Wednesday, January 25, 2012
A few days ago I had to "unfriend" a contact on Facebook after I learned that he had been an active member of the National Front (a far-right racist organisation) back in the 1980s. More than just an active member, in fact: he stood for election on at least one occasion. I'm not someone who makes a big show of being political; some might even call me 'apolitical'. True, I'm not particularly interested in party politics, but when it comes to questions of morality that's a different matter, and I just don't want a racist as a contact.
There had been mutterings about this individual for quite a while. I thought it best to directly email the person and ask him to confirm or deny the rumours. That seemed easier than trying to 'work out' his affiliations by tracking any comments he might have left on obscure websites (I just don't have time to do that). He replied that yes, he had been a member of the National Front in his youth but had resigned thirty years ago and had since changed his views. Now, as far as I'm concerned, we are all allowed to make mistakes and people who have "seen the light" and changed their views are often more rigorously ethical in subsequent life than people who always had the nice views from the beginning.
But... it seems that actually he hasn't changed his views at all; and various people have sent me various pieces of evidence that seem to indicate rather strongly that this individual still holds his old views. If this is indeed the case, and it's looking increasingly likely that it is, then he's a silly sod and really there's not much hope for him. But what do I do about it now?
Well, I guess I can clarify my own political views a little. I have done this before but maybe any statement of my politics needs regular refreshing. I don't like political extremism of any kind. I've travelled through enough countries that were formerly communist to see the damage that communism has done to populations and the environment. I'm anti-communist and frankly I can't stand Marx, Engels, Trotsky and all those other cream-whipping soulless bullies. I've said this many times previously. Has it been taken the wrong way, I wonder? Have some people assumed that if I despise the left-wing I must automatically be right-wing?
I'm not. Let's get that cleared up right away. I despise the right-wing with equal force. In fact, I find them even more sordid than the left-wing. The stated aims of traditional right-wing politics -- small government, low taxes, private sector control -- are valid political objectives. But these days, the right-wing is inextricably bound up with xenophobia and outright racism. These racist right-wingers like to portray themselves as tough but they are terrified of immigrants! That's not tough, that's sissy! They fail by their own proclaimed standards!
But the truth, of course, is that modern right-wingers aren't really right-wing. They are totalitarian supremacists. Like the Nazis did, they want maximum economic control and political control at the same time; they are a fusion of the worst from the left and right. In essence they are statists, advocates of a strong, ultimately controlling state. People often forget that Fascism and Naziism aren't just right-wing ideologies but contain many left-wing control elements too...
My own political ideals? I reject the strong state desired by the left-wing but I also reject the corporate, private-sector control desired by the right. I'm a Green Libertarian. I want minimal state interference and minimal corporate influence. I want maximum freedom for all individuals provided it doesn't infringe the freedoms of any other individual and doesn't harm the environment. Call me a misty-eyed transcendentalist if you like. Small private businesses, cottage industries, arts and crafts: that's the world I'd prefer. I don't want an utterly pastoral planet, though. I still believe deeply in robots and spaceships.
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