Friday, February 1, 2013

Nazis were left wing, not right wing

In a January 31 article in the National Post, "Merkel warns far-right could rise again" the terms left and right to refer to the political philosophy spectrum are misused. Since the article does not contain a quote from Merkel referring to these terms, it can only be an editorial error.

Left wing refers to political systems that violate rights: communism, fascism, anarchy, theocracy.  On the right wing is political systems that protect rights: capitalism and classical liberalism.   Note that the Nazis were explicitly left wing in adopting the ideas of Kant, Hegel and Marx.  To refer to them as right wing is a gross misunderstanding and negligent misuse of the term. For more on this, see an excellent article by Craig Biddle "Political left and right properly defined".

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