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Left? Right?

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Individualist Posted: Mon, Mar 23 2009 4:18 PM

Is it left-wing to endorse the abolition of the state? Right-wing?

The left wants to use the power of the state to solve society's problems. The right wants to use the power of the state to preserve society. What if you don't want to use the power of the state to do anything? Doesn't that mean you're not left-wing or right-wing?

Maybe I have incorrect definition of left and right. Are there better definitions?

"Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under."  - H. L. Mencken

 

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JAlanKatz replied on Mon, Mar 23 2009 4:19 PM
You're exactly right.
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The dichotomy is a culturally one, the thing is that the culture of left wing statists in one that can only occur in the context of the state. Even the politically right will often tend to espouse values that would be promoted within a stateless society (low time preference, responsibility), they just have the wrong means of acheiving those ends.

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows"

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Stranger replied on Mon, Mar 23 2009 4:29 PM

The left and right wing are just two wings of the same organization, the state. They are not anarchists by definition.

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Samarami replied on Mon, Mar 23 2009 5:00 PM

I'll cast my vote with Stranger.

Identification of ideologies through the use of labels tends to trap us in a sort of mantra (in my opinion).  I have no idea how “Left Anarchism” differs from “Right Anarchism”, but I can point you to a website or two where the bloggers are very dogmatic in that endeavor.  I rather like Harry Brown’s take:

 

Conservatives say the government can’t end poverty by force, but they believe it can use force to make people moral.  Liberals say government can’t make people moral, but they believe it can end poverty. 

 

Neither group attempts to explain why government is so clumsy and destructive in one area but a paragon of efficiency and benevolence in the other.

                                                ~Harry Browne, “Liberty A-Z” p 35

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Juan replied on Mon, Mar 23 2009 8:38 PM
The right wants to use the power of the state to preserve society.
Eh ?

February 17 - 1600 - Giordano Bruno is burnt alive by the catholic church.
Aquinas : "much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death."

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Juan:
The right wants to use the power of the state to preserve society.
Eh ?

Perhaps he meant a "freeze" society from becoming more dynamic (which could tie in with conservative worship of traditionalism, the past, & status-quo) & become more static.

"Look at me, I'm quoting another user to show how wrong I think they are, out of arrogance of my own position. Wait, this is my own quote, oh shi-" ~ Nitroadict

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Solomon replied on Mon, Mar 23 2009 9:37 PM

I think he means "preserve society" in a Hobbesian sense of the phrase, i.e. that without the state's supervision everyone would run wild and kill each other.

Diminishing Marginal Utility - IT'S THE LAW!

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Nick Ricci replied on Mon, Mar 23 2009 10:01 PM

The very first use of the left-right dichotomy, during the French Revolution, opposed the monarchists (on the right) and the montagnards (on the left, all the way to the proto-communist babouvists). The liberals were stuck in the center. Nothing has really changed.

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Nitroadict replied on Mon, Mar 23 2009 10:03 PM

 

Solomon:

I think he means "preserve society" in a Hobbesian sense of the phrase, i.e. that without the state's supervision everyone would run wild and kill each other.

Yeah, I was over-thinking that.  Yes

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Juan replied on Mon, Mar 23 2009 10:19 PM
Ah, thanks. That makes sense.

February 17 - 1600 - Giordano Bruno is burnt alive by the catholic church.
Aquinas : "much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death."

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Nick Ricci replied on Mon, Mar 23 2009 11:14 PM

Well, conservatives (at least *some* conservatives) do have a desire to use the state to preserve existing hierarchies regardless of changes in economic conditions. Surely you fans of Hoppe are familiar with the chapter on "Conservative socialism" in his Theory of Socialism and Capitalism (incidentally the only Hoppe book I could find in my university's library).

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Conza88 replied on Mon, Mar 23 2009 11:20 PM

It's a false paradigm. Reject it.

Left wing = Communists / Marxists (International Socialism)

Right wing = Fascists / Nazi's (National Socialism)

Literally 5 letters of difference.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Nick Ricci:
Well, conservatives (at least *some* conservatives) do have a desire to use the state to preserve existing hierarchies regardless of changes in economic conditions.

I don't know a single conservative on here that would wish to preserve the current hierarchy.

Nick Ricci:
Surely you fans of Hoppe are familiar with the chapter on "Conservative socialism" in his Theory of Socialism and Capitalism (incidentally the only Hoppe book I could find in my university's library).

Yes, I am. So what? He talks of conservative socialism, not libertarian conservatism.

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Rothbard described the history of the terms in this essay: http://mises.org/story/910

Base model cars of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but quarter-mile races.

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Felipe replied on Tue, Mar 24 2009 1:26 PM

Conza88:

It's a false paradigm. Reject it.

Left wing = Communists / Marxists (International Socialism)

Right wing = Fascists / Nazi's (National Socialism)

I would change that a bit

Left wing = Socialists / Marxist-Leninists / Other Marxists (International Socialism)

Right wing =  Economic and Political Liberals / Free Markets and Private Property advocates / Defenders of Individual Rights (Classic Liberalism)

Third Way (Anti-Marxism) = Fascists / Nazi's (National Socialism)

 

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Juan replied on Tue, Mar 24 2009 2:04 PM
Right wing = Economic and Political Liberals / Free Markets and Private Property advocates / Defenders of Individual Rights (Classic Liberalism)
Classical liberalism is not right wing.

February 17 - 1600 - Giordano Bruno is burnt alive by the catholic church.
Aquinas : "much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death."

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Felipe:

Conza88:

It's a false paradigm. Reject it.

Left wing = Communists / Marxists (International Socialism)

Right wing = Fascists / Nazi's (National Socialism)

I would change that a bit

Left wing = Socialists / Marxist-Leninists / Other Marxists (International Socialism)

Right wing =  Economic and Political Liberals / Free Markets and Private Property advocates / Defenders of Individual Rights (Classic Liberalism)

Third Way (Anti-Marxism) = Fascists / Nazi's (National Socialism)

 

I find the revision more than ironic considering  it's been suggested the labels of right-wing * left-wing are utilizes by the State to help perpetuate the lesser of evils condition of voting and political discourse.  

Technically, it makes little difference to The State, as an institution, as to which tribe get's power & which tribe loses.  

This is why re-analyzing statist intellectual & political rhetoric from the standpoint that The State is not legitimate is such a threat, that the most stealthily & intelligently employed propaganda is employed (or generated, unconsciously via social means, if you want to get memetic) to combat it.  

Free-Market & Private Property are not inherently representative of the "right-wing" of the State; they are however, representative of the ideals of the constitution and/or the beginning of the United States of America.  Thus, imo,  it's far more accurate to re-label "Right-Wing" as "Original Wing", or some variation thereof, while maintaining that the current "Right-Wing" in no way represents what it used to be (The Old Right, etc.).     

Additionally, you could  also revise the "right wing" to be traditionally (pre- Neo Conservatism) Constitutionalist & Minarchist, as from my memory, it was the Left Wing that was the deviation (which could've started with the "progressive's eventual embrace of imperialism, which was directly against the traditional or classical liberalism that had started the US"- paraphrase; Arthur Ekrich)

Republicans (or all mainstream politics, for that matter) have deviated so far to the left that they belong on a separate axis that measures the "more left" and "less left", or "more collectivist" or "less collectivist".  

The consistent use of their language to outcast "extremists" (while brilliantly drawing upon the absurdity of The Red Scare, & other such moments in history) cements their ideologies legitimacy, with most arguments ending up being a variation of "You're either with us, or against us.", with relative tones of arrogance & ignorance.   

Just as while, socially, Republicans & Democrats appear to differ, politically, economically, & philosophically, the difference is little to an outside viewpoint, in which case would be the Non or Anti-Statist minded individual.

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Felipe replied on Tue, Mar 24 2009 3:41 PM

Juan:
Right wing = Economic and Political Liberals / Free Markets and Private Property advocates / Defenders of Individual Rights (Classic Liberalism)
Classical liberalism is not right wing.

From a economic point of view I cannot find any other way to see it....... or am I using the term "right wing" in a different way to that it is supposed to be used?

At least from my experience the political right has always been in the side of classic liberalism.

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Felipe replied on Tue, Mar 24 2009 3:54 PM

Nitroadict:

 

Felipe:

Conza88:

It's a false paradigm. Reject it.

Left wing = Communists / Marxists (International Socialism)

Right wing = Fascists / Nazi's (National Socialism)

I would change that a bit

Left wing = Socialists / Marxist-Leninists / Other Marxists (International Socialism)

Right wing =  Economic and Political Liberals / Free Markets and Private Property advocates / Defenders of Individual Rights (Classic Liberalism)

Third Way (Anti-Marxism) = Fascists / Nazi's (National Socialism)

 

I find the revision more than ironic considering  it's been suggested the labels of right-wing * left-wing are utilizes by the State to help perpetuate the lesser of evils condition of voting and political discourse.  

Technically, it makes little difference to The State, as an institution, as to which tribe get's power & which tribe loses.  

This is why re-analyzing statist intellectual & political rhetoric from the standpoint that The State is not legitimate is such a threat, that the most stealthily & intelligently employed propaganda is employed (or generated, unconsciously via social means, if you want to get memetic) to combat it.  

Free-Market & Private Property are not inherently representative of the "right-wing" of the State; they are however, representative of the ideals of the constitution and/or the beginning of the United States of America.  Thus, imo,  it's far more accurate to re-label "Right-Wing" as "Original Wing", or some variation thereof, while maintaining that the current "Right-Wing" in no way represents what it used to be (The Old Right, etc.).     

Additionally, you could  also revise the "right wing" to be traditionally (pre- Neo Conservatism) Constitutionalist & Minarchist, as from my memory, it was the Left Wing that was the deviation (which could've started with the "progressive's eventual embrace of imperialism, which was directly against the traditional or classical liberalism that had started the US"- paraphrase; Arthur Ekrich)

Republicans (or all mainstream politics, for that matter) have deviated so far to the left that they belong on a separate axis that measures the "more left" and "less left", or "more collectivist" or "less collectivist".  

The consistent use of their language to outcast "extremists" (while brilliantly drawing upon the absurdity of The Red Scare, & other such moments in history) cements their ideologies legitimacy, with most arguments ending up being a variation of "You're either with us, or against us.", with relative tones of arrogance & ignorance.   

Just as while, socially, Republicans & Democrats appear to differ, politically, economically, & philosophically, the difference is little to an outside viewpoint, in which case would be the Non or Anti-Statist minded individual.

Interesting, just one thing to clarify, I was talking of the universal "right wing" (beyond the scope of American politics) that was borned from the principles of classic liberalism of the french revolution from opposition to the tyranical monarchies and the absolute state.

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Juan:
The right wants to use the power of the state to preserve society.
Eh ?

Sorry about that typo. It was supposed to be "preserve society's culture". By culture, I was referring to, basically, traditions, hierarchies, family values (like punishing someone for prostitution, etc.). They don't understand that by using force to uphold family values, they are acting as if family values are not valuable.

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Solomon replied on Tue, Mar 24 2009 5:26 PM

Huh.  It seems Nitroadict's original interpretation of 'preserve society' was right after all.

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Conza88 replied on Mon, Apr 6 2009 7:21 AM

"In addition to our re-evaluation of the origins and nature of the Cold War, we engaged in a thorough reassessment of the whole “left-right” ideological spectrum in historical perspective. For it was clear to us that the European Throne-and-Altar Conservatism that had captured the right wing was statism in a virulent and despotic form; and yet only an imbecile could possibly call these people “leftists.” But this meant that our old simple paradigm of the “left Communist/total government . . . right/no government” continuum, with liberals on the left of center and conservatives on the right of center, had been totally incorrect. We had therefore been misled in our basic view of the spectrum and in our whole conception of ourselves as natural “extreme rightists.” There must have been a fatal flaw in the analysis. Plunging back into history, we concentrated on the reality that in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, laissez-faire liberals, radicals, and revolutionaries constituted the “extreme left” while our ancient foes, the conservatives, the Throne-and-Altar worshippers, constituted the right-wing Enemy. Leonard Liggio then came up with the following profound analysis of the historical process, which I adopted.

First, and dominant in history, was the Old Order, the ancien régime, the regime of caste and frozen status, of exploitation by a war-making, feudal or despotic ruling class, using the church and the priesthood to dupe the masses into accepting its rule. This was pure statism; and this was the “right wing.” Then, in seventeenthand eighteenth-century Western Europe, a liberal and radical opposition movement arose, our old heroes, who championed a popular revolutionary movement on behalf of rationalism, individual liberty, minimal government, free markets and free trade, international peace, and separation of Church and State—and in opposition to Throne and Altar, to monarchy, the ruling class, theocracy, and war. These—“our people”—were the Left, and the purer their libertarian vision the more “extreme” a Left they were. So far, so good, and our analysis was not yet so different from before; but what of socialism, that movement born in the nineteenth century which we had always reviled as the “extreme left”?

Where did that fit in? Liggio analyzed socialism as a confused middle- of-the road movement, influenced historically by both the libertarian and individualist Left and by the conservative-statist Right. From the individualist Left the socialists took the goals of freedom: the withering away of the State, the replacement of the governing of men by the administration of things (a concept coined by the early nineteenth-century French laissez-faire libertarians Charles Comte and Charles Dunoyer), opposition to the ruling class and the search for its overthrow, the desire to establish

international peace, an advanced industrial economy and a high standard of living for the mass of the people. From the conservative Right the socialists adopted the means to attempt to achieve these goals: collectivism, state planning, community control of the individual. But this put socialism in the middle of the ideological spectrum. It also meant that socialism was an unstable, self-contradictory doctrine bound to fly apart rapidly in the inner contradiction between its means and its ends. And in this belief we were bolstered by the old demonstration of my mentor Ludwig von Mises that socialist central planning simply cannot operate an advanced industrial economy.

The Socialist movement had, historically, also suffered ideologically and organizationally from a similar inner contradiction:
with Social Democrats, from Engels to Kautsky to Sidney Hook, shifting inexorably rightward into accepting and strengthening the State apparatus and becoming “left” apologists for the Corporate State, while other socialists, such as Bakunin and Kropotkin, shifted leftward toward the individualist, libertarian pole. It was clear, too, that the Communist Party in America had taken, in domestic affairs, the same “rightward” path—hence the similarity which the “extreme” red-baiters had long discerned between Communists and liberals. In fact, the shift of so many ex-Communists from left to the conservative Right now seemed to be not very much of a shift at all; for they had been pro-Big Government in the 1930s and “Twentieth Century American” patriots in the 1940s, and now they were still patriots and statists." - Betrayal of the American Right by Murray N. Rothbard

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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