Few ideas are as silly or destructive as the idea that there is an "ideological spectrum" that has at one extreme Nazis and fascists and at the other end communists. There is no "far right" that connects in any way with conservatism. The communists and Nazis are not simply totalitarians, but totalitarians who believe in almost identical values. That is why Orwell in 1984 could describe an Inner Party that everyone understands but fits nowhere on an "ideological spectrum."
Moving too far in the direction of Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater never, ever leads to totalitarianism, but moving too far in the direction of Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi always leads to totalitarianism. All totalitarians believe in is power and all the goodies that flow from a monopoly of power. That is why the vast majority of German communists joined the Nazi Party after it came to power and why practically all the Nazi leadership was composed of Marxists and radical socialists.
There was a reason why the word commu-Nazi was once on the lips of pundits in the free democratic West. Nazis, communists, and fascists were virtually indistinguishable in their rhetoric, programs, and actions. All hated God, particularly Christianity; all loved statism, particularly highly centralized statism (the destruction of the individuality of the states of Germany was noted in 1934 as the salient political change wrought by Nazis); and all demanded the rule by political party and not by normal government.
What is meant, then, by the "danger of the far right" – like what we have seen in recent European elections, particularly last month in Germany and this month in Austria? If that danger is anti-Semitism, then we must grasp the grim fact that the notional "left" is anti-Semitic and has been for a long time. The Soviets were virulently hateful toward Jews and treated Jews worse than the tsars did. Iran, which routinely threatens the destruction of Israel, could be placed on the "far left" rather than the "far right" if we must subscribe to the illogical "ideological spectrum."
What about grievances to victim groups? Again, the Nazis based their entire argument for power on the victimization of the German people. As with all lies by totalitarians, there was a smidgen of truth in Nazi complaining. The Allies starved Germans after the Armistice to force better terms, and the Allies either denied plebiscites (in Austria and in Alsace-Lorraine) or ignored the results of plebiscites (in Silesia). But this minor oppression of Germans never justified another world war or a holocaust.
Why, then, do totalitarians continue to profess the existence of "extremist" groups on the ends of the "ideological spectrum"? If there is no ideological spectrum, then facts, policy positions, and intellectual integrity are the only arguments for asking people to trust anyone with power. We see in America some people who would love that to be the determining factor in elections and some people who would recoil in horror at that consequence.
What does the manifestation of so-called "far right" electoral successes really mean? It means that some politicians are brave enough to deny the consolidation of power in tighter and smaller groups, which means an assertion of nationalism (or in America, federalism) and a rejection of such farcical illusions as the European Union or the United Nations. It also means that voters are beginning to see the light, perhaps just before sunset. This "far right" means also the decentralization of power right down to the individual and away from the state.
It also means the assertion of historic values of Western civilization, and it means a defense of those values against totalitarians, which means radical Islam, Marxism, and all other groups who are intent upon the destruction of Western civilization. These political movements in Britain, France, Germany, and Austria, and elsewhere in Europe, are "extremist" only in defending these vital and noble traditions against the real mobs and gangs of our planet. We should hope these movements prevail in Europe and the rest of the Western world. They are, in many ways, our only hope.