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).

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.


Factoids tagged with "Left–right Politics"

There are Different Types of Tyranny Fact

There is a type of tyranny for at least every type of government. When special interests are favored over the general will and the rule of the law, it is a type of tyranny.

The Civil War was About Slavery Fact

The Civil war was about slavery, but it wasn’t “just about slavery”. Sectionalism, Protectionism, and States’ Rights were also factors.

Philosophy Requires Liberty Fact

To advance culture philosophically (not just technologically or economically) liberty is required. The major philosophical works came from liberal nations.

Policy is Different Than Politics Fact

Politics and policy are different aspects of government. Policy makers must reconcile policy (specific actionable rules) with politics (political ideology, party politics, and policy implementation).

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 Left-wing Socialist Liberal Myth

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

Fake News is Real Fact

“Fake news” is 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 labeled as “fake news” is actually “fake.”

There is a Gender Pay Gap Fact

The gender pay gap is real, and so is the gender earnings gap. Even after all reasonable differences are factored out, an unexplained 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.

Saul Alinsky Was a Satanist Myth

Saul Alinsky wasn’t a satanist, nor did he dedicate Rules for Radicals to Lucifer. Alinsky simply used Lucifer as a literary device to teach community organizing.

Your Vote Doesn’t Count Myth

It is a myth that your vote doesn’t count. Despite the electoral college electing the President directly, every vote counts. It just counts in complex ways that differ by election, state, and region.

Lincoln was a Republican Fact

Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican President. Lincoln, a former Whig (and then “moderate” “anti-slavery” Republican), favored social justice and federal power over states’ rights regarding slavery.

There are Different Types of Good and Evil Fact

There are different types of good and evil. The way to understand the types of good and evil differs by culture and text, but we can find general similarities by looking at major works and belief systems.

There Was a “Golden Age” of Islam Fact

The Islamic Golden Age lasted from roughly the 8th – 13th century. In this time, Islam helped spread, persevere, and advance science, wisdom, reason, and learning.

Blog Posts tagged with "Left–right Politics"

Political Ideology Simplified

Most political positions can be described using a limited set of political terms related to classical and social liberalism and conservatism.

Second Rights and the Second Bill of Rights

The U.S. Bill of Rights expresses natural human rights with no economic implications, a Second Bill of Rights expresses rights “that ought to be” but have economic implications.

What is Progressive Centrism?

Progressive Centrism, often known as “Radical Centrism”, is center-wing centrism (a balanced left-right ideology) that is progressive (wants change quickly).

What is Identity Politics?

Identity Politics describes identifying with a concept, or being perceived as identifying with a concept, and the social and political implications of that.

Modern, Historic, and General Social Class Systems

All nations have some sort of class system or class structure, generally based on wealth, birth, or status. We explain modern and historic social class systems and the general logic behind them to see to what extent they are natural and what extent they are convention.

What is the Deep State?

The term “Deep State” describes the part of government that stays around throughout different administrations. The ingrained “establishment.” A state within a state so to speak.

The Purpose of the Social Safety Net

The Social Safety net is a collection of welfare services meant to help people bounce up when they hit bottom, it is not meant as a net to trap the poor under.

What is Criminal Virtue?

Criminal virtue is a concept eluded to in Machiavelli’s the Prince. It describes calculated “criminal acts” that can help one get ahead in politics.

National Populism and Deconstruction

Steve Bannon eluded to a “National Populist” “Deconstruction” agenda in a recent speech. We take a look at the historic meaning of those terms.

What is Conservatism?

Conservatism is the ideology of governmental, cultural, and economic order, tradition, hierarchy, and authority that generally comes in classical, social, and economic forms.

Plato’s Five Regimes

Plato discusses five regimes (five forms of government) in his Republic, Book VIII. They are Aristocracy, Timocracy, Oligarchy, Democracy, and Tyranny.

What is a Polity?

Classically speaking, the term Polity means “a state” (a group of people under a single social contract), but it also implies an “ideal state” (a Kallipolis).

The Virtues of Political Correctness

The concept of political correctness can be understood as an excess or deficiency of a few key virtues. Here is a model of “the virtues of political correctness” based on Aristotle’s virtue theory of means.

What is a Republic?

We discuss Republics in general including the philosophy of republics, classical and modern republicanism, and real Republics in-action.

The Origin of the Tea Party Movement

The modern Tea Party is a progressively conservative nativist protectionist populist movement that represent a response to globalism and progressive social liberalism.

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, where classical liberalism emphasizes individual liberty and social liberalism emphasizes 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.

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 Attributes of Government

Different types of government can be said to be based on a number of attributes like power source, power structure, and economic system.

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 the historical effects of social, political, and economic inequality on society to see how it has led to social unrest and events like revolutions and populist uprisings.

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.

Plato Vs. Aristotle (Politics)

Plato can be understood as the father of rationalism and political philosophy (political idealism), and Aristotle, his student, the father of empiricism and political science (political realism).

Understanding Cronyism and Monopolies

We explain two types of special interests: cronyism (politicians working with corporate interests) and monopolies / oligopolies (the consolidating of corporate power in a given industry to one or few entities).

Federalists and Anti-Federalists Explained

The Federalists and Anti-Federalists were America’s first political factions. They arose out of a debate over the ratification of the 1787 Constitution and went on to form the basis of our current two-party system.

The Origin of the Political Terms Left and Right

The modern usage of the political terms left and right comes from the French Revolution of 1789 when supporters of the king stood to the president’s right, and supporters of the revolution to his left.

The Basic Types of Political Parties

On this page, we look at political parties from a historical perspective to better understand the underlying left-right politics all political parties are based on.

The Cycle of Oppression and Rebellion

Most groups, bound by class, race, religion, socioeconomic status, or some other force have faced oppression with rebellion. Here are tips on avoiding common pitfalls.

American Politics Explained

A simple explanation of American politics including an overview of US history, the political parties, and the political system.

In-groups and Out-groups Explained

An “in-group” is a group you are part of (genetically, culturally, or ideologically), while an “out-group” is a group you aren’t part of.

Book Reviews tagged with "Left–right Politics"

Plato’s Republic Explained

Plato’s Republic attempts to define “justice”, show why we should be just, and relate this to an ideal form of government which best fosters justice in the State and Soul.