Ideologically the left and the right aren’t closer. But, by the time you arrive at the far left or the far right, the level of authoritarianism is so high that completely different ideologies produce the same horrible results.

That’s only a given when we are talking about left/right ideologies that aren’t libertarian/anarchist. The further you go on those the further you get from reality.

This is pure fantasy. In the real world, a country like Denmark is further to the left than Great Britain, Germany, or the United States. Yet, Denmark outranks all of those countries in the State of World Liberty index. Lest you think that is some sort of left-wing jibber-jabber, consider that the index includes data from the Heritage Foundation, WSJ, and the Cato Institute. It is designed and purports to quantify “the ability for the individual to live their lives as they choose, as long as they do not infringe on the rights of others to do the same.”

This is because authoritarianism is but one metric by which you can rate a given political ideology. Denmark, while being a heavy welfare state with universal healthcare and higher education funded by high taxes, has very little in the way of government surveillance or intervention into citizens’ daily lives. Individual liberty is respected, and economic opportunity and mobility is available to everyone.

You could argue the United States has drifted rightward, and that’s why it is more authoritarian and ranks lower for individual liberty than a place like Denmark, but Germany and the United Kingdom are clearly very centrist (even slightly left) nations.

Saying the far left and far right meet up or that going left or right necessitate authoritarianism sounds nice rhetorically and makes for a fun little graph and amusing cocktail party conversation, but these are not ideas rooted in reality. In reality, the nature of individualism changes over time, and has woven a path through the left and right. Individual liberty was achieved differently 20,000 or 2,000 or 200 years ago than it is today. One could argue, for instance, with society being as complex as it is today, you can’t enjoy individual liberty in full without being educated enough to navigate this morass of social and technological sophistication. If that is true, then it stands to reason that access to education should be a right. If you need a gun to defend yourself from the possibility of an armed autocrat, then surely you need an education to defend yourself from the possibility of an educated autocrat.

This is probably why Denmark is ahead of the United States in terms of individual liberty. Denmark has wisely allotted resources to programs that subsidize individual liberty, such as the health and education of its citizens, rather than spend large amounts of money stripping away individual liberty with Wars on Drugs, Wars on Terror, and a bloated surveillance state and military industrial complex that ultimately feed into a corrupt system of wealth inequality and oligarchy, and put an undue strain on the American economy.

These choices are less rooted in left or right ideology, and more rooted in corruption. Ideologues like Ron Paul (libertarian) and Bernie Sanders (democratic socialist) are actually in favor of less surveillance, no War on Drugs, and less intervention abroad, yet they are among the least centrist politicians. The centrist politicians — those engaged in the heaviest amount of establishment corporatism — are the most corrupt and the ones who consistently legislate to infringe on individual liberty, be they Democrat or Republican.

Just the facts: Writer. Gamer. Feminist. Educated in Astrophysics. Professional Gambler. Student of Language. Satanist. Anarchist.

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