Hitler Was Right!

Sorry, I couldn’t resist that headline.

I want to take issue with the currently fashionable assertion that Hitler was a leftist. If “left” and “right” were defined simply economically, that would be a fair characterisation. Social factors also come into play. Neither wing of politics has a monopoly on social authoritarianism. Left-wing social authoritarianism is also called political correctness, and is characterised by attacks on others for being judgemental about people – in the world of the far left, judgementalism is the only sin. Everyone is of equal merit and only those who say otherwise are evil.

It should come as no surprise, then, that right-wing social authoritarianism stems from the opposite extreme of excessive moral judgementalism. In this view of the world, people living a certain lifestyle, or of a certain racial or cultural group, are judged immoral or inferior. Crucially, not only is this judgement made, but the social rightist goes on to say “and something should be done” – by, for example, criminalising homosexual sex, or banning Asian immigration. Islamist terror attacks also fall under the heading of right-wing social doctrine. Such dogma cannot be categorised as left-wing, despite its interventionist tendencies, because it is directly opposed to the leftist religion of equality and relativism. This is not simply an argument about interventionism versus non-interventionism, or authoritarianism versus libertarianism. BOTH sides want intervention, the far left to establish the equality of minorities and the far right to force minorities to conform.

Hitler was the most ruthless proponent of right-wing social doctrine in world history. Stalin, Mao and others massacred people in the name of equality, the common good and socialist dogma (the engineered famines, for example) and were social leftists. Hitler massacred people because he thought they were vermin and was a social rightist. The characterisation of Hitler as right-wing is fair because his genocidal crimes were committed as a result of his right-wing social ideals. That he was economically leftist is true but irrelevant.

The base problem is that (and this is of course old news) left-wing and right-wing are not adequate to describe the full range of political opinion. Social and economic leftism, for example, are lumped together by correlation – a lot of people who believe in forced social equality also believe in forced economic equality, but the two are logically distinct. If Hitler must be described as one or the other, then right-wing is the correct choice.

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