- Politics and Social Issues»
- Politics & Political Science
The quote is often falsely attributed to Winston Churchill, while some believe that a derivative of the pithy maxim originated from Louisiana Senator Huey Long in the 30s. Italian author Ignazio Silone is the most likely candidate for coining the phrase; however, more vital than who invented the quote is what the quote itself represents: that a mirror image is yourself in a different profile. Horseshoe Theory, proposed by French writer Jean-Pierre Faye, posits that the more extreme one's beliefs manifest along the political spectrum, the more alike they will eventually become. An antithesis is, after all, an equal and opposite reaction to the action, such a theory we see ingrained in existence itself (developed by Newton). And in grand historical tradition, Horseshoe Theory shod the beasts pulling chariots of ideological warfare, right up to this day. Hitler and the Nazis were Fascist far-right. His vile perspective on the world caused 70 million deaths in World War II, opposed by Stalin - eventually, Hitler's enemy after the Fuhrer reneged on a pact to divide Poland with the Soviet Union. However, Stalin himself had the blood of up to 49 million of his fellow countrymen on his hands, a man that succeeded Lenin as leader of the U.S.S.R. 100 years ago on a Marxist ticket. Marxism is about as left as ideology gets, though when combined with Maoist China (believed to be responsible for potentially claiming upwards of 60 million lives) and other regimes, such as the Khmer Rouge, Communist rule is responsible for around 100 million deaths in the 20th century.
The butchery throughout the 1900s is unparalleled throughout the annals of history, and it persists today, underscoring many of the political battlegrounds splintering society (and now social media too) in 2017. To quote Maajid Nawaz, an "ALT-Right/CRTL-Left" rock and hard place exist (ALT and CRTL aptly emblematic of how warfare in our cosy worlds is digital and played out by keyboard warriors, guerilla style). Nowhere is the battlefront more fraught than in the SJW/Anti-SJW conflict. SJWs are the whiny offspring of their feminist forebears, raised exclusively on a diet of rhetoric including intersectionality and Political Correctness in college campus creches. Couched by the left wing, they are comfortable in the validity of their thoughts and aims, of course, why shouldn't they be? It was the left that won the culture war, after all. The right was once (and remains in many places) a stuffy, rigid and hardline arbiter/enforcer of traditional values. The left struck back to say that everyone deserves a voice, no matter its size and that dignity and respect are cornerstones of our lives on earth as free citizens (with the law in place to enshrine these protections). The left has largely been responsible for easing racism, sexism, homophobia and introducing social programs that benefit the lives of everyone.
Creatives and writers' often left sympathies run into the danger of forming echo chambers. Combine this with being accustomed to a history of championing the voiceless that came from a fundamentally egalitarian ethos, an undeserved sense of rightness and failure to entertain or even see nuance, evolves. Being so convinced of one's superiority, dedicated blindly to your cause, descends into nothing but suffering, history is the tale of the ramifications of thinking in such a way. It is down to this that all the major religions have innumerable blood on their hands (beginning with the Sacking of Alexandria). The adherence to the fact that their faith is revealed truth via a perfect deity (nowhere is this more inherent than in Islam) is a fertile breeding ground that allows ideology to sow a similar seed. "If you believe in equality, then you are a Feminist," is a simple ultimatum, extended like a treaty. However, this offer exemplifies the danger of the antithesis, action/reaction style of thinking. Proposing this dichotomy draws a line in the sand, those on the right and wrong side, rendering those across the parapet as lesser, "other." When the "other" is thought as beneath you at best, less than human at worst, it diminishes their worthiness in the eyes of their enemies. From this sprouts a choking weed that robs the nutrients from the nuance of nature and variety is the spice of life. As Nietzche said: "if you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you." Perhaps the left has spent so much time fighting the enemies of liberty; blinded by being their worst enemy?