My letter to the NY Times re: UKIP is neither left nor right

My letter to the NY Times re: UKIP is neither left nor right
Profile photo of Patrick Barron

Re: Populist Party Gaining Muscle to Push Britain to the Right

Dear Sirs:
It is about time to end the inaccurate labeling of all political parties as either of the left or of the right.  The ultra left is always linked with Soviet communist and the ultra right is always linked to Nazi fascism.  The laymen is left to believe that there is no other paradigm for government and that most governments fall somewhere between the two extremes.  Your recent article about UKIP, the British Eurosceptic party, is a case in point.  Supposedly UKIP is a party of the right.  The error is one of trying to pound every political movement into the left/right paradigm.  The real divide is between freedom and tyranny.  Both communism and fascism are tyrannies and both are socialist.  Ludwig von Mises explained that there were two models of socialism–the Russian model, exemplified by the Soviet Union, and the German model, exemplified by Nazi Germany.  (“Nazi” itself translates as “national socialism”.)  In the book that was partly responsible for winning him the Nobel Prize in Economics, The Road to Serfdom, Friedrich Hayek said that communism and fascism were two sides of the same socialist coin.  UKIP, by contrast, is a party of freedom.  It may be conservative in the sense that it wants to conserve (and regain) ancient British liberties and, to fulfill that end, Britain needs to leave the EU.  One needs merely to follow the daily insane edicts streaming from Brussels to realize that it is not a source or protector of anyone’s liberties.

  • Frank Zeleniuk

    Politics being about power, and thus corrupt (a la Lord Acton), can never present a clear picture to the public of its intent. In a democracy the public is a factor that must be assuaged while in a socialist state the duality of intent is internalized and is a singularly more brutal struggle for power. In my view, as the State progressively grows in a democracy the obfuscation of intent grows proportionately. The extant left/right political paradigm is a big part of that obfuscation. A true political spectrum, would go from anarchy to the total State. This makes it very easy to position political ideologies and philosophies in relation to freedom and liberty of the individual versus the power of the State.
    In western democracies we see the left/right, liberal/conservative struggle for power but both would be fairly close together on an anarchic to total State spectrum.

    It is about time to "end the inaccurate labeling of all political parties either of the left or of the right."

    Thanks for illuminating that point.

Profile photo of Patrick Barron

Patrick Barron is a consultant to the banking industry. He teaches Austrian school economics at the University of Iowa and Bank Managemant Simulation for the Graduate School of Banking, University of Wisconsin. Visit his blog. Send him mail.

More in Blog

Leithner Letter Nos. 205-208

Mises CanadaOctober 24, 2016

Should the Fed Raise Interest Rates?

Patrick BarronSeptember 30, 2016

Italy wants other European nations to pay its unemployment bills

Patrick BarronSeptember 6, 2016

There is no such thing as a negative interest rate

Patrick BarronSeptember 2, 2016

Can You Trust US Economic Data?

Peter DiekmeyerSeptember 1, 2016

Blowing Hot Air on the Wrong Target

David HowdenJuly 20, 2016

A wonderful new book about Austrian economics for the layman

Patrick BarronJuly 11, 2016

The Real Lesson of Brexit

Patrick BarronJuly 7, 2016

Wrong solution to a misunderstood problem

Patrick BarronJuly 6, 2016