Social Question

filmfann's avatar

Can we find another title for the Conservative Extremists other than The Right?

Asked by filmfann (40334 points ) June 2nd, 2012

Inspired from this question, I don’t like the term The Right because it sounds like it could mean The Correct.
Is there another term we can use to identify this sector of conservative thought and position?

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66 Answers

syz's avatar

“Idiots”?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

The accepted term for extreme rightists has often been reactionaries.

filmfann's avatar

Reagan Heads would probably be accepted by most of them.

Jaxk's avatar

Go ahead and correct if you want.

tom_g's avatar

I’ll avoid linking to the Political Compass because we’ve done that before. As far as I’m concerned, that’s at least a step in the right direction. But I get what you’re saying.

How about using progressive (liberal/left) vs. regressive (conservative/right)?

cookieman's avatar

The Reich.

Judi's avatar

I usually call them fundamentalists.

Linda_Owl's avatar

You can try, but as far as the “Right” is concerned, they think they are Correct in all that they do & they are not going to change anything.

ragingloli's avatar

Considering their worship of corporations (calling them “Job creators”), them fielding candidates that are openly corporatists, the open intent to dismantle unions, their extremist support of the war department, and the apparent goal to create a framework in which the state is to serve the industry, it would be accurate to call them Fascists.

And the parallels do not end there. There also is the open contempt of minorities and immigrants, staunch support for traditional gender roles and opposition to gender equality, constant references to religion, the cold blooded condoning of police brutality and the use of fear in their propaganda.

filmfann's avatar

@ragingloli Which is totally in line with their current fascination at stealing elections by denying the electorate the chance to vote.

bolwerk's avatar

There are plenty of terms. “Reactionary” is a fitting term for many who exhibit poorly formed opinions (e.g., a typical Rush Limbaugh fan). Right-wing ideology is broadly synonymous with authoritarianism.

Also, American self-described conservatives are scarcely even conservative. That’s just what they call themselves (because it sounds better than “authoritarian”?). By any traditional criteria being a “conservative,” the U.S. Democrats are, for better or worse, a much better fit.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Why not just call them the right-wing and be done with it? No one’s going to think you mean “the correct wing,” particularly with the hyphen in there.

ETpro's avatar

I completely agree with their self identifications. They have been hard at work recently demonizing the word, Progressive. So clearly, they feel they are the opposite of Progressive, i.e., Regressive.

But as extreme as it may sound, @ragingloli is correct, it is the growth of American Fasciost corporatism. In addition to what @ragingloli and @filmfann note, there is the excessive fascination with nationalism and militarism.

@SavoirFaire, Interestingly Right and Left came from the seating arrangement in the French Parliament in the days leading up to the French Revolution. The liberty lovers sat on the left, and the royalists and friends of the crown on the right. It’s not very informative to modern American politics.

woodcutter's avatar

Has anyone ever used the word “wrong” to label those who are on the other side? Only a dimwit would associate the word in that context and probably wouldn’t get up off their ass to vote anyway.

wundayatta's avatar

Get a TV show on Fox, and then you can popularize some more accurate name for the Corps Lovers.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@ETpro Yes, I know where the names came from; and strictly speaking, the names weren’t very informative then either. It was a matter of convention then, and it is a matter of convention now. In both cases, background knowledge is required to understand the reference.

I’m not saying that “regressive” isn’t the proper counterpart to “progressive,” just as “reactionary” would be the proper counterpart to “radical.” But since reactionaries are more extreme versions of regressives and radicals are more extreme versions of progressives, it is useful to have directional terms that capture what they share.

“The right-wing” includes both regressives and reactionaries (as well as right-leaning moderates), while “the left-wing” includes both progressives and radicals (as well as left-leaning moderates). These are useful terms to have, even if they do not address other complicating issues.

In any case, I’m fine with calling right-wing extremists “reactionaries.” But as “the right” does not only refer to extremists, it seems to me that “the right-wing” is the most suitable replacement term.

Supacase's avatar

@Judi All (most, IMO) conservatives are not fundamentalists. Extremists (on all sides) always get the most attention because they are so bizarre to most of the rest of the population and they provide plenty of fodder for opposing sides to over-dramatize for their own purposes.

woodcutter's avatar

^^This^^

King_Pariah's avatar

Just stick with reactionaries you radicals

ETpro's avatar

@Supacase We’ve tried to pretend both sides are the same for far too long. It isn’t true. It isn’t even remotely close to true. The Republican party is now purging some of there best people because they are not extreme enough. They are running ads in primaries accusing incumbents of being willing to reach bipartisan solutions, of compromising, of being moderates—as if there were some great crime in such charges. Rather than me write an essay, just see this

FutureMemory's avatar

Scumbags

Ass Clowns

Liars

Supacase's avatar

@ETpro Gosh, thanks for opening my eyes! Nothing like a well-balanced, non-biased bit of ‘journalism’ to help me see the light.

digitalimpression's avatar

Politics is like two people fighting over a racing vehicle.. struggling to remain on the straight road ahead of them. I believe it is necessary to have “the right” and “the left” to create a balance.

I don’t much care what labels you give either side. Labels are essentially meaningless… especially in the generalized, all encompassing fashion in which they’ve been thrown around in this thread.

mattbrowne's avatar

Ultra conservatives.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Supacase The question title asks for a name for conservative extremists. I think that’s the question to which @Judi was responding when she said she calls them “fundamentalists.” So while I certainly agree with your point that not all conservatives are extremists—indeed, I made the same point myself—I take it that @Judi‘s comment was limited to describing those who are extremists.

filmfann's avatar

I am a moderate. I have some conservative opinions, and some liberal positions.
There are certainly some conservatives that are still able to qualify as moderates.
My question addresses the extreme conservative side: what is often referred to as The Right.
The Tea Party (aka Tea Baggers) are full of such ilk.

nonexpert's avatar

Poopyheads.

Judi's avatar

I tend to give a lot of credit to @ragingloli ‘s answer. After all being an ancient alien they (I don’t know if they are male or female or if the species even has gender) have a broad historical, as well as an intergalactic perspective that the rest of us could never really understand. ~

Supacase's avatar

@SavoirFaire Ahhh, you are right. My apologies to @Judi.

Jaxk's avatar

Ridicule can be an effective tool in political debate. But much like the monkey wrench, it shouldn’t be your only tool. Sometimes you have to be smarter than the flat iron you’re working on. If ridicule is all you’ve got, bring it on.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Supacase No worries. It was still a good point to make.

@filmfann I don’t think it is correct to say that “the right” refers to the extremists. That’s why there are terms like “the far right,” “the extreme right,” and “ultraconservative.”

filmfann's avatar

@SavoirFaire At what point do you say someone is not a moderate, but on the right?

woodcutter's avatar

It will depend on one’s point of view. One mans moderate is another man’s fascist. It’s fuzzy whenever emotions and ideology play in.

King_Pariah's avatar

Agreed with @woodcutter, there are no definitive lines that separate moderate from either left or right, it’s all just one big blur with only the ends of the spectrum being truly distinguishable by all

Paradox25's avatar

Well there are left and right leaning conservatives, so this issue is more about authoritarian mindsets rather than the typical left/right paradigm. The Authoritarians?

woodcutter's avatar

Both ends, at least the extreme ends of the spectrum have plans for us all. That’s why I think it’s a bad idea for either side to have too much sway. On it’s face it would look like a utopia can finally be achieved from that side’s supporters, but it wouldn’t work in fact it would resemble nothing short of a disaster. Power always corrupts, and the left is no less susceptible to its false promise than the right.

bolwerk's avatar

Conservatism and to a huge extent liberalism are both essentially right-wing ideologies, at least traditionally. In some parts of Central Europe (e.g., pre-Third Reich Germany) there was a distinction between left-liberals and right-liberals, with the left-liberals being the “free market” capitalists who favored the more socially liberal regime in general – the type of values that would today be equated with supporting civil liberties. They actually sort of still exist in the form of the Freie Demokratische Partei (FDP), but they always had a perturbing nationalist bent.

In the USA, the labels are almost entirely backwards. The Democrats are conservative on economics, and range from conservative to occasionally liberal on social issues while the Republikans are liberal on economics – or at least play lip service to being liberal on economics – and pro-police state in their social policies. Americans are surprised to see green parties around the world are often extremely pro-“free market” capitalist, even as they seem socially permissive to the point of being at least somewhat leftist on social issues.

Anyway, I just prefer to avoid the political spectrum debate. It’s not hard to say who you’re referring to.

woodcutter's avatar

That second paragraph threw me.^^^

ETpro's avatar

@woodcutter It’s actually true. Since the end of WWII, Democratic administrations have all decreased the growth of federal government and Republican administrations have all expanded it. Democratic administrations have worked to bring revenues up to the point they paid for expenditures while Republicans have happily put it all on the credit card. And real income for all sectors except the top 1% has done better under Democrats than Republicans. Republican rhetoric is quite the opposit of Republican action.

Anualized Federal Spending Growth by President
Income Growth Rates by Party
Jobs created by president

bolwerk's avatar

@woodcutter – nothing really confusing about it. Basically, conservative refers to maintaining the status quo, and traditionally part of that was creating a state powerful enough to counterweight against then-emergent industrial capitalism. Liberal referred to breaking down traditional structures in favor of a government that guaranteed rights – issues that ranged from promoting capitalist economics to universal suffrage (at least for white males) to civil liberties. For liberalism, the grotesque underbelly of all that was often respect for nationalist ideologies; for conservatives, it was respect for the feudal aristocracy.

@ETpro – large government probably is a conservative trait, anyway. It’s liberals who have ideological imperative to get rid of old institutions in the name of progress. Conservatives are the ones who are supposedly deferential to older institutions, including previously sitting legislatures. No matter whether that is the right or wrong way to view the world, I don’t see how teabagger types can be called conservative in most regards – at least beyond restricting social mobility and maintaining social hierarchy. But hell, even Bismarck did better than that.

ragingloli's avatar

well, Bismarck did invent universal healthcare, so according to fox, he was a socialist.

bolwerk's avatar

@ragingloli: yep. Bismarck would probably have to be a Democrat in the contemporary USA. Luckily they have their own share of royalty!

SavoirFaire's avatar

@filmfann Everyone leans. Anyone who is a moderate is a moderate something or else are (incorrectly) calling themselves a moderate because their political views are eclectic. This is not to say that there are no such things as moderates. There are. But there are not “pure moderates,” so to speak—or, if there are, they are much rarer than common usage would indicate. This is one of the reasons I prefer the Political Compass to some other tests. It doesn’t have much room for ducking issues by declaring oneself undecided or indifferent.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

The far far far Right Extremists are called communists….............

ETpro's avatar

@Mr_Paradox That would be far left. Far right extremists are religious extremists, reactionaries, Fascist or Nazis.

bolwerk's avatar

The only thing that meaningfully distinguishes communists from right-wingers is their appropriation of leftist revolutionary rhetoric. The outcomes are the same as with other right-wing authoritarians.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

@ETpro Doesnt realy matter. If the far left and the far right ever got over their rheoric then they would realize just how close they are to each other. Then we would be in trouble.

wundayatta's avatar

Oh. I thought @Mr_Paradox was placing himself to the far far left of communism. That’s how they become far far right. I like that idea. But to say the far far right and far far left are the same is absurd and shows a lack of understanding of what these people stand for.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

@wundayatta there is adifference between “communism” and “socialism”. China is communist but not socialist. Look it up, you are confusing the two.

wundayatta's avatar

I never mentioned socialism. I’m not confusing anything. I’m talking about relationships. If you stand all the way to the left, everything else is to the right, and vice versa. If you are left of communism, than communism will be to your right.

But the far far left and the far far right are not now and never will be the same.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

Tell me what is the difference between a communist state and a facist state. I realy want to know.

wundayatta's avatar

Theoretically speaking? Communists are about making sure everyone has enough. Facists only care about the elites. Both have centralized authority over the economy, although perhaps not as much under Facism. But you could have Googled this.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

when you were talking about communism you were actually talking about socialism. you got them confused. Case and point China.

wundayatta's avatar

China is neither communist, nor socialist. I don’t care what their official statements say. They weren’t communist under Mao, either. Not even close.

And I was talking about communism: from each according to their ability to each according to their need.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

Communism is no longer what Karl Marx thought up. Communism is the governmet having complete control. Socialism is what Karl Marx thought up. The definitions have changed with the times.

wundayatta's avatar

Well there it is: when people throw words around without defining them, it is nearly impossible to have a conversation without speaking at cross purposes.

Unfortunately, or maybe not, I don’t really care enough to settle on mutually agreeable definitions of terms.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

So, you are basicly saying that we have just wasted each others time?

wundayatta's avatar

It happens.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

I now hate you.

ragingloli's avatar

good, good. let the hate flow through you

ragingloli's avatar

Feel the power of the dark side!

Mr_Paradox's avatar

NO, I will never join you!

ragingloli's avatar

You will either join us, or die.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

How bout YOU die?

kitszu's avatar

How about “balanced” because it seems like “extreme right” and “conservative left” have quite a bit in common.

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