Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) has labeled President Obama a “corporatist.” Says O has moved “Right.” What does “Right” even mean these days?

Political spectrum

Schweitzer is trying to “out progressive” Hillary Clinton and other challengers by throwing some bombs. In this case–at least on the corporatist charge–a bomb of truth.

But he heads into the bushes when he asserts that Obama has moved “Right.”

It’s funny, the only people I see ever talking about “Right” and “Left” seriously these days are the statists. Though deeply ingrained in our psyches the Right/Left “paradigm” (forgive me for using the word) doesn’t make much sense. I still use it as shorthand on occasion, but I don’t like to because the Right/Left thing as we knew it in the 20th Century is not very helpful. (Though it is familiar and easy to fall into.)

There are people who are still convinced that fascism is not a form of socialism. These are the same people who believe that FDR didn’t look to Mussolini for tips. They still adhere to the 20th Century political continuum which holds that there are flavors of statism at opposite polls, but that statism is a given. That the “state” is the ether through which all politics flow.

This is false.

I believe a more accurate explanation of politics is a continuum which moves from 0% government on one end, to 100% government on the other end. Fascism (corporatism, crony capitalism), social democracy, international socialism, general despotism are all of a similar type and are generally on the same end of the spectrum. On the other end one would have total “anarchy” (not in the sense of people burning cars and looting, but in the sense of people living as completely private agents without rulers), libertarianism, small government conservatism, etc.

Even this explanation is far from perfect. But it’s better than the antiquated one we’ve been saddled with for over a century which makes absolutely no sense at all if one thinks about it.

Click here for more on what former Governor Schweitzer had to say.