Second, the new paradigm that you use is not sufficient to distinguish between fascism and socialism. While both may result in omnipotent states, there are very real differences between the two that must be taken into account; differences that are best explained based on the classical left/right spectrum. In the case of fascism, there is in fact no nationalization of industry. It remains in private hands, and slave labor is provided by the state to the profit of individual owners of the means of production. Additionally, differences between the populace are accentuated: the state promotes racism and intolerance and promotes a supposedly superior, indiginous people to an elevated position over all others. These are not theoretical matters. They are actual acts that fascism has shown itself to do. Additionally, fascism raises the symbols of nationalism, usually adding new ones, but nevertheless symbols that revere the traditions of the fascist society, to the level of worship. Do not fool yourself that there was anything Christian about Hitler's Germany. One worshipped the State and the Fuhrer, and could be shot for worshipping "that Jewish bastard," quoting Hitler.
On the other hand, socialist societies have nationalized the land and industries of the countries in which socialists have come to power. They have vastly expanded the rights of women and minorities within those societies, and have entered upon programs of forced equality of the sexes, races, etc. I'm sure you saw FOX's coverage of the school's for women and the minority tribe's in Afghanistan set up under the socialist government that once existed there. Again, these are actions that really occur and are different from actions that occur under fascism.
Now here is where you do make a serious mistake and why this issue is so important. You state basically that the works of Marx and Lenin are synonomous. Nothing could be further from the truth, and it is here that libertarians must be very aware of the distinctions between the left and right on the classical scale. Marx wrote that the western industrial democracies would evolve into socialism and then into communism. He also developed the idea that overproduction by those countries would lead to colonialism and periodic wars when the international markets would be redistributed between those industrialized countries. With his involvement in the First International, Marx tentatively wrote that it might be possible for a colony or third world country during a war for national liberation to skip the capitalist stage and move directly to forced socialism if a dedicated cadre of communist party members could be ready to seize power at the opportune moment.
Lenin, in his "What is to be Done," and "Imperialism, the Last Stage of Capitalism," took this idea and developed the actual technique and structure that such a party would have to use to seize and maintain power against the capitalist efforts to recolonize a country. Hence, it is Lenin that promoted the use of force by the state, other than democratic, to seize and maintain power by socialists, not Marx.
But this is very important to us as libertarians. If we examine closely current events in the United States, we find that Marx was absolutely correct, not the failed theorotician our masters would have us believe. What else is the new tolerance that we must all accept that states not only must we tolerate others differences and opinions but those differences and opinions are as valid and true as our own? What else is affirmative action and Title IX and abortion on demand except the evolution of the United States into a socialist society? What else is the redistribution of wealth through the graduated income tax and the welfare system than creeping socialism? What else is the erasure of our heritage and history in our public schools so that our children now know more about Pocohantas than George Washington and Thomas Paine? What else is the gradual abolition of our right to own and bear arms? And I could go on and on.
My point is that there is value in remembering the traditional left/right spectrum placing socialism with its nationalization of industry, redistribution of wealth, and destruction of the traditional institutions of a society on the left and fascism with its' nationalization of minority groups as a labor force, its' raising of a single race to privileged status, and its' not mere reverence, but worship of the traditional institutions and symbols of the society on the right. Through this paradigm we can measure how far we have moved from the center, where there is balance and safety.
I agree that in the end what matters is whether we are free. Therefore, a paradigm such as you use is very beneficial in measuring simply how far we are from totalitarianism, whether it be totalitarianism of the left or right. But we should also be very aware of which type of totalitarianism is the biggest threat at any given moment. The classical paradigm used in political science departments across this nation does that job well, and demonstrates that the danger comes now from the left.
My hat is off to you, My Identity, for an excellent argument. Stryker
Do you think Sweden is a socialist country? Have they nationalized their industry?
Perhaps the historical model of the left/right is associated with the self interest of those who preserve it in the ivory towers.
The problem I think we might be having is not so much one of definitions as one of the classification of concepts.Perhaps we are using an incorrect genus.If the proper genus were used I think we would then be able to agree on the species that follow.
Perhaps the genus should not be Socialism.Perhaps Collectivism should be the genus and that Socialism,Communism,Facism and Nazism are the species.The other contrast would be Individualism as the genus with Libertarianism,Classic Liberalism etc as the species.