Horseshoe theory

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Diagram of the political horseshoe. Likely wouldn't fit a goat.
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All bigots and frauds are brothers under the skin.
Christopher Hitchens[1]
If you go hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right
—Disney's Cars[2]
For centrists, and for right-wingers, Horseshoe Theory is a convenient chunk of heavy iron to toss in the faces of left-wing opponents. But its very convenience should be treated with suspicion.
—Noah Berlatsky[3]

The horseshoe theory, also known as the horseshoe effect, in political science is a claim that the far-left and far-right are more similar to each other in essentials than either is to the political center. The "political center" in question often just so happens to refer to the exact beliefs of the speaker, making their position the "moderate" one — evoking a sort of inside-out balance fallacy.

It was formulated by the French post-postmodernist philosopher Jean-Pierre Faye in 1996,[4] but similar ideas existed previously.[5] Faye believed that the extremes of the political spectrum both represented totalitarianism of different kinds; this meant that the political spectrum should not be described as a linear bar with the two ends representing the far-left and right being ideologically the furthest apart from each other, but as a horseshoe in which the two ends are closer to each other than to the center.

Not liking the comparison to their alleged sworn enemies, some Left-Wing to Far Left activists have created the "question mark" or "fish hook" theory, which allege that it's actually the center and the far-right that are most similar.[6][7] This makes a certain kind of sense if you view both as your sworn enemies.


The common refrain that horseshoe theory accurately describes greater support for authoritarianism as one moves further to either end of the left-right spectrum is quite hilariously undermined by actual research on the subject. In a 2012 review of opinion polling and political surveys from the U.S. dating to 1952, Northwestern University Law Professor James Lindgren found that moderate and conservative Democrats expressed the highest support for authoritarianism.[8] A 2018 study by political economist David Adler concluded that “Respondents at the center of the political spectrum are the least supportive of democracy, least committed to its institutions, and most supportive of authoritarianism.”[9]

Centrist Neville Chamberlain making nice with Hitler in 1938

The concept of horseshoe theory has been criticized in academia,[10][11] and the supporting evidence seems to be a large collection of exceptional cases without much in the way of theoretical underpinnings. Simon Choat has noted that there is not much convergence between far-left and far-right on political policy and that few voters switch between the far-left and far-right when given the chance in a runoff ballot.[12] Choat has argued that the perpetuation of horseshoe theory "is that it allows those in the centre to discredit the left while disavowing their own complicity with the far right. Historically, it has been 'centrist' liberals – in Germany, Spain, Chile,[note 1] Brazil, and in many other countries – who have helped the far right to power, usually because they would rather have had a fascist in power than a socialist."[12]

Quite a few examples can be given for centrists supporting or making agreements with the far-right, e.g., Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler, centrists' defense of Marine Le Pen,[12] and center-right Republicans backing Trump en masse.[14]

The simplest critiques tend to come from the extremists themselves, naturally, who either see themselves as being complete, utter, Manichaean opposites of the people on the other side of the spectrum, or acknowledge the similarities between the two extremes yet maintain that they are fighting for the "right people" while their enemies are not.

Also, so called "political centers" are socially and historically specific. For example, what was considered a norm in Europe 500 years ago, such as publicly beheading political rivals, would be considered extreme today (Saudi Arabia excepted[15]). See the entry on moral relativism on the morality page.

From extremists[edit]

Fish hook theory, how many extremists see their political enemies of both the center and the other side.

On the extreme right-wing side, the criticisms are often couched in terms of religion, with far-rightists claiming that they are completely different from far-leftists because they believe in different "gods," or different takes on the same God. One example is the contrast drawn during the U.S.'s Second Red Scare between Christianity and "Godless Communism."

A common gambit on the extreme left-wing side is to claim that few, or none, of the historical communist states are representatives of 'True' (classical Marxist) Communism, which has nothing in common with the evil right-wing fascist extremism.[note 2] One would be mistaken to think that this is an example of the No True Scotsman argument, if it weren't for the fact that Vladimir Lenin, founder of the Soviet Union, described it as 'State Capitalist' (as opposed to Socialist) himself, explaining that State Capitalism was a path to Socialism as proposed in his 1921 New Economic Policy. Leon Trotsky held a similar, more bitter take on the same idea, viewing the Soviet Union under Josef Stalin as a betrayal of 'true' communism and the ideals of the October Revolution.[18] A mirror version of this argument can also be found on the right wing among hardcore libertarians and anarcho-capitalists, who may claim that all historic examples of deregulated capitalism in action (e.g., Galt's Gulch, Chile and other libertarian paradises) weren't true laissez-faire societies because there was still some degree of state intervention (or merely the existence of a state) that they didn't like.

Another variant of the same argument is that the term "left-wing", which includes the far-left, refers to philosophies that promote broader democracy, political participation, and social equality, and that any form of government straying from this ideal is automatically right-wing instead. In considering this criticism it is instructive to look at the origins of the term "left-wing" which originally referred to the people who sat on the left side of the National Assembly during the French Revolution. Among these original left-wingers and far-leftists was Maximilien Robespierre, on whose watch the revolutionary government, still seated on the left wing, staged a series of political purges, executing about 40,000 people in the space of ten months. To which is replied by some far-leftists that this proves nothing at all, as just because they said, or even believed, that they were left-wing, doesn't mean they were, if their actions contradict this. In some cases, like that of Robespierre, mainstream historiography, however, is starting to consider that all revolutionaries were violent in that time period, due to it being a time of major unrest, Robespierre being posthumously the subject of a black legend started by his equally cruel ennemies. The Jacobins and Robespierre continued to influence the mainstream French left-wing, in both academic and political activities, while other thinkers saw the Jacobins as precursors to fascism.[19][20][21][22] In addition to this, Robespierre was not an extremist in his time, and was actively fighting the ultra-revolutionaries. The historian Marc Bloch famously said: "Robespierrists, anti-Robespierrists, we cry out for mercy: tell us, simply, what Robespierre was". [23]

Some extremists, however, have not only acknowledged and embraced the horseshoe theory but turned it upside-down, arguing that the far-left and the far-right are in fact natural allies united by a shared hatred of "the system" that dominates the center. This has been the justification for any number of "red-brown alliances" throughout history,[24] starting with the attacks that Ernst Thälmann's German Communist Party mostly focused against Social Democrats, more so than against the National Socialist German Workers' Party in the early 1930s out of a belief that, after the liberals and conservatives were destroyed and the Nazis had run Germany into the ground, they'd be able to overthrow the Nazis and take over Germany.[25] Spoiler alert: Thalmann was arrested by the Nazis shortly after Adolf Hitler's rise to power and executed in 1944.

From non-extremists[edit]

From the other direction, abuse of the horseshoe theory can lead to the balance fallacy and appeals to moderation. This is a problem common among centrists, who, in their desire to avoid slipping into one partisan extreme or another, often have the opposite problem and go out of their way to characterize both sides as being fundamentally crazy, even if one side or the other may very well be clearly in the right in this instance. More cynically, it can be abused by those in power to frame all opposition to their rule as extremist by connecting their more grounded, legitimate critics with the crazies. Also, at one point or another throughout history, people who advocated for a lot of the things we take for granted in the modern West (democracy, abolition of slavery, rights for women and LGBT people, religious freedom, etc.) were often derided as extremists and that things that we nowadays frame as extremist (Apartheid, eugenics etc.) were considered to be moderate options at the time they were implemented.

Napoleon, centrist dictator

Political centrism itself is not immune to radicalism and authoritarianism. As a historical example of this instance we've Napoleon Bonaparte, who in a period between fights of republicans and monarchists proclaimed himself to be the centrist in between the two options and then proceeded to establish a dictatorship (by assuming the role of an executive office with unlimited power) in the name of centrism and moderation, although this is a somewhat odd example since he claimed a syncretic politics that transcended left and right, whereas in the actual French Revolution "centrists" were often considered advocates of a constitutional monarchy. Although after he was exiled and King Louis XVIII became a French monarch, people who demanded a return of the Napoleonic empire were considered far-centrist.

Also, as the horseshoe theory relies on the mainstream left-right political spectrum, it runs the risk of over-simplifying political ideologies. One leading argument against a linear political spectrum is that it appears to have no place for ideologies which are less authoritarian than the political center, and as such, there exist alternative systems to delineate political ideologies, such as the Political Compass, the Nolan chart, and assorted surveys and quizzes with even more detailed analyses. For European parties, there exists a three-way system of free-loving vs. authoritarian, left economic vs. right economic, and pro-EU v anti-EU, which allows for eight quadrants — and there are parties at all quadrants. As a result of this, many horseshoe comparisons are not as meaningful as they first seem, as they often boil down to "these two groups of authoritarians are both authoritarian", "these two groups of fundamentalists are both fundamentalist", or "these two groups of bigots are both bigoted". Furthermore, our conceptions of left-wing and right-wing, with "liberal capitalism" being the political center, are largely derived from a modern, Western take of politics. In countries such as China, for instance, the political center is dominated by reformist Communists, while in Russia the center is defined by Vladimir Putin's brand of nationalist politics.

Likewise, extremists themselves tend to have their own warped versions of the horseshoe theory, seeing extremists on the other side as having more in common with (if not mere tools of) the political mainstream than with them, and condemning them both. The definition between "mainstream" and "extremist" depends on perspective and background. On the far left, it is common to see fascism described as the logical end point of capitalism, the point where the bourgeoisie dispenses with the pretense of democracy and embraces nationalism and bigotry in order to more effectively cling to power and stave off the threat of a rising proletariat. On the far right, meanwhile, it is common to see capitalism and Marxism described as two sides of the same coin, both modernist economic systems that subjugate traditional values, religion, and community/ethnic/racial bonds, leaving an atomized mass of people ruled by an atheistic, materialistic elite. Proponents of such views sometimes refer to this as "fish hook theory", seeing the political spectrum as shaped like a fish hook where the other end loops around and meets the center.[26] Similar observations can also be made when it comes to gender and sex. Trans-exclusionary radical feminists see trans people, sex workers, and men's rights activists as all part of an antifeminist agenda undermining women's emancipation by proposing laws transgressing the autonomy of women,[27] while MRAs see feminists and transgender people/queer theorists as people who want to feminize men.[28]

In January 1919, after Germany’s defeat in the First World War and the fall of the Kaiser, the new Social Democratic Party (SPD) government led by Friedrich Ebert used the far-right Freikorps militias to help suppress the Spartacist uprising, led by German Communist Party (KPD) founders Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. In the process, Freikorps men tortured and murdered Luxemburg and Liebknecht. During the Cold War, centrist liberal politicians in the United States and Europe also had histories of propping up and colluding with far-right governments in order to stop the rise of socialist ones, despite their lack of liberal democratic credentials,[12] although before the Cold War peaked during the Cuban Missile Crisis, those same liberal politicians also funded several groups within the anticommunist left to overthrow fascist dictators who were hostile to the US. The USSR was also more than willing to support nationalist, non-communist dictators like Gamal Abdel Nasser and Sukarno who called themselves "anti-imperialist" (i.e. anti-America/Western European), even if they were themselves non-communist or even (in the case of Nasser) hostile to communism.

Likewise, just because there are similarities between groups doesn't mean they are exactly the same. One example of this is that, while both fascists and communists claimed to adhere to revolutionary economic agendas and used authoritarianism to carry them out, fascist states largely protected the existing elites and gave them some leniency in what they were allowed to build and sell (so long as it didn't stand in the way of growing the military), while communist states overthrew the existing elites altogether (setting up new ones instead) and attempted to exert more direct control over the economy.

Not all members of all groups are also perfect examples of such an overlap. EurocommunismWikipedia is considered to be a communist ideology, but the adherents favor democracy over dictatorship and rejected the authoritarian policies of the Soviet Union.

Scientific research also suggest that Democrats and Republicans have a different brain structure.[29] Although it has been suggested that American Republicans and Russian Communists have a similar brain, if we start to put a Democrat brain on the left and a Republican brain on the right, it is rather difficult to justify that the sum of all processes in a far-left brain and that of a far-right brain lead to the same outcome in ideas and thoughts. It's very likely that those brains are different, but that political ideas can be acquired by both.

Mikhail VoslenskyWikipedia in his book "Nomenklatura: The Soviet Ruling Class" argues that marks "left" and "right" are inapplicable to totalitarian parties such as communists and fascists because they are categories of pluralist societies and said parties are motivated by little more than power unrestrained by any legal obstacles and in totalitarian societies, unlike pluralist, there are no "left" and "right", there is only "general line" of the ruling party and anyone who doesn't align with it is criminally persecuted. When they are in pluralist societies, totalitarian parties tend to masquerade as left-wing workers' parties because they count that the workers can most easily be used to help them seize power. The economic differences between them is because the fascists came to power in already industrialized countries and decided not to destroy the capitalist system because it was benefitting the military-industrial complex, and communists have seized power in mostly agrarian countries and in order to compete with industrialized nations, what required quick industrialization that strongly emphasizes hard industry for military, they adopted a planned economy and later they were reluctant to abandon it, despite its effectiveness, not because of actual ideology, but because it would mean abandoning part of their power. In fact, Lenin himself wrote a book against "left-wing" communism.[30]

Possible explanations[edit]

One way to look at the conundrum of explaining horseshoe theory is that the political spectrum is just one lens for looking at different political beliefs. Other lenses may make the seemingly great distance between far-right and far-left not seem so far apart after all.

Conceptual schemes[edit]

One possible explanation for horseshoe theory, particularly within conspiracy theorist worldviews, is the philosophical concept of 'conceptual schemes', also known as 'linguistics schemes' or paradigms.Wikipedia The concept explains how people can have the same method of thinking (conceptual schemes) but still have completely different worldviews. So for example:

You believe that Californians are the secret controllers of the world and read the news accordingly, spotting the devilish Californian hand in every market fluctuation and weather report. I think you're nuts because I know its the Texans who really run things, calling all the shots. For all our differences we have much in common, insofar as we both see the world by means of the same categories — secret oppressor, oppressed, news report, and so on. Conceptually-speaking, we are pretty much a match; we use the same concepts and have the same conceptual scheme.
—Gary L. Hardcastle[31]:260

Foreign interference[edit]

In 2023, it was revealed that Russia had considered attempting to unite the far-left and far-right within Germany under a shared cause of opposition to getting further involved with supporting Ukraine's defense against Russia's invasion; there was no evidence that Russia had actually implemented this plan.[32] The Russian astroturf Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia organization can be viewed as a less-explicit attempt to unite far-left and far-right groups in the United States by exploiting far-right opposition to the anti-semitic dog whistle of "globalism" and also attracting the African People’s Socialist Party.


See the main article on this topic: Anecdotal evidence
The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries but between authoritarians and libertarians.
George Orwell[33]

On the left side of the horseshoe are communist countries such as the Soviet Union, Maoist China, Cuba under Fidel Castro, North Korea under the Kim Il Sung, and, well, every other communist country, with "happiest-barrack" countries like Hungary under "goulash communism" and Yugoslavia furthest from the end.

On the right side goes (in order from the end) Nazi Germany, militarist Japan, Pinochet's Chile, Mussolini's Italy, Franquist Spain, and various clerical-fascist regimes, military dictatorships, and absolute monarchies.

In the center is the center-left to center-right continuum occupied by mainstream political parties in the countries that have adopted democracy, social democracy and liberal capitalism.

One rather explicit example of the horseshoe theory in action is third positionism, which intentionally blends far-left and far-right politics. Fringe political movements such as the one initiated by Lyndon LaRouche also take ideas from both fringes of the spectrum.

Far-right populists and state socialism[edit]

Far-right populists, known as national populists, are frequent supporters of left-wing economic policies, often ad hoc government distribution of money that parallels state socialism.[34][35]

Far-left vs far-right anti-semitism[edit]

Anti-Semitism is absurdly common on both ends of the political spectrum. Whereas the far-right will engage in the usual bigoted anti-semitism and Holocaust denial, many third positionist elements within them tend to be anti-capitalist, ranging from ascribing to center-left social-democratic ideals to outright communism (National Bolshevism is a thing).

While most left-wing groups will criticize and combat anti-Semitism, some have trafficked in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, evidenced by some racial justice movements engaging in it (typified by Jesse Jackson referring to New York as "Hymietown" and a few BLM activists using dog whistles against Bernie Sanders). However, the right and the Israeli government may also smear the pro-Palestinian left as antisemitic, or even "institutionally antisemitic", by claiming that legitimate criticisms of Israeli government policy are antisemitic.[36] On the other hand, in a small proportion of cases, criticisms of Israel are thinly disguised antisemitism, and one can find examples of this on both the far right and the far left.[37][38] (See, for example, George Galloway.)

Authoritarian parties[edit]

Authoritarian type parties on the hard-left and hard-right may not represent the furthest ends of the political spectrum but still mirror each other in significant ways.

Take the anti-pragmatic side of the United States Republican Party (especially the Religious Right) and compare it to the modern Communist Party of the Russian Federation and you can find quite a few similarities (besides the obvious one that both are ideologues focused on the "purity" of their movement), especially on social policies. In fact, if each party's leaders avoided talking to each other about economics, they would find more common ground than they may expect, especially considering their vehement hatred for each other. For instance:

  • Both strongly endorse "tough on crime" policies and the death penalty.[39]
  • Both strongly support "traditional values", meaning hardcore social conservatism, anti-abortion attitudes[40] and hostility to LGBT rights.
  • Both have weaknesses for conspiracy theories, especially the conspiracy theory that there is some deliberate effort to destroy morality.[41][42]
  • Both are fervently patriotic and support some form of nationalism while holding the belief that each of their countries are the greatest in the world. This leads to some supporting a degree of historical revisionism as well.[43][note 3][note 4]
  • Both are reactionary in nature and extremely nostalgic for some sort of "golden age" (Stalin for the commies,[45] Ronald Reagan or the 1950s[46][47] for the GOP).
  • Both support increasing spending on an even larger national defense while rarely questioning if it's necessary. Also, they both tend to admire "masculinity" and militarism.
  • Both make populist appeals to the lower classes, mainly by promising to cut their taxes,[48] regardless of whether it will be done or whether it can be afforded.
  • Both have a love of dramatic rhetoric, even by political standards.
  • Both have strands of anti-intellectualism, with intellectuals who question them being seen as "elitist."
  • Both are currently trying to appeal to the religious majority in each of their respective countries, with even Communist Party of the Russian Federation leader Gennady Zyuganov citing the "spiritual values" of communism in his speeches to appeal to followers of the Russian Orthodox Church, despite the party being historically atheist.[49]
  • Both support censorship, and passing legislation to stop the "degradation" of national symbols.[50]
  • Both support the limiting of free speech.
  • Both, hilariously, blame each other for the supposed "degradation" of art, literature, culture, and philosophy. The commies claim that the embrace of capitalism has left these areas bland because artists are only concerned about profit, not quality, whereas the Republicans like to say that "leftists" or "secularists" have ruined these areas because their "hostility" to religion has harmed creativity.
  • Both like to reference revolutionary heroes from their nation's past in their arguments,[note 5] usually by claiming that they are fighting for the same values they were, which is commonly followed up by saying that what they stand for is "True American/Russian values," whereas their opponents stand for evil/radicalism. They may also liken themselves to being the "underdogs" in their current fight, like said revolutionary leaders. Expect these historical figures to be glorified and their flaws to be ignored/excused/downplayed.[51][52]
  • Both oppose more moderate factions holding the same ideas, often using terms to distance themselves from them (RINO's for the GOP, Revisionist Communists for the Communist Party of Russia).

(At least on the Republican side, none of this is new: at the height of the New Left movement and the hippie tendency, Americans were regularly regaled with encomia favourably comparing Soviet youth to our own, the Soviets' supposedly being sober, patriotic, sexually puritanical, (if male) short-haired (and never draft-dodging), never foul-mouthed, and eagerly doing as they were told. This was usually presented as a "this is why we're in danger from them, our decadence will doom us" argument, but the admiration was patently unmistakable. If only Soviet youth had been permitted to hear these: they could have used a good laugh.)

Bob Altemeyer's research backs the theory that authoritarian types tend to mirror each other, even if they aren't as extreme to the right or left as they could be.

A 1985 study of political extremist groups in the US at the time came to similar conclusions:[53]

…while the two camps embrace different programmatic beliefs, both are deeply estranged from certain features of American society and highly critical of what they perceive as the spiritual and moral degeneration of American institutions. Both view American society as dominated by conspiratorial forces that are working to defeat their respective ideological aims.

The degree of their alienation is intensified by the zealous and unyielding manner in which they hold their beliefs. Both camps possess an inflexible psychological and political style characterized by the tendency to view social and political affairs in crude, unambiguous and stereotypical terms. They see political life as a conflict between 'us' and 'them', a struggle between good and evil played out on a battleground where compromise amounts to capitulation and the goal is total victory.

The far left and the far right also resemble each other in the way they pursue their political goals. Both are disposed to censor their opponents, to deal harshly with enemies, to sacrifice the well-being even of the innocent in order to serve a 'higher purpose', and to use cruel tactics if necessary to 'persuade' society of the wisdom of their objectives. Both tend to support (or oppose) civil liberties in a highly partisan and self-serving fashion, supporting freedom for themselves and for the groups and causes they favour while seeking to withhold it from enemies and advocates of causes they dislike.

In sum, when the views of the far left and far right are evaluated against the standard left–right ideological dimension, they can appropriately be classified at opposite ends of the political spectrum. But when the two camps are evaluated on questions of political and psychological style, the treatment of political opponents, and the tactics that they are willing to employ to achieve their ends, the display many parallels that can rightly be labelled authoritarian.

Objectivism and Marxism[edit]

John Galt
Che Guevara

Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism has frequently been described as the "Marxism of the Right" by its many critics. For example, the ex-communist turned conservative Whittaker Chambers, in his review[54] of Atlas Shrugged for the National Review in 1957, suggested that Rand's materialism, despite all protests to the contrary, was functionally almost identical to the Marxism that she so despised. Similarly, Vladimir Shlapentokh, who grew up and lived in the Soviet Union, points out that Rand was more marked by the Soviet system than she was aware or perhaps cared to admit.[55]

Both Rand's ideology and Stalin's (which was Marxism as she knew it first-hand) dedicatedly divided people into groups of 'productive individuals' and 'parasites', and art and literature into acceptable (ideologically valid) and 'degenerate' types. In the first instance, they strongly disagreed as to who were in these groups, with Marxists seeing the working class as productive and the upper class as parasites while Objectivists held the opposite view, something that led George Monbiot to describe the two philosophies as mirror images of one another.[56] However, they generally agreed about what art was acceptable versus 'degenerate'.

On a last note, despite both philosophies being ostensibly atheistic and naturalistic, both have occasionally supported anti-science crankery, including, in both cases, promoters that opposed both quantum mechanics and relativity, for very similar reasons.

Subculture of libertarians and authoritarianism[edit]

Libertarianism contains many strains, and some are more consistent on civil libertarianism than others.[note 6] On one hand, libertarians like Radley Balko support movements like Black Lives Matter,[58] Johan Norberg is well-known for his support of liberal immigration policies and his anti-racism while Julian Sanchez is well-known for his excellent work on surveillance and privacy issues.[59] However, it is necessary to separate the wheat from the authoritarian chaff within the libertarian movement.

The subculture of younger, male libertarians online can be among the more authoritarian strains, as can be older men (they usually are) who, in the US, are often too comfortable with the religious right and other intolerant aspects of the Republican Party. This brand of libertarians loves to single out the crazies on the left, but some (not remotely all) are extremely big tent when it comes to right-wing lunatics on the fringe, including "race realists" and theocratic bigots like Ted Cruz or the Bush-Cheney horror.[note 7] Others, like Gary North, have adopted libertarian rhetoric in the name of advancing a reactionary Christian agenda, seeing the government as restricting the 'freedom' of Christians to form their own private theocracies and lock sexual and ethnic minorities out of society; this brand of the movement is known as paleolibertarianism.

More recently, the neoreactionary movement and Gamergate types have been making inroads into the younger libertarian base and venting their anger and resentment in unexpected directions unrelated to government intrusion on liberties, particularly in terms of race relations and gender theory. This may cause more traditional civil libertarians to modify their own philosophies to win that market of morons, or risk becoming irrelevant.[61] You can no longer rely on just hating the government — you also have to hate culture, intellectualism, feminism, sexuality, ethnic minorities, your mommy,[62] and modernity in general[63] as enemies of freedom (specifically, freedom for straight white males).

As the culture wars shifted in the 2020s from fighting Islam and Muslim immigration to fighting feminism and LGBT rights, some alt-right and libertarian activists like Mike Cernovich and The Great Aussie Patriot have either converted or expressed great sympathy to Islamism, due to their shared hostility towards the LGBT community and women's rights, while finding new followers among young conservative Muslims.[64]

Fascism, communism, and ultra-nationalism[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Fascism § Fascism and the political spectrum
I think the Soviet Union protected Russians from an even worse ideology, that is the liberalism of the United States and Western Europe…
—White nationalist Richard Spencer[65]

All the way back since their respective moments of inception, far-right (fascist/ultra-nationalist) and far-left (revolutionary communist/anarchist) movements have been trading players back and forth like the fucking NFL. Irrespective of political wing, every supposedly unique movement positioned in violent opposition to liberal democracy has aligned perfectly with the narcissism of small differencesWikipedia.[citation needed] Illustrative of this fact, the Swedish Security ServiceWikipedia and the Swedish National Council for Crime PreventionWikipedia both classify left- and right-wing extremism as practically identical,[66] concluding formally that "the similarities are greater than the differences".[66]:51


See the main article on this topic: Japan

During the 1930s, many Japanese Marxists were arrested by the Japanese military government and volunteered or were forced to disavow the Japanese Communist Party. Rather than simply disowning the party, many — but not all — Marxists converted to fascistic ultra-nationalism.[67]

Among the reasons were their formalistic radicalism and blind adherence to Comintern and party dictates and, despite their advocacy of "democracy," a lack of real experience or understanding of human rights. Although prewar Marxism was a sharp thrust to the left and away from tradition, its psychological structure had much in common with the ideology of the emperor system, a rote submission to authority. In one sense, Marxism was simply the reverse coin of a banzai-shouting, emperor worshipping statism.
—Saburo Ienaga[67]

North Korea[edit]

See the main article on this topic: North Korea

The totalitarian regime of North Korea, despite having originated as a Soviet- and Chinese-backed socialist state, has been called, in practice, the last display of "pure" fascism currently in existence.[note 8] It speaks of the Korean people as "the cleanest race" (순결한 민족), proclaiming that, because of their purity and childlike virtue, they need strong, parental leadership (i.e. the Kim dynasty) in order to be safe from an outside world that wants to destroy them. This is an ethnic supremacist ideology more analogous to that espoused by far-right white nationalists in the West, or by Imperial Japan in the 1930s and by Japanese ultra-nationalists today, than it is to the "Workers and peasants of the world, unite!" rhetoric that emanated from Moscow and Beijing.[68] However, there is considerable controversy over whether North Korea really described the inter-Korean people as "the cleanest race" (순결한 인종).[note 9] Speaking of Imperial Japan, the worship of the Kim dynasty has also been argued to have more in common with the emperor-worship of Korea's former colonizer than with the personality cults of Stalin and Mao, and many of the early leaders that the Soviets installed in North Korea had in fact previously collaborated with the Japanese during their colonization of Korea.[69]

Even with the North Korean regime's fascist roots, however, it had little problem cozying up with the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China and adopting an officially communist ideology in its quest to get revenge on the U.S. and their "colony" of South Korea. Notably, once communism fell in Russia and their main benefactor evaporated, the North Koreans started dropping all pretense of communism with fairly little effort. On the surface, it had swung from the far-left to the far-right, but on a practical level, virtually nothing had changed. Today, some on the alt-right in the West have expressed solidarity with North Korea, viewing it as a bastion of resistance to 'globalism' that has been unjustly smeared by Western governments; in this, they stand aligned with many of North Korea's traditionally far-left apologists.[70][71] However, it didn't entirely abandon its far-left pretense, as it maintains a Stalinist economy[citation needed] that has been also compared to a Bronze Age palace economy, which is a superficially left-wing economy that distributes goods and wealth through the palace.

North Korea's hereditary leadership pattern also leads to comparisons with monarchy. The Kim Family is effectively a royal house, and are more similar to kings in certain respects than the non-hereditary Chinese leadership (nepotistic and brutal though it is). North Korea claims to be anti-religious (keeping some temples as museum pieces), but members of the public make obeisance to idols of the Kims every day.

Benito Mussolini[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Benito Mussolini

The story of Benito Mussolini's conversion from socialism to being the inventor of fascism is a famous one, repeated most often by right-wing pundits wishing to pretend that fascism is left-wing and has absolutely nothing to do with the right. Regardless, even after Mussolini had renounced left-wing politics and moved to the right, his vision for fascism contained many elements borrowed from socialism, most notably in its economic platform, with him dismissing both capitalism and Marxism as "obsolete doctrines" and upholding a corporatist economic system as a "Third Alternative" for Italy.

Despite Mussolini's hankering for Roman values, his movement was also very technocratic and was associated with forward looking artistic and architectural movements.

Mussolini also had a strange, but little remarked upon interest in Islam. On one occasion, he bemoaned Catholicism, saying that Italy was Muslim it would be better disciplined. Upon conquest of Libya, he also gained the title Sword of Islam or Protector of Islam

Horst Mahler[edit]

The Red Army Faction, a far-left terrorist group in West Germany that was most active in the '70s, was a particularly extreme manifestation of the New Left in that country, where outrage over the ruling class' historical, unanswered-for complicity in the Nazi regime was a major motivating factor in protests. Odd, then, that Horst Mahler, one of the RAF's founding members, would himself become a neo-Nazi later in his life after serving ten years in prison for his activities with the RAF.[72] Notably, Mahler insists that his views have not substantially changed; rather, he asserts that his conversion to neo-Nazism, and accompanying espousal of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, stemmed from his opposition to capitalism and the United States, with him coming to see both as being in the hands of the Jews.

Slobodan Milošević[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Slobodan Milošević

Serbian leader Slobodan Milošević has his admirers on both the extreme far left and far right. Tankies love him because he was a strong anti-Western dictator in an era where communism lost most of its influence in Europe. Meanwhile, right wing Islamophobic nationalist conservatives liked his military action against Albanians and Bosnians and saw him as an inspiration for standing up to Muslims. Normally, traditional Marxist-Leninist commies and Tea Party traditionalist conservatives don't agree on much, but some of both groups view Milošević positively.

Birchers and communists[edit]

Historian Richard Hofstadter noted the similarities between the recruiting methods used by both radical left and radical right groups when he wrote "The John Birch Society emulates Communist cells and quasi-secret operation through 'front' groups, and preaches a ruthless prosecution of the ideological war along lines very similar to those it finds in the Communist enemy." Hofstadter also quoted New Right leader Barry Goldwater, who said "I would suggest that we analyze and copy the strategy of the enemy; theirs has worked and ours has not."[73] Cue the historical origins of neoconservatism. Important figures in the parallel development of Thatcherism, such as Keith JosephWikipedia and Alfred Sherman,Wikipedia similarly modelled their tactics on the Leftist idea of the "long march through the institutions". Another rather explicit example of this is some Tea Party members reading the writings of leftist Saul Alinsky because of his suggestions on how to have a successful "radical" movement.

Hofstadter also points out the other examples of the radical right and ultraconservative emulating the "enemy". For example, while the "paranoid" may be an anti-intellectual, "the paranoid will outdo him in the apparatus of scholarship, even of pedantry." Glenn Beck has been cited as a modern example of this.[74]

In fact despite the dislike and paranoia many hard-right figures have for academia, they often end up mimicking academia in many ways because as Hofstadter notes, their style of writing "is nothing if not scholarly in technique. McCarthy’s 96-page pamphlet, McCarthyism, contains no less than 313 footnote references, and Mr. Welch's incredible assault on Eisenhower, The Politician, has one hundred pages of bibliography and notes. The entire right-wing movement of our time is a parade of experts, study groups, monographs, footnotes, and bibliographies." The modern right-wing pundits' habit of overstuffing their book with unnecessary footnotes has become so cliché that even Stephen Colbert mocked it in his book America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren't.[75]

Identity politics on the left and right[edit]

Sometimes, statements made by ultra-"woke" leftists who subscribe to identity politics can sound disturbingly similar to those made by people on the far right. Generally, this is because they can be read in one of two ways, although there are also cases where genuine bigotry seems to be present. There is even a quiz-style subreddit dedicated to documenting examples of this phenomenon, called "Stormfront or SJW?"[76]

Some leftists also unironically support separate spaces for certain minorities or ethnic groups, and have developed a number of symbols for different groups, sometimes worn as badges, without realizing that this actually goes against the idea of multiculturalism and promotes a form of racial segregation and otherness.

TERFs and the religious right/MRAs[edit]

One of the more extreme wings of the feminist movement, trans-exclusionary radical feminism (or "TERF"), has, in the past, worked closely with religious conservatives on some sexual matters, despite their otherwise fervent hatred of each other.[77] The two seem to get along on matters that have to do with being hostile to the transgender community (hence the name), wanting pornography and prostitution to be banned, and a dislike of certain other sexual minorities (bisexuals, the BDSM community, et cetera). Margaret Atwood's feminist dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale even presented TERFs as having helped to pave the way for the theocratic Republic of Gilead through colluding with Christian fundamentalists on such issues.

Similarly, TERFs have been repeatedly compared to men's rights activists[78] due to both having the tendency to direct overly aggressive rhetoric at the opposite sex, which is almost always based around hasty generalizations. Both may also overestimate the power of their enemy, believing that there is an organized effort by the media/society to destroy/oppress their gender. Some MRAs have even emulated fringe radical feminists, such as through the Men Going Their Own Way movement which encourages straight men to avoid women, much like what fringe radical feminists do with political lesbianism, which encourages women to stay away from men. Also, both groups are (obviously) typically transphobic, often repeating the same claims about how letting trans people choose what bathroom to use will be the doom of society, and have both attracted certain homophobes.[79] MRAs also have a tendency to look for bias against them in the media even where none may exist; for example, if a women bests a man in combat on television or in a movie, there is a tendency to immediately assume this is for "PC empowerment" as opposed to more likely reasons such as plot convenience (apparently, the idea this is very possible is too crazy to be taken seriously).[note 10] This is especially ironic considering that this is basically what they decry radical feminists for doing (i.e., eagerly looking for bias against women where none may exist).

TERFs also tend to share their right-wing counterparts' hostility for third-wave feminism.[80] While religious conservatives and MRAs oppose it because they don't like feminism in general, TERFs often come out against it because they see third-wavers as allowing transgender "infiltrators" into the women's movement,[81] as well as their more permissive views on sexual matters and resultant opposition to the TERFs' hardline stances against pornography and sex work.[note 11] In fact, some otherwise dyed-in-the-wool anti-feminists have taken to developing an appreciation for TERFs, seeing them as "real feminists" versus the "modern feminists" with their embrace of transgender rights, intersectionality, and that hippity-hoppity jungle music the kids these days are into.[82]

Vladimir Putin's fan club[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Vladimir Putin

Extremists sometimes champion surprising causes célèbres, which can lead far right and far left to back the same horse. Their responses to Vladimir Putin illustrate this. When U.S.-Russian relations chilled in 2013 amidst controversy over a proposed U.S. intervention against Assad in Syria, a vocal minority of Western leftists went beyond opposing the intervention and actually praised Putin. This tendency, most visible on tankie websites like and Counterpunch, continued throughout the crisis in Ukraine, in which the Euromaidan that ousted President Viktor Yanukovich was portrayed as a mob of neo-fascists. Around this time, American conservatives also began warming up to Putin, seeing him as a stalwart defender of Christendom against homosexuals, Muslims, and riot grrrl punk bands who made their favorite boogeyman, Barack Obama, look "weak" in the bargain. It's no secret that sections of the American "libertarian" movement have deep strains of authoritarianism and power-worship, and Putin has crafted an image that appeals to such people.[83] The logical conclusion of this came in 2015, when Donald Trump accepted Putin's de facto endorsement for the presidency. Putin's moonbat supporters (probably) don't share many of his wingnut supporters' motives, apart from reflexive loathing of the Western "establishment", but their behavior has still dovetailed.

Another example is how in Europe, for example, Putin is generally associated with the far-right, linked with (open or secret) support of parties like the French Front National and Austria’s Party for Freedom that, conversely often praise Russia and Putin and propose a more Euro-Russian stance instead of Atlantism, whilst in places like Latin America Putin is associated with the far-left and seen as a strong sponsor of far-left regimes like those in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, to the point that some people in Latin America still think that Russia is socialist.[citation needed] Nevertheless, both the European far-left and the Latin American far-right also praise Putin. This is probably not entirely a coincidence, apart from both groups’ love for authoritarian anti-American and anti-NATO regimes, Putin indeed tries to get closer to every regime that is critical of the US for geo-strategic reasons whether it's a far-right ultra-conservative theocracy like Iran or a far-left socialist regime like Nicaragua.

The Unabomber[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Unabomber

The American domestic terrorist Ted Kaczynski, better known as the Unabomber, has been embraced as a hero by people and groups on both the far left and the far right. On the left, a number of hard greens have embraced his anti-industrial, neo-Luddite ideology on environmental grounds. The anarchist collective CrimethInc., for example, has an extended hagiography declaring Kaczynski "a hero for our time", claiming that the actions of his targets against people and the environment made his bombing campaign justified.[84] On the right, he's also won the affection of radical traditionalists and other reactionaries due to his view that modern technology was responsible for the decadence, crumbling moral values, and tyranny of the modern world. Right-wing pundit Keith Ablow, for one, has defended Kaczynski's ideology; while he took great pains to state that he thought Kaczynski's actions were wrong, he went on to state that his ideas "are increasingly important" and "cannot be dismissed", saying that his manifesto, Industrial Society and Its Future, deserved a place alongside Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World.[85][86] According to Ablow's logic, since the NSA is spying on us and Barack Obama heavily employed the internet as a key campaign and outreach tool, that means that the internet is totally rotten to the core and that Kaczynski was right about technology.

Art and propaganda[edit]

Within the art world, the state-sponsored artistic styles of Nazi Germany and the post-Stalin Soviet Union have been described as having more in common with each other than either side might have been willing to admit, with art historians sometimes using the term "heroic realism" to describe both socialist realism and Nazi art.[87] Both were characterized by a firm rejection of modernism in the arts as 'bourgeois' or 'degenerate', instead seeking to depict idealized figures representing the common man with the intent of use for propaganda purposes, and their state sponsors cracked down on alternative, modernist styles. During the Cold War, the CIA, as a reaction to socialist realism, sponsored modern artists to serve as a counterweight to the Soviet state style, even though, in the US, their main critics traditionally came from the right rather than the left.[88]

On the other hand, before Stalin came to power, the early Soviet Union had a strong Futurist movement which was similar to that of Fascist Italy.

New Age and conspiracy theory[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Conspirituality

The online overlap of beliefs and attitudes between the politically opposed camps of right-wing conspiracy theorists on the one hand, and the left-wing New Age and the broader wellness movement on the other hand, has come to be commonly referred to as conspirituality. The initial contrast between the two is often exaggerated, and in part there's always been a broader range of political leanings to prominent New Age figures, and also to conspiracy theorists. But there's also been a real blending of initially separate belief systems and preoccupations over time, such as fundamentalist Christian fears of satanic conspiracies spreading along with other QAnon beliefs to New Age and alternative health circles.

Essentially, conspiracy theory is a common language and way of viewing the world which makes it easy for beliefs to spread across religions and political and cultural camps which formerly were opposed, or even still are opposed, to one another. New Age and alternative health movements believe in so-called "suppressed knowledge" concealed from most people, and thus also have conspiracy thinking baked into them to the core. In part, both modern reactionary conspiracy theory culture and modern western spirituality have strong ties to older cultural currents of Western esotericism, and through this, are in some ways not that far separated to begin with.[89]


There are several common features of far-left and far-right politics and political movements.

Conspiratorial thinking[edit]

Anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools.
—Ferdinand Kronawetter[note 12]

Fringe ideologies often appeal to neurotic and paranoid types, and actual political positions often take a back seat to their mental states. Thus, conspiratorial thinking beyond the bounds of reason tends to characterize political extremes, so much so that the libertarian right and the anarcho-(your movement here) left seem interchangeable.[citation needed] Take the 9/11 truther movement, which thrives on both political fringes because conspiratorial ideation and extreme values are correlated. This is not, of course, to say that all belief in the existence of conspiracies is irrational. But when someone views conspiracy as the prime mover behind history, or sees a unified conspiracy theory behind the fall of every leaf, they've gone off the edge of the map.

Historical revisionism is common on the political fringes. A wide selection of isolationist weirdos and unreformed anti-Semites on the Old Right have famously sought to rationalize, downplay, or flat-out deny the Holocaust. So too have a vocal minority of crazy assholes within the anti-Zionist movement.

Likewise, a few hard-core leftists have denied that the conduct of the Bosnian War constituted a genocide. Some of the absolute worst revisionists, like Edward S. Herman,[91] even claim that the Bosnian Serb militias' massacre of at least 8,373[92] unarmed Muslim civilians at and around Srebrenica was a legitimate act of self-defense, a shadowy Muslim mass-suicide, or an elaborate hoax. Presumably, these deniers fear it would be "imperialist" to say that big bad NATO, which eventually intervened in Bosnia and Kosovo, once did a good thing. Even Noam Chomsky has occasionally indulged in this intellectual dishonesty: he once claimed that the Trnopolje campWikipedia was not a concentration camp, because "people could leave if they wanted"[93] (although he has since backed off on this). In this particular debate, moonbats align with Orthodox Christian fundamentalists (defending the Serbs as they're predominantly Orthodox too), pan-Slavicists in Russia, neo-fascists like Golden Dawn, paleoconservatives like Pat Buchanan, and Islamophobic "thinkers" like Pamela Geller and Michael Savage; strange bedfellows indeed.

Conspiracism and its subset, revisionism, is endemic in all these groups because their members hold all their beliefs to be both true and self-evident to anyone of good will who knows the facts, leaving open (though not begging)[note 13] for them the glaring question of why these beliefs are so unpopular in the general populace. The usual answers are some sort of anti-democratic thought (most people are 'sheeple') and a belief that one or more conspiracies must be keeping them from knowing the facts and possessing the mental equipment necessary to arrive at the correct conclusions.

Pseudoscience promotion[edit]

Quite a large number of extremists have but little regard for science, and are often openly dismissive of it, seeing it as part of the bourgeois/liberal/Jewish/Marxist/what-have-you establishment. As a result, they are very prone to promoting various pseudoscientific ideas. Well-known examples include:

  • Christian, Muslim, and other religious fundamentalists deny any scientific findings contradicting their religion, such as evolution or the big bang.
  • Racist groups likewise deny any scientific findings suggesting that the races are not separate sub-species or something of that description, while promoting bullshit claims designed to elevate their own race/ethnic group above all others. Among white supremacists, this manifests in claims taken from The Bell Curve and discredited scientific racism from the late 19th/early 20th centuries, while among black supremacists, you can find the Nation of Islam teaching that white people were created by a mad scientist six thousand years ago.
  • Many forms of mutually-exclusive national mysticism claiming a divine/supernatural heritage for a particular people.
  • Marxists promoted their philosophy as "scientific socialism."
  • Stalin, out of sheer will to give the impression that massive developments were happening, banned scientific disciplines such as genetics and Darwinian evolution. Nikita Khrushchev also promoted the pseudoscience of Lysenkoism after Stalin's death, but allowed freedom of the scientific press. After his death science saw a rapid development in the Soviet Union, even if it was still way behind Western developments.
  • Nazi Germany attempted to suppress the work of Albert Einstein and other Jewish physicists simply because they were Jewish, instead promoting Deutsche Physik as an "Aryan" alternative, by educating about Ayran physicist Jew sympathizers such as Werner Heisenberg.
  • Fringe groups on both the left and the right are prone to promoting crankier forms of alternative medicine, global warming denialism and anti-GMO whackery, often accompanying it with appeals to nature and conspiracy theories about Big Pharma and Monsanto. Survivalists, New Agers, Occupiers, Teabaggers, Huffington Post readers, Alex Jones readers, and Christian and Islamic fundamentalists all can be found in the big anti-vaxxer and anti-GMO tent. Likewise, in the 1990s, HIV/AIDS denialism infected both the religious right (who saw AIDS as a consequence of "sinful" lifestyles and quite possibly divine retribution) and radical gay and black activists (who saw AIDS as part of a government conspiracy to wipe them out). That being said, anti-GMO opinions still tend to be way too common on the political centre, as the EU 1997 GMO-moratorium clearly demonstrated, suggesting that anti-GMO is still mainstream consensus despite clear contradictory scientific evidence.
  • 9/11 conspiracy theories are a recreational sport on both the far right and the far left.
  • Both Hard Greens and anti-environmentalists tend to deny the danger of certain pesticides that have scientifically been shown to be dangerous (the former on rotenone and the latter on DDT) and tend to invoke post-apocalyptic doom scenarios that are scientifically improbable.

See also[edit]


  1. The centrist Christian democrats in Chile basically called upon the military to stage a coup, leading to the Pinochet dictatorship.[13]
  2. See, for example, Noam Chomsky discussing how non-socialistic the Soviet Union was.[16][17]
  3. Such as Texas "revising" textbooks to fit an American exceptionalist point of view[44]
  4. Or wingnuts such as Glenn Beck who claim MLK was a conservative.
  5. This can be said for many other political parties, but authoritarian parties are especially abusive.
  6. For example, neoconservative pundit Jennifer Rubin laments that: "Some libertarians, including Richard Epstein, argue that an isolationist foreign policy reflects a misunderstanding of true libertarian principles, but in practice the overwhelming number of libertarians vehemently oppose U.S. interventionism and want to eliminate foreign aid and slash defense spending… Libertarians have gotten the notion that the Bill of Rights supplants the laws of war and protects, for example, American jihadists from being droned and data gathering to detect terrorism plots. In that they often seem to be mimicking the Obama administration's fetish with applying criminal justice concepts to anti-terrorism policy. Most Republicans resist that leap of logic and constitutional misinterpretation.[57]
  7. For instance, self-identified libertarian Glenn Reynolds ceased being anything but an authoritarian during the Bush era.[60]
  8. Or at least, it was the last until Putin invaded Ukraine and Xi Jinping went on a power trip.
  9. Brian Reynolds Myers tends to translate the word 민족 as "race". 민족 means closer to 'nation', 'our brethren', and 'ethnicity', and is not often used as 'race'. In Korea, the word "race" is closer to 인종 (injong) than to 민족 (minjok). It is true that North Koreans describe themselves as 순결한 민족 (cleanest [ethnic-]nation), but never as 순결한 인종 (cleanest race). Moreover, Myers is a highly biased scholar who regards most of the South Korean leftists as pro-North Korean ethnonationalists. (See Brian Reynolds Myers#Right-wing, anti-Minjok and pro-American biased viewpoint of South Korean politics)
  10. This is also an odd complaint, considering that weaker men regularly defeat stronger men on television, so long as they're the hero.
  11. Tumblr, famously viewed as an online stronghold for the social justice left and third-wave feminism, is also well-known for its very laissez-faire attitude towards porn, drawing the line only at actually hosting it. About a fifth of all Tumblr traffic is porn-related, and the porn and feminist sides of the site cross over more than you might think. Draw your own conclusions.
  12. The saying is frequently attributed to Bebel,Wikipedia but probably originated with the Austrian democrat Kronawetter;Wikipedia it was in general use among German Social Democrats by the 1890s.[90]
  13. Begging the question is a logical fallacy where someone assumes what they're trying to prove — it doesn't mean "raising the question"


  1. Faith-Based Fraud: Jerry Falwell's foul rantings prove you can get away with anything if you have "Reverend" in front of your name by Christopher Hitchens (May 16 2007 12:46 PM) Slate.
  3. LET'S PUT AN END TO 'HORSESHOE THEORY' ONCE AND FOR ALL by Noah Berlatsky (Feb 09 2018) Pacific Standard.
  4. Le Siècle des idéologies by Jean-Pierre Faye (1996) Armand Colin. ISBN 220001441.
  5. The Conscience of a Movement: American Conservatism, the Vietnam War, and the Politics of Natural Law: A Dissertation by Matthew Kyle Yates (2011) The Ohio State University, page 136.
  6. 'horseshoe theory', Noah Berlatsky, The Week (originally published in Pacific Standard), March 24, 2018. Archived from the original on March 24, 2018.
  7. BobFromBrockley. Debunking horseshoe theory. pplswar. Medium. March 14, 2019.
  8. Lindgren, James T., The Centrist Authoritarian (March 27, 2012). Available at SSRN: or”[1]
  9. Adler, David, The Centrist Paradox: Political Correlates of the Democratic Disconnect (May 01, 2018). Available at SSRN: or”[2]
  10. Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort by Chip Berlet & Matthew N. Lyons (2000) Guilford Press. ISBN 9781572305625. page 342.
  11. The Left or the Right: Old Paradigms and New Governments by Miroslava Filipović & Marija Đorić (2010) Serbian Political Thought 2(1–2):121–144. doi:10.22182/spt.2122011.8.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 ‘Horseshoe theory’ is nonsense – the far right and far left have little in common by Simon Choat (May 12, 2017 8.18am EDT) The Conversation.
  13. See the Wikipedia article on 1973 Chilean coup d'état.
  14. Let's Put an End to 'Horseshoe Theory' Once and for All: Accusing the left of fascism only helps the real fascists. by Noah Berlatsky (Feb 9, 2018) The Guardian.
  15. Saudi Arabia seeks 'unprecedented' beheading for woman activist: The accusations against a group Israa al-Ghomgham is part of include chanting slogans hostile to the regime and attempting to inflame public opinion. by F. Brinley Bruton (Aug. 22, 2018, 5:06 AM PDT / Updated Aug. 22, 2018, 9:51 AM PDT) NBC News.
  16. Chomsky comparing US and Soviet Union (Uploaded on Oct 9, 2011) YouTube.
  17. Chomsky on Socialism (Uploaded on Aug 2, 2009) YouTube.
  18. Leon Trotsky: The Revolution Betrayed
  24. Mounk, Yascha. "The Red and the Brown." Slate, 11 May 2018 (recovered 5 May 2020).
  25. Winner, David. "How the left enabled fascism." The New Statesman, 8 October 2018 (recovered 5 May 2020).
  26. Berlatsky, Noah. "It's time to abandon 'horseshoe theory'." Pacific Standard, 24 March 2018 (recovered 5 June 2020).
  27. Transgender ideology Feminist Wiki.
  28. Feminism WikiMANNia (archived from 6 Apr 2020 20:06:49 UTC).
  29. Political Orientations Are Correlated with Brain Structure in Young Adults by RyotaKanai et al. (2011) Current Biology 21(8):677-680. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2011.03.017.
  30. “Left-Wing” Communism: an Infantile Disorder.
  31. "My Years with Monty Python, or What's So Funny About Language, Truth, and Analyticity?" by Gary L. Hardcastle (2006) In: Monty Python and Philosophy: Nudge Nudge, Think Think!, edited by Gary L. Hardcastle & George A. Reisch. Open Court. ISBN 0812695933. Pages 253-264.
  32. Kremlin tries to build antiwar coalition in Germany, documents show: Marrying Germany’s far right and far left is a Kremlin goal, according to a trove of Russian documents reviewed by The Washington Post by Catherine Belton et al. (April 21, 2023 at 2:00 a.m. EDT) The Washington Post.
  33. From a 1948 letter from Orwell to Muggeridge, quoted in Malcolm Muggeridge: A Life by Ian Hunter (1980) Thomas Nelson. ISBN 0840740840.
  36. Avi Shlaim, "Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism in British politics," Al-Jazeera, Jan. 12, 2017, accessed Sep. 23, 2019.
  37. A bit of racialism from a leftist pro-Palestinian (but also antisemitic) Twitter account. Accessed Sep. 18, 2019.
  38. Far-right Twitter profile whose name claims "regime change wars are for Israel, not big oil," accessed Accessed Sep. 18, 2019.
  39. Communist leader proposes reinstatement of death penalty for terrorists: Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov proposed on Monday the death penalty be reinstated as a part of the Russian penitentiary system (17:54 29.03.2010) Sputnik International.
  40. Russian communists attack liberalism and abortion (April 10, 2012 at 1:27 pm) Global Communist.
  41. Gennady Zyuganov "…Zyuganov declared that national culture and morals are being deliberately destroyed in Russia."] (Webpage of Dmitri A. Gusev)
  42. The New Right & The Secular Humanism Conspiracy Theory (Political Research Associates). A popular talking point for Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and others]
  43. Communist Party of the Russian Federation: Party Platform See: "The peaceful development of the USSR was interrupted by the perfidious attack by Nazi Germany and its satellites."
  44. Texas Conservatives Win Curriculum Change by James C. McKinley Jr. (March 12, 2010) New York Times.
  45. Communists lay carnations for Stalin (December 22, 20105:15am). They openly call for the "Re-Stalinization of Russia. Seriously.
  46. Can the GOP be saved from its obsession with the 1950s? by John Aravosis (2/18/13 1:07pm) Americablog
  47. Obama's good for GOP, Boehner says by Mike Wereschagin and Salena Zito (Tuesday, June 29, 2010). Tribune-Review Live. "They're snuffing out the America that I grew up in"
  48. Zyuganov and Mironov: Back to the future: Communist party's Zyuganov and A Just Russia's Mironov call for a return to the socialist model Al Jazeera. Who'd have thought the commies don't like taxes either?
  49. Zyuganov and Religion: On the Current State of the Russian Communist Party by Roland Boer (31.12.12) Monthly Review.
  50. Amendment on Flag Burning Fails by One Vote in Senate by Carl Hulse & John Holusha (June 27, 2006) New York Times. Wanting to outlaw flag burning is common for wingnuts and commies
  51. Tennessee Tea Party ‘Demands’ That References To Slavery Be Removed From History Textbooks by Marie Diamond (Jan 23, 2012) Think Progress. Stop the lies about the Founding Fathers and slavery!
  52. Communist Party of the Russian Federation: October Is Forever. Stop the lies about Stalin and Lenin!
  53. Similarities and Differences Between Left-Wing and Right-Wing Radicals by Herbert McClosky and Dennis Chong. British Journal of Political Science. Volume 15, Issue 3. July 1985, pp. 329-363. DOI:
  54. Big Sister Is Watching You by Whittaker Chambers (28 December 1957) National Review.
  55. The Marxist and Bolshevik Roots of Ayn Rand’s Philosophy by Vladimir Shlapentokh (August 10, 2010).
  56. How Ayn Rand became the new right's version of Marx: Her psychopathic ideas made billionaires feel like victims and turned millions of followers into their doormats by George Monbiot (Monday 5 March 2012 15.30 EST) The Guardian.
  57. Why conservatives and libertarians are at odds by Jennifer Rubin (September 11, 2014) Washington Post.
  58. A partial list of pundits, politicians and media outlets who used Joseph Gliniewicz's death to push the 'war on cops' narrative by Radley Balko (November 5, 2015) The Washington Post.
  59. Privacy and Government Surveillance by Julian Sanchez (January 26, 2017) C-SPAN.
  60. Libertarians and the Republican Party — Irreconcilable Differences by Glenn Greenwald (Friday, July 07, 2006).
  61. Guided By The Way of Their Weapons: An Analysis of Theodore Beale and His Supporters by Elizabeth Sandifer
  62. Black women hate men and "do an [expletive deleted] job with their sons," white MRA lady JudgyBitch explains (July 25, 2015) We Hunted the Mammoth.
  63. Ted Kaczynski’s Manifesto Predicted The Catastrophe From Technology And Liberalism by Roosh Valizadeh (October 14, 2015) Return of the Kings (archived copy from 17 Oct 2015 04:48:36 UTC).
  64. [3]
  65. The 'alt-right' don't belong in the American conservative tradition by Jamie Weinstein (Tuesday 22 November 2016 13.21 EST) The Guardian.
  66. 66.0 66.1 Våldsam politisk extremism Antidemokratiska grupperingar på yttersta höger- och vänsterkanten (2009) Säkerhetspolisen. Rapport 2009:15 (archived from April 9, 2014).
  67. 67.0 67.1 The Pacific War: 1931-1945 by Saburo Ienaga, 1978. Pantheon Asia Library, pp. 121-122. ISBN 0394734963.
  68. The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves and Why It Matters by B. R. Myers (2010). Melville House. ISBN 1933633913.
  69. The single most important fact for understanding North Korea by Max Fisher (Jan 6, 2016, 2:20pm EST ) Vox.
  70. Enemy's enemy? The Trump-supporting 'alt-right' and North Korea by Oliver Hotham (Jan 19, 2017) North Korea News. (Behind a paywall.)
  71. Alt-Reich: North Korea and the Far Right by Bradley Jardine and Casey Michel (July 6, 2017) The Diplomat.
  72. "Federal Constitutional Court Issues Temporary Injunction in the NPD Party Ban Case." German Law Journal, Vol. 2 No. 13 — 1 August 2001 (recovered 17 September 2017).
  73. The Paranoid Style in American Politics by Richard Hofstadter (1964). Harvard University Press, p. 33. ISBN 0674654617.
  74. The paranoid style in American punditry: Richard Hofstadter's seminal take on right-wing crackpots sheds light on the current anti-Muslim panic by Laura Miller (Wednesday, Sep 15, 2010 12:30 PM UTC) Salon.
  75. America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren't by Stephen Colbert (2012) Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 0446583979.
  76. Stormfront or SJW?,
  77. Sheila Jeffreys speaks on beauty practices and misogyny (April 7, 2006) Andrea Dworkin Commemorative Conference. Sheila Jeffreys supports the radical right
  78. "Quick, while I have the TERFs and MRAs distracted, go solve all the problems!" by Jason Thibeault (March 3, 2014). The Orbit. Skeptics seem to agree on this actually.
  79. TERFs, MRAs and lies about trans people by Natacha (Tuesday, 23 April 2013) UnCommon Sense.
  80. SJWiki: "Trans-exclusionary radical feminism: Against the third wave." Recovered May 5, 2017.
  81. "The third-wave fight: TERFs vs. trans women." by moultingphoenix (October 1, 2014).
  82. "Hmm... these radfems aren't entirely wrong..." MRAs on Voat discover TERFs.
  83. Why Does Ron Paul Keep Defending Putin? by Mark Splinter (29 July 2014) The Skeptical Libertarian.
  84. The Unabomber: A Hero For Our Time CrimethInc.
  85. Fox News' Keith Ablow: Unabomber Was Right That Liberals Are "Psychologically Disordered" by Thomas Bishop (June 26, 2013 5:29 PM EDT) Media Matters for America].
  86. Dr. Keith Ablow's Political Hero, the Unabomber (28 June 2013) Respect the Blankie.
  87. "Fine Art: Heroic realism."
  88. Saunders, Frances Stonor. "Modern art was CIA 'weapon'." The Independent, 21 October 1995 (recovered 8 July 2017).
  89. Asprem, Egil & Dyrendal, Asbjørn. (2015). 'Conspirituality Reconsidered: How Surprising and How New is the Confluence of Spirituality and Conspiracy Theory?', Journal of Contemporary Religion. 30. 367-382. 10.1080/13537903.2015.1081339. Postprint copy.
  90. The Coming of the Third Reich by Richard J. Evans (2005) Penguin Group. ISBN 0143034693. p. 496. See the Wikipedia article on August Bebel.
  91. Edward S. Herman: Genocide denier caught
  92. Victims of the Srebrenica Massacre The Polynational War Memorial.
  93. Noam Chomsky's Denials of Serbian War Crimes (June 27, 2016) Balkan Witness.