I’m fully engaged in the Intellectual Dark Web. Rubin has a point and one that I have been arguing for at least a couple of years on my FB page. What matters most these days is the relationship of liberty to the individual vs. power of the state. That sliding scale is what defines political preferences more than the label Democrat or Republican or Libertarian. Everywhere here in the U.S. this is the only conversation we are really having these days. What is the state’s role in our lives – at a personal level, how we conduct business, what choices we should have (vs. what we are given), etc.
Further, the warping of political labels like fascism (which is often incorrectly attributed to the right side of the spectrum) and socialism are labeled without any discipline or understanding of the above concept. The short of it is this: If you agree with more government guidance or authority in your life then you lean left. If you like less, you lean right. The extreme of each position is totalitarianism on the left (with various less severe types to the right of that most extremist manifestation of the left, like Communism, Socialism, and yes, Fascism – which also includes Nazism). Then you reach the center of the political spectrum, which some might say, is truly the independent position of a person who sees tradeoffs between the two opposing viewpoints and often will pick and choose their stances based on their preferences of how to be governed with trade offs for any particular position well considered. Then on the extreme right, the farthest rightward position that exists, is the lack of all laws, also known as Anarchy. To the left of this most extremist rightward state of Anarchy, are labels like Libertarian and Conservative.
The thing that often gets mistaken or misunderstood by those that want to mix up the labels, is that the only dynamic that matters is the relationship of government power to the individual and how much, or how little it has, over us. How that occurs is a matter of tactics by the state and often times something like Fascism is incorrectly attributed to being a right wing power abuse. But that isn’t how the spectrum works when you factor in the only important part of the equation when determining political spectrums and where political orientations fall. In other words, you cannot (on the spectrum of political orientations) go from CENTER > CONSERVATIVE > LIBERTARIAN (all increasingly less laws and power of the state over the individual) and then pop in FASCISM and have that make logical sense. FASCISM is a state where more power over the individual exists from the government and therefore is a leftward leaning phenomenon, closer to Communism and Totalitarianism, and completely at odds with Libertarianism.
But, in order to make this twisted logic stick, people who don’t understand this well commonly refer to Y axis on the X axis of political spectrum in order to somehow place this additional Fascism concept on the right side of the political spectrum, but above the X axis. Which is another way of saying, it doesn’t actually relate to the left to right, and vice versa, determination of Personal Liberty vs. State Power and becomes an utterly arbitrary Y point that anyone can create the criteria for and decide where it sits on this graph.
In any case, I wanted to get this out in some form, because there is a lot of misunderstanding (and outright abuse) of political labels and what makes them meaningful to discussions and a real understanding of the factors involved in determining where any political system exists here in the domestic United States. It is worth understanding as well, that typically European politics are so leftward in general (meaning: they fundamentally agree that a standard baseline of government provisions and control in their life is acceptable and even required), that when they call someone rightwing they often are describing someone who is probably center left here in the U.S. This is because their center of politics is to the left of ours here in the U.S. where their baseline of government oversight and power over the individual is much more accepting as conventionally correct than we do here in the U.S.
Dave Rubin hits this on the head with his analysis here. I’m glad to realize that there are others who are coming to the same conclusion as I have over the last few years on this. Wisdom comes when calling things by their right names, as the saying goes. We’d be much better off if our conversations where consciously aware that this is the essential argument we are having today as a country: Do you want more freedom or less? Do you want more government rules on how to live your life or less? Do you want others to also be more regulated or less?
I know where I stand on this – and probably why you will see me argue for less government authority in our life. As a budding artist, but also a huge freak for Free Speech and options to have on how we want to live our life and spend our money, I fall on the side of liberty and freedom, with all the trade offs of security that entails. I don’t like it when I see the whiff of government starting to encroach on these freedoms, usually where our artists live daily – on the fringes of what is acceptable or not. I hold this to be true even when most artists today don’t realize that the solutions they advocate for government roles in our lives is actually decreasing their long term options and liberty for the sake of some security through the force of law. That part makes me sad, but that’s why we need an Intellectual Dark Web – people committed to discussing and figuring out these essential ideas before we, as citizens, come to blows on things we really shouldn’t have to.