<p>The political terms left and right are comparative terms that describe political views as: liberalism, collectivism, and liberty (left) vs. conservatism, individualism, and authority (right).</p>
<p>Since political ideology is a complex spectrum of beliefs and actions, the terms are best applied with nuance. They can be used to make absolute statements like Monarchies are right-wing forms of government in terms of power structure. Or they can be used to make comparative statements such as, a progressive Democrat is to the right of a radical anarchist. See the pages below for detailed discussions into the aspects of the political left and right.</p>


Factoids tagged with "Left–right Politics"

Mussolini and Hitler Were Fascists Fact

Mussolini and Hitler were Authoritarian Nationalist Fascists. Although they both pulled their politics from many ideologies, they are best described as Fascists.

Hitler Was a Socialist Myth

The idea that “Hitler was a socialist” is a myth. Hitler was a Fascist. Fascism has some socialist roots, but it is a unique authoritarian and nationalist ideology separate from socialism.

Fake News is Real Fact

“Fake news”, news meant to influence rather than provide pure information, it is real and as old as the printing press. However, only some of what is getting labeled as “fake news” is actually “fake”.

There is a Gender Pay Gap Fact

The gender pay gap is real. Even after all reasonable differences are factored out, an explained pay gap between men and women exists across the board.

Many Philosophers Were Historians Fact

Many past political, economic, and social philosophers were historians. This includes Locke, Hume, Keynes, Hegel, Ciciero, Marx, Mises, Aristotle, Kant, Smith, Plato, Machiavelli, Montesquieu, Engels, Rousseau, Hobbes, etc.

John Locke is the Father of Liberalism Fact

John Locke can be considered the father of liberalism. His theories on life, liberty, property, consent, and the social contract form the foundation of classical liberalism.

Voter Fraud is Real Fact

Voter fraud is real and so is voter suppression. However, widespread voter fraud is very unlikely to occur, and convicted voter fraud in the United States is very uncommon.

The United States Has a Two-Party System Myth

Despite two parties dominating politics due to a majority being needed to win elections, the United States doesn’t officially have a two-party system. Parties aren’t even mentioned in the Constitution.

All Action is Human Action Fact

As Mises said, “all action is human action”. In other words, although we form groups that can indirectly act through consensus, groups themselves aren’t physical entities (and thus they can’t act directly).

Athens had a Democracy Fact

Classical Athens had a type of Direct Democracy that included direct voting on laws and election by lottery, but participation was limited to adult male citizens who owned land.

Sparta Was a Socialist State Fact

Sparta can be described as a constitutional nationalist socialist state with an oligarchical republican government where societal roles were based on hereditary class.

Stability Breeds Instability Fact

Stability isn’t necessarily destabilizing, but as Hyman Minsky’s Financial Instability Hypothesis eludes: longterm stability breeds instability and diminishes resilience in economic markets, mainly due to psychological factors.

Marie Antoinette Said, “Let them Eat Cake.” Myth

Marie Antoinette never said “let them eat cake”. The idea of royalty suggesting peasants eat cake is an old myth that can be traced to Rousseau’s Confessions, a Spanish Princess, and even a Chinese emperor.

Politics Can be a Science Fact

Politics can be treated as a science (political science), but it must always seek data that can be confirmed by our senses (empirical evidence).

Frankenstein Can be Read as a Political Metaphor Fact

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) can be read as a political metaphor where Dr. Frankenstein and his monster represent the philosophies and attitudes of the liberal revolutionaries, specifically those of the French Revolution and ensuing “Reign of Terror.”

Lenin and Stalin are Real Names Myth

Neither Lenin or Stalin are real names. Vladimir Lenin was born Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, and Joseph Stalin was born Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili.

Communism and Fascism are Different Fact

Communism and Fascism are very similar in effect, but very different in key ideological aspects. Both are a type of socialism, but one is exclusive and one inclusive.

Blog Posts tagged with "Left–right Politics"

What is Reason?

Reason is the application of “pure logic”, empirical evidence, experiment, and skepticism to find truths, facts, and theories (AKA “critical thinking”).

What is Liberalism?

Liberalism is the political ideology of liberty and equality. Classical liberalism focuses on individual liberty, and modern social liberalism focuses on social equality.

Understanding Populism

Populism is a broad term that generally describes popular sentiment felt by the working class against the elites. It can look like social conservative nativist right-wing populism or social liberal progressive left-wing populism.

Lessons to Learn from the 2016 Election

If the 2016 election proved anything, it proved that the votes of progressive populists (like Bernie) and nativist populists (like Trump) matter in elections.

What is Guy Fawkes Day About?

We explain Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes Day, and the symbolism behind the the Guy Fawkes mask, the fifth of November, and the Gunpowder, Treason, and Plot.

Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances

Separation of Powers describes the way in which government is divided into different branches (ex. in the U.S., the legislative, executive, and judicial). Checks and balances describe the powers each branch has to “check” the other branches and ensure a balance of power.

Political Duopolies

We explain political duopolies by looking at the political duopoly in the United States of America and other historic duopolies.

Color in Politics

In modern history political factions have often been represented by color. Whether its Russian Reds and Whites, or American Blue-state and Red-state, this phenomena merits examination.

Separation of Powers Metaphor

The four “elements” (or “powers”) that form the foundation of government can roughly be expressed as: citizens, executive, legislative, and judicial.

The Birth of Modern Banking

Modern banking originated in Italy around 1150 as Jews fleeing persecution brought new practices, including “discounting”, to the merchant banks of the Italian piazzas.

What is the State of Nature?

The state of nature is the state humans lived in before forming the first societies. By examining the state of nature we can better understand the implicit and explicit social contracts which govern societies.

The Forms of Government (List)

Below is a list of the types of governments, including the classical forms of government: Monarchy, Aristocracy, and Democracy, and the many complex forms derived from them.

The Paradox Principle

In practice, human action often has paradoxical or unintended effects. Sometimes effects or side effects even have the exact opposite effect as intended.

The Historical Effects of Wealth Inequality

We examine political and economic inequality in terms of their effects on society, such as the social unrest that led to historic revolutions like those of Athens, Rome, France, and even America.

The Caste System Explained

India’s caste system is a class system based on birth. These classes, or “Varnas”, are: Brahmins (priests), Kshatriyas (ruling and military), Vaishyas (merchants and farmers), Shudras (peasants), Dalits (untouchables).

What is the General Will?

Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s concept of the General Will roughly means “that which is in the best interest of the people” or “the public good”, and not just popular consensus.

The Origin of Politically Correct

The exact origin of the term politically correct isn’t known, but its first modern usage is from 1793 and the related political argument over tolerance is as old as politics itself.

Types of Governments

We explain the basic classical forms of government and the many types of governments that can be derived from the classical forms.