Like most politically moderate people, the increase of political extremism and violence in place of peaceful dialogue has been extremely alarming to me.
Any proliferation of fascism or neo-Nazism is something that most people will find seriously concerning but what should be just as concerning is the growth of communist and socialist extremism which doesn’t carry the same stigma and I think that’s one of the first things we have to confront if we’re going, to be honest about facing the problem of extremism.
We can’t denounce one version of it while being more lenient to another. This hostility between communists for fascists has always been bewildering to me because while they insist that they are diametrically opposed to each other, even a cursory understanding of these two political doctrines and their historical implementation will poke some big holes in that assertion. And that’s strange because we’ve always been taught that they are polar opposites.
Fascism is the extreme on the right and communism is the extreme on the left. But polar opposites don’t tend to agree on things as much as socialism and fascism do. Like, with any other kind of spectrum that we know of, if you take whatever it is that sits at opposite ends of that spectrum, what you should find is a dichotomy that has absolutely nothing in common. So, for example, consider the grayscale spectrum.
On opposite ends, you have black and white and these two “colors” or intensities of light share nothing in common with each other. White reflects all light and black absorbs all light. Similarly, if communists and fascists were truly polar opposites, then we shouldn’t be able to find anything in common between them.
But what we do find is that they have quite a lot in common, including: Totalitarianism, state-controlled economies, militarism propaganda, cult of personality, imperialistic expansionism, nationalism, secret police, correct political think, state-controlled media, infringement on liberties, concentration/labor camps, and a lot of dead people… With so much in common, you’d think they’d have more reasons to get along!