Michael Patrick Cullinane, Reader in US History, Northumbria University, Newcastle
As the 20th century wore on, the extremes of left and right proved to be remarkably similar; fascists and communists, for instance, were equally proficient in the ways and their means of authoritarianism. We might think political ideologies cover a linear spectrum ranging from left to right, but a more suitable symbol is the horseshoe – the far-left and far-right ideologies residing at the tips, rather closer together than they might care to admit.
Why is this history lesson worth remembering today? Although the media report endlessly on Trump and the alt-right, they often neglect those on the far left. The far left shows similar signs of authoritarianism as the far right, and offers a radical plan to restructure society and international relations.