There wasn't a world war between Trotsky and Stalin.
I understand and agree that Nazism and Stalinism had a lot in common, but the fact that the bloodiest war in world history was fought between them wasn't insignificant and did much to establish them as opposites in both the popular and the academic mind.
I think it's not so much that Nazis and Communists were together on the left as that the idea that politics can be reduced to a simple two-dimensional model is too reductive. You can find different ways to put different ideologies on opposite sides of the political spectrum, but there isn't one way that beats out all the others.
The Taiping rebellion killed between 20 and 70, repeat 70 million people. And hardly anyone in the West has even heard of it.
The falling out between Stalin and Hitler was merely an issue of methods for establishing a totalitarian state. They were both statists to the nth degree.
Don’t put them at opposite ends of a spectrum. It was a falling out among thieves. Do the gang wars of Mexico warrant classifying rival gangs with different ideological categories on opposite ends of some spectrum? “Academics” who do this with Nazi’s and Communists are shallow thinkers.
Classical liberalism held up the rights of the individual. Modern liberalism upholds the supremacy of the state over the rights of the individual. The redefinition of the term “liberal” occurred in the first half of the 20th century.
Democrats, Communists, Socialists, Stalinists, Nazis, and others of their ilk have no regard for individual liberty.
The Democrats have totally confused equality of opportunity with equality of results. They intend to reach the latter by employing the power of the state. The “state” determines what is “fair” and who is giving their “fair” share. Thus, they should be lumped in with other statists.