I plan to follow this up with additional submissions but this is what I posted to a Bulletin Board that I am active in (I am the resident classical liberal/conservative).
I went into some depth several posts ago where I made a strong case for why I believe National Socialism(the Fascism of Hitler and Mussolini) to be a Far Left Ideology. This flew in the face of some who had always believed that the Nazis and co. were a product of the Far Right. I stand by my position here as I have yet to see a good argument to the contrary. However I do not wish my disdain for the radical leftism to be taken as an indictment of all types of viewpoints that originated from the left.
There is much that is positive that can be taken from philosophies of the left especially when it opens itself up to pragmatism. I call this aspect of leftist philosophy – the good left. It was the good left that rallied against Anti-Semitism in the Dreyfuss case (bravo to Emile Zola), convinced the conservative German chancellor Bismarck to implement a pension system and backed the Shaftesbury child labor reforms in England and elsewhere. It was also the good left that recognized the dangers of totalitarianism in both Fascism and Communism and took a strong stance in forging the pro-active anti-isolationist stances of both FDR and Truman. This was a left that I would have been a part of had I been alive at the time. A left that was proud of the fact that it was advancing a platform that valued human rights while at the same time maintaining the high standards and gains of western historical development.
However the good left has been in decline in North America since the late 1960's (it died long before that in Western Europe…probably around the 1930s). Taking its place is the vengeful left that has wedded together the anti-establishment forces of the 60's, with the discredited (but reinvented) Marxist-Leninists of earlier time. It is a left that detests the West (especially the US), and wants nothing less than destruction of the old order both economically and socially. It is the vengeful left that seeks to clog the wheels of business with endless regulation, drown out quality study with post-modern gibberish and weaken the foundations of society with excessive law suits based on relativistic posturing. In short its aim when taken to a logical conclusion is to demolish and rebuild a new world in its own image . The vengeful left is ultimately utopic but chooses to advance its agenda by control of a central all-powerful state (which its most idealistic believe will ultimately whither away in accordance with Marxist prophecy).
As a force it is most influential in academia, labour unions, and the ranks of societies most marginalized groups where its message resonates most strongly. Initially on the outside of mainstream politics (during the Eugene Debs era) it has maneuvered its way to the inside via its influence on a host of politicians: Eugene McCarthy, George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Jesse Jackson and of course Barack Obama. The danger of the vengeful left, and a fact overlooked by its enablers on the small ‘l’ side of liberalism, is that its philosophy is undepinned by an intense hatred for the status quo….a hatred that is built on abolishing the system in true Jacobin-like fashion. That there are consequences to such radicalism is of no concern to the vengeful leftist as was the case with its earlier progenitors in Nazi Germany, Stalinist Soviet Union, Khymer Rouge Cambodia and Maoist China.
It is this left that I most take issue with.