Das politische Spektrum und die Hufeisentheorie

Ein Tweet von Yeyo verweist auf die „Hufeisentheorie“.

Die besagt, dass sich linke und rechte Theorien zumindest im Ergebnis immer ähnlicher werden, um so extremer sie werden, zumindest was bestimmte Ziele angeht.

Politik Hufeisentheorie

Politik Hufeisentheorie

Dazu wird beispielsweise angeführt:

On the left side of the horseshoe are placed communist countries such as the Soviet Union, Maoist China, Cuba under Fidel Castro, North Korea under the Kim Il Sung, and, well, every other communist country, with „happiest-barrack“ countries like Hungary under „goulash communism“ and Yugoslavia furthest from the end.

On the right side goes (in order from the end) Nazi Germany, militarist Japan, Pinochet’s Chile, Mussolini’s Italy, Franquist Spain, and various clerical-fascist regimes, military dictatorships, and monarchies.

In the center is the center-left to center-right continuum occupied by mainstream political parties in the countries that have adopted democracy, social democracy and liberal capitalism.

One rather explicit example of the horseshoe theory in action is third positionism, which intentionally blends far-left and far-right politics. Fringe political movements such as the one initiated by Lyndon LaRouche also take ideas from both fringes of the spectrum. Certain other ideologies, such as North Korea’s Juche, have also been known to mix far-left and far-right politics.

[edit]Authoritarian parties
Authoritarian type parties on the hard-left and hard-right may not represent the furthest ends of the political spectrum but still mirror each other in significant ways.

Take the anti-pragmatic side of the United States Republican Party (especially the Religious Right) and compare it to the modern Communist Party of the Russian Federation and you can find quite a few similarities (besides the obvious one that both are ideologues focused on the „purity“ of their movement), especially on social policies. In fact, if each party’s leaders avoided talking to each other about economics they would find more common ground than they may expect, especially considering their vehement hatred for each other. For instance:

  • Both strongly endorse „tough on crime“ policies and the death penalty.[3]
  • Both strongly support „traditional values“, meaning hardcore social conservatism, pro-life attitudes.[4] and hostility to LGBT rights.
  • Both have weaknesses for conspiracy theories, especially the conspiracy theory that there is some deliberate effort to destroy morality.[5][6]
  • Both are fervently patriotic and support some form of nationalism while holding the belief that each of their countries are the greatest in the world. This leads to some supporting a degree of historical revisionism as well.[7][note 1][note 2]
  • Both are reactionary in nature and extremely nostalgic for some sort of „golden age“ (Stalin for the commies,[9] Ronald Reagan or the 1950s[10][11] for the GOP).
  • Both support increasing spending on an even larger national defense while rarely questioning if it’s necessary. Also, they both tend to admire „masculinity“ and militarism.
  • Both have a weakness for „boogeymen,“ with liberals being a common target for both parties.
  • Both make populist appeals to the lower classes, mainly by promising to cut their taxes,[12] regardless of whether it will be done or whether it can be afforded.
  • Both have a love of dramatic rhetoric, even by political standards.
  • Both support largely discredited economic crankery that is usually defended with „common sense“-type arguments.
  • Both have strands of anti-intellectualism, with intellectuals who question them being seen as „elitist.“
  • Both are currently trying to appeal to the religious majority in each of their respective countries, with even Communist Party of the Russian Federation leader Gennady Zyuganov citing the „spiritual values“ of communism in his speeches to appeal to followers of the Russian Orthodox Church, despite the party being historically atheist.[13]
  • Both support censorship, and passing legislation to stop the „degradation“ of national symbols.[14]
  • Both support the limiting of free speech. SJW’s from the left want to take away people’s rights to criticize certain lifestyle choices, and religious fundamentalists from the right want to enforce blasphemy laws and prevent evolution from being taught in public schools.
  • Both, hilariously, blame each other for the supposed „degradation“ of art, literature, culture, and philosophy. The commies claim that the embrace of capitalism has left these areas bland because artists are only concerned about profit, not quality, whereas the Republicans like to say that „leftists“ or „secularists“ have ruined these areas because their „hostility“ to religion has harmed creativity.
  • Both like to reference revolutionary heroes from their nation’s past in their arguments,[note 3] usually by claiming that they are fighting for the same values they were, which is commonly followed up by saying that what they stand for is „True American/Russian values,“ whereas their opponents stand for evil/radicalism. They may also liken themselves to being the „underdogs“ in their current fight, like said revolutionary leaders. Expect these historical figures to be glorified and their flaws to be ignored/excused/downplayed.[15][16]
    (At least on the Republican side, none of this is new: at the height of the New Left movement and the hippie tendency, Americans were regularly regaled with encomia favourably comparing Soviet youth to our own, the Soviets‘ supposedly being sober, patriotic, sexually puritanical, (if male) short-haired (and never draft-dodging), never foul-mouthed, and eagerly doing as they were told. This was usually presented as a „this is why we’re in danger from them, our decadence will doom us“ argument, but the admiration was patently unmistakable. If only Soviet youth had been permitted to hear these: they could have used a good laugh.)

Bob Altemeyer’s research backs the theory that authoritarian types tend to mirror each other, even if they aren’t as extreme to the right or left as they could be.

A 1985 study of political extremist groups in the US at the time came to similar conclusions:[17]

…while the two camps embrace different programmatic beliefs, both are deeply estranged from certain features of American society and highly critical of what they perceive as the spiritual and moral degeneration of American institutions. Both view American society as dominated by conspiratorial forces that are working to defeat their respective ideological aims.The degree of their alienation is intensified by the zealous and unyielding manner in which they hold their beliefs. Both camps possess an inflexible psychological and political style characterized by the tendency to view social and political affairs in crude, unambiguous and stereotypical terms. They see political life as a conflict between ‚us‘ and ‚them‘, a struggle between good and evil played out on a battleground where compromise amounts to capitulation and the goal is total victory.

The far left and the far right also resemble each other in the way they pursue their political goals. Both are disposed to censor their opponents, to deal harshly with enemies, to sacrifice the well-being even of the innocent in order to serve a ‚higher purpose‘, and to use cruel tactics if necessary to ‚persuade‘ society of the wisdom of their objectives. Both tend to support (or oppose) civil liberties in a highly partisan and self-serving fashion, supporting freedom for themselves and for the groups and causes they favour while seeking to withhold it from enemies and advocates of causes they dislike.

In sum, when the views of the far left and far right are evaluated against the standard left–right ideological dimension, they can appropriately be classified at opposite ends of the political spectrum. But when the two camps are evaluated on questions of political and psychological style, the treatment of political opponents, and the tactics that they are willing to employ to achieve their ends, the display many parallels that can rightly be labelled authoritarian.

Der autoritäre Ansatz beider führt auch zu anderen Modellen, welche die Ansätze wie folgt darstellten:

politisches Wertedreieck

politisches Wertedreieck

Dazu aus der Wikipedia:

Speziell von den Liberalen wird das sogenannte „politische Wertedreieck“ als Modell angewandt. Hier gibt es nicht wie beim linearen Spektrum ein links und rechts, sondern ein Dreieck mit folgenden Werten als Eckpunkte:

Sicherung/Konservatismus – Bewährtes bewahren, Sicherung des Status quo
Gleichheit/Sozialismus – auf wirtschaftliche Umverteilung von reich nach arm beziehungsweise auf Ausgleich innerhalb der Gesellschaft setzen
Freiheit/Liberalismus – mögliche Chancen nutzen und persönliche Freiheiten stärken
Der Vorteil dieses Modells liegt darin, dass man die Parteien innerhalb dieses Dreiecks genauer platzieren kann. Das Extreme ist hierbei nicht nur auf die drei Spitzen beschränkt, sondern auch auf den gesamten Rand der drei Dreiecksseiten.

Und ein weiteres Modell:

politischer Kompass

politischer Kompass


Auch dazu aus der Wikipedia:

Ein ähnliches Konzept ist der politische Kompass, der durch die Webseite politicalcompass.org populär geworden ist. Er besitzt ebenfalls zwei Achsen, nämlich links – rechts in Bezug auf die Wirtschaft und die Achse autoritär – liberal, die sich auf das soziale Zusammenleben bezieht. Dabei steht links für eine Kontrolle oder gar Steuerung der Wirtschaft durch den Staat oder internationale Instanzen, rechts für Wirtschaftsliberalismus. autoritär steht für den Autoritarismus, liberal für Liberalismus, allerdings nur auf soziale und nicht auf ökonomische Fragen bezogen (d. h. ohne Wirtschaftsliberalismus). Der politische Kompass ordnet zum Beispiel den im politischen Spektrum als links eingeordneten Stalin als linken Autoritären (im Bild links oben), den rechts eingeordneten Hitler als Autoritären ohne einen besonderen Hang zu links/rechts (im Bild oben, in der Mitte) ein. Die tatsächlichen Parallelen zwischen Stalin und Hitler sind also nach Ansicht der Ersteller auch im politischen Kompass vorhanden.[7]

Autoritär und liberal scheinen mir dabei durchaus sinnvolle Abgrenzungen zu sein, die auch deutlich machen, dass die Hufeisentheorie teilweise einfach die Gemeinsamkeiten von Links und Rechts in Bezug auf ein drittes Element bewertet.

Ich finde es ja nach wie vor immer wieder erstaunlich, wie schnell Links sein in das autoritäre Spektrum abgleitet. Aber „wir wissen besser was für alle gut ist und wer uns hindern will, der schadet dem Wohl aller“ ist eben in beiden Ideologien zu finden. Die einen geben vor, Gleichheit für alle damit erzielen zu wollen, die anderen gegebenfalls endlich das beste in allen hervorzubringen (zB „den Übermensch“) und den Rest mit guten Gründen klein zu halten.