There are many words commonly used today to describe political attitudes. We are told that there are Conservatives, Liberals, Libertarians, Progressives, Left-wingers, Right-wingers, Socialists, Communists, Maoists, Trotskyites, Fascists, Nazis; and if that isn’t confusing enough, now we have Neo-Conservatives, Neo-Nazis, and Neo-everything else. When we are asked what our political views are, we are expected to choose from one of these words. If we don’t have a political opinion or if we’re afraid of making a bad choice, then we play it safe and say we are Moderates – adding yet one more word to the list.
Social mores and religious beliefs sometimes divide along the Left-Right political axis. In the United States, the Democrat Party is home for the Left, while the Republican Party is home for the Right. Those on the Left are more likely to embrace life styles that those on the Right would consider improper or even sinful. Those on the Right are more likely to be church-going members of an organized religion. These, however, are not definitive values, because Republicans smoke pot, and Democrats go to church. Social, religious, or life-style values cannot be included in any meaningful definition of these groups.
Not one person in a thousand can clearly define the ideology that any of these words represent. They are used, primarily, as labels to impart an aura of either goodness or badness, depending on who uses the words and what emotions they trigger in their minds.
To become clear on this thing called ideology, our first order of business is to throw out the garbage. If we are to make sense of the political agendas that dominate our planet today, we must not allow our thinking to be contaminated by the emotional load of the old vocabulary.
It may surprise you to learn that most of the great political debates of our time – at least in the Western world – can be divided into just two viewpoints. One viewpoint is that political actions should be judged on the merits of their expected benefit to society or to a special class within society. The other viewpoint is that actions should be judged by an ethical standard that justifies or forbids that action regardless of the benefit.
This is a contest between the ethics of collectivism on the one hand and individualism on the other. These words have clearly defined meaning and they represent a ideological chasm that divides the entire Western world.
The one thing that is common to both collectivists and individualists is that the majority of them are well intentioned. They want the best life possible for their families, for their countrymen, and for mankind. They want prosperity and justice for their fellow man. Where they disagree is how to bring those things about.
A study of collectivist literature from leading Fascists, Communists, and Socialists reveals certain recurring concepts that may be considered as the eight pillars of collectivism. If the values they represent are reversed, they become the eight pillars of individualism. In other words, there are eight concepts of social and political relationships and, with each of them, collectivists and individualists have opposite viewpoints. This can be shown as follows:
Concepts Collectivists Individualists
Source of rights The state The people
Supremacy The group The individual
Desirable action Coerced Voluntary
Property owned By the state Privately
Choice of money No Yes
Laws Favor some Equal for all
Leadership By coercion By persuasion
State power Aggressive Defensive
Left vs. Right?
We are told that Communists and Socialists are at the extreme Left of the political spectrum, and the Nazis and Fascists are at the extreme Right; two adversaries pitted against each other because, supposedly, they are opposites. Upon analysis, however, we find that they are not opposites at all. They both rest upon the eight pillars of collectivism.
In the United States and most Western countries there is a mirage of two political parties opposing each other, one on the Right and the other on the Left. Yet, when we get past the party rhetoric and slogans, we find that the leaders of both parties support most if not all of the principles of collectivism.
They do represent a Right wing and a Left wing, but they are two wings of the same ugly bird.
There’s only one thing that makes sense when constructing a political spectrum and that is to put zero state power at one end of the line and 100% at the other. Those who believe in zero power are anarchists, and those who believe in total power are totalitarians. Communism and Nazism are both at that end.
Communism, Nazism, Fascism and Socialism all gravitate toward bigger and bigger government, because that is the logic of their ideology. Under collectivism, all problems must be solved by the state. The more problems there are, the more powerful the state must become. Once we get on that slippery slope, there is no place to stop until we reach the end of the scale, which is total government. Regardless of what name you give it, regardless of how we re-label it to make it seem new or different, collectivism is totalitarianism.
This leads to the stunning realization that Communism, Fascism, Nazism, Socialism, Neo-Conservatism, Liberalism, The New Deal, Progressivism, The Great Society, Technocracy, the New World Order, and most of the other political nostrums of our century merely are variants of the same thing.
Its name is collectivism.