Talk:Far-right politics

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left-wing - right-wing spectrum is flawed[edit]

the left-wing right-wing spectrum concept is flawed. It varies from country to country and across varies types of government. Something that's considered normal in one country will be considered 'extreme' in another. Even looking at Australian politics for a real life example, the centre-right wing party (called the liberal party) is essentially in line with the USA's centre-left party (the democrats). I think it's too ambiguous trying to categorise specific attributes to the far-right or far-left such as racism etc etc — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:05, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

See Schlesinger's "Beyond Left and Right" and a host of other articles on that very problem. Nolan tried to assert a grid concept, but there is substantial reason to believe that that idea, too, is insufficient. We can, of course, settle back on citing opinion as opinion regarding political positions, but too many folks are too interested in labeling people and groups to accept the major limitations and problems of the "spectrum." FWIW, even the analogy of "spectrum" is flawed from the start - colour as defined by wavelength of light is not exactly how humans perceive colour, and there are major differences in colour perception between individuals, and even between the two eyes of a single individual! So it is with politics, the "colour" depends on the person doing the looking, and not on any intrinsic "wavelength" of a position. (There are gems which are both red and green, paints which have different colours in different rooms, and, famously' Land promoted a "two colour" system of colour photography.) Collect (talk) 12:35, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
That is the etymological fallacy. the argument that the present-day meaning of a word or phrase should necessarily be similar to its historical meaning. There is a group of political organizations, neo-nazis, klansmen etc. that are referred to in reliable sources as "far right." Is that a fair description? Possibly not. Is it an actual topic? Yes. If you think they should be re-named, kindly suggest a different article title. Incidentally, both the Liberal Party and the U.S. Republican Party cooperate internationally in the International Democrat Union, a self-described alliance of centrist and center-right parties. TFD (talk) 16:15, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
By international standards, both major US parties are centrist, in fact. But the problem that no real objective standards exist for such categorization is troubling, indeed. Collect (talk) 18:43, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
However flawed and simplistic the spectrum and associated labels may be, they are the standard terminology in common use in academia, the media and everyday political discourse (including, as it happens, by Schlesinger, and in a way that the Nolan alternative is not). If they are so used, it is not up to individual WP editors to declare them fatally flawed and therefore unusable. WP is not here to reinvent the wheel, even if some of us might think the wheel in question verges on the square. Equally, as a more general point, of course the terms are relative and depend on context, but that doesn't prevent them being understood. N-HH talk/edits 11:23, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
If the term is applied as a "fact" in Wikipedia's voice, which version of that spectrum does Wikipedia as an entity use? US? Canada? Europe" China? India? Russia? Which one? "Facts" should be uniform across the globe -- but assignment of any person or group to that spectrum where such a spectrum differs wildly around the world is not "empirical fact" but simply opinion of someone - thus should be ascribed as opinion. Cheers. Collect (talk) 12:20, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
There are not entirely different versions of the spectrum depending on where you are on the planet nor, in most specific cases, are there wildly divergent applications of the individual descriptions. Equally, a request for precise uniformity "across the globe", in respect of anything, is needlessly prescriptive. Most human beings can work with grey areas, blurred boundaries and interpretation, where necessary, in the light of context; and nothing in WP policy, guidelines or practice says any of that should prevent content deferring to what the mainstream majority of sources and opinion broadly say about the subject-matter at hand and how they tend to classify it, whether we like it or not. N-HH talk/edits 13:23, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
In Russia, is Putin "right" or "left"? The CP in Russia is now "right" or "left"? I suggest that there is no uniform measure at all, and that the terms only have meanings in specific times and places, and are not absolutes in any sense at all. Collect (talk) 13:42, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I couldn't say myself. As for what WP should say, it should defer, as noted, to "what the mainstream majority of sources and opinion broadly say ... and how they tend to classify ... whether we like it or not". If the conclusion in the two suggested Russian cases is "not clear", fine, but that doesn't mean that there isn't something commonly known as "far right politics" – to which, for example, the LDPR in Russia would usually be said to ascribe – or that other political groups, such as the Democratic, Labour and Socialist parties in the US, UK and France respectively are not usually described as "centre-left/left-wing" and the Republican, Conservative and UMP parties as "centre-right/right-wing". Those labels are both relatively clear and in common use and we should not avoid them just because there may be less obvious cases out there as well. Anyway, this is quite a general discussion – I'm not clear what is being proposed for this page. N-HH talk/edits 14:02, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

No one claims that all parties can be placed in the political spectrum, just that most parties in developed countries can be. There are of course exceptions, such as Putin party which combines people across the political spectrum. So do Irish, Welsh and Scottish nationalist parties. But the validity of the political spectrum is irrelevant to whether there is a category of parties called "far right." No one questions that there are liberals, socialists, green parties, etc. The "far right" is just another category. It could be the name does not describe them accurately, but there is no doubt the category exists. Does anyone doubt that the U.S. Nazi Party and Ku Klux Klan belong in the same category in the same sense that the Labour Party UK and the Socialist Party of France belong in the same category?
TFD (talk) 15:45, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
It is not up to us to "know" that any set of groups are in a set pigeonhole category, we are stuck with reporting opinions which are in reliable sources as those opinions (political spectrum categories clearly do not appear to be empirical fact). We do know that what is "right" to one observer can easily be "left" to another. On the really extreme cases, the word "extreme" is sufficient to describe extraordinarily "out of mainstream" groups, and "left" or "right" pretty much does not matter (vide Schlesinger). The use of political spectrum terms as pejoratives is a real problem - and we have to be careful lest we use any term in such a manner. F'rinstance -- some sources called Romney "extreme right" while most observers did not try labelling him at all in such a manner. Putin has been labeled in reliable sources all the way from far right, far left, fascist and centrist - depending on what source one looks at. Of you know of an empirical basis for defining positions, please tell us - so far I have not found such a basis. Collect (talk) 16:39, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Can you name any country where the main non-socialist party is considered to be more left-wing than the main social democratic party? TFD (talk) 18:19, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I can name countries where the term "socialist" has nothing to do with whether a party is "left wing" or "right wing". For example, Zimbabwe, where the ruling party is officially "socialist" and is in many ways acting in a Fascist manner -- is he "left" or "right"? If you can find a reliable source indicating what the answer must be, then I think I can provide examples to suit your requirements. Cheers. Collect (talk) 19:43, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
That was not the question. Can you name a country where the main non-socialist party is considered to be more left-wing than the main social democratic party?" The major social democratic party in Zimbabwe is Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai. Are you saying that Mugabe's ZANU is both non-socialist and more left-wing than Tsvangirai's party? TFD (talk) 01:42, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
No I did not say that -- I said Mugabe is officially socialist, and that much of his opposition is non-socialist -- so it comes down to whether you believe he is on the right or on the left -- as he basically both authoritarian and fascist in many respects. Putin is officially a socialist, and opposition parties which are not socialist are on his left, unless you choose to consider him a left-winger by Russian standards. Two examples. Need more? Cheers --unless you choose to take the outré position that Mugabe and Putin are both on the "left". Collect (talk) 01:55, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Mugabe's opposition, Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai, is "officially" socialist. So is Putin's main opposition, A Just Russia. They are both members of the Socialist International. Can you name a country where the main non-socialist party is considered to be more left-wing than the main social democratic party? TFD (talk) 02:25, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
I gave two and you decide to move the goalposts. Putin and Mugabe both insist that they are socialist, and they are either on the left or the right (you seem undecided on which except you have not assert that they are both centrist). Or are you falling into the trap of saying "socialist parties are left wing because I assert that they are left wing" here? In that case there is not a chance in hell of me finding a source sufficient to meet your requirements <g>. I presented you with two exceedingly clear cases of "right wing socialists". Collect (talk) 12:17, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Mugabe's party is post-Communist and to the left of Tsvangirai's socialist party. I do not think anyone in reliable sources considers Putin left-wing or socialist. It calls itself conservative, but it probably does not fit into the left-right political spectrum. Not all parties do, particularly in developing nations, where tribalism and ethnic conflict play a larger role than ideology. Where these parties adopt ideologies, it is usually secondary to nationalist issues.

But none of that explains why there cannot be a category of "far right" parties such as neo-nazis, in the same way that liberals, conservatives and socialists are categories. It could be that they are not really "far right", so the description is inaccurate. But that does not mean the category does not exist.

TFD (talk) 15:51, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Interesting hand waving Post-Communist means what, precisely? Putin's party is self-described as "socialist" so I wonder just how you missed that. What you appear to say is "nothing socialist can be right wing" which is a very strange definition not found in reliable sources. And if a socialist is right wing, you seem to say "but his party is "conservative." It is likely "centrist" other than the fact it is aggressively militaristic, irredentist, and supportive of government control of the economy. Its supporters in Ukraine appear to be anti-Semitic at this point as well. But you say it is simply "conservative". Cheers -- I gave two examples, and you seem to just keep redefining things -- like calling Mugabe a "post-Communist" whatever that means. Mugabe is one of the most virulent opponents of LGBT rights in Africa, but he is simply "post-communist." Collect (talk) 22:03, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Putin's party. United Russia, self-identifies as conservative. (In 2009, "the leadership of United Russia declared 'Russian conservatism' to be its ideological program."[1]) And I have no idea what opposition to LGBT rights has to do with Communism - Communist ideology saw homosexuality as a symptom of bourgeois decadence. But this is a digression. Do you think that the BNP and the KKK are grouped together in reliable sources as a political category? Do you think reliable sources call them "far right" or if not what do they call them?
BTW there were mainstream socialists who opposed abortion, supported prohibition, supported blue laws, etc., and would be in U.S. terms "socially conservative", often more so than actual Conservatives.
TFD (talk) 07:59, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Social liberalism and socialism[edit]

An editor added to the lead, "Far right parties may also support social liberalism and socialism."[2] The sources provided do not support that, and I will therefore reverse them. TFD (talk) 13:45, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Actually the sources do support the statements.
quote: In order to explore these discussions and their meaning, Herzog begins with an enlightening chapter on sexual morality in the Nazi era itself. On the question of how one would characterize the Nazis--prudish or licentious--her conclusion is ambiguous. The Nazis promoted an odd mixture of liberalism and conservatism. Official propaganda sometimes encouraged such behaviors as pre- and extra-marital sexual relations, unwed motherhood, and divorce, and sometimes warned against them.
source: Economic fascism is a variety of socialism — individual rights may be routinely suppressed in the name of “social justice,” “national greatness” or some other utopian ideal. The Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises pointed out that “the economic program of Italian Fascism did not differ from the program of British Guild Socialism as propagated by the most eminent British and European socialists.”Jimjilin (talk) 15:23, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
And von Mises was criticized for saying that. He also said "It cannot be denied that Fascism and similar movements aiming at the establishment of dictatorships are full of the best intentions and that their intervention has, for the moment, saved European civilization. The merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live on eternally in history. But though its policy has brought salvation for the moment, it is not of the kind which could promise continued success. Fascism was an emergency makeshift. To view it as something more would be a fatal error." His analysis of Italian fascism wasn't taken seriously enough for us to use him as a source. And generalizing from the Nazis to 'far-right parties' is not something we should be doing. Dougweller (talk) 15:11, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Some more sources.


quote from Bormann: The fertility of the Slavs is undesirable. They may use contraceptives or practice abortion, the more the better.


quote: 11. That all unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished.

12. Since every war imposes on the people fearful sacrifices in blood and treasure, all personal profit arising from the war must be regarded as treason to the people. We therefore demand the total confiscation of all war profits.

13. We demand the nationalization of all trusts.

14. We demand profit-sharing in large industries.

15. We demand a generous increase in old-age pensions. Jimjilin (talk) 15:23, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

To Dougweller: Von Mises is only one of those pointing out the socialist elements in the Nazi program. Many people said positive things about Fascism.

Check out this link:

quote: Roosevelt himself called Mussolini “admirable” and professed that he was “deeply impressed by what he has accomplished.” The admiration was mutual. In a laudatory review of Roosevelt’s 1933 book Looking Forward, Mussolini wrote, “Reminiscent of Fascism is the principle that the state no longer leaves the economy to its own devices.… Without question, the mood accompanying this sea change resembles that of Fascism.” The chief Nazi newspaper, Volkischer Beobachter, repeatedly praised “Roosevelt’s adoption of National Socialist strains of thought in his economic and social policies” and “the development toward an authoritarian state” based on the “demand that collective good be put before individual self-interest.”

Here's another quote from the earlier Cato article: Politicians know better than private citizens what should be done. “Government alone,” Mussolini insisted, “is in the right position to see things from the point of view of the general welfare.” The government’s responsibility is to determine how much money is invested, how and where it should be invested and how the results will be judged. In Italy after 1925, all this was done through government-controlled cartels

Please note the articles I have been quoting mention both Nazis and Italian Fascists.Jimjilin (talk) 15:39, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Check out these articles: Jimjilin (talk) 15:47, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

There is a fringe theory that fascists were socialists, but it has no acceptance in mainstream writing. And we certainly can not state something as a fact, unless there is consensus in mainstream writing for it. Also, you are confusing the term "social liberalism" with "socially liberal." While the nazis may have been ambivalent on sexual morality, their persecution of Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and other minorities precludes them as being seen as tolerant or socially liberal. TFD (talk) 16:53, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

And by fringe you mean ideas you disagree with? It's nice to know we have someone who has been chosen as the voice of mainstream scholarship. lol

How about: "Far right parties may also support socialism and elements of social liberalism."Jimjilin (talk) 17:02, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Go to Google books and type in "far right".[3] Then read some of the books published by university or academic publishers. If none of them say that the opinion you hold is accepted, or even mention it, then it is fringe. TFD (talk) 18:02, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

I did go to Google books and I found this: "Europe's right-wing populism is more socialist than(neo-)liberal."

link: Jimjilin (talk) 18:22, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Go ahead and edit the Nazi and Italian fascist articles to argue that they were basically socialist. As for your quote above, that's cherry-picking and not even a complete sentence. Why did you take that out of context? Dougweller (talk) 18:52, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Can we admit the obvious? The National Socialist German Workers' Party contained socialist elements.Jimjilin (talk) 19:07, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

As I said, go edit that article. Dougweller (talk) 19:17, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
It is out of context. Basically it is saying that some right-wing populist parties support some elements of the welfare state. The first problem is whether the topic is the same. Is the article only about groups like the Ku Klux Klan or do we include groups like the Tea Party, which your source calls far right, but other sources do not. The next problem is before mentioning what some groups on the far right support, we would need to mention what most groups on the far right support. So we would same something like, "most far right groups, such as the Tea Party, oppose extension of the welfare state, while other far right groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan support welfare, but only for white people."
The best approach in writing articles is to present topics as they normally appear in mainstream sources rather than giving undue weight to aspects we consider important. You will find that easier by reading mainstream sources and staying away from the CATO and The Freeman website.
TFD (talk) 19:42, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

In the future I'll stay away from all sources that TFD disapproves of. That way I won't commit thoughtcrimes.Jimjilin (talk) 00:23, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

It's not "sources that TFD disapproves of", or "thoughtcrimes". You are pushing fringe conspiracy theories that are only proposed by uneducated radio talk-show hosts. Nobody here is going to take you seriously, and all of your "arguments" have already been discussed, and are not worthy of anything further except ridicule. Read the archives of this, or any other relevant WP pages. Whenever one of you guys hears Glenn Beck or some other drop-out talking about this nonsense, you come on WP and say, "OMG! The Nazis were socialists! We have to change everything!", and we have to re-hash the same arguments, and explain to you guys that you have not stumbled upon some secret "conspiracy" by every reputable historian on the planet to "hide" something from the historical record. It's ridiculous, laughable, and getting really tiresome. -- Bryon Morrigan -- Talk 15:35, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

As you know Bryonmorrigan this is dishonest. I have quoted academics and noted fascist policies. No mention of "Glenn Beck or some other drop-out". lol And, can I ask, when were you elected spokesman for "every reputable historian on the planet"?

Here's another academic source that points out the important socialist element in fascist ideology.

quote about Mussolini: In retrospect, it is clear that his socialism harbored all the convictions that he was subsequently to refashion into the ideology of nascent Fascism.

link: Jimjilin (talk) 11:48, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Again, go edit the articles on Italian Fascism and the Nazi party. Get your edits accepted there and then come back here. But doing it the other way around isn't acceptable, ie trying to get your views on fascism accepted here first. Dougweller (talk) 12:42, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
The only thing here "dishonest" is your attempt at promoting uneducated propaganda here on Wikipedia. It has been tried a thousand times before, and discussed in depth. You are arguing fringe theories against the academic consensus, and you will not prevail. The end. --Bryon Morrigan -- Talk 16:09, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Just for fun and to dispel any lingering doubt that Bryon Morrigan is utterly wrong, his intellectual pretenses farcical, I'll list some of my sources:

Walter Williams (Professor of Economics at George Mason University, chairman of the University's Economics department)

Dagmar Herzog (professor of history and the Daniel Rose Faculty scholar at the Graduate Center, City University of New York)

Ludwig von Mises (one of the most influential economists of the 20th century)

Anthony James Gregor (Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley)

And here's a new one: Zeev Sternhell (elected to the Léon Blum Chair of Political Science at the Hebrew University) who considered fascism "a synthesis of the two most forceful ideologies of the 19th century, nationalism and socialism".


I've also quoted leading Nazi Martin Bormann and the Nazi Party program.

So to proclaim debate at an end is as dishonest as it is intolerant.Jimjilin (talk) 14:51, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

And yet you still won't add this at the most relevant articles. Before this view is accepted at the main articles then it doesn't belong here. The debate is over until that's done. Dougweller (talk) 15:15, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
But please don't just add it without agreement at those places or clog up the talk pages there. The problem is that you are cherry-picking sources and extrapolating from what some of them might say to build an argument and come to conclusions of your own. To take Sternhell for one - who comes up all the time as some kind of purported trump card and whose views are already noted on the Fascism page as it happens – first, his analysis is controversial and second, as the quote above suggests, his focus is on fascism, not on far-right politics per se, and his broad thesis is very much that it is a simplification to view fascism as merely coming from the far right, precisely because of what he claims to be its origins, in part, in socialistic and left-wing ideas. For different reasons in each case, I offer no comment on the citing of von Mises or Bormann. N-HH talk/edits 15:27, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

To Dougweller - This is what I found at the Nazism page: "Large segments of the Nazi Party staunchly supported its official socialist, revolutionary, and anti-capitalist positions and expected both a social and economic revolution upon the party gaining power in 1933."Jimjilin (talk) 16:34, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

Let's make the opening paragraph shorter. I propose: Far-right politics or extreme-right politics are right-wing politics that are considered to be to the right of the mainstream centre right on the traditional left-right spectrum. The terms are commonly used to describe fascism, neo-fascism and other ideologies or organizations that feature extreme nationalist, chauvinist, xenophobic, or racist views.Jimjilin (talk) 16:40, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

You added your edit back, but I do not see any support for it and will reverse it. You said in your summary "already discussed", but you need to persuade others. TFD (talk) 21:16, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

Major changes to lead[edit]

This series of edits has added a lot of content to the lead. Although, broadly, it could be said to reflect reality, many of its assertions do not reflect what is currently in the body and are also stated too definitively. Also, from a more stylistic perspective, it trips over itself quite a lot and also contains odd words/phrases such as "inordinately", "constellation of viewpoints" and instructions as to how exhaustive it is or not. I might try to trim some of it, without that suggesting endorsement. N-HH talk/edits 08:41, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

The edits among other things added the word "inordinately" to "considered to be to the right of the mainstream." The problem with this article is that it conflates the two. TFD (talk) 16:01, 28 June 2014 (UTC)