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Heroes Community > Other Side of the Monitor > Thread: What's the difference between Left and Right?
Thread: What's the difference between Left and Right? This thread is 4 pages long: 1 2 3 4 · NEXT»
mvassilev
mvassilev


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted March 22, 2016 05:26 PM

What's the difference between Left and Right?

In many countries for the past couple of centuries many view political factions aligning themselves along a left-right spectrum. Typically, the left is portrayed as more democratic, egalitarian, anti-market, supportive of civil liberties, and cosmopolitan, while the right is more about tradition, order, people getting what they deserve, and the nation as family. But these generalizations often fall apart when we look at them more closely. For example, the Soviet Union is classified as left-wing, despite being authoritarian and very much undemocratic. Nineteenth-century liberals are considered to be of the left, despite being more pro-market than their conservative contemporaries. And even today in America we see the (apparently) rightist Donald Trump call for walls (both literal and figurative) to insulate Americans from foreign competition.

Do you think there's any general theory that explains the left-right spectrum?
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phe
phe


Famous Hero
Life and Freedom
posted March 22, 2016 05:32 PM
Edited by phe at 17:43, 22 Mar 2016.

mvassilev said:
In many countries for the past couple of centuries many view political factions aligning themselves along a left-right spectrum. Typically, the left is portrayed as more democratic, egalitarian, anti-market, supportive of civil liberties, and cosmopolitan, while the right is more about tradition, order, people getting what they deserve, and the nation as family. But these generalizations often fall apart when we look at them more closely. For example, the Soviet Union is classified as left-wing, despite being authoritarian and very much undemocratic. Nineteenth-century liberals are considered to be of the left, despite being more pro-market than their conservative contemporaries. And even today in America we see the (apparently) rightist Donald Trump call for walls (both literal and figurative) to insulate Americans from foreign competition.

Do you think there's any general theory that explains the left-right spectrum?

it's artificial and obsolete...some kind of oligarchic deal made 100 years ago...no big difference...they never say a single word of truth just to win elections...

Left is something that never should have been...and Right is Left now...both suck...

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Doomforge
Doomforge


Admirable
Undefeatable Hero
Retired Hero
posted March 22, 2016 05:33 PM

I'd say you can be politically left and economically right - and vice versa.

i.e. Third Reich was politically "right-wing" (nationalism) but NSDAP called itself nationalist socialist party and had a lot of left-winged economics mixed in.

And for a differnt example: China is politically "left wing", calling itself communistic, but economically is "right-winged", or at least has many perks associated with right-wing economy.

For me those things should be simply separated, however people universally assume that "left" will be "left" both economically and politically, which is not always the case,
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fred79
fred79


Disgraceful
Undefeatable Hero
posted March 22, 2016 05:46 PM

it's all a facade. they're sides presented to divide people and keep them divided*, and give them the idea that one group is any different from the other. their supposed agenda's might slightly differ, but one thing remains the same: power. that's why you don't see 3rd parties get nominated for president. but that's part of the illusion, too. the 3rd party was only there to direct you towards the left-right illusion. and when everyone is on the left-right "page", then the people are directed at the candidate that was originally to be nominated anyway. because the voters don't actually get a say in who's nominated. it's all rigged; it's all for show. to give the commoners the idea that they have a say as to who's in power. if voters ever mattered, they STOPPED mattering a LONG time ago.

*what really gets me about this illusion, is that people act like they can THINK any one certain way, and actually identify with ONE side(left or right). the snow's stupid in the extreme; and yet, people fall for it. because(and i've said all this before), i think, they WANT to. the left-right classification, to me, is a further extension of the illusion of civilized society. it's something that you're told exists, just like santa claus, when you were a kid. the problem is, this idea doesn't grow up, and too many people want to believe the bullsnow.

but whatever. nobody takes me seriously, and think i'm a nutjob anyway. anything to convince themselves that the illusions are real.

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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted March 22, 2016 06:12 PM
Edited by artu at 18:17, 22 Mar 2016.

How and why a political movement is considered either on the left or right side of the spectrum differs greatly according to the country, the historical context and (as doomforge already pointed out) whether it's focus is on economy or politics. The terminology goes back to the times of the French Revolution where monarchists sat on the right side of the parliament and opposers on the left. So first of all, while leftism is mainly associated with progressive politics, rightism is associated with tradition and conservative movements. That can be quite decieving though, since leftist movements now have traditions and taboos of their own.

Economically, the most general thing which applies is that while the right focuses on liberty, the left focuses on equality (of opportunity at least.) Taken to extremes, both of these choices will distort, even destroy liberties and equality just the same.

On cultural policies, the left suggests transformation while the right wants to sit on tradition. If we're talking post-Marx era, the left is internationalist while the right is nationalist, although neo-liberalism kind of changed that in a very twisted way. Also, in underdevoloped/developing countries or ethnical uprisings of oppressed minorities, the left can merge with nationalism through an anti-imperialist rhetoric.

Overall, most political movements are unique by context and they can not be reduced into pure leftism or rightism, most of the time.
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fred79
fred79


Disgraceful
Undefeatable Hero
posted March 22, 2016 06:31 PM

artu said:
Overall, most political movements are unique by context and they can not be reduced into pure leftism or rightism, most of the time.


i'm guessing you're not referring to the u.s. with this?

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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted March 22, 2016 06:41 PM
Edited by artu at 18:42, 22 Mar 2016.

Not specifically,no. But I dont think it's significantly different from the rest of the world in this regard. Except the spectrum itself as a whole is much more on the right side in the U.S. compared to Europe. Maybe, because of the polarization from the Cold War Era, a lot of Americans have a tendency to relate any welfare politics or state involvement in economy directly to totalitarian communism. I mean, Elodin used to call even Obama a Marxist. To anyone outside your country, that's crazy talk.
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mvassilev
mvassilev


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted March 22, 2016 06:45 PM

Additional topic for consideration:
It's sometimes said that the left wins in the long run. Those who say this point to the decline of the social importance of religion, the liberation of women and acceptance of homosexuality, the existence of the welfare state, and so on. But to what extent is this actually true? The Soviet Union collapsed, the nationalization of industry is out of the question in Western countries, there's been some economic liberalization in many countries since the 80s - all seemingly victories for the right. Does society inevitably march leftward?
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Stevie
Stevie


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted March 22, 2016 06:55 PM

Why do we operate in left-right duality considering how outdated and inaccurate the terms have become? It's meaningless.
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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted March 22, 2016 07:14 PM
Edited by artu at 19:17, 22 Mar 2016.

mvassilev said:
Does society inevitably march leftward?

Well, although history is never ever a straight line of progress, there is usually some progression involved because we record and teach our experience, improve our technology, get rid of dogmas as we learn more. (Doesnt mean catastrophic events wont cause social chaos in the future though. And when things get scary, people run away to tradition, extreme-right always appeals to the crowds when there is fear or major instability.) And traditionally, progress is associated with the left, rather than the right. So, if one thinks, with its casual ups and downs, history is still progressive in the long run, one can say it waltzes leftward at least, even if it doesn't march. In the broader sense of the term of course, rather than the economical.
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Salamandre
Salamandre


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Wog refugee
posted March 22, 2016 07:54 PM

In Europe, actually none.

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Gryphs
Gryphs


Supreme Hero
The Clever Title
posted March 22, 2016 08:13 PM
Edited by Gryphs at 00:26, 23 Mar 2016.

In the US the difference is night and day. Sure there is overlap in some policies I guess, but unlike in Europe our "right" party is not just economically conservative.It is also against a whole slew of what many believe to be human rights(abortion, homosexual marriage, etc.). A lot of people take their pick based on criteria like the aforementioned making them just that much more hateful of each other.
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Stevie
Stevie


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted March 22, 2016 08:19 PM
Edited by Stevie at 20:20, 22 Mar 2016.

Gryphs said:
It is also against a whole slew of basic human rights(abortion, homosexual marriage, etc.).


I recommend you retract that or be more mindful of your wording because not everyone here shares your opinion on those subjects and are not necessarily conservatives, myself included.
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Gryphs
Gryphs


Supreme Hero
The Clever Title
posted March 22, 2016 08:22 PM
Edited by Gryphs at 20:28, 22 Mar 2016.

Very well, I edited it. This does add to my point though because you don't consider yourself conservative but in the US you would be.
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Stevie
Stevie


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted March 22, 2016 08:29 PM

How does economically conservative apply to such a corporate nation? I can't understand the concept.
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Gryphs
Gryphs


Supreme Hero
The Clever Title
posted March 22, 2016 08:40 PM
Edited by Gryphs at 20:40, 22 Mar 2016.

I am unsure I understand the question, conservatism here is usually quite pro corporation.
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Stevie
Stevie


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted March 22, 2016 09:00 PM

And the liberals aren't?
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Gryphs
Gryphs


Supreme Hero
The Clever Title
posted March 22, 2016 09:06 PM
Edited by Gryphs at 21:18, 22 Mar 2016.

Never said anything like that. I still do not get what you were asking, or were you implying that only liberals are close to corporations?
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mvassilev
mvassilev


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted March 22, 2016 09:14 PM

To those who say there's no difference between left and right, I'm not just asking about whether there's a difference in their policies when in power, but also about them as cultural forces or "tribes". To take the US as an example, maybe the typical Democratic and Republican politician don't pursue significantly different policies, and yet there are real differences between their supporters.
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Stevie
Stevie


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted March 22, 2016 09:17 PM

I'll admit that the thought crossed my mind, but since you mentioned economically conservative, I was wondering what it was and how it would be any different from economically liberal, especially since we're talking about the u.s which is the biggest corporate nation around.

But maybe we're sidetracking, I don't care about it that much anyway.
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