Saturday, 25 May 2019

What do Left and Right Wing Mean?

Today many commentators say that the old idea of there being a Left and a Right wing in politics is outdated. I absolutely do not agree with that argument. The problem is not that it doesn't exist but that it is used to describe too much. In other words it is stretched so far out of shape that it doesn't look like it should.

The best way to explain this is to start with the origins of the terms Right and Left wings. In 1789 in France the King summoned the Estates General, the French Parliament. The King was bankrupt and he needed the Estates General to grant him the power to raise new taxes. However they had not been summoned for decades and they wanted regular Parliaments. This is what started the French Revolution because those who wanted change became impatient with waiting for that change. However not everyone did want change. Those men sat to the right of the Speaker of the Estates and those who did want change sat the left of the Speaker. Those on the Right Wing supported the King and the Church, those who sat on the Left Wing increasing wanted the destruction of those things.

In a wider sense the two wings also represent two views of human nature. On the Right that human nature exists and that we have limits. The Left, that human nature is flexible and that it may be so flexible that for all intents and purpose it doesn't even exist. That way of thinking leads to Utopian thinking, that man and his institutions can be perfected. That if he can be perfect then it is a moral imperative that such perfection be achieved and that it should be achieved as quickly as possible.

The Left Wing won the French Revolution and it has influenced every political philosophy that has come to be since that time. That means that Communism, Socialism, Fascism, Nazism and of course Liberalism are all strictly speaking Left Wing. All believe that human nature is flexible and improvable, even perfectible. All are against Kings and religion. All seek the destruction of such things.

Which means that while the Right Wing exists it is minuscule. It rules in no country and has very few political parties or representatives. We on the Right must accept that we have sunk to such a low level and that it is time to begin rebuilding. That we live under Left Wing governments and Left Wing institutions and that it is not time for despair but instead that it is time to rebuild. It is time to get back into the fight.

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