There is currently a debate on the Canadian Trudeaus, old and young, and it has waxed fiercely. It is one of the few cases of openly left and right clashing without deleting or marginalizing one another.
One thing I noticed, observing it, is that so many who take up leftist positions deny that they are left, whereas a rightist is usually taken up with denying he is “far” right, i.e. slightly to the right of Mao and Pol Pot in leftist eyes, also that he is neither “racist” nor “misogynist” in the least.
I took the position that Trudeau The Old was a wrecker of Canada, one of the worst PMs they’d ever had and that Canadians had forgotten their history in electing this wrecker, The Son.
Well, you should have seen it and yes, guess what – I was labelled a “fascist”. LOL. Oh how those who eschew labels to deny us the right to label positions themselves quickly adopt labels when convenient – racist, misogynist, disablist, fascist is one of their favourites.
So where does that leave the “libertarian”, ostensibly neither left nor right but if anything anti-Statist? More on that further down. This now is the substance of what I wrote elsewhere on labels:
Being left or right is really an averaging of one’s total positions. This is why the term centre-left or centre-right still carry weight – it means one adopts positions – a few of each.
For example, I am with the Greens on saving rainforests and all sorts of gardens and foliage [bar weeds] but don’t agree the situation is critical – the Greens lie about the position, Kyoto was a lie. So that’s a bit each way. I know someone who is anti-abortion but not anti-PP. And so it goes on.
There’s a good litmus test – mention Israel and watch people scurry for their positions. The person who points immediately to Hamas rockets and the Arab failure to accept a neighbour is of the right, he might even say to deport any young male Arab between 12 and 40 from Israel immediately, in stark contrast to someone who leaps to say the word Palestinian, which is a faux term to us, the way it’s used nowadays and to defend the “Palestinian nation”, whatever that is.
And so we end up with a conglomeration of positions on issues roughly along left-right lines – it really does still have validity to a point, which is in itself a rightist position. The left deny any labels but then go full steam ahead and themselves label people – I was called a fascist for being to the right of Mao the other day, for believing in border controls.
Then look at media – that’s a solid guide too. If I – not now that it’s changed – used to go to the Telegraph, Mail, Breitbart, Spectator, Fox for my news, then I am of the right. If you automatically go to the Guardian, Independent, Washington Post, NYT, Huffington Post, MSNBC, if you think Rachel Maddow is a cool person or Katy Couric – then you are pure left. If you deny the BBC is a hotbed of leftism, guess what that says?
What do you think of Town Hall and Katie Pavlich? Ann Coulter? I love ’em. Where does that put me? I like the Daily Beast too and American Thinker. Not so keen on Michelle Malkin on some things, a bit opportunistic and Michelle Fields has sold her soul but let’s not dwell.
Language is a dead giveaway. If your rhetoric includes terms such as nationhood, sovereignty, border control, common sense, marriage, family, decency, respect, reality, our armed forces, low taxes, small business creates jobs – then you are clearly of a type. If the words fairness, equality and diversity, micro-aggressions, racist, sexist, quotas for women, fascist, trip off your tongue, then you are of the other persuasion.
Look at the word Capitalist. If I use the words crony capitalist or corporatists instead, if you say capitalism but I say free enterprise – then we have defined positions.
One excellent test is to view a Bill Whittle [Trifecta] or a Pat Condell youtube. If you say, after those – right on – then you are of a rightist persuasion. If you can’t stomach it, then I’m afraid that says something else. Try a few minutes of it:
Where we are politically is not how we label ourselves, as mentioned above, but what the average of our total positions is. My challenge is this – look through Ron Paul’s positions:
… and UKIP’s:
If you can agree with most of those positions, you are of the right. If you can agree with most of Corbyn’s or Obama’s, then you’re of the left.
So where does that leave the libertarian? Who is he or she? Obviously he/she wants personal freedom but that can be licence to do whatever you damn well like, no matter whom it hurts – and you deny it hurts anyone else – or maybe you believe in the John Stuart Mill classical liberalism – freedom of thought, word and action [plus worship] until it really does impinge on others.
Paedophilia? The wrecking of marriage?
Anti-Statism is a good position most of us can agree on – just take care of the diplomacy, armed forces and admin duties. An article of faith is that pollies are our servants, not our masters. That’s both left and right except that the left then abrogates that, hands the power to the State. left means state control, by definition.
Obviously, the left denies this. No no, we’re for freedom. Oh yeah – how about the smoking ban? State bans smoking? Are you for freedom on this? How about all the other bansturbation?
Drawing this together, the terms left and right do have validity, they do define an aggregate of positions on issues in general and they are generally a fair guide, without having to list every single position every single time it comes up in conversation.
The terms are useful but what the left hates are the pejorative overtones. What the right hates is being labelled “far” or any of those other isms. Fine to expunge labels, provided you do not drop into them yourself. In my case, I think labels are fine, they’re useful providing they’re accurate.
To label someone far right when he wants border controls but still supports immigration is hardly far right. To support immigration control is also what many of the left believe in too, the Old Left. The labels are useful in context but aren’t the be all and end all.