Sunday, 25 July 2010

Hannan: There's nothing Right-wing about the BNP – except in the BBC sense of 'baddie'

A good article today from Daniel Hannan:

That fascism developed from socialism in the 1920s is a statement of observed historical fact. Read Hayek’s chapter on “The Socialist Roots of Nazism” in The Road to Serfdom, or skim some of the quotations here. The hatred between fascists and traditional socialists over the decades has been all the fiercer for being a hatred between brothers.

In what sense, then, is the BNP Right-wing? Some argue that it is Right-wing to discriminate on the basis of race and nationality rather than class and income, but this would surely make Stalin, Gerry Adams, Pol Pot and Robert Mugabe very Right-wing indeed. A true Rightist believes that, other things being equal, the individual should be as free as possible from state coercion: a position equally abhorrent to socialists of the National or Leninist varieties.

No, there is only one sense in which the BNP is Right-wing, and that is the BBC sense. Our state broadcaster uses the epithet “Right-wing” to mean “disagreeable”. It thus applies the term equally to Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Vladimir Putin, Timothy McVeigh, Eugene Terre’blanche, Orthodox Jews, the Taleban, the Pope, the Orange Order and David Cameron.

Hannan is absolutely correct that Lefties abuse the term 'Right wing', but rather than defending the Right wing, we should abandon the Left-Right terminology altogether. Hannan seems to pretend that a 'true' or 'proper' Right winger believes that "the individual should be as free as possible from state coercion" and that "the state has no business telling us people to dress", but moralisers on the Right have always been keen to involve themselves in people's private affairs. They are not content to eschew sex, drugs, and rock & roll; they are determined to prevent other people from enjoying these vices.

Hannan's idealised Right winger is actually a libertarian: one who believes the state has no right to interfere with voluntary relationships between individuals, whether economic or social. Recent generations have rightly rejected the religiously-rooted authoritarianism of the traditional Right, while blindly accepting the collectivist authoritarianism of the Left. The time has come to reject all forms of authoritarianism.

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