A Slightly Different way to Look at “Left and Right”

This post doesn’t represent any special revelation: actually, there’s nothing new here.  All it represents is an attempt to paint a central issue of our day in a different way – in a way that might somehow make a connection with someone who, before now, hadn’t quite made or understood the connection.

About the differences between the ideologies we call “Left and Right:”

Have you ever noticed that the Left complains about the right for being too self-interested while, at the same time, the majority of their policies are directed at making other people do their will?  And that the Right also complains about the Left being too self-interested while, at the same time, the majority of their policies are directed at making other people leave them alone?

In other words, the Left is trying to control other people by making them do what the Left wants them to do — the way the Left wants it done, but the Right is trying to be left alone to do what it wants to do the way it wants to do it.

And that is how we get our political spectrum:

Tyranny (total control)————————Liberty (self-control)——–Anarchy (no control)

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11 thoughts on “A Slightly Different way to Look at “Left and Right”

  1. Joe, I think you just made up this definition. If you are trying to equate Left with tyranny and Right with liberty, you need to provide proof because definition in such terms exists anywhere in political science, unless you are trying to start your own school from scratch, that is. Tyranny may well be of the Left and of the Right, and liberty may be the same. If the tyrant is a rightist (Franco), you need some Leftism to advance the cause of liberty, if the tyrant is a leftist (Stalin) you need some Rightism to advance said cause of liberty.

    • Zalo,

      I suggest you are the one equivocating here. Franco is on the right — in Europe. But on the American scale — the scale I am describing — Franco is on the Left as fascism is on the Left. What’s more, I was describing tyranny as a function of control and liberty as a function of “the right amount of control.” Did you notice I listed the far right (anarchy) as chaos?

      So, I’m sorry, but I’m not going to accept your objection.

  2. Yep, that’s why I wondered if you are starting your own political school from scratch, which it looks like you are, based on your response. Well, good luck with that! But no, on a serious note now, can you even make any sense of what you are saying? Franco on the Left and fascism on the Left? If you would say such a thing to your political science professor in any college in America worth its accreditation ink, you would have been given a failing grade on the spot. Also you call anarchy as far right? Is this another original idea of yours? Is Somalia the most Rightist country in the world?
    Oh well, what can I say? You just admitted that you are basing your musings on the ‘American scale’ whatever that is. Which means we have to reinvent the wheel and come up with a political science of our own (Bakanism? Americism?), and that’s really a pity, as it adds to the total confusion in this country in regards to these matters. But hey, if we can say and write such things today, in the epoch of Internet and Wikipedia when all knowledge is just a click away, can we really blame or Know Nothing predecessors?

    • Zalo,

      Thank you for proving your ignorance. I DID tell my ACCREDITED professors EXACTLY THAT! And I got A’s and my philosophy degree, thank you :-D

      You see, NAZI — the model of fascism — means NATIONAL WORKERS SOCIALIST PARTY! SOCIALIST! ON THE LEFT!

      I suppose Hitler saying the primary difference between fascism and communism was that fascism believes in national borders and communists do not doesn’t help you either, does it? Well, he did say this, and that places BOTH fascism and communism on the LEFT!

      Try reading my definition of Left-Right. It IS an academically accepted definition (where do you think I learned it?)

      Zalo,

      You have been indoctrinated. Therefore, you do not “know” nearly as much as you think you know. Now, I will not hold this against you — unless and until someone tries to enlighten you as to the truth and you reject it. At that point, you cease to have an excuse and fall into the ranks of the willfully ignorant — otherwise known as the irrational. At that point, you rightly earn the contempt of the rest of us who still embrace objective reality.

  3. Well, if your professor accepted your statement that fascism is a leftist ideology, I’m willing to stand corrected, but I need to ask you for a reference, meaning any textbook of political science whatsoever (i.e. not a Glenn Beck product) which makes that claim. Will it have also any references to your famous ‘American scale’ and to your definition of Left-Right (which you claim is academically accepted)? If so, it would be a triple blessing. You see, I’m a student of political economy and political sciences but have never come across such definition so far, so I’m burning of curiosity to check out your reference.
    On a slightly different note, you seem to have a bias of making factually untrue statements like ‘NAZI [is] the model of fascism’. This is factually untrue because Fascism was developed in Italy by Mussolini, who had been in power for 11 long years of establishing a Fascist state and society, before Hitler became chancellor of Germany. You may say Nazism is the model of totalitarianism, or of antisemitism, or of whatever else you fancy, but not of Fascism. No Italian worth his ‘Mamma mia’ would allow you to get away with that.
    Looking forward to your references. Cheers!

    • Zalo,

      You do not need a text book. In fact, that is a fallacious demand (appeal to authority). All you need are a basic understanding of simple logic and the definitions. That is how I made my case to the DEAN of our philosophy department, and why he said my argument was eloquent and unbeatable. Here, I’ll explain.

      In AMERICA, the extreme Left=total government and Right=NO government. Socialism is to the left, as it is based on total government control (as is fascism and “applied” communism: communism as it is actually practiced). Anarchy would be to the extreme right, the Articles of Confederation just to the Left of that, and the U.S. Constitution slightly farther to the Left.

      NAZI, which is the very model for fascism, is an abbreviation for National Workers’ SOCIALIST Party. But Mussolini’s Italy is a better example, as Mussolini defined the movement and coined the term. Now, if you want to argue that Fascist Italy was NOT total government, then we’re done because that would demonstrate that you are beyond reason.

      Therefore, fascism belongs on the LEFT of the American political spectrum. And that is by definition, which makes it a deductive proof. It happens to be air tight as well.
      :-)

      Incidentally, fascism was actually invented by Woodrow Wilson. Mussolini only perfected it and named it. Get your history straight.

  4. Hmm..exactly what I suspected: you were not going to be able to bring me a reference (as there are none). And you keep reiterating your initial argument: that America is different, and cannot be compared to any other place on Earth. On such premises, any argument becomes impossible, as one side (you) comes up with on the spot definitions to which the other side (me) has no reference. Now, so that you know, if people are to engage in discussions and arguments, they have to assume some common knowledge by the two sides of the debate, otherwise there’s nothing to debate on. According to your logic, I may freely engage in all kinds of speculation (i.e. America is different because the Mayflower pilgrims were in fact aliens from planet Nibiru) with no appeal to authority, because to do such a thing (to appeal to authority) would be fallacious. Have you ever tried to repair your car, or do anything else in your daily life for that matter, based on such a logic?

    • Zalo,

      I need NO appeal to authority when I am dealing with definitions. You’ve now shown you do not understand the basic rules of logic and right reason, so I will leave you to your ignorance as I cannot reason with an irrational person.

  5. Yep, no need to appeal to authority when you set to define things yourself, which is what I hinted to when I said you are starting your own school of political thought, which I respectfully suggested you call ‘Bacanism’. That’s completely normal, and you have your undeniable constitutional right to do it. Then go and apply the same logic to your everyday life: if your mechanic tells you (obviously appealing to authority) that your car’s brakes don’t work, try to instill some sense into him by letting him know your brakes in fact are fine as your car doesn’t have any problems accelerating. And when the poor guy looks at you in bewilderment, tell him to his face you just redefined ‘brakes’ as ‘the device by which the car increases its speed’ and that if he thinks it’s the opposite, he is only deluding himself by appealing to authority. Have fun!

    • Zalo,

      If socialism is on the Left, and the NAZI’s were national socialists, then how do they get magically transported to the right? Do you think you can just attach the name “fascism” and they get moved? Ah, they are STILL socialists, so they STILL belong on the Left. Franco and Mussolini operated the same, exact way, so guess what?

      Yous ee, the one who is making new definitions here was the Progressives who redefined the spectrum. This is one case where you should get over your ad hominem objections and follow behind the work Beck is done. If you were rational enough to do so, you’d find he is correct and you are wrong — and that the proof is in the historical record.

      But then, you don’t care about truth, do you — only your political agenda.

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