The left/right divide essentially measures economics, you see. Whereas the authoritarian/libertarian divide measures the social dimension.
Both an economic dimension and a social dimension are important factors for a proper political analysis. By adding the social dimension you can show that Stalin was an authoritarian leftist (ie the state is more important than the individual) and that Gandhi, believing in the supreme value of each individual, is a liberal leftist. While the former involves state-imposed arbitrary collectivism in the extreme top left, on the extreme bottom left is voluntary collectivism at regional level, with no state involved. Hundreds of such anarchist communities existed in Spain during the civil war period.I know. It all makes perfect sense now, right?
You can also put Pinochet, who was prepared to sanction mass killing for the sake of the free market, on the far right as well as in a hardcore authoritarian position. On the non-socialist side you can distinguish someone like Milton Friedman, who is anti-state for fiscal rather than social reasons, from Hitler, who wanted to make the state stronger, even if he wiped out half of humanity in the process.
The chart also makes clear that, despite popular perceptions, the opposite of fascism is not communism but anarchism (ie liberal socialism), and that the opposite of communism ( i.e. an entirely state-planned economy) is neo-liberalism (i.e. extreme deregulated economy).
Actually what I do find interesting is how meaningless categorizing people as either "the left" or "the right" really is. Is anybody going to really argue that Stalin and Ghandi were two peas in a pod? Or that Milton Friedman and Hitler were separated at birth? But both Stalin and Ghandi are lumped into that "left" category and both Friedman and Hitler are lumped into the right.
See what I mean?
Gee, you couldn't possibly be suggesting that maybe, just maybe, all this polarized nonsense we see (particularly in the US, but also to a lesser extent in Canada as well) is all just ... nonsense, could you?
Also, unfortunately, it seems to me that most discussions of facsism's proper place often serve as little more than a useful tool in the game of scapegoating whichever particular political ideology a person disagrees with. It appearing that all most “civilized” individuals can agree on is how detestable the ideology, itself, is as witnessed by the fact that no present day ideology wishes to take credit for it.
At any rate, I am sure you will be very pleased to know that yours truly can be found right, er, left (??) about here...
Which, amusingly, puts me in the same quadrant as Ghandi. Begging the question, I suppose, of whether that makes me more similar to Ghandi and Friedman or Ghandi and Stalin ...
So. Don't be afraid.
Where do you call home?