you say left-wing I say right-wing
James Joyner talks shop:
I prefer to think of ideology as a circle, rather than a line. Left and Right have meaning but, as one gets to the extremes on either side — depicted as anarchism in the top chart and “Everyone Against Everyone” in the second — the views diverge.
I actually prefer the bottom figure best in that it groups authoritarian states — Communism, Theocracy, and Fascism — very tightly and depicts, for example, Socialism and Libertarianism are near opposites. Additionally, it contrasts all governmental/ideological forms with Anarchy, or the absence of government. Those who murder to carry out their political agenda are in that category; their particular ideas otherwise don’t much matter.
Finally, I should note that racism is neither right-wing nor left-wing (nor, for that matter, is it centrist or anarchist). It exists at all points on the spectrum and isn’t a political ideology at all. Von Brunn’s hatred of Jews isn’t what makes him a right-winger but rather his views on politics.
I’ve always liked to think of politics in broad terms as circular as well – the further you reach toward the “fringes” the closer those fringes start to come together. This may not be the case in the pure, theoretical versions of these ideologies – the goals of Marxists and Fascists tend to be quite different, after all – but rather in the results. Also, James is right to point out that racism is neither left or right wing. Neither is fanaticism. But there is certainly something in this country that lends itself to right-wing violence and extremism. The left-wing terrorism of Bill Ayers, for instance, never led to any deaths. There have never been leftist Oklahoma City style attacks here. Why? I’m not really sure. Certainly elsewhere in the world we’ve seen extremely violent leftist movements. Just not in the USA.