Who is the right and who is the left

Discussion in 'Politics' started by miami_thomas, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. miami_thomas
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    miami_thomas VIP Member

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    After a discussion yesterday I realized that some don’t really know what right and left truly mean. So I decided to do a little explaining to help those that don’t really know.

    Both the terms right and left come from the French revolution. The nobles sat to the president’s right and the commons sat to the left of the president. So born were the terms left and right. Of course the terms don’t mean that the right wants noble rule and the left want citizen control. Actually it is that the right is conservative or reactionary and the left wants radical reform.

    Reactionary meaning they want things the way they were before. They don’t want change as they think things were good the way they were. And conservatives meaning wanting either no or minimal changes to society as it exists today. So in the sense of the French they wanted to keep noble men and stay the way things were. In the US they want to stay with capitalism the free market. They want to keep with what the US was.

    Radical reform meaning they want things to change. They don’t want what we currently have. They are interested in change. So during the French revolution they were the ones wanting to go away from the noble leadership and move to a new form of government. So in the sense of the US the revolutionaries from Brittan would have been considered the left. Today those on the left want to reform the US system from what it is today so changing from capitalism or the free market.

    You can probably see why it is confusing since the definitions really changes depending on what is current. The fact is the right wants thing the way they were before and want little to no change and the left want reform or radical change. I hope this helps with those that were confused.
     
  2. martybegan
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    martybegan Gold Member

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    The issue is that the traditional left and right spectrums lump multiple viewpoints on different topics, and assume that each person has a consistent set of viewpoints based on if they are left or right. In the current political atmosphere this is becoming less and less common.

    Lets use economics as an example. Someone on the "left" usually favors government regulation or even control of the means of economic production, while someone on the "right" favors self regulation of the economy, with only minimal government input to provide a "referee" for disuputes between private parties.

    On social issues, Somone on the "left" favors things like gay rights, gun control, the welfare state, universal government medical care, and speech codes against things like racist speech, while people on the "right" would basically oppose all of those.

    The problem then becomes most people are not that monolithic to fall into these catagories 100%.
     
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  3. miami_thomas
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    miami_thomas VIP Member

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    Again anyone on the right wants what was and the left wants to change. So the left encompass pretty much everyone who wants big changes. That is why it is so hard to see what all the left wants. Everyone who wants to change from the current system is on the left. Problem is that everyone that wants change does not want the same change.
     
  4. martybegan
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    martybegan Gold Member

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    Not 100% true. Nazism is seen as the most extreme form of "the right" (i know some people consider it left, but lets assume for arguement's sake.), and the system they implemented was a change from what was current (wiemar) and what exisited previously (The Hohenzollern Monarchy.)

    The current model of american government, which was started during the new deal has been in force for so long, that one would think those on the Right are going for "change" even if it is change to what was before, or what people think was before.
     
  5. miami_thomas
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    miami_thomas VIP Member

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    Not by people that know what they are talking about. The right wants what was or what is with little change. The left wants radical change. Nazi when it first came to power would have been left. Once it was in power and had been in power for a while it would have been right. Question is were they in power long enought to be truly considered right?

    I agree that is the problem. Libertarians and constitutionalist could be considered left very
    easily. And I know a lot of libertarians that are democrats and left. They want change. Problem with the two party systems is there are only two choices. The right or republican is stay the same or back to what was and the democrat party is the left and for radical change. The problem is many are mixed in with those parties that don’t want the same things as the other parties. I mean really democrats have libertarians and communists in the same party. Can you get any further apart yet they are in the same party. And people wonder why things are in such a mess. How do you make all those people happy?
     
  6. martybegan
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    martybegan Gold Member

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    You seem to be really locked into typecasting "left" and "right", when in actuallity these terms are obsolete, and can only be used in general to describe tendencies.

    For the keeping people happy part, you have to go with President Lincoln:

    "You can please some of the people all the time, all of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time"

    To me the current split is mainly between statists (those who see government control as the solution to all problems) and libertarians (those who see government as the cause of all problems).
     
  7. Mr.Nick
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    Mr.Nick VIP Member

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    You ever hear of the Magna Carta from 1215??

    That was when "liberalism" was born..

    Magna Carta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    You really need to learn, what you think you know is wrong.

    Your present day "leftists" are actually on the right and your present day republicans are on the left...

    The Bill of Rights is a liberal document - Its roots are in the Magna Carta.....
     
  8. Mr.Nick
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    Mr.Nick VIP Member

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    I don't like to use "left" or "right" either... Liberal, libertarian, centrist, statist, authoritarian, totalitarian are much more accurate descriptions of where one falls...
     
  9. miami_thomas
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    miami_thomas VIP Member

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    If republicans want radical change, then they are on the left. You could certainly argue that as now we want huge cuts in programs that have been around since the 40s. So yes I would agree. No one seems interested in staying where we are currently. So Yes I would argue right now there probably is no right.
     

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