Is Socialism left-wing or right-wing?

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Some will claim, "Socialism/Communism is a left wing ideology". Which is sort of true, in theory (it is egalitarian). In practice, it is right wing (authoritarian).

  • Assuming left-right on the individual/authoritarian dimension, in theoretical socialism, individuals vote on everything and get a say, thus it is individualist and left-wing. But theoretical socialism, only exists in theory. Since you can't vote on everything, you need to put a command-hierarchy (authority) in place, and practical socialism, people only vote on their leaders and they decide everything: so it is autocratic and right wing.
  • Another dimension is that left wing ideologies support using government power to fight against inequality or accept natural order (and accept that inequality is unavoidable). Theoretical Socialism rises to power promising to fix income, racial, gender or class inequality (left wing). But the only way to combat inequality with the government is by making things less equal/fair and granting special privilege or punishments based on which groups/individuals the public or political class favors at the time. There's a truism that no American leftist supports Socialism expecting to become a farm worker, they all expect to become part of the ruling/political class. Practical Socialism replaces a semi-merit (or luck) based natural-order system, with an artificial political order system -- and they end up more classist than before, just status is granted based on political connections instead of money/business ones. That's right-wing authoritarianism.

Anyone that thinks Socialism is left wing (egalitarian) is a rube or someone that is thinking only of the theory, and not of every attempt at application.

In THEORY, socialism/communism (SoComs) is a revolutionary ideology where "the people" voluntarily give up everything they own (to the collective), and run government via direct democracy deciding everything (Occupy's consensus & hand signal model), thus it is the ultimate left-wing (people's) ideology. They see every other ideology as to the right of them; since "those other movements" are willing to compromise with private ownership (and businesses), install a hierarchy/bureaucracy, and create command economies to get things done, and use force to get what they want. Once they compromises, they're no longer "pure", thus they're on the fascist/progressive side of the spectrum.

In PRACTICE theoretical Socialism/Communism can't exist in the real world. Consensus for everything doesn't scale to a family let alone a country, so they create a command hierarchy. And since the producers demand unequal reward for unequal effort/talent, they either get better outcomes, or they leave or work less. So they need to be coerced (forced) to comply (taxed/regulated/law). That force requires a political class, hierarchy, and command structure. Poof. No more pure Socialism. Thus all THEORETICAL Socialisms either suffocate under their own weight, or they end up implementing a PRACTICAL socialist systems and they became fascist/progressives/autocrats they hate. So Fascism/Progressivism IS the practical implementation of Socialism/Communism, since pure Socialism (or Communism) can't exist beyond a small community, for a short amount of time.

Purists claim there are no failures of Socialism/Communism because it's never been tried in pure form -- ignoring that Socialism/Communism is one of the most tried systems of government out-there. The problem is that pure theoretical socialism can't exist, they collapse into practical forms (fascism), and then they say, "see: that doesn't count, because it's not pure".

Ironically, these same people flip when you talk about Capitalism. If you talk "invisible hand", they scream, "that's a fantasy that only exists in theory", and they won't talk about theory and want to talk only about the failings of practical capitalism (in caricature form: far worse than it actually is). If you talk about real-world Capitalist systems (like Hong Kong or Singapore), which are far closer to theory than any Socialist country has become, they change the topic. Whatever you do, you can't compare worst-to-worst or best-to-best, because both show Socialism to be worse.

NOTE: Socialists imaginary capitalism requires an oligarchy of monopolistic industrialists controlling us (crony capitalism). But they ignore that the consumer and employee can still choose to not buy or work there, whereas in socialism, those choices are removed. And that historically, the way industrialists got power was to encourage the rise of progressive government, then manipulate government into granting them things that gave them competitive advantages over their competition: e.g. it wasn't failures of capitalism, but of centralized government that was the problem.