I blame the French for liberal Fascism

I do. I blame the French.

Just generally.

It is a British tradition.

The French National Assembly in 1789

The Left and Right in the French National Assembly in 1789

But, more specifically, I blame them for messing up our perception of politics.

The whole concept of Left Wing and Right Wing comes from French Revolutionary days, when liberal deputies generally sat to the left of the president’s chair and the nobility, members of the Second Estate, generally sat to the right. And, of course, in the UK Parliament, there are two sides facing each other.

But I have never thought of politics as Left and Right facing each other.

I have always seen it as a circle.

If you take the Left to an extreme and you take the Right to an extreme, they end up meeting in exactly the same undemocratic authoritarian place.

The last line of George Orwell’s Animal Farm is:

“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

Kim il Sung statue in Pyongyang

Great Leader Kim il Sung in Pyongyang

I have holidayed in the Socialist People’s Paradises that were Albania under Enver Hoxha… the USSR under any number of the heirs of Marx & Lenin… and North Korea under Kim Il-sung.

I might as well have been in Berlin in 1938.

In yesterday’s blog, which included in its title the phrase “liberal Fascism” but which could equally have said “international Socialist Fascism”, I wrote a paragraph (quoting something I had actually said) almost just to see what reaction it would get. I wrote:

“I’ve always thought that Socialism is not a political system; it’s a religion. If you follow the true path of Socialism without deviation, it will create a perfect heaven on a perfect earth. That’s bollocks. That’s religion not reality. If you’re a Conservative and someone disagrees with you, then you think: Someone disagrees with me. If you’re a militant Socialist and someone disagrees with you, then you think: They are evil.”

One reaction to this on Facebook was:

“People who are against socialism aren’t evil because they happen to have different views. They are evil because they are in favour of inequality, exploitation and the suffering and death of the poor.”

I had to say I thought this somewhat proved my point.

The flag of ISIS / ISIL / the IS

The flag of ISIS / ISIL / the IS

It seemed to go along the same path as the religious zealots of ISIS/ISIL/IS – If you are a Shi-ite or Christian instead of a Sunni, then you are an evil creature beneath any level of existence deserving any humane consideration.

If you are against Socialism, then you are “in favour of… the death of the poor” and, to re-quote something else mentioned in yesterday’s blog: “if everybody who opposed liberalism were to be shot, the world would be a much better place.”

Comic Trevor Lock yesterday put it perhaps better than I could. He said a propos the recent criticism of comedian Andrew Lawrence’s views that what terrified him was “this certainty – this chilling certainty – that they are right. That is how most of these people think. They are certain they are the good guys. Did the Nazis walk around thinking they were the bad guys?”

A Christian cross

A Christian cross

Unswerving certainty in your own righteousness and the evil (as opposed to misguidedness) of anyone with an opposing view to your Truth seems to me more the basis for an extreme religion that a political ideology.

There is nothing wrong with religion. But organised religion tends to enter areas of authoritarianism and tyranny.

There is nothing wrong with Socialism. There is nothing wrong with Capitalism. But, when taken to extremes, the two merge in a rather frightening place somewhere between Berchtesgaden and Pyongyang.


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6 responses to “I blame the French for liberal Fascism

  1. Jaime Tolonen

    Clear and cogent, say no more, say no more!

  2. Well going back John the two sides of the Commons were the Whigs and the Tories …it was a sectarian divide more than a left or right divide
    As explained here:

  3. Blanche

    Good blog John. My granddad was chaplain at Hampton Court and later a regular vicar at a church on Highgate Hill. I never met him unfortunately but towards the end of his life according to my mum he apparently lost all faith in the existence of God. He still however kept his faith – saying that “doubt is the value that creates faith not certainty – to believe in a better world while still holding all doubts, not because of a definitive belief in some higher being”. Not sure what this has to do with your blog but he was by all accounts a very open-minded vicar. I wish I had met him, I’m sure he’d have more to say about it.

  4. The thing is when the empirical data proves you are right, as in the case with Andrew Lawrence (the economic success of immigration rather than scapegoating them, fab female acts like Katherine Ryan and Sara Pascoe meriting their place on TV and others like Josie Long not getting on the telly at all whilst posh, white boys like McIntyre and Whitehall being all over it, UKiP being a proto-racist organisation) why would you fall on the sword of uncertainty?

    I’m pretty certain that making rape threats and misogny are neither funny or have a place in public broadcasting. If we’re going to start using such puerile, moronic terms like liberal fascism, cultural marxism and feminazi (all coincidentally taken from the lexicography of the far-right) then I can happily ignore Godwin’s Law and point out that when you try and out-liberal other liberals and give bigots and racists free reign while you whine about free speech you end up with 6 million dead Jews and no freedom of speech at all. Hitler himself conceded in 1934, “Only one thing could have stopped our movement – if our adversaries had understood its principle and from the first day smashed with the utmost brutality the nucleus of our new movement.”

    Politics and opinion are a dialectic process and if bigotry is left unchallenged it has a nasty habit of ingraining itself into communities and society. And the sort of shit Dapper Laughs promoted should be condemned not celebrated. I certainly won’t be defending Dapper’s right to promote rape culture or Lawrence’s right to scapegoat immigrants, female “so-called-comedians” or “ethnic” comics and here is why:

  5. In fact, I have never expressed any opinion on Dapper Laughs and genuinely have no idea what “cultural marxism and feminazi” and “a dialectic process” are but I do agree with you that “if bigotry is left unchallenged it has a nasty habit of ingraining itself into communities and society”.

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