Basically, the only difference that I can see between followers of Leftism and Rightism is one about information, and the attaching of value to such information in such a way as to deflect people from any real understanding. And while both wings of reform engage in this deflection of understanding via very manipulative techniques, the Right-wing is much more oriented to a kind of information which recipients are not allowed, much less encouraged, to question, much less enter in any meaningful dialogue about. That is, dialogue which isn't closely attended to ("edited", censored, or hidden) by website management.
Unfortunately, this is pretty "normal" set of affairs for both the Right and Left, at least in the more well-known areas. Followers on both sides are programmed with the most hysterical and alienated notions about each other, and usually cannot have mutually beneficial communications towards an attainment of both groups' desires, even on an individual level.
This is all very convenient for their "leaders" (the vanguardists of each wing). Their followers of both sides are hyped-up and cannot seem to penetrate the hard-headedness of the opposite camp's followers with what appears to them as "common sense". Thus, each side of uncritically trusting "leaders" are only very busy following their followers in order to coerce them into following them. (See Bob Black's discussion of this in 'further resources', below)
When you dare inquire, you start to see that the Right-wing leadership isn't really that much different from the Left-wing's leadership, in method, except in one key way:
Where followers of the Left are encouraged to engage in a type of dialogue (more like vent *at* each other, for insightful reasons) as such appears on Indymedia, followers of the Right-wing on the other hand, are to dutifully gulp down their leaders' pronouncements and so-called "analysis", without dissenting dialogue whatsoever, except in private, emailed comments (which only appear publicly if their vanguardists find them "useful" for their topical agendas)!! This is true for readers of "The New American", Grassfire.org, the John Birchers, and many others. There definitely isn't anything even close to the Indymedia project.
Wars Resembling each other
In my travels around the country I've been listening to various Right-wing radio shows, reading their media, and having erstwhile discussions with John Bircher types. And it's quite interesting to see how close the Left's media resembles the Right's media, on the surface. Like Left-wing media, there are constant pushes from the Right-wing media to reduce and mystify all dissent, with no push to understand contexts and origins of the various ideas or beliefs. At worst, people are labeled "stupid", at best, trying to hoodwink the other camp.
And all this would be really quite entertaining for those who have come to wake up to the meta games of both wings' vanguards and their "tit for tat" war games, were the reality not so heavy. You take a step back from the whole thing, and you can see something like armies being recruited, trained and deployed against each other, with the soldiers bearing the brunt of all the insanity of it all, while the generals (Gordon Liddy on the Right, Ralph Nader on the Left) sit back, relatively safe.
Since most people, especially including the most well-programmed (i.e. youth being groomed for carrying out public domain deployments) aren't encouraged (or allowed) to think beyond, much less understand the meta, they are largely fooled and tooled over and over again, for wars foreign and domestic.
It's pretty sad because this is precisely the type of stuff that keeps those who have been allowed to be "better educated" about this (via Ivy League schooling, usually) believing that you really are just "stupid" and deserve your fooled fates! (an analysis of this type of elite bigotry, starting with a history: http://www.zmag.org/chomsky/ni/ni-c01-s05.html )
This fooling and tooling of followers, at least in the Right-wing, is, in my view --at bottom-- a direct result of:
1) Not stumbling upon or being led to believe that "reputable", "legitimate" information exists beyond the two main "reform" agendas.
2) Being born into rigid, often rural communities which are highly ghetto-ized from other truths. (The reach of influence professionals in rural areas --especially-- via consciously conforming municipal librarians, pastors, police agencies, public school administrations, and "higher education" outside of the public sphere brings much light here)
3) Lack of serious dialogue between followers of each wing themselves. (There's plenty of *talking past each other*--with no inclination, no realizing the value of trying to understand the ideas behind the hype that most of us are conditioned with)
The Heart of the Matter
While followers of the Left and Right seem very very different on the surface, thinking these things through proves that we are often quite similar in the heart.
But the grip of ideological conformity, always mystified by emotionally-potent oversimplifications like "Duty and Honor to God, country, and The Common Good" really does have a way of silencing the dissenting tongue if such dissent understands how lonely such becomes (due to both covert action on the part of the political police, as well as people's fears to get kicked out of what little "community" they have going)
You see this especially pointed in rural areas where the entire society has been organized to submit to "The Way Things Are". Only those slapped in the face, personally, with reality are forced to stand.
Rural folks in Nevada, as detailed in Carole Gallagher's book _American Ground Zero_ brought this truth home when local influence professionals did their jobs in the "Business As Usual" domain. Only when a lot of people's kids were being born with all kinds of strange defects, did a lot of people begin questioning and challenging the "Conventional Wisdom".
Same with the folks living on Three Mile Island, as detailed in Lois M. Gibbs' book _Love Canal: The Story Continues_, 1998. Reality really starts to come home to roost on broader issues with interviews conducted by Bud and Ruth Schultz, and even Studs Terkel, and in the COINTELPRO Papers. But most people don't see how broad the issues are, exposed to seemingly un-connected "single" issues as they are.
The bottom line is that we are all to be divided up as much as possible and kept from engaging in coherency--that is, anything that can build bridges between wide varieties of people.
It is high time that the followers of both wings wake up to these currents which keep us perpetually at war with each other! We have got to get off our "high horses" of ego (no matter how much we think we deserve the superficial "joy" of "tit for tat" venting at each other) and realize the value of exploring beneath the spoon-fed surfaces of every issue and method we now take for granted as gospel truth.
The vanguardists of the Right and Left don't seem to want us to actually get together meaningfully. They don't believe we can, tooled by their "elite" educations (and sometime coercions, as Saul Alynsky points out in _Rules For Radicals_) as many have been.
When we dare beneath the surface via our own independent inquiry, however, we find curious truths which blow the lid off of the alleged impossible gaps (i.e. the notion of the forever entrenched "Us vs. Them" war) between the followers of these two wings of reform. This is a place we are not authorized to explore, and, in the writings of the most influential elites, are not "capable" of exploring.
Don't you think it's about time you did a little exploring?
A place that could help you (book and article list that inspired me):
Bob Black on leadership games:
Jacques Ellul on the menace of propaganda to democracy (excerpts):
Christopher Simpson: _The Science of Coercion_ (online: http://www.cios.org/mailboxes/comdev/10254213.424 go down approx. 7 paragraphs)
when covert action (i.e.: COINTELPRO) was still illegal:
the despised Noam Chomsky discussing elite thinking about the masses: www.intheheart.net/Chom1.html and:
www.monkeyfist.com/Chomsky/Archive/essays (see especially "Watergate as Small Potatoes", "Trilateralists", and "Menace of Liberal Scholarship".
John Stockwell, West Point Graduate with honors, highest-ranking ex-c.i.a. officer and highly-decorated whistleblower, Vietnam commanding officer:
"I was conditioned by my training, my marine corps training, and my background, to believe in everything they were saying about the cold war, and I took the job with great enthusiasm (in the CIA) to join the best and the brightest of the CIA, of our foreign service, to go out into the world, to join the struggle, to project American values and save the world for our brand of democracy. And I believed this. I went out and worked hard...." (from: http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Stockwell/StockwellCIA87_1.html )
Caution: email sent to me will probably not get through, so don't bother.