The leftist rag the KOS is usually wrong but on this one they’re not even close. The start out with the leftist version of the political spectrum. From the article.
The author obviously doesn’t have a clue about the origins of the political spectrum.
The terms “Right” and “Left” refer to political affiliations which originated early in the French Revolutionary era of 1789–1799, and referred originally to the seating arrangements in the various legislative bodies of France. The aristocracy sat on the right of the Speaker (traditionally the seat of honor) and the commoners sat on the Left, hence the terms Right-wing politics and Left-wing politics. Originally, the defining point on the ideological spectrum was the ancien régime (“old order”). “The Right” thus implied support for aristocratic or royal interests, and the church, while “The Left” implied support for republicanism, secularism, and civil liberties. Because the political franchise at the start of the revolution was relatively narrow, the original “Left” represented mainly the interests of the bourgeoisie, the rising capitalist class (with notable exceptions such as the proto-communist Gracchus Babeuf). Support for laissez-faire capitalism and free markets were expressed by politicians sitting on the left, because these represented policies favorable to capitalists rather than to the aristocracy
So actually it was totalitarianism on the right and and freedom on the left. Of course the modern left has flipped sides on that one as the support a strong overbearing central government. A more correct depiction of the left right political spectrum would be this one.
The author got part of Fascism correct but only part.
“Fascism: What is it? Think Mussolini—he is the poster child for what a fascist is. While he started out as a socialist, he did not stay one, denouncing socialism in December 1914. The formal definition of fascism is a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual, and stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.”
Well Mussolini never denounced socialism, he and a few other Syndicalist socialist were booted from the party for wanting to use WWI to further the cause of socialism.
In 1902, Benito Mussolini moved to Switzerland to promote socialism, and quickly gained a reputation for his magnetism and remarkable rhetorical talents. While engaging in political demonstrations, he caught the attention of Swiss authorities and was eventually expelled from the country. In 1904, Mussolini returned to Italy and continued promoting a socialist agenda. He was briefly imprisoned and, upon release, became editor of the organization’s newspaper, Avanti (meaning “Forward”), which gave him a larger megaphone and expanded his influence.
Mussolini initially condemned Italy’s entry into World War I, but soon saw the war as an opportunity for his country to become a great power. His change in attitude broke ties with fellow socialists, however, and he was expelled from the organization. He joined the Italian army in 1915 and fought on the front lines, reaching the rank of corporal before being wounded and discharged from the military.
After the war, Mussolini resumed his political activities, criticizing the Italian government for weakness at the Treaty of Versailles. He organized several right-wing groups into a single force and, in March 1919, formed the Fascist Party—the movement proclaimed opposition to social class discrimination and supported nationalist sentiments, hoping to raise Italy to levels of its great Roman past.
Sounds an awful lot like the roots of Progressivism. Like the progressive movement Mussolini blended Syndicalist (Socialism) with nationalism. As one of the early progressive’s Herbert David Croly.
“Croly was one of the founders of modern liberalism in the United States, especially through his books, essays, and a highly influential magazine founded in 1914, The New Republic. In his 1914 book Progressive Democracy,Croly rejected the thesis that the liberal tradition in the United States was inhospitable to anti-capitalist alternatives. He drew from the American past a history of resistance to capitalist wage relations that was fundamentally liberal, and he reclaimed an idea that Progressives had allowed to lapse – that working for wages was a lesser form of liberty. Increasingly skeptical of the capacity ofsocial welfare legislation to remedy social ills, Croly argued that America’s liberal promise could be redeemed only by syndicalist reforms involving workplace democracy.”
As a matter of fact progressive Teddy Roosevelt gave a speech on this blending of syndicalist (socialism) and nationalism in his “New Nationalism” speech over 100 years ago. As a matter of fact Mussolini’s actions were highly praised by the left in America.
Economist and Historian Thomas Sowell has written on the subject.
“It bothers me a little when conservatives call Barack Obama a “socialist.” He certainly is an enemy of the free market, and wants politicians and bureaucrats to make the fundamental decisions about the economy. But that does not mean that he wants government ownership of the means of production, which has long been a standard definition of socialism.What President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands. That way, politicians get to call the shots but, when their bright ideas lead to disaster, they can always blame those who own businesses in the private sector.Politically, it is heads-I-win when things go right, and tails-you-lose when things go wrong. This is far preferable, from Obama’s point of view, since it gives him a variety of scapegoats for all his failed policies, without having to use President Bush as a scapegoat all the time.Government ownership of the means of production means that politicians also own the consequences of their policies, and have to face responsibility when those consequences are disastrous — something that Barack Obama avoids like the plague.Thus the Obama administration can arbitrarily force insurance companies to cover the children of their customers until the children are 26 years old. Obviously, this creates favorable publicity for President Obama. But if this and other government edicts cause insurance premiums to rise, then that is something that can be blamed on the “greed” of the insurance companies.
The same principle, or lack of principle, applies to many other privately owned businesses. It is a very successful political ploy that can be adapted to all sorts of situations.One of the reasons why both pro-Obama and anti-Obama observers may be reluctant to see him as fascist is that both tend to accept the prevailing notion that fascism is on the political right, while it is obvious that Obama is on the political left.Back in the 1920s, however, when fascism was a new political development, it was widely — and correctly — regarded as being on the political left. Jonah Goldberg’s great book “Liberal Fascism” cites overwhelming evidence of the fascists’ consistent pursuit of the goals of the left, and of the left’s embrace of the fascists as one of their own during the 1920s.Mussolini, the originator of fascism, was lionized by the left, both in Europe and in America, during the 1920s. Even Hitler, who adopted fascist ideas in the 1920s, was seen by some, including W.E.B. Du Bois, as a man of the left.”
As a matter of fact fascism is socialism with the illusion of private ownership.
“As an economic system, fascism is socialism with a capitalist veneer. The word derives from fasces, the Roman symbol of collectivism and power: a tied bundle of rods with a protruding ax. In its day (the 1920s and 1930s), fascism was seen as the happy medium between boom-and-bust-prone liberal capitalism, with its alleged class conflict, wasteful competition, and profit-oriented egoism, and revolutionary Marxism, with its violent and socially divisive persecution of the bourgeoisie. Fascism substituted the particularity of nationalism and racialism—“blood and soil”—for the internationalism of both classical liberalism and Marxism.
Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the “national interest”—that is, as the autocratic authority conceived it. (Nevertheless, a few industries were operated by the state.) Where socialism abolished all market relations outright, fascism left the appearance of market relations while planning all economic activities. Where socialism abolished money and prices, fascism controlled the monetary system and set all prices and wages politically. In doing all this, fascism denatured the marketplace. Entrepreneurship was abolished. State ministries, rather than consumers, determined what was produced and under what conditions.”
No one could ever put it as eloquently as Ronald Reagan.