24 August 2012

The True Political Spectrum

Having made a video about the left-right paradigm I feel the yearning to further expound on a more accurate representation of what the left and right truly are. I’ve been researching the concept of the political spectrum for quite some time, and the political compass appears to be the most widely used:

I can no longer accept the accuracy of this chart, since collectivists are always authoritarian to some degree. They restrict individual liberty, and define rights via collective approval. This is the epitome of totalitarianism, brushing aside individuals for collective goals. This is not only oppressive to the individual, but also leads to problems like regulatory capture. Where would the ‘too big to fail’ bankers be today without state funded bailouts, bad debts passed onto the people via money printing and inflation?

Some might argue that if the banks failed then there would have been chaos. This is the fault of policies allowing a small number to dictate economic activity, and tilt this in their favour. The ‘too big to fail’ bankers didn’t care
about losses because they knew that central banks were there to insure them in the event of failure. There is no way to prevent this sort of monopoly under collectivism, since power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Therefore it’s better to have a system where mistakes cannot be accommodated for with bailouts and ponzi schemes.

Before a more accurate diagram of the present political spectrum can be given it’s important to be aware of what democracy truly is. Democracy is a collectivist ideology that defines rights via the ballot box. This is the same throughout the democratic world. True, there is a far stronger Lockean inspired culture of individualism in the United States, but still democracy has the same problems wherever one goes, and it’s worked wonders for the expansion of socialism. It saddens me that two world wars were fought in the 20th century, and still socialism could not be kept at bay. While fascism, which is simply National Socialism, has been denigrated as the true face of evil, the same cannot be said for international socialism, otherwise known as communism.

If by now you need to be told that Hitler, fascism, and Nazism, are all socialist ideologies driven by state protectionism and nationalism, then the chances are you’re a communist, or an admirer of Marx. There’s always the strong possibility you swallowed the blue pill of government education that teaches people that the Nazis were far-right, even though they controlled the means of production via state regulated corporations, and restricted property rights. If you need any of this confirmed then I have already made videos called "National & International Socialism" and “Nazis Vs Marxists”.

Nothing seems to make a Marxist and a communist angrier than the unrevised fact that fascism and communism are two sides of the same coin. Fascism obsesses over race, while communism endlessly deals with class, but both demand adherence to authority. Hence they are both totalitarian. These two great evils have fought for dominance throughout the 20th century, and today we have a society where democracy is a perpetual battle for control of production and property rights via either the fascist or communist models.

Corporatism itself is a fascist ideology, where the means of production is manipulated by regulation defined by the state. The differences between this and communist control of production is something communists will contest ad nauseum. But they are semantical issues that ignore the fact that corporations could never exist without state policies of corporate personhood. Under laissez-faire, corporations would just be businesses, like any other. The state however benefits from corporations collecting taxes and controlling society on the behalf of bureaucrats, like feudal lords herding peasants on farmlands under feudalism.

With all this in mind we can now begin to see that we only live in one half of a paradigm made up of collectivism and individualism. Presently we live entirely within the collectivist half, where international socialism and National Socialism reside. Here is what this looks like:


It may seem very unfair to label conservatives as fascists, but this only occurs because the right-wing political choice under democracy is merely a corporatist and nationalistic alternative. Conservatism as an ideology is predominantly based around questioning change, since change may not necessarily lead to good things. Therefore I am not inclined to believe by any stretch of the imagination that conservatives are fascists per se. Admittedly they are more authoritarian than many libertarians. But they are always looking to create a society of personal accountability and minimal statism, which is far more than can be said for any socialist, obsessed with absolute control of society.

Conservatives are often associated with organised religion. Organised religion can be very problematic when it merges with the state. This is called theocracy, and is just another form of collectivism. It is not however compulsory to be religious if you are a conservative, and many conservatives are atheists. Having cleared this up it’s much easier to understand why modern right-wing parties have been lumbered in with fascists, due to their big government military spending and corporate welfare policies. Saying that, the term “far-right” is a smokescreen, since fascists are only far-right collectivists, not far right on a broader political spectrum, which looks like this:


Here the totalitarian ideologies, be it national or international socialism, are on the far left. As we progress to the right we pass all ideologies that demand adherence to the state, like democratic political parties. The middle is obviously the centrist position, though I would call this sitting on the fence. The first position to the right is libertarianism. Modern ‘purist’ libertarians believe in a state that only comprises of military, courts, and police, protecting natural rights instead of defining them (note: left-libertarians are merely communists, using dialectic to reframe terminology). This shows why libertarians are on the right, since they actively work towards a limited state, and democracy would not be a legitimate method to infringe upon the natural rights of the individual. These ideas are defined by such philosophers as John Locke, Ayn Rand, and of course the Austrian economists.

The far-right position is stateless anarchy. In a world of anarchy the individual is sovereign. Appeals to consequences galore are usually the opposition to a stateless world, but at the very least it’s possible to grasp that the interpretation of the political spectrum in this case is totalitarianism on one end, where individuals have no rights without collective approval, and anarchy on the other, where individuals have total autonomy and collectives can only ever be voluntary. Perhaps some day we can live in this world, but for now even libertarianism would be a positive result for individualists, and a perfect transitory step for the evolution of human society to voluntaryism. It seems to me that the history of mankind is the battle for individual autonomy over the collective, and I for one aim to help this cause.

24 comments:

  1. This is the argument I have been making about the political spectrum for years. Even as a secondary schooler, I rebelled against the idea that the spectrum was "circular" or that there was such a thing as an authoritarian right wing. To me, that seemed oxymoronic, since, by definition, right wing was all about personal freedom over obligation to society.

    I think another reason why people are so confused when it comes to the spectrum is because American politics dominate international media. America is the only country in which each of the two major parties are as demonstrably totalitarian as the other, albeit about different things. It is arguably the case that Democrats are socialists and Republicans are theocrats, and both appeal to the power of government to mandate their beliefs upon society.

    In Canada, we do not have this phenomenon, and our right wing is progressively more anarchistic, more free from government intervention, more sovereign for the individual. This is a trend that I've seen in the UK, and many EU nations, where small, weak, decentralised governments are labelled as right wing, and big, powerful, controlling governments are left wing. America is the only nation that I've studied in which "far-right" is just as oppressive as "far-left".

    I don't know why people seem to feel the need to label Fascism as a right wing ideology, despite all the evidence that shows it has more in common with Communism and Socialism than they're willing to admit. Honestly, I think it's simply mental gymnastics to justify having an "evil" on the right to balance out the "evil" of Communism on the left, so that socialists can have a name to call people who aren't socialists.

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    1. I am unconvinced that the right-wing choices on the mainstream ticket are closer to anarchist across the world. But I agree that the US has a lot of problems with theocratic politics compared to Europe. At the same time the US clearly has the biggest liberty movement in the world, so it makes up for it in this sense. Europe on the other hand doesn't have a strong liberty movement.

      Good points overall, and I appreciate your typically interesting contribution to the discussion.

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    2. Leftists have to call fascists right wing so they disassociate themselves from them. Leftists think they are being anti-fascists by wearing political uniforms, chanting mindless slogans and breaking up meeting held by rival organizations. To them irony is just a word to describe ferrous metals. They believe they are fighting right wing extremists by shielding proponents of an Islamic Caliphate from people who want to preserve the legal and civil rights of women, homosexuals and everybody who isn't a Muslim. They believe that being leftier than thou is by definition the correct stance.

      The terms left and right are worse than useless. The concept is over two hundred years old, it is surely time to ditch it. There is no simple spectrum. Politics is multidimensional. There are people who believe in state power and people who say they hate it, but strangely these people don't go off and live in Somalia. I strongly suspect that most anarchists are dreamers who don't really expect to ever get their way. After all there doesn't appear to be any concrete examples of anarchist communities where most people would be comfortable living.

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    3. To be fair something never having happened doesn't make it unviable. If anything this is appealing to tradition. Thus anarchy might well be possible, and I for one believe it is. It would be helpful to start off small, and build the culture from there.

      Personally I think a minimal state is what we should aim for initially, and work to give private choices for all services. After a few generations of people getting used to this the state would likely become superfluous. The big issue with this scenario is that there are far too many conditioned by absolute statism today, and this is what people have to deal with when advocating for no state, or even a minimal one.

      As for Somalia, don't write it off. It will be very interesting to see what happens within a couple of decades or so.

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  2. The difference between the Republicans an Democrats is even smaller than depicted here. The Democrats have become increasingly Corporatist and the Republicans have become increasingly internationalist cultural Marxists. They only differentiate themselves in there propaganda with increasingly minor differences in the tax rate and gun control. The unholy alliance of International Corporatism/Finance and Cultural Marxism has taken over all major political parties in the world.

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  3. https://dl.dropbox.com/u/23920312/Political%20Spectrum.jpg

    This is my interpretation of the political spectrum.

    I have broken libertarians off on it's own branch because they are, generally speaking, more socially liberal and fiscally conservative. They also tend to associate themselves as more right wing than left wing, which is why I have them leaning to the right.

    Modern conservatives, in the US at least, are not anything like libertarians, in regards to social ideology. Theocracy is a right wing conservative totalitarian ideology. Fascism is just another step in that direction but is not necessarily dependent on any religious authority.

    Nazis, despite calling themselves national socialists were very much grounded in right wing ideology. White nationalism and nationalism in general is a predominantly right wing ideology. You can go to websites like stormfront.org and ask them which side they consider themselves to be on, if you do not wish to take my word. Or you can visit places like Saudi Arabia, and then report back to me about which side you think they would be more likely to associate with, liberals or conservatives.

    Far right wing conservative types want to control humanity just as well as far left wing liberal types. They simply disagree on how humanity should be controlled.


    When it comes to libertarian anarchist types, they want total freedom, which in my opinion is a fantasy land. If there is one thing that man desires more than anything else, it is power. This is historically true and evident, and is presently evident.


    Anarchy, like Communism is a "utopian" delusion. Not everybody will always agree, and not everybody will always get along and play nice. No matter how hard you try to build your "utopian" fantasy land, there will be powers either in your way, or powers that will rise up at some point to squash your plans.

    Humans are a social creature, we like to be among one another. And in order for that to work, some times somebody needs to take charge and settle disputes, be it with your neighbor, or your neighboring nation state with a different political agenda. The only way anarchy will ever work is if humans decide to stop being social creatures, or if enough of the population dies off, to the point that we are living in small family groups.

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    1. Your chart is just the same old rubbish that we're force-fed in the present collectivist system. To attempt to break down different types of coercion as ideologically different is disingenuous and ignorant.

      Your entire chart is merely a breakdown of different types of collectivism. None of these ideologies are individualist, and believe that rights originate with the individual. All that matters is the extent to which ideologies consider coercion acceptable. Flavours of tyranny are irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

      I recommend you watch a video of mine called "How Leftists Revise the Political Spectrum", though I can already tell that you will never accept anything but clichés, like Nazis being right-wing, in spite of the fact that Hitler hated capitalism, and admitted this on many occasions.

      Please don't hound me with these circular revisionist arguments. I tire of them, and won't tolerate them as a result.

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    2. Left and right wing are on different ends of the coercion spectrum. That is the whole purpose of the left/right spectrum. Conservatives generally favor "God Rule" objective morality up to a point, where as liberals tend to favor "man rule," subjective morality. And libertarians favor "individual rule" subjective morality. Libertarians are a separate branch of the right wing spectrum due to the fact that they are in favor of minimizing coercion, and not eliminating it. Fantasy land anarchy can not exist without coercion.

      Let me ask you something. If the US turned to anarchy, and a group of people started building up a force to instill a governing body, of any type, would you simply allow that to happen? And if you would not, and you used force to keep it from happening, is that not coercion? They want governance, and it is their will that they govern you as well. You on the other hand do not wish to be governed by a centralized governing body. Is ones use of force to quash the will of the other any more or less coercion than the others? Like I said, the one thing you can bet on is mans desire for power. If you think that at some point humanity will evolve past this selfishness, you are just as deluded as a communist.




      As for Nazi's. Capitalism as well as socialism and communism are economic systems. Socialism and communism have slightly more influence on the type of social governance however. That does not mean that all socialist systems and communist systems are the same, or lead to the same type of governance. For example, most conservatives and libertarians in the US would consider most of Europe to be nearly socialist, at least. And You would consider Nazi Germany to be similar/the same, I would assume. The major difference, however, is that, what you might consider modern socialist countries, are not killing people because they are of a particular faith, or ethnicity. And they do not preach or condone nationalism, generally speaking. like I said in my last post, nationalism is a right wing ideology. Have a look around for yourself, talk to self proclaimed nationalists. And more specifically, have a chat with some white nationalists. Ask them what they think of Hitler and the Nazi's, and then ask them about their political affiliations. More often than not, you will hear them proclaim themselves to be conservatives, and libertarians. Stormfront.org even donated to Ron Paul.

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  4. Part of me thinks that you are sincere, the other part makes me feel you are suffering with severe cognitive dissonance, and are also covering for your own ideological views as a result. I don't know why you keep talking about the possibility of anarchy. It's not really relevant if you simply assume that an anarchist system is the far-right, and is a system with no collective force. It thus serves its purpose in the spectrum I outline above.

    Coercion is all that matters, and you don't seem to want to accept this. Thus your comments are becoming circular. Conservatism doesn't mean anything in its own right for example. It just means the preservation of the status quo, and in China this is Maoist.

    Who cares who StormFront gave money to? It's irrelevant! They are not right-wing, and fascists/Nazis have always been social engineers, and thus authoritarian, which is what all collectivists are in some shape or form. You are trying to muddy the details with semantics to get away from this clear and logical conclusion. Theocracy is just collectivism too. It's not "conservative".

    Watch my video here, which also explains a lot about the roots of the revisionism regarding the spectrum which you are regurgitating:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsVXqGX_Vx8&list=UUzOnXvfwc32YEiwTe_8Nf-g&index=2

    Please don't come back with more of the same tired points to try and prove you are right. I ask you settle for the fact that your views can be read by others. I am not here to change the views of those set in their ways, and you are insulting me if you think I haven't done my homework. Let's leave it there.

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  5. I will continue to argue my point for no other reason than to exercise critical thought. If that is something you have no interest in, then you should probably not allow commenting on your blog.

    The spectrum you are presenting is a spectrum of coercion. Coercion on one end, and absence of coercion on the other. The spectrum I present is the spectrum within coercion itself. Coercion type A, coercion type B, and then the libertarian branch, which deviates from this spectrum of coercion types.

    On the spectrum of coercion "A" vs. "B," Nazis are certainly right wingers. And most closely align with modern self proclaimed conservatives, or coercion type "B" if "B" is the right hand side of the spectrum I presented.

    Also, I assert that even in an anarchist society, escape from coercion is not possible. If party "A" wants to do something to party "B," and party "B" does not agree, and party "A" does it anyway, then party "A" is being coercive. If party "B" responds forcefully to prevent party "A" from doing what party "A" wills, then party "B" is also being coercive. If you think that is not the case, then please do explain.

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    1. I agree that your spectrum is one on coercion itself. Where have I ever said otherwise? Quite the opposite. I agree that collectivists spend all their time arguing on the nature of coercion. if you actually examine what I am saying in vids and blog posts you will see that this is what I state.

      I don't have a problem with people commenting on my blog and channel, as long as they aren't dogmatic. I simply don't have the time to keep refuting the same points, which is fallacious behaviour when others expect me to do so. There's no point in me making vids and blog posts if people just ignore the points made. It's a waste of my time and energy.

      I actually don't disagree with your last comment, but I still think the spectrum I provide is far clearer, and prevents collectivists from dominating the discussion, which is what we are suffering with in the present paradigm.

      Coercion will always exist. Who said that it wouldn't in a stateless world? But at least it wouldn't be centralised authoritarianism, which has caused more misery and bloodshed than anything in history. What you don't seem interested in is the idea that other systems can exist aside from statism. Anyway, I don't want to get too involved in the idea of whether anarchy can work because it's not something I don't worry about too much. I am perfectly happy with minarchy OR voluntaryism. Either would be far better than where we are today.


      I hope this satisfies your queries. I think I've been more than fair in engaging with you up to now. Please respect that you've had more than your fair share of space to express your views.

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  6. Anyone who thinks the democrats are communists is an uneducated idiot who doesn't understand anything about US politics, or communism.

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    1. Nice non-sequitur. Socialism exists on a spectrum, and there most certainly are Communists in the ranks of the Democrats. In fact, communism and socialism pretty much feed off one another, and are often inseparable. Socialism is the path to communism according to Karl Marx, Lenin, and all other revolutionary thinkers.

      So please don't talk to me about being "uneducated". Look in the mirror.

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  7. Love your videos Rockin Mr E.

    A more accurate version of the dominant political compass would be to get rid of the "Libertarian Left" quadrant entirely, or to better effect deface it with the phrase "USEFUL IDIOTS".

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  8. Arguing over definitions is a logical fallacy; one person can define left/right one way, and other define it differently. The original definition was those sitting on the right of the parliament (and were royalists) and those sitting on the left (who were not). I could define right = people who like icecream, and left = people who don't.

    There is no such thing as the "true" definition, although it is helpful to agree on which definition will be used for any particular discussion.

    I generally like two broad axis as better than one, as it allows to show both the similarities between positions as well as the differences. The political compass does this in some of its analysis, e.g. they say "If you could get Hitler and Stalin to sit down together and avoid economics, the two diehard authoritarians would find plenty of common ground."

    The two broad axes I usually use are economic and social, with economic being state vs market, and social being limited vs free.

    e.g. In Australia the major parties run from Greens (state economy, free social choices) to the Coalition (market economy, limited social choices), and this is the popular definition of left-right used (e.g. in media).

    Of course to impose either state economy or limited social choices both require authority to do so (otherwise the needed control -- of either the economy or people's behaviour -- wouldn't be possible).

    This is where your new definition of left-right sits, with right being market economy + free social choices, and your extreme left being state economy + limited social choices. In your spectrum both major parties are on the left, requiring authority to implement either their social control or economic control.

    That's why I don't think a single axes (irrespective of what you label it) is that useful, as it shows the similarities (in the chosen dimension) but not the differences.

    To push back onto the political compass graph the traditional left-right roughly runs from the bottom left to the top right, whereas your new left-right roughly runs from top left to bottom right.

    (See, for example, that both Hitler and Stalin are on the left, given your definition.)

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    1. You've missed the point; the left is about freedom being defined and controlled by authority. The right is about freedom being inherent to the individual, that can only be protected. By your logic if I restrict your freedom by making murder illegal then I'm authoritarian. Therefore it's clear that your system is logically inconsistent, and should be discarded, hence my elaboration on a logically consistent spectrum above.

      Your point about the left and right's history in France, hails from a time when both left and right were actually collectivist. So no, it's not accurate either, and is used by Marxists, especially post-WWII, to manipulate people into getting the same thing, no matter what they voted. I am not going to explain it in detail here because I've done it in the vid below:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvxlkBdQY_U

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    2. P.S. Arguing over left and right is not a "logical fallacy". A big no, no around here is misquoting or misrepresenting fallacies. It's essential that people respect proper argumentation, otherwise no honest discussion can take place.

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    3. Thanks for the reply.

      Maybe I am missing your point; on re-reading maybe you are saying that you find your definition of left-right more useful; or perhaps that you would like to persuade people to use your definition as it opens up different thought patterns.

      Put in other words, I think you see the distinction between authority and individualism as more important than whether there is a state or market based economy (and would prefer the words left and right be used for this).

      I agree that sticking with only the traditional left-right spectrum narrows people thinking that they are either democrat-statists or republican-statists, and never realising there are other options.

      However, I find it more useful to use a two dimensional representation to show the alternate positions (like the political compass) rather than redefining the words left and right (but still essentially only having one dimension).

      Regarding the reference to a logical fallacy:

      The traditional definition of left and right had republicans and fascists on the right. You then redefined the terms so that they are on the left (of the new definition).

      Having different definitions is not a problem in and of itself, so long as they are used clearly and consistently (and I have no problem arguing that one is more useful than the other).

      e.g. In the conclusion you have "national ... socialism [is] on the far left", and "the far-right position is stateless anarchy".

      These are true in your new definition, but not true in the original one.

      Without clarifying you are talking about the new definition, it could give the misleading impression that "national ... socialism [is] on the far left" is true under the original definition, which is the "fallacy of equivocation".

      In the political compass, national socialism is the far-top of the diagram (top of the social axis), whilst fully state controlled economy is the left of the economic axis). Both are equally distant from pure libertarian/stateless anarchy, which is the bottom right corner of the compass.

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    4. It's actually revisionism to put Nazis on the right. They were always on the left until after WWII, when the Nazis had a schism with the communists, partly due to the Spanish Civil War too. It was also due to the fact that at this point socialism had caused so many problems that they had to deflect blame away from the ideology, otherwise people would reject it. I hyperlinked to some videos of mine in the article that explain this, but at the very least you should watch this one:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vgb2G2NjWGM

      The compass is just convoluted nonsense. Freedom is not complicated. You were born free - only the will of another can make you a slave. Muddying the waters with a compass with two axes doesn't change that. It's just your typical collectivist muddying tactic, to confuse people into accepting their slave owners.

      I'm not sure you really understood the article's attempt to break down mainstream revisionism and irrationality in relation to politics. It's all explained there, with hyperlinks provided. I wonder if you were sent to me to learn a few of the basics of libertarianism. I have plenty of info to help you, but you also need to be prepared to question everything you've been told in this statist paradigm. There's a lot that you will struggle to accept if you take comfort from established normalcy bias.

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  9. Hello Mr. E,
    This is a note of thanks for your videos and a suggestion for a future one. In this discussion of the political spectrum the term Libertarian Left has came up a few times. As far as I'm concerned the terms Libertarian Right and Libertarian Left are both pretty dumb. Libertarian Right is the least offensive, its simply a tautology, but Libertarian Left is utterly incoherent yet it is used by many. It strikes me as a label used by people who want to be all things to all men.
    I'd be interested to know how this odd idea came about and if my hunch is right that it is a term invented by the morally evasive.
    The best known so-called Libertarian Leftist is probably Noam Chomsky and I do think that much of his analysis is very good but he has some huge blind spots, not least regarding the motivation behind Islamist terror.
    The biggest problem I have with him is that despite his assertion about mankind's innate desire for freedom he never seems to advocate individualism. In his critique of crony capitalism you would think it's government that's being corrupted by the capitalists ; he seems to think that free markets are a barrier to what he might call social progress. I've only read a tiny amount of his output but I'm not aware of what he would replace the current system with other than some airy fairy nonsense.
    If you could explain where these so-called Libertarian Leftists are coming from I would be really interested. I've tried and failed to make any sense of their ideas.

    All the best

    Andrew Walker

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    1. Hi Andrew,

      I appreciate your thanks.

      You are on the right track with your questions and suspicions about left libertarianism. I've already covered it in a previous video here:

      https://youtu.be/HKkstGiRwIA

      This should help answer your questions, as it covers the points you bring up.

      Regards,

      Rocking MrE.

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  10. I am concerned on why you think Communism is in anyway close to the ideologies Hitler, Mussolini and Franco possessed in the 1930s and 1940s. Communism, in it's self, can be multiple different things, from Social-Communism (Allowance of small businesses, World Revolution still relevant) to Stalinism (Authoritarian Ideology). Communism in Marx's eyes was to protect the rights of the people in a world revolution, this is what true communism is, not Stalinism or Communazism.

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    1. There is no answer I can give an ideologue like you. Denial of the natural rights of the individual is denial of the rights of the individual, however you describe or define it. The method is irrelevant to the result; enslavement. Communists, like Nazis, don't believe in unalienable natural rights. So your semantics don't matter.

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