Deacon, I think your analysis

Deacon, I think your analysis of the political spectrum is exactly right, and I share your suspicion as to why such a misleading construct continues to be taught. Some weeks ago in a post on this site I described the great battle of the 20th century as the conflict between socialism and freedom. The first phase of that war ended in 1945 with the victory over national socialism. The second phase ended–sort of–in 1989, with the victory over Marxian socialism. Of course, socialism hasn’t entirely gone away, as we see on a daily basis in the U.S. Congress. But we may have entered a phase of history in which the principal threats to freedom come from other directions–directions which have no obvious place on the traditional “left” vs. “right” continuum. One more comment on the close proximity of fascism and communism on any rational political scale–I read somewhere, years ago, about the delegation that Hitler sent to Moscow to sign the non-aggression pact between Germany and the Soviet Union. The delegation was headed by von Ribbentrop, and the execution of the pact included a scene in which the two countries’ diplomats, having partaken heavily of vodka, danced to music from an old Victrola. When he returned to Berlin to report to Hitler, Ribbentrop summed up the meeting by saying, gleefully: “They’re just like us.”

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