When men like Senator McCain, who I give the benefit of doubt in his moral seriousness, seeks a moderate position, when anyone seeks the “middle ground” in political debate, it is clear that the old bogeyman of evil on the “Far Right” and evil on the “Far Left” has enthralled them.
Let us be clear at the outset: there is no “Far Right” at all. Those handful of nutty and dangerous separatist groups have no connection with what are called conservatives at all. They resemble, in fact, much more the very real Far Left. Recall that Jim Jones, the suicide-murderer minister, was a radical Leftist who supported “social justice” and Democrat politics before he convinced his Jonestown thralls to drink poison Kool-Aid.
In politics, there is some goodness on what we call the Left; there is some goodness on what we call the Right; but there is no evil on the Right: all evil is on the Left. Before delving into the historical basis for this position, consider today what the Right and Left are supposed to represent. The Right is accused, essentially, of doing little or nothing about our social and economic problems. Those on the mythical Right are not accused of trying to impose enslavement on others – Leftism, and Marxism, simply assume that in the absence of government such enslavement will occur in free markets. The position of the mythical Right represents the first rule of medicine: First, do no harm.
It is very hard to characterize that as evil. Marx himself refrained from defining that as evil, adopting, instead, an objective and scientific approach (much like Barack Obama appears to be doing in his elitist campaign.) In fact, the only way the “Right” can be characterized as evil is by taking the path of Jeremiah Wright and his compatriots: America is a vast conspiracy; America invented AIDS; America deliberately hooked black youths on cocaine; America planned 9-11 to enrich Dick Cheney; and so on.
This is one reason why the Left is so invested in a so-called “ideological spectrum” that stretches from the Far Right (which doesn’t exist) to the Far Left (which does exist.) Because the Far Left does plan and hope for very real evil – simply reading what their blogs say about Nancy Reagan and Charlton Heston should leave no doubt about the evil that the Far Left represents – it must create a Far Right that also harbors great evil.
In fact, those evils which historically in America have been connected with the mythical “Far Right” were the Far Left. Consider, for example, the anti-Semitic priest, Father Coughlin, who held captive millions of Americans during the 1930s with his radio broadcasts. Certainly Coughlin supported bad things, but was he on the “Far Right”? It would have astounded him to be considered so. Repeatedly Coughlin denounced “conservatives” of every sort and embraced “progressives.” His radio addresses, when actually studied, show contempt for the rich and an insistence upon socialism.
Coughlin had supported Roosevelt, not Hoover, in 1936. He abandoned Roosevelt, not because he was too far to the Left, but because he was too timid in confronting Wall Street and capitalist overlords. Yet Coughlin is routinely trotted out as an example of the “Far Right” in America. Ironically, Coughlin was also attacked by another group reflexively considered on the “Far Right,” the Ku Klux Klan.
Was the Ku Klux Klan on the “Far Right”? Well, it was overtly racist. But is racism a quality of this mythical “Far Right”? Marx was profoundly racist and nationalistic. The Soviet Union was profoundly racist during its seventy years or so of existence (ask the Armenians or Uzbeks or Lithuanians or Ukrainians.) Communist China, today, is racist (ask the Tibetans or several other captive peoples.) Is there a society, a government or a nation that has not been xenophobic or racist?
The deliberate rejection of racism, politically, in the foundational document of the American polity, the Declaration of Independence, which proclaimed to the world that all men are created equal and endowed by God with certain absolute rights. This is the heart of what is called the “Right” in American. The moral rejection of racism came first in Judaism and then, more emphatically, in Christianity, which proclaimed that we are neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female. Yet what is most consistently considered by the Left as the most dangerous “Rightists”? - American Christians or Americans who celebrate the Judeo-Christian moral heritage.
Racism was opposed in America by the “capitalist” North, relying almost exclusively upon very devout Christians, and was opposed in America by the anti-capitalist South, which relied upon Darwinism rather than Christianity and which was opposed, in the South, only by very brave Christians. Racism was opposed in America by the Republican Party, which was expressly founded upon the rights of blacks not only to freedom but to equality.
Who, then, supported racism in America? The Ku Klux Klan was the terrorist wing of the Democrat Party in the post-bellum South. Their outrages were not committed so much against blacks as against Republicans, both black and white. The Klan continued to support Democrats. Edward D. White was appointed to the Supreme Court by Grover Cleveland, the only Democrat president between the Civil War and 1912. White had been a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
William Jennings Byran, three time nominee of the Democrat Party, was not only bigoted against blacks but also against Jews. His “Cross of Gold” speech was in condemnation of “English and Jewish Bankers.” William McKinley, his Republican opponent in two of those three presidential races, as governor of Ohio had supported equal rights for blacks, opposed lynching and appointed blacks to state government positions.
Woodrow Wilson, the first true Leftist president, was enthusiastically supported by the Klan, whose members campaigned at the Democrat Convention in 1924 to get his son-in-law, William McAdoo, nominated for the presidency. McAdoo himself had insisted in 1912 that Wilson remained on the ballot, which he did, ultimately winning the nomination. Small wonder that the Leftist bigot Woodrow Wilson got a paltry seven percent of the black vote, the rest going to conservative Republicans who consistently support equal rights for blacks.
The racism of that first pure Leftist American, Woodrow Wilson, was not limited to blacks. He rejected the policies of Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, which had been to treat Japan as a modern, civilized nation and Wilson opposed the Japanese proposal that the League of Nations charter endorse racial equality. He looked down as well on Italians, who were coming to America in huge numbers (to our great fortune) during his presidency.
Later the Klan would enthusiastically support Franklin Roosevelt, and FDR responded by appointing another member of the Klan, Hugo Black, to the Supreme Court, and appointing another member of the Klan, Tom Clark, to be Attorney General (Tom Clark, the father of Ramsey Clark, would also wind up on the Supreme Court.) Paul Robeson accused FDR, the vision of American Leftism for many years, of engaging in “a gratuitous and outrageous insult to my people” by appointing the Klansman Clark to be Attorney General and Roy Wilkins of the NAACP damned FDR with “moral cowardice” – the Left in America was saturated with racial bigotry.
Harry Truman also signed up to join the Klan, making him the third icon of the American Left who directly connected himself with the most racist and malignant organization in American politics. The ideology of the Klan was profoundly anti-capitalist, and those men sympathetic to the Klan, like Tom Watson, were among the first to applaud the Bolshevik Revolution – Watson, as a senator from Georgia, was among the first to push for recognition of the new Bolshevik regime, thus neatly tying together a hatred of blacks and Jews with an enthusiastic support for the first Marxist government on the planet.
This connection between racism and anti-Semitism (twin moral maladies) and the Left in America has never disappeared. Jeremiah Wright, the mentor of Barack Obama, has displayed a bigotry toward people of color (pink) and a disdain for Jews worthy of an Imperial Wizard. There is another connection between Jeremiah Wright, Tom Watson, Ramsey Clark, Woodrow Wilson, Hugo Black, Nathan Bedford Forrest (founder of the KKK) and Franklin Roosevelt: all were Democrats. All considered themselves on the political Left.
What is true about American politics is just as true about world politics. If the Far Right did not exist, if liberty was not extremism at all, if a private commitment to genuine Judeo-Christian moral traditions is the best choice a morally serious person can make, then all evil would reside on the Far Left. The mythical Far Right would be the rhetorical equivalent of Kulaks in Stalinist Russia or Jews in Hitlerite Germany – an innocent scapegoat; an illusionary enemy of the people; a needed sham.
This is why when I write articles about the Leftism of Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy, the Left reacts so passionately. We all do and all should hate everything that Nazism and Fascism stood for, but we should also draw out own conclusions about where these two movements would have fallen on the invented ideological spectrum of the Far Left. Consider, for the moment, what sort of political argument could be made for the Left if Hitler and Mussolini, as well as their movements, were on the Far Left and not on the Far Right?
There would, essentially, be no argument at all for the Far Left and no fear at all of the Far Right. This is precisely why the myth of the Far Right is so important. Yet this myth is also so transparent that it collapses at any objective inspection. The predecessor of Fidel Castro, Fulgenio Batista, for example, is often cited as a man of the “Far Right.” Yet Batista was supported by the Cuban Communist Party; he legalized the party and brought its members into his cabinet; he supported the same leveling policies as the communists. The Cuban Communist Party, in fact, supported Batista against Castro until Castro won. Yet history has consigned Batista to the “Far Right.”
The same is true of Juan and Evita Peron, both of whom adored both Fascism and National Socialism, and yet both of whom condemned the rich, disliked America, opposed Christianity, and harbored overt anti-Semitic sentiments (defining characteristics of the Left.) Communists did not know what to do with the Perons, and when Evita visited France, L’Humanite could think of nothing more creative to say about this competing Leftist than to describe her as a “Left Fascist.”
Europeans, from Jacques Doriot (the leader of French Communists who ended up supporting the Nazis) to Oswald Mosley (the leader of the British Union of Fascists who moved during his life from being a member of the Conservative Party to a Labour Party cabinet minister to something more Leftist), all display the same politics of the Left: Abolish the phony idea of a “Far Right” and they are all on the “Far Left.”
Even that generic term of imprecision, Fascist, is full of contradiction unless we see it as a movement of the Left. Fascism, as a sibling Leftist movement and thus a bitter rival of National Socialism, was long the antithesis of what we consider it today. Not only was Mussolini not anti-Semitic, but many of the leading Fascists were Jewish and Fascist Italy strongly opposed anti-Semitism when it appeared, for example, in Hungary after Bela Kun. The principal mistress and official biographer of Mussolini was Jewish (Sarfatti was also a feminist.) The Nazis opined that Mussolini was “probably a Jew” and that Fascism was a “Jewish movement.” Fascists, almost alone, halted the advance of Nazism in the early 1930s.
Both movement were malign; both movements oppressed freedom, religion and democracy; both movements exalted violence and action; both movements championed those causes of the common man which always are used to justify oppression; both movements – as all Leftist movements always do – connived against each other for power; and both movements inevitably descended into hatred of serious Jews and Christians, whose God would not allow men to behave like gods.
Everything about Fascism and National Socialism looked and smelled like Bolshevism. Mussolini was known, as a Fascist leader, as “the Lenin of Italy.” Hitler advanced policies much farther to the Left than Hillary or Obama have ever proposed. The Nazis never called themselves a movement of the “Far Right.” They were called “Rightists” that by their enemies. The Fascists, like the Nazis, rather portrayed themselves as parties of the middle or, better still, something different from the “Left” or the “Right.” Yet the policies of the National Socialists as well as the Fascists reflected some incarnation of socialism and redistribution of wealth. Indeed, the Nazis claimed to be the only true socialists. In Hitler’s 1943 New Year’s message, he said:
“The alliance of the arch-capitalist state of the West, or even more so of America, with the mendacious mock-socialist regime of bolshevism is conceivable only because leadership in both cases lies in the hands of international Jewry.”
We know, sadly too well, why the Nazi tyrant was spouting venous and absurd calumnies upon Jews, but why was Hitler accusing the western allies, America and Britain, of being “arch-capitalists” and accusing the Soviet Union of being “mock-socialism”? Because Hitler believed that the German socialism his party propounded should triumphant. Is this Marxism? Consider that after the Prussian victory over France in 1871, Marx himself exulted “Now it will be German socialism that will triumph in Europe.” The connection between Marx and Hitler was noted by writers long ago. Ernest Hambloch, writing in 1939 before the Second World War, suggests Marx may have been right, because the “Mohammed of the Allah of ‘Scientific Socialism’ was Hitler, not Stalin” and that Marx deserved a place of honor not only in Bolshevik, but Nazi hagiography.
All evil is on the Left. Nazis, Bolsheviks, American “progressives,” and Fascists have all held the same positions. They have suspicion or contempt for Jews, Christians and the Judeo-Christian moral traditions. They seek to collect as many material or psychological dependents as possible and to “represent” the interests of these individuals as if they were not individuals at all, but rather members of some hive. They seek violence and propaganda (violence against truth) as the primary instruments of their power. And they perpetuate the idea that they are different from each other, much as Obama and Hillary pretend to have real differences, because as soon as we see that all evil is on the Left, the political debate ends and the principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence – principles which, essentially, end the role of ideology in government – lives again.
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