The terms “far-right” and “far-left” are being used far too frequently, casually, and imprecisely — and maybe completely incorrectly.
American conservatism is right, but has rarely gotten anywhere near far-right since the disgrace of Jim Crow. And America’s own New Deal reforms were nowhere near far-left either. I’ve seen Libertarianism called far-right, but it is right-of center at most, and it is arguable the exact center-point.
Here is how I view the range.
- Far-right seeks inequality under the law. It works to establish formally ranked classes of people, each with different rights, duties and privileges.
- Center seeks equality under the law. It acknowledges only one class of person: citizen.
- Far-left seeks equity under the law. It works to give every citizen the same level of wealth and power, taking from those with more and giving to those with less.
Today’s Progressivism is a tricky case. It presents itself as left, and promises equity. However the equity it promises is not equity among every citizen as leftism normally does. It promises equity to protected categories of people viewed in aggregate. All protected groups will have an equal share in the highest classes. But this movement does not does not see inequality among classes as intrinsically problematic. It almost seems to view class inequality as just as long as every group has its share of the inequality. This acceptance of class inequality is more typical of the right. If you look at Progressivism through a more typical leftist lens and see it as a dominant ideology whose function is to establish, justify and preserve the hegemony of the professional class, collective equity is a legitimation strategy, not a program of substantial reform. This would help explain why Progressivism dominates nearly all mainstream institutions, including most Fortune 500 corporations, public education, popular entertainment, the popular press and popular culture in general. If Progressivism sought individual equity, it would threaten these institutions and would meet resistance from them.
If this is, in fact, the case, our nation is suffering from severe dyslexia.
Things are truly scrambled.