Right versus Left

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Right versus Left

Post by hsargent » Fri May 09, 2008 2:34 pm

In American the Right politically means Conservative or Reactionary .... no or little change.

Left means Liberal or the government can solve all problems.

I have heard that in Europe and possibly the rest of the World, the inferences are reversed. Is that true?
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Re: Right versus Left

Post by Bobinwales » Fri May 09, 2008 3:48 pm

Not in the UK Harry, although the names change!

Right wing politics are conservative: left wing, socialist (small 's').

Extreme Right - fascist; Extreme Left - Marxist and beyond.

We have a party "The Liberal Democrats" which is the son of the old Liberal Party and a brief love affair with "The Social Democrats" (they merged) and calls itself Centre-Left.

You may be confused because those of us who do not belong to the Labour Party which is supposed to be socialist (small 's' again) believe that it is further right than the Conservative Party, which is definitely not left in any shape or form.
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Re: Right versus Left

Post by PhilHunt » Fri May 09, 2008 4:01 pm

The same in Italy.
Right wing = conservative, business orientated policies at the expense of social institutions such as health care and welfare.
Left wing = social policies at the expense of progressive business planning.

Italy is the country that invented the far-right, or facism and many of the current centre right parties are decendents of the facist parties.

Sargent may be confusing this with the the Green Party in Euope.
In England and the UK the Green Party is seen as socialist. In Italy it is very socialist.
In Germany the Green party has always been quite right-wing.
Last edited by PhilHunt on Mon May 12, 2008 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Right versus Left

Post by trolley » Fri May 09, 2008 4:51 pm

...and in Canada the "Green Party" runs on a platform of tree-huggin', peace-lovin', whale-savin', pot-smokin', land-protectin', sandal-wearin', why can't we all get along 'cause I love ya, man. Dude!
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Re: Right versus Left

Post by gdwdwrkr » Fri May 09, 2008 5:00 pm

"conservative, business orientated policies at the expense of social institutions such as health care and welfare"
is true from a socialist/governmental perspective, but quite false from a conservative perspective, as only healthy, active business creates wealth, and healthy, active business-people perform real health-care and real welfare.
It seems to me that the liberal view is faulty in that it is based on the concept of a fixed amount of wealth in the world, which must be re-distributed.
The most exquisite argument I'd ever engaged in on this topic ended with my pro-welfare friend saying, "Jim, people are not going to let people starve in the street." To which I responded, "You just made the perfect case for my side."
How much more efficient it is to give out of wealth.
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Re: Right versus Left

Post by PhilHunt » Fri May 09, 2008 10:04 pm

I don't want to get into an arguement over politics as I am not an expert on the subject and I'm bound to get blown away by people who are and have a perfect answer for everything. All I will say is that every time the right wing get into power in Italy this equation follows.

Tax on wages is reduced - but - the price of food and fuel goes up due to taxation.
Taxes on wages are reduced for high tax brackets - but - tax on lower wage brackets goes up.
Companies pay less tax on workers contracts - but - workers pay less tax into their social security. Most Italians are on contracti progetti, an invention of the right wing, which pays nearly no social security benifits towards pension, healthcare etc..
More urban projects are created such as road building- but - less funding is given to healthcare and schools.
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Re: Right versus Left

Post by Phil White » Fri May 09, 2008 10:21 pm

PhilHunt wrote:I don't want to get into an arguement over politics...
I often wondered what disingenuous meant.
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Re: Right versus Left

Post by gdwdwrkr » Sat May 10, 2008 4:00 am

Now you know.
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Re: Right versus Left

Post by Phil White » Sat May 10, 2008 12:11 pm

To get back to the question, let me offer this from Webster's Online Dictionary (not to be confused with the Merriam Webster).
In politics, right-wing is the name given to conservative-type politics of all degrees.

It is the opposite of left-wing politics, with both terms originating in early nineteenth-century French parliamentary practice. The monarchists tended to group themselves on the right of the chamber, while the constitutionalists or radical reformers would sit on the left. From this, "the right" came to mean support for a strong monarchy, while "the left" implied support for a more democratic government.

Today, the term right-wing is sometimes used in a positive sense by conservatives who see themselves as defending society, and its traditional institutions and freedoms, from what they consider the irrational liberalism or socialism of the left.

It is also used as a perjorative by leftists who interpret the right as defending the traditional power of aristocrats, royalty, established religions and the wealthy against that of commoners. In this sense, the term has also come to be used for nationalist or racist movements which promote the interests of a dominant majority, or in the case of South Africa a ruling minority, above the rights of other groups. Historically, the radical right has sometimes been associated with fascism or nazism, just like the radical left has with communism or Marxism. Of course, most groups on the left and right tend to vigorously deny any such linkage.

Beyond Left and Right

In many western countries, the Right is often associated with laissez-faire economics. However, historically free market economics has been classed as both right- and left-wing ideas, depending on the context. It was left-wing during the French Revolution, since it represented a fundamental change from the then-current feudal system which favored the aristocracy. It is also considered a progressive doctrine in the former Soviet Union, since it represents a shift of power away from the communist elite. Perhaps the best way to understand the difference between Left and Right is property rights. A clear example of this is their different stances over taxation, land usage, and similar issues.

Because of this confusing usage, some consider the terms Right and Left to be obsolete, and prefer to distinguish political views based not on their attitude to property ownership as such, but on centralized versus decentralized government, attitude to civil liberties, or the natural environment. Libertarianism, Anarchism, Feminism and Green politics all defy simple classification on the traditional left-right axis, though (fairly or unfairly) the former is sometimes associated with the Right and the latter two with the Left, at least in the west. There are also those who explicitly distance themselves from both the Right and Left by claiming to be "moderates" or, more recently, "radical centristss."
http://www.websters-online-dictionary.o ... tion/right
Seems to me to be a reasonble summing up of the situation.
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Re: Right versus Left

Post by Tony Farg » Sat May 10, 2008 6:08 pm

Have to come back to Bob.
Those of us who belong to the labour party do so because the labour party they joined was a socialist party before it was highjacked by Tony Blair and became "new labour" i.e. far right.
I still haven't cut up my card because I thought Gordon offered some hope. Oh well......
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Re: Right versus Left

Post by Phil White » Sat May 10, 2008 9:43 pm

I like to think I left after the first lurch to the right as many of the principles of the 1983 manifesto were gradually eroded and support for the miners was less than enthusiastic among much of the leadership. In fact it coincided with my move to Germany, so I never had to have the courage to leave the party as sitting chairman of a local branch.

At this distance from those events, it's interesting to look back at what the arguments were.

The Labour manifesto of 1983 is here (good grief, was it really that long?)
The Conservative manifesto is here.
And a very interesting wee article about them is here.
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Re: Right versus Left

Post by hsargent » Mon May 12, 2008 2:09 am

American History has not experienced the extremes that Europe has so we never extend our political definitions to include Socialism, Marxism, Fascism, Nazism, or Labour. You won't here these terms on this side of the pond except in History classes.

The Right does believe in Free Enterprise and the laws of economics seeking an equilibrium. The swing to equilibrium may be a painful process. The current example is the financial businesses going too far seeking profits through improper loan practices.

The Left had lead even the Conservatives into the government subsidizing the growing of corn for ethanol to address our shortage of oil. As a result, our food prices are going up due to the shortage of the crops that were lost due to the additional corn.

Along with this result, the net carbon emissions have increase.

Our Democratic (Left) candidates are pushing again for Health Care reforms. Our Free Enterprise Medical profession has run the cost up and limited who gets service but we do have the best in the World and any health issue can be addressed quickly (if you has the $$$).

America will lose it's claim as the economic leader of the World. I don't fear this. We will adapt to a more productive China and Europe. Depending upon each other's markets, why would we do anything that would result in lose of trade. But our over paid workers in some manufacturing areas will suffer the swing in the economic cycle and they will change skills or suffer greatly.
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Re: Right versus Left

Post by PhilHunt » Mon May 12, 2008 12:33 pm

Phil White wrote:
PhilHunt wrote:I don't want to get into an arguement over politics...
I often wondered what disingenuous meant.
That's not very fair Phil, I was very self-effacing about my political knowledge. :) I was trying to make an observation about what it's been like to live through 3 Italian governments in 4 years.

In Italy politics is so polarised it is absurd; almost comical. It is also absurd that Italian politicians are the highest paid in Europe. If they were doing a great job I could understand it but Italy is constantly called 'the sick man of Europe' by the Economist, that's when it's not coming under the spotlight for its politrically incorrect politicians. To demonstrate this, here is a recent story on BBC news about the new governments policy on equality.
There has been a lot of talk about gender equality in the run-up to Italy's recent general election, but as is all to clear from the line-up of TV magnate Silvio Berlusconi's new cabinet, men still rule here.

Out of 21 ministers in the new right-wing administration there are only four women, all given lightweight roles.

Most of them have so far won distinction more for their looks rather than for their political prowess.

The glamorous new Minister for Equal Opportunities, 32-year-old Mara Carfagna, is a former showgirl from one of Mr Berlusconi's television networks.

She also came sixth in the 1997 Miss Italy contest.

"You are simply gorgeous," an admirer posted on the new minister's website on her first day in office.

An MP since 2006, she lists her main hobby as "collecting pens" according to one of her profiles.
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Re: Right versus Left

Post by PhilHunt » Mon May 12, 2008 7:22 pm

Phil White wrote:
PhilHunt wrote:I don't want to get into an arguement over politics...
I often wondered what disingenuous meant.
After reading the American Heritage Dictionary I'm a bit confused as to what you really mean Phil. ??
The American Heritage Dictionary wrote:Usage Note: The meaning of disingenuous has been shifting about lately, as if people were unsure of its proper meaning. Generally, it means "insincere" and often seems to be a synonym of cynical or calculating. Not surprisingly, the word is used often in political contexts, as in It is both insensitive and disingenuous for the White House to describe its aid package and the proposal to eliminate the federal payment as "tough love." This use of the word is accepted by 94 percent of the Usage Panel. Most Panelists also accept the extended meaning relating to less reproachable behavior. Fully 88 percent accept disingenuous with the meaning "playfully insincere, faux-naïf," as in the example "I don't have a clue about late Beethoven!" he said. The remark seemed disingenuous, coming from one of the world's foremost concert pianists. Sometimes disingenuous is used as a synonym for naive, as if the dis- prefix functioned as an intensive (as it does in certain words like disannul) rather than as a negative element. This usage does not find much admiration among Panelists, however. Seventy-five percent do not accept it in the phrase a disingenuous tourist who falls prey to stereotypical con artists.
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Re: Right versus Left

Post by gdwdwrkr » Mon May 12, 2008 7:43 pm

Pen-collecting is a problem?
"Don't hate me because I'm beautiful....hate me because I'm more beautiful than you."
Who wrote the BBC article? A woman with a face for radio, probably.
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