGR. We have to go along the best we can until a monarchy is established by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. In the meantime, I'm all for greater individual liberty and smaller government.

Christ Follower (no longer) said...

"We have to go along the best we can until a monarchy is established by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. In the meantime, I'm all for greater individual liberty and smaller government."

And then the dictatorship of the deity. Love Him or be tortured by Him! Hail!
I kid, I kid... a little.

deemo said...

Conservatives always lose. Progress marches on as they throw a pathetic temper tantrum. They lost slavery, they lost during desegregation, they lost when women voted, they lost when democracy took the place of their precious god-king. I don't know why they are proud to be on the side of the historical losers of all humanity.

The Maryland Crustacean said...

J.D.

When your post inspires ad hominem attacks, pot shots and name calling but nothing of substance refuting what you have written, you can be assured that it was right on the mark.

ATVLC said...

Complete nonsense can inspire pot shots and name calling.

JD Curtis said...

I see what yor mean MDC. I get "complete nonsense" and yet nothing resembling genuine refutation.

Conservatives always lose. Progress marches on as they throw a pathetic temper tantrum

Right. And "he best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death. A slow death has something comforting about it. The dogma of Christianity gets worn away before the advances of science. Religion will have to make more and more concessions. Gradually the myths crumble. All that's left is to prove that in nature there is no frontier between the organic and the inorganic." Right deemo?

Chris B said...

JD Curtis: Andy, I want your opinion. In the linked article from Day, do you think he's wrong about the comparisons Re:

Religious Freedom
Right to Life
Gun Control
State Money Standard
Private Property
Freedom of Press
National Sovereignty
Standing Army
State Schools
Central State Authority



Well, as has been pointed out, the criteria he selects are completely arbitrary, as are the ratings he gives for them (the notion that Separation of Church and State is somehow detrimental to Religious Freedom is a strange one that makes no sense to me, and that Vox Day does not attempt to defend in this article; likewise, his "Right to Life" criteria would be seen by some as an attack upon a woman's Right to Reproductive Freedom).

Assigning scores to a discussion like this makes it seem less like an attempt to objectively examine political principles and more like an attempt to find a "winner" and a "loser". If one appears to be attempting to promote a specific political philosophy, then the objectivity of the evaluation seems questionable. That is, I simply don't trust someone to fairly evaluate the political left if their primary objective seems to be promotion of libertarianism.

Most of the comparisons of political ideologies I've seen have been two dimensional, rather than one dimensional (for example, the Nolan chart
). It seems to me that collapsing so many variables into a simple one-dimensional spectrum oversimplifies the discussion and does a disservice to everyone; the only advantage to it that I can see is that it enables libertarians to compare progressives to Nazis, which hardly strikes me as constructive.


I'm curious, JD, as to whether you think the criteria Vox selects are, by themselves, adequate means to judge the effectiveness of a system of economics and/or government; Vox seems to be suggesting (as I find many libertarians do in general) that Individual Freedom is, by itself, the end-all and be-all of society.

Yes, Freedom is very important, but so are education, health, and the like; any society that sacrifices the latter in order to maximize the former seems to me to be cutting of its nose to save its face (so to speak).

JD Curtis said...

Your entry (although a week late) is still appreciated. The 2 dimensional chart that you cite is interesting and I think there is some agreement in that which I've posted above. I do have some disagreement though with the way the lower right quadrant is defined, that of "the political Right". I don't think that personal freedom is diminished as right-wing Conservatives assume power. Certainly there is a component of the right that re: abortion would like to see procedures reduced, but this is in keeping with the idea of personhood and that babies (or fetuses) should also be afforded the right to live.

Insofar as some of your other points, my thoughts are as follows...

the notion that Separation of Church and State is somehow detrimental to Religious Freedom is a strange one that makes no sense to me, and that Vox Day does not attempt to defend in this article

I found the text of the letter from the Dansbury Baptists to President Thomas Jefferson. They were concerned with government regulating religion, not the other way around. Here's the link in case you're interested.

Assigning scores to a discussion like this makes it seem less like an attempt to objectively examine political principles and more like an attempt to find a "winner" and a "loser".

I don't know if that's the case at all. It seems that at one side of the spectrum there is big government. along with that big government we can assume that such government would be more intrusive and regulate society much more than a government that is decidedly smaller.

If one appears to be attempting to promote a specific political philosophy, then the objectivity of the evaluation seems questionable.

Truth be known, I am a somewhat of a regular on Day's blog in which he actively comments on the threads that he starts there. I have had disagreement in the past with him and usually it is over his Libertarian position on certain issues. It seems that he subscribes to the Libertarian view often in his criticisms of conservatives and leftists alike. but I wouldnt state that he himself is a spokesman for the Libertarian party. I just don't get that vibe at all and I would tell you if I did.

I'm curious, JD, as to whether you think the criteria Vox selects are, by themselves, adequate means to judge the effectiveness of a system of economics and/or government

I think day answered that himself in the above quotation...""This political spectrum of freedom is by no means complete, and I would certainly welcome any suggested modifications or additions from thoughtful readers. What it does provide, however, is a reasonable starting point for a discussion of the left-right political spectrum based on identifiable facts and philosophy instead of ignorance, deception and half-baked history." See? It's just a starting point, not and end.

I would be curious as to which items that Day ranked in the linked article that you would take exception to. Did you find a specific ranking to be inaccurate in your opinion?

Yes, Freedom is very important, but so are education, health, and the like; any society that sacrifices the latter in order to maximize the former seems to me to be cutting of its nose to save its face

And I don't know that if a society moves toward smaller government that these things are necessarily given up. I would argue that a strong, centralized federal government would be less effective in different ways in running one of the institutions that you mentioned (Schools, hospitals, etc.) than one in which the standards are set by the locals.

Chris B said...

JD Curtis: Your entry (although a week late) is still appreciated.

Sorry, didn't realize we were working on a deadline here. :)

The 2 dimensional chart that you cite is interesting and I think there is some agreement in that which I've posted above. I do have some disagreement though with the way the lower right quadrant is defined, that of "the political Right". I don't think that personal freedom is diminished as right-wing Conservatives assume power.

You must not know any homosexual people who have seen their freedom to marry viciously attacked by conservatives.

I'd also like to see laws lifted that criminalize so-called victimless crimes (marijuana use, prostitution, etc). Although, admittedly, this is as much a problem for Democrats as Republicans.

Also, let's not forget wiretapping, enemy combatant imprisonment, etc, under the Bush administration.


I found the text of the letter from the Dansbury Baptists to President Thomas Jefferson. They were concerned with government regulating religion, not the other way around.

I think both should be avoided. I don't think, for example, that religion should intrude upon public schooling in order to proselytize. This sort of forced religious exposure to a captive audience strikes me as being as much a violation of religious freedom as anything else.


I don't know if that's the case at all. It seems that at one side of the spectrum there is big government.

"Big government" can many many decidedly different things; hence my belief in the inadequacy of the one-dimensional political spectrum.

But that doesn't address my point, which was that assigning numerical values, rather than making objective statements, seems more like an attempt at a ranking than at a serious, objective discussion of policy.

but I wouldnt state that he himself is a spokesman for the Libertarian party. I just don't get that vibe at all and I would tell you if I did.

I didn't mean to suggest that Vox was any sort of official spokesman for the party (although, in my experience, most libertarians, by virtue of their eagerness to discuss the apparent virtues of libertarianism, seem a bit like self-appointed spokesmen). But it seems that his main objective in this article is to promote libertarianism ("Libertarianism is the most non-Nazi political party EVAR! It must be true 'cuz I used math! See? Numbers!"). As I said earlier, I don't see any other purpose to his arbitrary use of numerical scores.

Chris B said...

I think day answered that himself...


I disagree; he identifies his criteria as a)being based on evaluation of Freedom only, and b)being a method to identify the position of parties on the political spectrum, NOT on evaluating the effectiveness of any of these ideologies in running a government. So he really doesn't address the question I was asking.

And, more importantly, I didn't ask what Vox Day thought, I asked what you thought.

I would be curious as to which items that Day ranked in the linked article that you would take exception to. Did you find a specific ranking to be inaccurate in your opinion?

I'm not even sure the question to be asking here is one of accuracy; as I noted, the criteria chosen, and the grades assigned, are all completely subjective. No empirical reasons are given why the ten points he chooses are more important than any he does not choose, and no specific criteria are given for why any given political ideology receives, for example, a 5 instead of a 4 or a 6 in any given category. I could give my interpretation of how the parties rank based on these (or other) criteria, but that would be as much a matter of opinion as I believe Vox's scoring is. I really just don't see the point to the whole exercise.

And I don't know that if a society moves toward smaller government that these things are necessarily given up.

Well, statistics on health care suggest that other countries' more government-run health care plans are more effective than our (pre-reform) semi-free market system, at lower costs. So I'm not convinced that the market (the implicit opposite of "Big Government") is always the best mechanism for such things.

I would argue that a strong, centralized federal government would be less effective in different ways in running one of the institutions that you mentioned (Schools, hospitals, etc.) than one in which the standards are set by the locals.

Why would you say that? I'm not certain I have enough data to make a judgment one way or another, though I'd be interested to hear your reasoning. But it seems to me that, in the absence of Federal regulations, the education and health care quality will vary widely in different parts of the country, and I don't see how that unevenness is beneficial to the nation as a whole or to the individual citizens in the lower-quality areas.

JD Curtis said...

Well, statistics on health care suggest that other countries' more government-run health care plans are more effective than our (pre-reform) semi-free market system, at lower costs

What countries are you referring to? Do any have 300 million inhabitants like the US?

Why would you say that? I'm not certain I have enough data to make a judgment one way or another, though I'd be interested to hear your reasoning.

Because people in Montana have a better idea of what is going on in Montana than Joe Bureaucrat in Washington DC. Just a sentiment of mine.

That coupled with the fact that after the implementation of Medicare in the US, there was a 26-fold increase in the price per day of a hospital stay. That is (in constant dollars) from $21 dollars per day to $545. It's been less than a spectacular success.
Link

You mention that Day's choice of criteria are "subjective". what criteria would you have chosen that would be any different from the one's put forward by Day?

I could give my interpretation of how the parties rank based on these (or other) criteria, but that would be as much a matter of opinion as I believe Vox's scoring is. I really just don't see the point to the whole exercise.

That's if you were to spout off with out knowing anything about the criteria you are ranking. If you ranked them with concrete data and stats to back up your assertions then it becomes less "opinion" and more toward the realm of "fact".

ATVLC said...

I'm not even sure if JD knows what right and left wing are.

Chris B said...

JD Curtis: What countries are you referring to? Do any have 300 million inhabitants like the US?



Here's a comparison between several countries.



Granted, none of them have a population as large as the U.S., but I'm not sure that a difference in population makes the benefits of their systems inapplicable in our country.

Because people in Montana have a better idea of what is going on in Montana than Joe Bureaucrat in Washington DC.

This is probably true enough. But I don't quite see how it's entirely relevant to the examples I raised; education, it seems to me, needn't vary between states: math and science and English are the same in both Montana and Washington. Likewise with health: someone in Montana is biologically similar to someone in D.C., and so will, on average, generally require the same health care.

If anything, this is an argument for state or local official in health or education to have a certain degree of discretion in running their branch of the system, but I still think it benefits the nation as a whole if all of its citizens have access to education and health care of similar quality.

That coupled with the fact that after the implementation of Medicare in the US, there was a 26-fold increase in the price per day of a hospital stay.

Well, that's actually not quite true; the link you give uses that figure in reference to costs from 1946-1989. Medicare was passed in 1965; according to the article: Cost per patient per day which had tripled 1946-1965 multiplied eightfold after 1965 when Medicare was introduced.

However, despite this, I think I understand the point you're trying to make re: Gammon's Law. To be honest, I'm not yet well-versed enough in economics to give a fully informed opinion on it. However, I find it interesting that, of the remedies the article recommends, some (requiring citizens to buy insurance and government subsidizing insurance for low-income households) were angrily attacked as a Big Government power grab when they were included in the recent Health Care Reform law.

Chris B said...

You mention that Day's choice of criteria are "subjective". what criteria would you have chosen that would be any different from the one's put forward by Day?

I've already said that the stated purpose of Vox's exercise (ranking political ideologies in a one-dimensional line) strikes me as over-simplified and counter-productive (as opposed to using a two-dimensional approach). And I've already said that my opinion would be no less subjective than his. So I don't understand why you're asking me this. Why do you ask me what minor changes I would make to a system after I've explained what I see as major flaws in it? It seems like you're not really listening to me (a feeling not helped by the number of points I've made that you've ignored).


If you ranked them with concrete data and stats to back up your assertions then it becomes less "opinion" and more toward the realm of "fact".

Well, kinda. But not really. Vox may be making his subjective judgment calls based on data, but they're still subjective judgment calls: he's still converting complex policy positions into numerical scores based on his own opinions and biases. Not to mention the fact that he nonsensically gives equal weight to each category in tallying up his totals: to Vox Day, genocide (which he combines with abortion in the "Right to Life" category) is just as significant as the Army or public schools (to name two criteria whose ratings I can find no explanation for in the article).

And, to make things even more embarrassing, he can't even do the third-grade arithmetic of adding up his totals: seriously, add up the "Nazi" and "Dem" columns: Nazi should be 17 and Dem should be 32. Why are you asking me to listen to the political "insights" of a man who can't do grade-school math???

If Vox has data or stats, he can present data and stats without filtering them through his score-keeping process, which, as I've said, has no meaningful purpose I can see other than to push an agenda.

JD Curtis said...

I checked outthe link you provided and two things caught my attention.

First, infant mortality rates are recorded differently in the US than in other countries, thus ours is higher. Link

I also thought you might find the following interesting...

"As treating sick people is more expensive than letting them die, single payer systems also discriminate against the elderly and powerless. An 80-year-old American woman can expect to live almost a year longer than her British counterpart. In the Netherlands, elderly patients fear the hospital. The Dutch government lets doctors kill their patients. Dutch physicians in need of a hospital bed have simply administered lethal drugs to people they think will die anyway. Some countries do not even classify babies under 2 pounds as live births. This explains why U.S. infant mortality rates are high by international standards even though babies born in the U.S. have superior chances of survival.

In 1997, an estimated 20 to 30 percent of all patients on Canadian waiting lists were expected to die before getting care. Canadian officials responded to critics by saying that it was good that Canada used its health care resources to their fullest capacity. Under single payer care it is better to let sick people die than to let expensive machines sit idle.

The poor performance of single payer systems can be seen in cancer mortality ratios, the death rate divided by the incidence of disease. For breast cancer, the U.S. mortality ratio is 25%. In Canada and Australia it is 28%, in Germany it is 31%, in France it is 35%, and in New Zealand and the United Kingdom it is 46%. For prostate cancer, the U.S. mortality ratio is 19%. In Canada it is 25%, in New Zealand it is 30%, in Australia it is 35%, in Germany it is 44%, in France it is 49%, and in the United Kingdom it is 57%. Link

ATVLC said...

USA: 322 deaths from cancer per 100,000 people
Australia: 299 deaths from cancer per 100,000 people.
Sweden: 268 death from cancer per 100,000 people.
UK: 253 deaths from cancer per 100,000 people.

I live in Australia.

JD Curtis said...

Source?

ATVLC said...

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_dea_fro_can-health-death-from-cancer

ATVLC said...

And your comment: "infant mortality rates are recorded differently in the US than in other countries, thus ours is higher." was right... until the 1980's.

ATVLC said...

Slight correction, the former Soviet states adopted the same definition in the early 1990's.