NF, And German Nazis, Supported State Control, Hated Free Markets
Libertarians Are “Extreme-Right”; They Want Low Tax, Small State
“NAZIs called themselves National Socialists. Why would they actually call themselves socialists, if that wasn’t crucial to their beliefs?”
There were two things wrong with BBC Radio 5 Live’s phone-in this week, which asked if “extreme-right-wing” Marine LePen of the French National Front should have the right to speak at the Cambridge (or was it Oxford) Union.
Apart from the fact that the answer is obvious – any political view which stops short of advocating violence is just fine in a free society – nobody said what was so bad about the French NF, and your presenter (and to be fair, all of the BBC) doesn’t seem to know what a fascist is.
I listened to most of the programme between 9am and 10am, and of all the people talking about France’s National Front, how awful, cruel and racist it was, nobody mentioned any actual policies supported by the NF which makes it and Ms LePen so bad. It may well be that they are awfulness incarnate, but surely the host had the duty to address these points of fact. If anyone had attempted to describe what the NF actually wants, that would have pointed up another problem, of which more later.
The BBC calls the NF “extreme right”, not to mention most of the lazy, kneejerk, mainstream media. But if you take the trouble to find out what the French National Front stands for you’ll find it is against globalisation and free trade, wants to protect French industry from foreign competition, and tax the rich until the pips squeak. These are socialist policies. Our own dear Labour Party would be happy to subscribe to these ideas. In the real world, politicians moving to the right want less and smaller government, less tax and less regulation. The more extreme you are on this spectrum the more libertarian you are. Extreme right-wingers are freedom loving government-haters.
But Fascist parties like the NF are the complete opposite of what an extreme right party would want, but “extreme right” is used simply as a term of abuse. Hitler’s NAZIs for instance are now routinely used as an example by the BBC of the far right, but if you examine what they did, you’ll find that they were just an extreme and violent party of the left. Socialists on steroids. The NAZIs called themselves National Socialists. Why would they actually call themselves socialists, if that wasn’t crucial to their beliefs? NAZIs supported state control of industry and hated free markets. They had high taxes, a national health service, abortion, and euthanasia. They provided big pensions, confiscated inherited wealth and spent huge amounts on public education. There’s nothing right wing about the NAZIs, using a sensible, historically-accurate definition. The NAZIs were only right-wing in the sense that were a smidgeon to the right of the Communist party.
The BBC has a charter obligation to be balanced and fair. It certainly shouldn’t be a barrier to the truth by routinely using words that obfuscate reality and allow abuse to poison the political discourse. Maybe its presenters and editors could open a few history books before they use terms like “extreme-right” when they bear no relationship with the truth.