The Big Lie 201
In The Big Lie 101 (below) I reviewed how the Left/Right political spectrum was altered and then later presented to students by Marxist academia. Rather than to leave anyone with the impression that this change was arbitrary and without any sort of logic, I think it’s appropriate to examine further the reasoning behind this change.
All generally agree that at the left end of the spectrum, “The Group”, denotes collectivism, egalitarianism, and so forth. The connotation is that the activity of the individual is subordinated to the collective will of the given group. Likewise, at the right end of the spectrum is “The Individual” which connotes complete freedom of the individual regardless of the will of others.
As stated earlier, Marxists hold that fascism should be to the far right believing that it represents an extreme form of individualism. Then the question is, how can Marxists rationalize fascism, a form of forced collectivism, as extreme individualism?
The Great Divide: Idealism and Materialism
Marxism teaches that all of philosophy, by varying degrees, can be divided into two realms; Idealism and Materialism. Idealism starts with the apriori value that all matter is preceded by consciousness. For example, metaphysical concepts, as well as established religions that teach that the The Idea (God, etc.) created all matter, fall within the Idealist school of thought. All matter is subject to mind. Opposite of this is Materialism which starts with the supposition that all consciousness is preceded by matter. An example would be Marxism and it’s philosophical cousins, Darwinism and atheism. From inanimate primordial soup we evolved to author consciousness. Matter exists without mind, but mind cannot exist without matter.
For those using Marxian reasoning then, it follows that the material productive forces, the economic structure, and the level of technology, etc., of any given society at any given stage of developement, give rise to the superstructure of the political, intellectual, and spiritual domain. It is not thoughts and ideas that beget our being. It is our being, our means of subsistence, that determine our consciousness.
To the Marxian Left, this represents a philosophical foundation of their version of the Left/Right paradigm. “Good socialism”, to the left of the spectrum, is political activity that leads to communism. It is activity in tune with mind-independent, objective historical forces that enable the inevitable destruction of capitalism and ushers in the next epoch of human developement. “Bad socialism”, i.e., fascism, begins with the personal will and subjective view of an individual, or a small group of individuals, imposing their consciousness against objective reality.
The Marxian Left regard their ‘socialism’ as a necessary interim stage on the way to a loving and wonderful utopia. The workers and poor will seize control of the means of production, create a ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’, and oversee an orderly transition into full communism. Whether incremental or revolutionary, socialist change is the ‘natural’ thing to do.
This nice and tidy rationale, however, glosses over a glaring contradiction. Labeling it as an “absurd fable”, Ludwig von Mises*, points out that, “the historical role of the egalitarian creed [materialist conception of socio-economic reality] was to disguise the most abject forms of despotism.” Further, he suggests there is nothing in nature justifying totalitarianism. Political tyranny flows from the human mind. It reflects human aims and goals. Masquerading as empirical science, Marxism is essentially a metaphysical ideology employed by the few to subjectively rule the many. Indeed, Lenin, Stalin, and Mao, gave life to the theoretical slogan, ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’, with atrocities previously unknown to man.
Communist and fascist ideologies are two sides of the same coin. Heads or tails, the power elite uses them to hoodwink the masses into accepting one form of slavery, or another. The true Left/Right spectrum runs from absolute tyranny to absolute freedom.
Sources: Theory and History, Mises, 1957, Yale, U.S.
Dialectical Materialism, Edgley, Marxian Economics, 1990, U.K.