Every Media report I have read about the British National Party since the Leeds Show Trial in October has described the Party as ‘Far Right’. The same description is also always used for Le Pen’s National Front Party in France and for Halder’s Freedom Party in Austria. I have never questioned this label, as it enjoys such common usage in the Media that it has insinuated itself into my brain as an adjective little different from say, ‘large’ or ‘small’ – in other words as a non-judgmental, perfectly reasonable description. At the same time it also rings alarm bells at the back of my mind, connected to Hitler, gas chambers, SS death squads, tormented Jews, Poles, Gypsies and Russians packed in railcars and other nightmare images.
For me, and I suspect for many people, ‘Far Right’ is therefore a devastating label to employ and we should be alert to manipulation as a result of its usage. In the USA, the Media rarely uses the term for US parties but does so in a European and Australasian context. For US politics, the Media has made ‘Christian Conservative’ something of a derogatory, even sinister label, but at least it is an accurate usage of words. The term ‘Far Right’ is an emotionally charged one that has no real content unless there is widespread agreement about what is ‘Right’ and what is ‘Left’.
I am pretty clear about the political ideas that justify the term ‘Left’ and I don’t think even Leftists would quarrel with me. ‘Leftist’ applies to those who advocate the forcible redistribution of people’s income; transferring wealth from the better off to the worse off through taxation so that all may be made more or less equal; large-scale interference in the market place by the State to limit the acquisition of wealth; State ownership of the commanding heights of the economy so that the State is powerful enough to plan the economy, and an all-embracing welfare system from cradle to grave.
‘Extreme Left’ is a more radical version of the above involving complete State control over both the economy and every individual’s economic life; the elimination of private property, and making virtually all economic activity subject to State control. The two versions of ‘Left’ may be summarized as ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’. The latter demands a much greater limitation of personal freedom and maximum power to the State. Communists do not distance themselves from advocacy of violent revolution and the forcible expropriation of other people’s property.
When we come to talk about ‘Right’, we encounter difficulties, since most of the above Leftist ideas have also been at the core of Fascism and National Socialism. Fascism, with its commitment to the corporate State (The enforced co-operation of labor and capital) is little different from mainstream Socialism and even much modern Liberalism. National Socialism as practiced in Germany under Hitler was clearly revolutionary and intent on reshaping human nature to serve the State. In hindsight we can see that it had much in common with Communism and we know that Hitler admired and copied Stalin’s totalitarianism. The major and significant difference lies in the underpinning philosophy, since Fascists and Nazis believe that their interpretation of the past and predictions for the future are borne out by Darwinian theory applied to races whilst Communists believe their interpretation of the past and prediction of the future are borne out by Marx’s theory of class conflict and dialectical materialism. (Communism is also Darwinian in the sense that survival of the fittest is applied to economic classes instead of races).
The origin of the terms ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ goes back to the French Revolution, when the self-described revolutionary politicians chose to sit on the Left side of the Paris Chamber. Given this origin of the terms, I am not sure that there is any obligation on the rest of us to accept the term ‘Right’, since it is has subsequently been employed to provide symmetry and is not about substance. Just because the Leftists chose to detach and identify themselves on an extreme did not place upon the rest in the main body of opinion, an obligation to provide a mirror image. My point is that because Leftists sought to be extremist, those who opposed them should not have been typecast on an opposite extreme.
Nevertheless it might be convenient to accept that being opposed to the ‘Left’ is the basis of being ‘Right’. Being on the ‘Right’ therefore implies a belief in the rights of private property; a small role for the State in economic matters; great freedom for the individual in economic matters; the right to accumulate wealth (by legal means, of course!) and no State role in providing welfare for the unfortunate. None of these beliefs are extreme or revolutionary or even radical, though one might argue that they are uncharitable, unwise or inefficient. Another feature of the Left is worth mentioning. It alone considers itself to be ‘rational’ and to have discarded a religious view of man and his institutions so that all is now possible in redesigning human nature.
If we link the description ‘conservative’ with ‘Right’ we are not necessarily linking like with like, since conservatism must by definition be about a general resistance to change. Conservatives oppose Socialism and Communism because they are radical and revolutionary economic ideologies, but conservatives also oppose dramatic cultural and social change. Those on the economic ‘Right’ welcome change in economic matters, mostly accepting the social and cultural changes that inevitably flow from them. Nevertheless, it is not difficult to see where ‘Conservative’ and ‘Right’ might find common ground, despite their fundamental differences.
Those of us who for the sake of convenience accept the terms ‘Right’ or ‘Conservative’ for ourselves should at all times resist the label ‘Far Right’ that the Media and its Leftists would impose on us. Leftists, as radicals or revolutionaries, are always, by definition, on the offensive. Similarly, those on the ‘Right’ and those who are ‘Conservatives’ are by definition on the defensive and this is how it has been for 150 years.
It is to the credit of the just-deceased Milton Friedman and his little band of brave economic thinkers, including Joseph Schumpeter and Frederick Hayek, that they went on the ideological offensive against the Left back in the 1940’s. In doing so, they halted the drive to intellectual hegemony of Socialism/Communism. By successfully defending the free economic marketplace, they also quite consciously defended personal and intellectual freedom and we all owe them a great debt.
Since the rise to power of the Media Class, the struggle between the Left and the rest has largely shifted from economic issues to cultural and social ones. On this website we have frequently explained how and why this is so, having mainly to do with the social composition of the new ruling class. As always, the radical/revolutionary Left remains on the offensive and now it is reinforced by its secure and powerful place within the new ruling class. It is as always, engaged in an unrelenting aggressive propaganda war and busily occupied in defining/misrepresenting its opponents (enemies might be a better word).
We should not be surprised therefore that the term ‘Far Right’ is applied to those who wish to halt all immigration into their State, though stopping immigration is actually only a conservative response to change (indeed in the case of mass immigration, a revolutionary change). Similarly, those who resist radical changes in their culture are defined as ‘Far Right’. Those who advocate the retention of capital punishment and tough responses to crime (conserving methods of dealing with crime that are traditional and time-tested) are now labeled ‘Far Right’. Opponents of same-sex marriage; the normalization of same sex relationships and abortion as a form of birth control (revolutionary ideas high on the Media Class’ agenda) are now labeled (and thus dismissed) by the Media Class as ‘Far Right’.
The British National Party and its counterparts in Europe, or any of the rest of us, are not ‘Far Right’ when we oppose mass immigration or advocate tough law and order policies, support the retention of Christian traditions or defend national cultures against destruction, for it is the Media /Left alliance that is promulgating revolutionary policies. It may be that Nationalist Parties have some radical economic policies, but to the extent that they do, they are Leftist and certainly not ‘Far Right’. We are ‘Right’ only because we oppose the extreme ideas of the Left.
The next time you read or hear from the Media that a Party or a person is ‘Far Right’, be on your guard. The chances are that the Media and its Leftists are trying to condition your responses.