The spectrum of left-wing politics has a broad range from far left to center-left. The term far left can be best defined as a radical position and center-left are within the political mainstream. In many countries, the term ‘far left’ has been associated with anarchism, autonomism as well as communism. France makes the distinction between the socialist party and the communist party while China refer the term ‘Chinese New Left’ as those opposing economic reforms.
Similarities of Left and White Wing Politics
Society often debate about leftwing and right wing beliefs. The overall consensus is the belief that a country should provide for its citizens. McClosky and Chong found that left and right wing politics had striking similarities. They explain, “Although some scholars have argued that authoritarianism is characteristic only of the right and not of the left, persuasive reasons exist for doubting this claim. Intuitive observation of left-wing and right-wing regimes as well as radical political movements of the left and right reveals striking parallels in their styles of political engagement, their reliance upon force, their disdain for democratic ideals and practices and their violations of civil liberties.”(2) Far left and far right have similarities in that they both pursue political their personal political goals. Both are censored and often sacrifice the well-being of innocent citizens to serve their agenda. Both parties use cruel tactics if needed, but the tend to support civil liberties in a self-serving fashion. In short, McClosky and Chong summarizes, “In sum, when the views of the far left and far right are evaluated against the standard left–right ideological dimension, they can appropriately be classified at opposite ends of the political spectrum. But when the two camps are assessed on questions of political and psychological style, the treatment of political opponents, and the tactics that they are willing to employ to achieve their ends, the display many parallels that can rightly be labeled authoritarian.”(2) Basically, left wing beliefs are usually progressive where right wing beliefs are traditional. The left wings usually aim to support whereas right wing believe in economic freedom. Left wings prefer taxation as a means of redistributing taxes and wealth and right wings believe that wealthy citizens should not have to pay for someone else’s healthcare or education.
(1) Clark, B. S. (1998). Political economy: A comparative approach. ABC-CLIO.
(2) McClosky, H., & Chong, D. (1985). Similarities and differences between left-wing and right-wing radicals. British Journal of Political Science, 15(03), 329-363.
The economic beliefs are derived from Keynesian economic practices to the welfare state via industrial democracy and the social market to nationalization of central planning and economy. In the 20th century, the Left was focused on the policy that advocates extensive intervention of the government in the economy. Center-left and Social Democrats were influenced by the third-way ideology.
Other leftists have strong belief in Marxian economics. Marxists described what the viewed temporary of the state between capitalist and communist society as proletariat and workers’ state. According to Barry Clark:
Leftists... claim that human development flourishes when individuals engage in cooperative, mutually respectful relations that can thrive only when excessive differences in status, power, and wealth are eliminated. According to leftists, a society without substantial equality will distort the development of not only deprived persons, but also those whose privileges undermine their motivation and sense of social responsibility. This suppression of human development, together with the resentment and conflict engendered by sharp class distinctions, will ultimately reduce the efficiency of the economy.(1)
In politics, left-wing referred those who sat to the left of the president’s chair in parliament. These were the anti-monarchists, the Jacobin and Montagnard deputies from the Third Estate. This habit began in 1789 with the Estates General. In 19th century France, the primary division of left and right was supporters of French Republic and the Monarchy. The left-wing attempted to assert themselves after the 1848 Revolution with the June Days Uprisings. However, their di have much support in this uprising.
In the middle of the 19th century, anti-clericalism, nationalism, democracy, and socialism became staples the left-wing disposition. Marxism began to rival radical republicanism and utopian socialism as a result of Napoleon III’s 1851 coup and establishment of the Second Empire. In their Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels assert that all human history in the history of struggles between social class. They both predict that a proletarian revolution would eventually overthrow bourgeois capitalism and create a society without class, state, and post-monetary.
Many leftists, trade unionists, and progressives in the United States were influenced by the work of Thomas Paine. He introduced the concept of asset-based egalitarianism. This theory says that social equality is possible by the redistribution of resources.
The International Workingmen’s Association, also referred to as the First International, is constructed of delegates from many different countries with independent views about the road to classless and stateless society. Anarchists, following the separation of Marx and Bakunin, supporters formed the International Workers’ Association. World War 1 divided The Second International.
“The Left” is a phrase used to describe the supporters of the trade union, after the United States Reconstruction. Left-wing and Right-wing have often been used synonymously with Democratic and Republican, also synonymous with liberalism and conservatism. Respectively.
Left Wing Politics
Left-wing politics is positions and/or activities that support and/or accept social equalities and egalitarianism. Most times, this is in opposition to social inequality and hierarchy. Typically, this involves concern for societal segments that are perceived to be of lower economic relevance than others. Left-wing politicians also believe in unjustifiable inequalities and their reduction/abolishment. In short, left-wing politics is political activities or positions that acknowledge or support social equality while opposing social inequality and hierarchy.
The terms Left and Right in politics were created during the French Revolution, derived from seating positions of the Estates General. Those who were in opposition to the monarchy sat on the left and those supportive of the old regime sat on the right. The term Left was given to the Independents after the French monarchy restoration. Left-wing now is applied to civil rights, anti-war, feminist, and environmental movements.