I have been reading a VERY interesting history book on the development of the U. S. Constitution. It started off with a topic that was utterly compelling to me and that I have written on before
What is Left? What is Right?
It is extremely unfortunate that the writers on political philosophy today have undertaken to measure various issues in terms of political parties instead of political power. No doubt the American Founding Fathers would have would have considered this modern measuring stick most objectionable, even meaningless.
Today, as we mentioned, it is popular in the classroom as well as the press to refer to "Communism on the left," and "Fascism on the right." People and parties are often called "Leftist," or "Rightist." The public do not really understand what they are talking about.
These terms actually refer to the manner in which the various parties are seated in the parliaments of Europe. The radical revolutionaries (usually the Communists) occupy the far left and the military dictatorships (such as fascists) are on the far right. Other parties are located in between.
Measuring people and issues in terms of political parties has turned out to be philosophically fallacious if not totally misleading. This is because the platforms or positions of political parties are often superficial and structured on shifting sand. The platform of a political party of one generation can hardly be recognized by the next. Furthermore, Communism and Fascism turned out to be different names for approximately the same thing -- the police state. The are not opposite extremes but, for all practical purposes, are virtually identical.
-- "The Five Thousand Year Leap" by W.Cleon Skousen, pg 11-12
And now a bit of research and background on rightists and conservatives:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A political spectrum is a way of modeling different political positions by placing them upon one or more geometric axes symbolizing independent political dimensions.
Most long-standing spectra include a right wing and left wing, which originally referred to seating arrangements in the 18th century French parliament. According to the simplest left-right axis, communism and socialism are usually regarded internationally as being on the left, opposite fascism and conservatism on the right. Liberalism can mean different things in different contexts, sometimes on the left, sometimes on the right.
right, portion of the political spectrum associated with conservative political thought. The term derives from the seating arrangement of the French revolutionary parliament (c. 1790s) in which the conservative representatives sat to the presiding officer’s right. In the 19th century the term applied to conservatives who supported authority, tradition, and property. In the 20th century a divergent, radical form developed that was associated with fascism. See also left.
conservatism, Political attitude or ideology denoting a preference for institutions and practices that have evolved historically and are thus manifestations of continuity and stability.
It was first expressed in the modern era through the works of Edmund Burke in reaction to the French Revolution, which Burke believed tarnished its ideals through its excesses. Conservatives believe that the implementation of change should be minimal and gradual; they appreciate history and are more realistic than idealistic. Well-known conservative parties include the British Conservative Party, the German Christian Democratic Union, the U.S. Republican Party, and the Japanese Liberal-Democratic Party. See also Christian Democracy; liberalism.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Conservatism (Latin: conservare, "to preserve") is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism and seek a return to the way things were. The first established use of the term in a political context was by François-René de Chateaubriand in 1819, following the French Revolution. The term has since been used to describe a wide range of views.
Seymour Martin Lipset wrote that liberals and conservatives "typically do not take alternative positions on issues of equality and freedom. Instead, each side appeals to one or the other core values, as liberals stress egalitarianism‘s primacy and the social injustice that flows from unfettered individualism, while conservatives enshrine individual freedom and the social need for mobility and achievement as values "endangered" by the collectivism inherent in liberal nostrums."
The Wikipedia definition of conservatism is very telling in that it describes how liberalism developed out of a desire to RESTRICT INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY whereas conservatives desire to prevent the form of collectivism that limits individual freedom. What is not directly called out is that only a strong central government is capable of oppressing its people - as would happen under fascism. The implication is that conservatism desires a bottom up power structure where the people have primacy and the scope and powers of the government are limited. This is an accurate description of the type of political power structure that the U.S. Constitution sought to set up. I take a bit of exception to the application of the term "conservative" to the Republican party. In the recent past, they have been extraordinarily "liberal" in the policies - TARP, expiring tax cuts, medical prescription plans, and on and on.
The policies continually sought by the liberal progressives are idealistic in nature and rarely work the way the supporters of the policies intended. Welfare became a means of living rather than the temporary assistance until gainful employment was found it was intended. Government run schools have become notorious for under-performance and places political indoctrination by whatever party happens to be in power. Social security is no longer a supplemental income for retirement, but now the primary retirement benefit and general slush fund for other government programs. These are but a few examples.
The meaning of right wing, as I have consistently used it this blog, is one of limited government scope and power, an adherence to the U. S. Constitution, and a desire for individual liberty and freedom - in short, American conservatism. Given this definition, supported by the above links, it is not possible to have a "right wing fascist". It is an oxymoron. Fascism requires a strong central government with large scope and power over its people. This is an extension of socialism, not conservatism. A conservative cannot be a fascist.
There may be "right wing fascists" but they exist only in the literal sense of physical placement within an Old World parliament and do not exist in the American political context. Continued use of the term when describing American politics displays a lack of knowledge, an attempt to demonize Conservatives, or both.