Why Is That?

AS our next election looms large on the horizon….there are many questions that need to be asked and they all deserve an answer…..

I want to look at a little history.

Ever wonder where the whole Left/Right thing began?

Well boys and girls the Old Professor can help with that answer….

Depending on the country you live in, political opinion may be varied, or biased in one direction. In democratic countries, you obviously have the option to actually decide what direction your state should move towards via voting. And while a lot of political parties may opt for a safer middle ground usually more relatable for a wider demographic, there will always be the ones standing on, and for, the far right or far left.

But why do we call them that? It turns out the terms actually come with a rich history of their own and while they may mean different things in different countries and plenty of nuance on each side, a general classification comes from Scottish sociologist Robert Morrison MacIver, who in his 1947 treatise ‘The Web of Government’ classified things as such: “The right is always the party sector associated with the interests of the upper or dominant classes, the left the sector expressive of the lower economic or social classes, and the centre that of the middle classes. Historically this criterion seems acceptable. The conservative right has defended entrenched prerogatives, privileges and powers; the left has attacked them. The right has been more favorable to the aristocratic position, to the hierarchy of birth or of wealth; the left has fought for the equalization of advantage or of opportunity, for the claims of the less advantaged. Defence and attack have met, under democratic conditions, not in the name of class but in the name of principle; but the opposing principles have broadly corresponded to the interests of the different classes.”

Fascinatingly, despite seeming to be diametrically opposed on the surface, both sides of the political spectrum show manifestations of populism and may find a strong base in people belonging to each class of people from impoverished to rich.

In fact, there are proponents of the so-called ‘horseshoe theory’, which essentially says that the political far ‘left’ and far ‘right’ are, well, far closer to each other than they are to the ones traditionally holding the center. The reason for this is that the extremists on both sides tend to favour authoritarianism and totalitarianism.

There is more!

How Did the Practice of Calling Liberals Left and Conservatives Right Start?

Question asked….question answered….

Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

2 thoughts on “Why Is That?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.