Right Wing Marxism

Right Wing Marxism July 6, 2023

As we have often pointed out, the metaphors of “right” and “left” to describe political positions are quite inadequate.  In fact, the extreme right and the extreme left often resemble each other.

Fascism is considered to be on the right, and Communism is considered to be on the left.  But they are both forms of socialism, collectivism, and totalitarianism.

Marxism is for leftists.  But you can also approach Marxism from the right.

So observes  Michael Lucchese in Revanchist Revolutionaries published in Law & Liberty.  He is reviewing A Paleoconservative Anthology and concludes,

Unfortunately, though, there is nothing conservative about today’s paleoconservatism. With its emphasis on class warfare, racial grievance, and power politics, it is an ideology better understood as a right-wing form of Marxism.

Read the whole review for examples.

As some conservatives focus on class conflict, champion the working class against the rich, throw out democracy, and condemn capitalism, this makes a certain amount of sense.  We have posted about something similar, with the old-school Marxists of Spiked! magazine defending Donald Trump and attacking woke progressives.  (After all, those “post-Marxists” who substitute racial and gender and sexual identity conflict for Marx’s economic class conflict, are unorthodox heretics to the glorious ideology of the proletariat.  Especially since in their mind so many of today’s self-described leftists are affluent bourgeois posers.)

And in the course of a story on how Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega and his Sandinistas have launched an intense persecution of the Catholic Church–entitled Alarming Similarities Between Nicaragua and the New Right Emerge on Religious Liberty–Andrea Picciotti-Bayer says this:

A group of “New Right” academics and media personalities blame the American tradition of individual liberty, limited government, and free markets for our social ills. They propose a “postliberal order” that, we are told, will advance the common good. Their desire to subordinate individual freedoms and economic activity to the will of the state is, according to at least one recent critique, closer to Marxism than to the mainstream American political tradition. Of course, these “post-liberals” are not supporting the Nicaraguan government. But there is a strange glint in their eyes when they invoke the “common good,” and one can’t help but worry that their plan for regime change would ultimately turn in toward a 21st-century version of National Socialism.

Granted, there was a time when senior prelates of the Catholic Church lent their support to authoritarian regimes that advanced ostensibly Christian aims. After all, the notion of “Christendom” essentially refers to long-defunct Catholic monarchies for whom democracy was abhorrent and who did not recognize the concept of human rights. But during the 20th century, the Church discovered that supposedly pro-Christian dictatorships, mostly on the right but sometimes on the left, would turn viciously on any Catholics who challenged their tyranny.

This experience led the Church to declare explicitly at the Second Vatican Council that freedom of religion is essential to the dignity of the human person. To put it simply, there is no such thing as authoritarianism for the common good.

Integralists and theocrats need to contemplate that last sentence.



Illustration via Openclipart, Public Domain

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