Libertarians keep telling me (and others), that Fascism is a left-wing ideology. Socialists, Communists, and the like, all believe that Fascism is a right-wing ideology.
You have no idea how much amusement I derive from this apparent contradiction.
Fascism isn’t left OR right-wing, however. By its own admission, Fascism, Snydicalism, and several other political ideas fall under something called “Third Positionism”. These ideologies are rather difficult to place in the traditional right-left scale, so they have been removed from the scale entirely.
No doubt a few of you are standing up and are about ready to cry “Foul!” You have a point, but I want you to tell me this much: Is Fascism right, or is it left-wing?
Well, Fascism surely isn’t right-wing! It seeks to establish state control of certain industries, and wishes to have state meddling in the economy. You also invariably have a large network of government relief organizations set up to help people who are unemployed, or sick, etc., etc. (Mussolini’s Italy for example saw an increase in the percentage of the budget dedicated to welfare.)
Surely then, it must be of the left! Not exactly. Fascism also preaches class collaboration, a one-party system, and hero worship. Many Fascists (not all) also believed in a very belligerent and imperialistic foreign policy. As Sir Oswald Mosley put it, “Liberty in private, obligation in public.” Much of Fascist social policy is aimed against degeneration, human rights, and the like.
Now I think you might begin to understand why the term “Third Positionism” was created. Fascism does not, and continues to not, fit into the normal left-right spectrum. Fascism may have been born from many ideas in the left. But it was also born from many ideas in the right.
I am not saying you have to agree with Fascist policies. But if you are going to critique Fascism, you should at least begin to understand where it came from. And it was not born in just Mussolini’s, Hitler’s, Mosley’s, Franco’s heads. It was born from a weird combination of people like Sorel, and Hegel. It was born in a position independent of the political spectrum we are used to.Thursday, September 27th, 2012 at 3:32 PM