Regarding “left vs. right,” I have viewed leftism as part of collectivism. In my view, the nationalists who want central planning controls over immigration, for instance, as well as over trade, labor and employment, are leftists. The actual “right” consists of those such as myself who favor individualism, private property and contract rights, free markets and freedom of association. The collectivists do not get those concepts. They do not get the ideas of self-ownership and “unalienable rights.”
The election in France between Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron is an interesting comparison to 2016 Trump vs. Clinton. We have an anti-immigration nationalist Le Pen and a “centrist” pro-immigration Macron. In some ways that election is similar to the U.S. election between the anti-immigration, nationalist (and alleged anti-interventionist) Donald Trump and pro-immigration warmonger Hillary Clinton. But in France the genders seem to be reversed.
In the immigration issue, I hear these nationalists, liberal and conservative, saying things like “immigrants are stealing Americans’ jobs.” How absurd. Americans don’t own the jobs that could be “stolen” from them. But it is the business owners who “own” the jobs they provide to people. The jobs are certainly not owned by the community, and certainly not by the government.
But also, what are you saying, that Americans, based on their nationality or their citizenship, are entitled to jobs? Are you saying that employers must be required to hire only Americans (yes, Trump has been saying that), and not foreigners?
So it’s a kind of affirmative action for Americans, whether an American is as qualified for a particular job as a foreign applicant or not. So collectivist conservatives who are anti-immigration are for government-imposed protectionist entitlements, a hire-Americans-only affirmative action program. They would never admit to that, however.
Regarding foreign policy, in the media and politics warmongers are commonly associated with being “right-wingers,” while peaceniks are “left-wingers.” But all that is a myth, as Tom Woods pointed out.
Was Lyndon Johnson, who was an exploitative Medicare/Medicaid “Great Society” socialist but getting into Vietnam and causing the deaths of tens of thousands of young Americans and a million or more civilians overseas, a “right-winger”? Johnson, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush were warmongers, but they were socialists, thus leftists, not rightists. I see warmongering as part of collectivism and socialism. Economically, George W. Bush imposed the largest redistribution-of-wealth scheme on Americans, worse than Johnson’s Great Society, Bush’s Medicare Part D prescription drug program.
Governments’ bureaucrats and militaries bomb and destroy other communities, towns and cities, homes and businesses, and murder innocents. (See Death by Government.) But do businessmen and capitalists bomb and destroy, murder and maim innocents? I know, the crony capitalists such as those at Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, the “Merchants of Death,” are involved with all that. But if their workers were to go over to foreign lands without the “authority” of government and intentionally drop bombs and kill innocents (as government militaries do), they’d probably get in trouble, no?
And the politicians in France do not seem very much different than those in the U.S., in their economic ignorance, their nationalism vs. individualism, and their warmongering. For instance, despite his earlier calls for diplomacy, Emmanuel Macron is nevertheless a warmonger. After the chemical attack on civilians in Syria that was without evidence blamed on Syria’s Assad, Macron stated that “international intervention is needed … My preference is that there should be an intervention under the auspices of the United Nations. A military intervention.”
I guess Donald Trump took his advice. During the 2016 U.S. campaign, Trump was the non-interventionist (but now warmonger), while Hillary Clinton has been the warmonger since her days as Secretary of State (and before). But Hillary is known as a “leftist.”
Meanwhile, the “right-winger” Marine Le Pen disapproved of Trump’s subsequent bombing of the Syrian airbase (that Trump ordered despite the non-existence of evidence linking Assad to the chemical attack).
Like Donald Trump, Macron loves the national security state, and doesn’t understand due process. For instance, Macron stated that government authorities “must have access to (encrypted) content exchanged between terrorists on social media and instant messaging.” Obviously, he’s referring to people the government or police are accusing of terrorism, but, like in the U.S., officials and media commonly refer to suspects as “terrorists,” not “alleged terrorists.” Like in the U.S., presumption of innocence and due process escape the minds of professional government bureaucrats.
And as I have written repeatedly here, what bureaucrats really have in mind is going after those who criticize their regime, the dissenters. And like the leftist college snowflakes, Donald Trump also doesn’t appreciate freedom of speech.
The label of Marine Le Pen and Donald Trump as “far-right,” because they are closed-border, anti-free trade-protectionist nationalists, is a misnomer. Marine Le Pen wants out of NATO, and criticized The Donald’s change of heart with NATO, and on his renewal of U.S. government’s “policing the world.” I don’t see wanting to get out of NATO as “far-right,” just commonsensical.
But at the same time, Emmanuel Macron says he favors more of a “business-friendly” environment (traditionally a pro-business “right-winger”) while maintaining the entitlements of the “social safety net” (typically a redistribution-of-wealth “leftist”), just like Donald Trump. i.e. cognitive dissonance when it comes to economic issues.
On social issues, is Donald Trump a “right-winger”? He supports gay marriage, affirmative action and is fine with transgender bathroom-intrusions. When it comes to private property rights, he loves eminent domain, which is government theft of private property, and in fact thinks that eminent domain is a “wonderful thing.” Collectivists and socialists tend to not appreciate private property rights (or private property, period).
And Trump has for many years, including throughout the 2016 campaign, advocated universal health care, single payer, public option, or nationalized health care or whatever you want to call it. So, he’s a “leftist.”
But what about building a big Berlin Wall on the Mexican border, isn’t that a “right-winger”? And imposing governmental restrictions and controls on immigrants, on laborers and on businessmen who must get the government’s permission for whom to hire or not to hire? That’s a “right-winger”? Nope. Leftists and socialists build government walls and impose intrusions into private property and contracts, including employment contracts.
So I just wanted to reiterate that real free-market capitalists include a businessman who has the sole authority to determine who works for him, without having to get a bureaucrat’s permission, regardless of where the worker comes from. The employer knows best which workers are most qualified and who would best serve the customers or clients, those dreaded consumers for which leftists and control freaks have had a lot of contempt throughout the ages. It is those on the real “right” who favor private property and contract rights and who support genuine free-market capitalism.