North Western Winds

Contemplating it all from the great Pacific Northwest

Stuck in the Middle with You

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I don’t imagine I have too many readers who would describe themselves as very leftist. Maybe I do and they are very quiet. In any case, I have made passing comment a few times that I see no signifigant difference between Communism and Nazism. This has resulted in serious confusion from some corners. I’m going to try and explain where I’m coming from a bit, and to explain that I’m not condeming all of the left, nor giving the right a blank cheque.

Scott Campbell takes up the subject at The Conservative Philosopher:

there is no difference that makes a moral difference between a movement that calls for genocide –- the extermination of Jews and non-Aryans generally –- and a movement that calls for ‘classicide,’ the extermination of an entire class of people, the bourgeoisie. Extermination is extermination: you are equally dead if you are murdered for belonging to an ethnic group or to a socioeconomic class… The Communist project was not one of “common brotherhood” but of the “dictatorship of the proletariat” – a notion that expresses a desire for domination just as surely as Nazi racism does.

Dead is dead; the ideology that did it matters nothing. It holds itself and its ends more important than your life and if it does that, it belongs in the dung heap. Both Nazism and Communism are authoritarian and murderous.

Campbell concludes:

It is difficult to get lefties to appreciate the moral equivalence of the two totalitarian movements because there is a tendency to think that the Commies had good intentions, while the Nazis did not. But this is false: both had good intentions. Both wanted to build a better world by eliminating the evil elements that made progress impossible. Both thought they had located the root of evil, and that the eradication of this root would usher in a perfect world. It is just that they located the root of evil in different places. Nazis really believed that Judentum ist Verbrechertum, as one of their slogans had it, that Jewry is criminality. They saw the extermination of Jews and other Untermenschen as an awful, but necessary, task on the road to a better world. Similarly with the Commie extermination of class enemies.

In a nutshell, I’m with Campbell. That does not mean I think all of the Left is evil. I don’t. It does not mean I think the right – Liberty uber alles – is on the side of the angels.

I have been pretty consistently critical of social atomization, and this I see as the flaw of Liberalism taken too far. Since Liberalism is an almost meaningless word, I need to specify that I’m using Liberalism in it’s classic usage: freedom from the church and from the state, and not in the modern sense of liberty from everything under and including the sun. Now that this modern sense of “Liberal” might give way to “Progressive,” perhaps the confusion will subside a bit.

Because human nature is flawed, there are threats on all sides, all of the time. There is no political structure that can overcome this. Will it shock anyone if I admit that there are threats from the church? It shouldn’t. They are human too. The best response, I think, is the one most people favour, and most people cluster in the middle of the political spectrum. That means nothing should be done to extremes, and that ought to eliminate killing people to serve political ends above all. It also means that things will be messy, just as they have always been messy. People will need help and we’ll struggle to find an effective and moral way to give it. Religious belief is a great help in reminding us that we have limitations and as a result, trusting to God is perhaps the best way to ensure we do not murder and enslave one another in a effort to do good – or to think that we do not need one another in any way.

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Written by Curt

February 7, 2005 at 5:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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