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Do You Know Your Lefts And Rights?

Often in the socio-political sphere we hear the terms left and right referring to left and right wing ideologies. As a young greens voter I have often been called a "lefty" or "leftist" as an insult or as if it’s a derogatory term. The majority of those who have called me that are middle aged white men and it makes me laugh because a lot of them would not be able to give me a definition of right versus left let alone talk about the political sphere in such depth as I can.

Now that’s not to give a personal jab it is just another insight I have come across whilst studying politics for the last 5 years. The lack of education surrounding socio-politics can lead to people judging or looking down on others without really understanding the concept or matter at hand.

So that is what we're gonna talk about right now. Left versus right.

The phrasing was originally coined during the French revolution, when members of the French National Assembly met in the Assembly hall to begin drafting their constitution. These politicians ended up dividing the room and those who were sitting on the left were apart of the anti royalist revolution and the more conservative aristocrats who wanted to keep tradition sat on the right. Thus the origins of the terms began.

Throughout this time period and the French Revolution the newspapers began using these terms to describe the politicians. They coined the left as progressive and the right as traditional.

Years later we still keep to these original definitions very closely.

To be on the left wing means that your views focus on freedom, equality, progress, reform, human rights and environmentalism. The left is also concerned with the bigger picture how everyone can have this access and freedoms.

To be on the right means you focus on authority, hierarchy, order, tradition, reaction and a lot of the time are very patriotic, a tendency for nationalism.

Now there is also a middle ground, what we call the "centre". Typically these people will call their views "moderate" and that they are neither far left nor far right, they're views are somewhere in the middle. These centrist people and voters avoid extreme beliefs and take the intermediate stance.

While this term exists it also creates room for more terms. You can be a right leaning centrist; someone who typically supports liberal democracy, capitalism, market economies and private property rights but does not agree with everything the right faction believes in.

Left leaning centrist have a major focus on personal responsibility, what the individual can control with their own characteristics, achievements and talents. There is also the belief in social responsibility within areas outside of individual control.

Lets give some real life examples.

In Australia the right wing faction would include the Liberal party ( a name which is very. Confusing given their beliefs) and the national party. People like Pauline Hanson (ugh) are considered Right side extremists.

Labor party would be viewed as centrist now, in their beginning they were more left leaning but over time they have moved to a centre position.

Left wing in Australia encompasses the Australian Greens Party and Socialist Alliance. Many times viewed as having impossible goals, but in reality they're based in the foundational beliefs of equity and empowerment of human rights.

Senator Lidia Thorpe is an incredible example of an extreme left politician. She was a former Greens senator and is now Independent in order to push her goals for community further.

In America the Republican party is the right wing faction. Donald Trump (ughx2) is what I consider to be a right wing extremist with his radical views.

Centrists refer to parties like the New Democratic Coalition.

In the left wing we typically view the democrats as the designated left party but many argue that they are more centre leaning.

In England the conservative party aka the "Tory's" are the right side.

The Liberal democrats are centrist and the Labour party is the left.

Now as an Australian I have a better understanding of the parties here and where they stand in these factions but I do not have a comprehensive understanding of other countries parties such as America and England something to fixate on in future I am sure.

So that’s the left versus the right wing, faction, side or whatever you may refer to them.

Another product born out of the French Revolution tat still remains to this day.


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