Both communism and Nazism are evil totalitarian systems characterized by enormous power in the central government. It’s true that in theory, Karl Marx predicted the eventual withering away of the state and the “dictatorship of the proletariat,” when the people would rule, which was sheer fantasy because it was based on grossly erroneous assumptions about human nature, as history would repeatedly demonstrate.

But no one can deny that communism, in practice as well as theory, is a form of socialism, as evidenced, among other things, by the Soviet Union’s proud self-identification as a “socialist republic.” Likewise, Nazism and fascism, by definition, are socialist systems, with the state owning or controlling the major means of industry and production.

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.