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Syncretic politics involves taking political positions that attempt to reconcile seemingly opposed ideological systems, usually by combining some elements associated with the left with some associated with the right. The term is derived from the older idea of syncretic religion.

Contents

Syncretic movements

Noted syncretic movements include Fascism and Producerism. Many lesser-known political syncretisms also exist; examples include the People's Mujahedin of Iran, which combines Marxism and Islamism, Common Course, a Danish political party which blended official communism with anti-immigration sentiments, the National Bolshevik Party of Russia, formed from the union of Leninist and Fascist aesthetics, as well as the Minaret of Freedom Institute, a union between Islamism and libertarianism.

The assassinated Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn and his LPF party are often mentioned as being syncretic[1], especially by commentators outside the Netherlands, since the LPF combined acceptance of soft drug use and equal rights for homosexuals, seen as rather radical left-liberal positions in most of the world, with a strong stance against immigration, which is usually a right-wing sentiment. Others have categorized the LPF as 'reactionary liberal'[2] and deny its platform constitutes syncretic politics[3].

Relation to centrism

Syncretic political movements and centrism should not be confused. Although both see their mission as eventual reconciliation, centrism attempts to take moderate elements from opposing sides and combine them into a stabilizing, moderate political force to preserve the harmony of an existing order that is under threat from partisanship.

Syncretist organizations, on the other hand, are usually involved in the construction of a new ideology from the most extreme beliefs of antagonistic movements and see themselves as revolutionary and radical threats to the status quo.

However, confusing the distinction, some have attempted to achieve centrist goals (i.e. modest health-care reform) using radical methods such as destroying the American two-party system (see Radical middle).

See also

Examples of potentially syncretic groups and ideologies

References

  1. ^ The Politics of Pim, Richard Goldstein, Tuesday, May 14th 2002. Last paragraph of the article
  2. ^ The twisty politics of a far right showman, John Hooper The Guardian, Tuesday 7 May 2002 13.12 BST
  3. ^ Fighting the Gay Right (Page 3), Richard Goldstein, June 13, 2002. Last paragraph. Notice the inverted commas on syncretic

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