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Old 3rd March 2012, 10:57 AM   #27835  /  #1
Exi5tentialist
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Left and Right - Definitions

This is a bit of an aside that I'm posting at the request of a member who wants to better understand the terms Left and Right and I like to be nothing if not helpful. Obviously Left and Right are political tendencies and the way people allocate these words is very subjective and therefore dependent on personal political bias, but if I were asked to define them in a sentence I would say as follows.

Definition - In general the Right is the tendency to protect the interests of the capitalist ruling class and is therefore regressive, authoritarian, elitist, bourgeois or petit-bourgeois in character, highly conditionally supportive of human rights (and often downright opposed to them), and promoting a spurious market-regulated libertarianism - policies pursued along these lines tend to favour the tendency of capital to accumulate under the control of a small minority; Left is the tendency towards protecting the interests of working class and salaried labour, and tends to be progressive, democratic, egalitarian and unconditionally protective of human rights and liberty, and is quite intelligent about tackling the severe failings of capital concentration in the market system.

Comment - I'm open to constructive debate about all this obviously, and if I can refine my definition then I will. I've noticed that a particular characteristic of the way the Right engage with politics is to deny the existence of Right and Left at all. In atheism, obviously you can get right wing atheists and left wing atheists, though I tend to find that the right wing atheists tend to put their atheism first and deny that right and left exists or seek to confuse the issue as much as possible with devices like the two-dimensional 'political compass', whereas left wing atheists tend to put their socialistic analysis first, thus leaving the atheist field clear for right-wingers to claim as their own.

Last edited by Exi5tentialist; 3rd March 2012 at 12:31 PM. Reason: edit political terms tendencies to just political tendencies
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Old 3rd March 2012, 11:54 AM   #27839  /  #2
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Is communism left or right wing?
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Old 3rd March 2012, 12:15 PM   #27843  /  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumps View Post
Is communism left or right wing?
Define communism
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Old 3rd March 2012, 12:17 PM   #27844  /  #4
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The OP was written by a leftest.
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Old 3rd March 2012, 12:36 PM   #27845  /  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exi5tentialist View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumps View Post
Is communism left or right wing?
Define communism
When you provide a stable definition of left and right wing, one which isn't:
Quote:
very subjective and therefore dependent on personal political bias
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Old 3rd March 2012, 12:38 PM   #27847  /  #6
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My prophecy came true!
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Old 3rd March 2012, 12:40 PM   #27848  /  #7
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It's pretty self-fulfilling when you fail to provide a definition.
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Old 3rd March 2012, 12:42 PM   #27849  /  #8
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Read my posts with the following stupid accent: Jilted John
using the wikipedia definition of communism, is communism left or right wing?
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Old 3rd March 2012, 01:03 PM   #27851  /  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumps View Post
It's pretty self-fulfilling when you fail to provide a definition.
Define definition
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Old 4th March 2012, 01:36 AM   #27923  /  #10
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It might be of help to keep in mind where "left" and "right" were first used in a political context. That happened during the French revolution, where the royalists sat on the right of the chamber and their opposition on the left. Many of the latter were not even democrats or liberals in today's sense of those words, and the definition has shifted ever since then to suit the occasion.

I consider libertarians as sitting on the right and socialists on the left, but each side has many colourations. The greatest conservative politician of 19th century Germany, Otto von Bismarck, was in terms of domestic policy also more of a lefty than his liberal opposition.
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Old 4th March 2012, 04:32 PM   #27958  /  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gib View Post
using the wikipedia definition of communism, is communism left or right wing?
Wikipedia has at least 12 definitions of communism. Which one are you asking about?
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Old 4th March 2012, 05:06 PM   #27959  /  #12
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Read my posts with the following stupid accent: Jilted John
the one you prefer
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Old 4th March 2012, 05:47 PM   #27962  /  #13
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There's no way that Wikipedia can ever offer any way of calibrating what I prefer.
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Old 4th March 2012, 06:30 PM   #27963  /  #14
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God is real
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Old 4th March 2012, 06:32 PM   #27964  /  #15
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Well that's more than you are
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Old 5th March 2012, 05:39 AM   #28111  /  #16
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Left-wing: The belief that all humans have the same rights, and changes need to be made to accomplish this goal.

Right-wing: The belief that some humans should have more rights, and the battle over who has more rights has already been fought so no more changes are necessary.

Moderate: The belief that both sides have some good points and some bad points.

Personally, I'm between moderate and left-wing.
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Old 5th March 2012, 12:22 PM   #28179  /  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick View Post
God is real
Phi is real.
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Old 5th March 2012, 12:23 PM   #28180  /  #18
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right wing wishing to preserve society.
left wing libertines wishing to overturn society.
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Old 5th March 2012, 01:16 PM   #28192  /  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zigmen View Post
Left-wing: The belief that all humans have the same rights, and changes need to be made to accomplish this goal.

Right-wing: The belief that some humans should have more rights, and the battle over who has more rights has already been fought so no more changes are necessary.

Moderate: The belief that both sides have some good points and some bad points.

Personally, I'm between moderate and left-wing.
Can you please expand? Is that a bit like SSE?

What's half-way between moderate and left-wing?
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Old 5th March 2012, 04:17 PM   #28204  /  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumps View Post
Can you please expand?
I'm not sure the idea needs to be expanded. If you look at the agendas of the right or the left, they fit neatly into the categories I've provided.
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Last edited by Zigmen; 5th March 2012 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 6th March 2012, 08:44 AM   #28292  /  #21
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The idea certainly does need to be expanded, you've made a very vague generalisation which doesn't set any clear lines as to what particular values rest in which particular field.

What political ideologies would fall under your definition of right-wing vs left-wing?
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Old 6th March 2012, 07:53 PM   #28317  /  #22
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Don't answer him Zigmen, it's a trap!
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Old 6th March 2012, 08:00 PM   #28318  /  #23
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Read my posts with the following stupid accent: Norton's Empire
how so?
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Old 6th March 2012, 08:02 PM   #28319  /  #24
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Hmm why comment on my last comment, oblivion? What's wrong with the OP?
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Old 6th March 2012, 08:15 PM   #28321  /  #25
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Read my posts with the following stupid accent: Norton's Empire
I'd like to understand a little more about how Zigmen sees current and historical ideologies lining up with his definitions.
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