But there's something even more telling. Communism, as conceived by Marx, was based on the perceived class struggle. Marx envisioned that the "workers of the world" would unite against so-called capitalist oppression. Marxism was thoroughly materialistic and rooted in class warfare. Nazism was probably not so virulently anti-capitalist -- at least in terms of its ideological emphasis. It was more racially and nationally driven.
So where does that leave us? Well, today's liberals see themselves as champions of the "working man" and enemies of corporate interests and the wealthy. Their political lifeblood is class warfare on behalf of the "working man" (read: labor unions). Redistributionism is at the heart of their philosophy.
When those on the left today call conservatives "fascists" or liken Bush to Hitler, they are betraying their contempt for what they perceive to be excessive nationalism, patriotism and militarism on the part of conservatives. But there's a darker side to their thinking. The left's worst-kept secret is that many liberals believe -- or would at least like the electorate to believe -- that conservatives are racist. So there you have it. Conservatives are nationalistic, jingoistic and racist. Point, set, match. They're fascists.
But it's as divorced from reality as it is sinister. Conservatives are driven by liberty and a healthy skepticism for centralized government. They aren't enemies of the federal government but believe it ought to be limited in its powers and scope, as contemplated and designed by the Constitution. They are the opposite of racists, aspiring to colorblindness and equality of opportunity and rights for everyone. We will proudly accept, however, the charge that we are nationalistic, patriotic and firm believers in American exceptionalism.
Liberals can definitely identify with communism, as indeed they have through the years, as in their glorification of the Soviet Union in years past and their romanticizing of communist dictators, such as Cuba's Fidel Castro. But they also have far more in common with fascism than conservatives do, given their penchant for centralized governmental power and too much state control over business and industry, as we've seen most strikingly under President Barack Obama.
As political theory and actual practice throughout history demonstrate, both communism and fascism are left-wing political and economic ideologies -- as far as they can be from the right wing of the spectrum.