WHAT IS MEANT BY THE POLITICAL ‘RIGHT WING’ AND ‘LEFT WING’?

By Dr. Lawrence Wilson

© January 2016, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.

 

DEFINITION OF POLITICS

 

(from the Cambridge Dictionaries Online):

1. The activities of the government, politicians or political parties, or the study of these activities.  Example: She got involved in local politics.

2. A person’s opinions about how the nation should be governed.  Example: His politics are becoming more conservative.

3. The activities of a person or a party that is trying to gain an advantage or power within a group or organization.  Example: I don’t get involved in office politics.

 

THE TWO BASIC POLITICAL QUESTIONS

 

An excellent way to understand politics is to know that it has to do with two basic questions:

 

1. Who will make the major decisions in society?

The basic answer is that either:

A. The government/leaders make the major decisions, OR

B. Individuals make their own decisions.  In politics, these two extremes are called authoritarian or totalitarian if the government makes the major decisions.  If individuals make more of their own decisions about health, education, and other areas of life, it is called libertarian, classical liberal, or the freedom philosophy.

A very extreme “freedom” idea is to have no government at all.  This is called anarchy.  There are no rules or laws at all.  This does not work well. 

 

2. What is the basis for those decisions?  Decisions are based either upon:

A. A religious or racial ideology or system of thinking and behavior.  This is called right wing.

B. A secular ideology or way of thinking such as the economic theory of Karl Marx.  This is called left wing.

 

The answers to the two questions above can be represented visually on a chart called the The Political Spectrum Chart.  It is shown below.

The vertical axis of the chart describes who makes the major decisions in people’s lives.  The horizontal axis describes how decisions are made, or on what basis they are made 

            This article discusses the horizontal axis of the chart, which goes from left to right.

A separate article, Basic Politics, discusses the vertical axis of the chart, which goes from authoritarian above, to anarchy below.

 

THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM CHART

 

Non-religious                                                    Religious

 

Extreme Left

Moderate

Left

Center

Moderate

Right

Extreme

Right

 

 

 

AUTHORITARIAN  or TYRANNY

Totalitarian Rule = total government control

 

 

Communist or Marxist Dictator, such as North Korea or Cuba, Joseph Stalin

 

One Ruler or dictatorship or monarchy = Rule by a king or queen

Adolf Hitler

 

Religious Leader, such as ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram

Communist Party Rule, such as Red China, Russia

 

One Party or Family Rule or Oligarchy

 

Religious Party Rule such as Iran

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Socialism and modern liberals and progressives

Social Democracies.

Modern European nations, such as France, Germany, etc.

 

The State Of Israel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Constitutional Republic

The United States of America

Conservative Christians and Orthodox Hebrews

 

 

Modern Libertarians

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANARCHY =

No government at all

 

 

 

 

NOTE: Not everyone agrees with the chart above.  For example, Dennis Prager, an excellent radio talk show host, uses somewhat different definitions of left and right.

The right wing, he says, are the Christians, orthodox Hebrew people, and others with a more religious orientation.  This perspective is simpler, but I do not think it is accurate enough, and it does not explain the political systems of all the nations and groups on earth.

 

EXPLANATION OF THE CHART -

 

THE RIGHT WING

 

            Political groups or doctrines that are on the right tend to be religious in nature.  This is their defining quality.  For this reason, they are sometimes called the religious right.  One can divide them into extreme right wing and moderate right wing. 

 

The extreme right wing. These are groups or nations that want to force everyone to live in a religiously-controlled state.  Anyone who does not submit to the will of the religious leader must be killed.

 

The moderate right wing.  These are groups or nations that desire to live according to the tenets of a religion.  However, they do not want to force their religion upon others.

One of their tenets is that they do not want secular governments trampling on their religious beliefs.  They want to live in peace, and will, in turn, leave others alone to live in peace.  They practice the Golden Rule, in other words – do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  This is a central belief in Judaism and Christianity.

Those in the moderate right tend not to be nearly as authoritarian as the extreme right or extreme left.  However, they are frequently portrayed as very authoritarian by the mass media, which does not tend to favor individual freedom.

 

EXAMPLES OF NATIONS “ON THE RIGHT”

 

Extreme right-wing groups or nations:

 

Present-day Iran, along with ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah and Boko Haram.  A good example of an extreme right wing group is ISIS, which stands for the Islamic State In Syria.  Other extreme right wing groups are Hamas in the Gaza Strip of Israel, Boko Haram in Africa, and Hezbollah in Lebanon.  The entire nation of Iran is also currently a religiously-controlled nation.

These groups are not shy about using violence in their attempt to bring everyone in the world under the control of their god, Allah.

 

            Nazi Germany.  Seventy-five years ago, Hitler’s Nazi Germany was considered in the center or perhaps “on the right” because Hitler declared himself to be the Fuhrer.  This is a German word that means the supreme leader or guide.  Hitler tried to get rid of the Christian religion and replace it with his own “religion” of Nazism.

 

A moderate right-wing nation:

 

The United States of America.  Most of the founders of America were religious men and women who had come to America to get away from authoritarian or dictatorial European governments.

They sought to set up a system of government that was based on Biblical principles such as the Ten Commandments Of Moses and the Golden Rule.  They sought to set up a society that would respect their right of each person to live as he wished, provided each allows the same freedom to others.  Each person could worship as he pleased, or not worship at all.

The USA is not on the extreme right because an official “government religion” was prohibited by the US Federal Constitution.  This was done to prevent religious tyranny that always occurs in religiously-controlled nations and groups.

All religions and atheists, as well, are welcome in the United States, provided each group respects the right of everyone else to worship exactly as they please.

 

DELIBERATE CONFUSION

 

 The American and European media often say that Christian people are on the right or extreme right wing.  As you can see from the chart above, this is not accurate.  The Christian population in America are mainly centrists and conservatives who believe in a republic or democratic government, not a religious one.

In addition, all American Christians are not alike.  Some called fundamentalist Christians or Bible Christians tend to be more on the right, politically.  Others, including the New Age churches and some mainline Protestant denominations, are much more centrist or even somewhat to the left.

Hebrew people are also not at all alike.  Orthodox Hebrews tend to be on the right, politically.  However, so-called conservative or reform Hebrew people are much more centrist or lean to the left.

The Christians and most Hebrews are to the right of the communists and many modern-day liberals, but they are not the extreme right.  The real right wing forces are ISIS, Iran, and other Islamic groups. 

Calling the Christian population the right is done on purpose, and has at least three purposes:

1. The left-leaning media want people to believe that they – the  liberals, progressives, Democrats, social democrats, communists and socialists, are in the middle or the center of the political spectrum.  This is a complete lie.

However, they would like to shift the political spectrum so that it appears that the socialists, liberals and communists are in the middle, not on the extreme left.  This way they can more easily marginalize and eventually exclude Christians and other religious groups from political participation.

2. Calling Christians the “extreme right wing” is a tactic to discredit and denigrate them.

3. The intent is also to scare the rest of the population so they will fear the Christians.  They hope people will then stay away from them and their religion of love and peace.

 

 

THE LEFT WING

 

Groups that are on the left or left wing are those that are secular and often violently opposed to organized religions.  The main left-wing groups are the Marxists, communists, socialists, progressives and modern-day liberals.

Extreme environmentalists and green parties in Europe also tend to be left-wing in nature.  They all tend to reject free market economics, Christianity and Judaism.  Their “religion” is often environmentalism.

Communism and Marxism are the same.  They are groups or individuals who subscribe to the economic and political doctrines of Karl Marx.  He was a German philosopher who lived about 150 years ago.

He believed that an economic struggle for survival is the most important dynamic in society.  He believed that the rich and the poor will always hate each other and struggle against each other for survival. Meanwhile, he believed that “religion is the opiate of the people”.

The only solution, he said, is for a powerful secular government to take over control of the factories and farms, and impose peace between the economic classes.

Marx’s theory has been proven wrong over and over again.  However, it is still the “model” or rationale to impose a totalitarian central government “for the good of the people”.

Socialism is a simpler doctrine and simply means government ownership of the means of production (farms, factories, etc).  Socialism is similar to communism, but without all the theory.  Government ownership of the means of production is also a key aspect of communism or Marxism.  For example, they like government ownership of health care, welfare, education and other important areas of life.

Communists and socialists also favor the welfare state, also called the nanny state, and cradle to grave government programs for the people. 

They also believe in wealth redistribution.  This is a euphemism that means taking money away from those who earn it, and giving it to groups that the government decides deserve it more.  Those in the center and slightly to the right believe that if one works hard to earn money, one should be able to keep most of it.  This encourages people to work harder, which is a benefit for society.

Socialists, liberals and communists also believe in the regulatory state.  This is the growth of government bureaucracies that make rules governing every area of life such as work rules, environmental rules, financial rules, and many others.  The key is that the bureaucracy is not under the control of the Congress, so it is able to sidestep or avoid oversight by the people and their representatives.  It is a secret way to impose a dictatorship or oppressive rule.

The Democratic party in the United States and the Labor party in Europe.  These parties have been taken over by the socialist and communist forces, and are definitely “on the left” today.

 

EXAMPLES OF LEFT-WING NATIONS AND GROUPS

 

North Korea.  This is a communist state in which the government controls most aspects of the life of the people, from their food and health care, to their work and lifestyles.

Anyone who does not go along with the secular government plans is severely punished, and may be executed without a trial.

 

Red China.  This is another communist controlled nation with strict government controls on many aspects of life.  The government regulates wages, transportation, housing, child-raising, education and much more.

As with North Korea, anyone who does not go along is punished harshly, and often murdered.

A main difference between China and North Korea is that China allows capitalism - or freedom in the economic sphere, provided the government has the final say in all business dealings.  North Korea does not allow free market economics to exist, so that nation is extremely poor.

 

The former Soviet Union.  This was another communist state with almost total government control over most aspects of life.  It was brutally forced first on the Russian people in 1917.  Later, under Joseph Stalin, the Soviet empire was expanded to include the people of Eastern Europe.  The Soviet Union collapsed in 1989.

 

Examples of moderate left-wing nations.

 

The modern nations of Western and Eastern Europe. These include Western European nations such as Germany, France, England, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and the Netherlands.  It also includes nations of Eastern Europe such as Slovakia, Albania, Romania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia and others.

Most of these are moderate left-wing nations today.  They have a parliament that has broad governmental powers, much more power than the government of the United States, for example. 

All European nations have socialist and communist parties, sometimes called the Labor Party.  All also have “green” environmentalist parties, which are also socialist-leaning and secular. 

They also have right-wing Nazi and Islamic religious parties.  However, these are usually less influential than the secular socialist, communist and green parties.

Europe has vacillated between moderate right and moderate left wing tendencies.  Many of these nations were formerly monarchies, which means ruled by a king or queen.  Before that, the Roman Empire was an extreme right-wing religious empire.  So Europe has gone back and forth between these extremes.

 

QUALITIES OF THE EXTREME RIGHT AND THE EXTREME LEFT

 

Defining qualities are:

1. Elitist and authoritarian. This is why they are both placed near the top of the chart above, near the words Authoritarian and Totalitarian, which mean total government control.

2. Willing to force their belief and their control on others through violence.    (This is related to the paragraph above).  Both extremes believe that “the ends justify the means”.  This means that any method can be used to take power.

3. Liars.  The forces of the extreme right and the extreme left often lie to hide their true agenda.

They regularly lie because they know that their real goals are not acceptable to the mass of the people.  Most people who do not want an all-powerful government ruling over them, especially in America.

So to gain acceptance, they lie, sounding more moderate and centrist, when this is not the truth.  In communist lingo, this is called “gradualism”.  It means that they will impose their will on the people slowly and gradually so that it will not be noticed as much, and will therefore be more acceptable to people.

 

QUALITIES OF THE MODERATE RIGHT AND MODERATE LEFT WING GROUPS

 

1. They do not seek to impose their will on others.

2. They do not use violence to spread their beliefs.

3. They generally believe in limited government power.

4. They believe in the rule of laws that apply to everyone, rather than the rule of men.

5. Most believe in democratic elections and Republican systems of government, and an independent judiciary.

6. They believe in the free market or capitalism, which is nothing more than freedom in the economic arena.

7. They understand the importance of allowing people to do for themselves, rather than have things done for them by government.  This has to do with the evolution of the soul and the person.

When people are allowed to live as they wish and set up businesses, and even to fail at this, they learn a lot more and they develop much faster.  When they are restricted by a large, powerful government that places barriers such as bureaucratic rules in the way of economic and political freedom, people do not develop nearly as well.  This is one of the key reasons why the moderate right wing United States has and continues to do well compared to many other nations. 

 

OTHER TOPICS

 

              What is the difference between living in an extreme left wing nation and living in an extreme right wing nation?

              Not much, in many cases.  Both are authoritarian nations.  The left wing nation may justify their authoritarian rule with an economic theory such as Marxism.  The extreme right-wind nation will usually justify their authoritarian regime with a religious or racial theory.

 

The Modern State Of Israel.  Israel has qualities of both a moderate right-wing nation and a moderate left-wing nation.

Its right-wing qualities are its large Hebrew population, its historical basis, and the presence of a powerful Hebrew religious group in the nation, although that group does not rule the nation.

Its left-wing qualities are its parliamentary style of government, and some left-leaning and socialist political parties that have a major say in the policies of the government.

 

THE KABBALAH AND THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM

 

An interesting connection exists between the concepts of the political right and left, and the Kabbalah.  The Kabbalah is an ancient Hebrew teaching about the nature of the universe.  It is depicted by a Tree Of Life that contains two vertical columns, one on the right and one on the left.

If one analyzes the meaning of these two columns, they correspond nicely with the concepts of the political right and political left.  In fact, they may explain the right and left concept better than I have explained it so far.  Here is the refinement based on the Tree Of Life:

 

A developmental model of politics.  The Kabbalah is about the path of human development and evolution.  So the “right” and the “left” are aspects of this path.

 

The “right” side of the Tree Of Life.  The right “side” of life or the universe has more to do with the seventh physical energy center.  It has to do with learning about “Thy Will be done”, or connecting with the higher wisdom.  Humans do this by tuning in, at times, but mainly by reading and attempting to follow the advice found in their holy books such as the Bible, the Koran, or the Bhagavad Gita for those in the East.

The politics of the political “right” is of this nature.  That is, these people and groups want to strictly follow the tenets and practices of their holy book, which they feel connects them best with the spiritual or higher worlds.

 

The “left” side of the Tree Of Life.  This “side” of the universe and development has to do more with the sixth physical energy center.  It is more mental in nature, rather than spiritual.

It is more about developing the human will, rather than following the Will of the Creator or that of a prophet or guide of some kind.

 

Both “right” and “left” are needed.  Both “right” and “left” are aspects of human development and evolution.  One must learn to tune in and to follow the Will of the Creator.  However, one must also develop one’s own will and love, independent of that of anyone else.  This is a critical concept.

 

Both extremes are dangerous.  You will notice that both the extreme “right” and the extreme “left” are very dangerous ideologies.

Those on the extreme right such as ISIS may be called religious fanatics.  They advocate violence, and have little regard for others who do not agree with their point of view.

Those on the extreme left such as communist nations of China and North Korea may be called ideological fanatics.  They, too, advocate violence and have little regard for others who do not agree with their perspective.

The point is that one must not go too far either right or left without danger of overdoing things.  In the Kabbalah teaching, this is emphasized.  One must keep returning to the middle of the diagram to re-establish balance.

For more on this subject, please read The Kabbalah on this site.

 

OPINIONS VERSUS FACTS

 

            There is much confusion in the political realm between opinions and facts.  They are not the same thing, but they are often spoken of in the same breath.

Also, there is a lot of lying in the political arena that is done intentionally to confuse people and to promote mainly left-wing agendas.  Areas in which lies abound include government health care, government welfare, government-run education, and the “need” for higher taxes and a larger, more powerful “big brother” government.

Unless one knows this, I find that confusion will reign in your mind as you listen to the evening news.  It will also be difficult to make sense of the speeches of our political leaders and others in the political sphere of life.

            In this article, and others on this website, I want to present facts, as these are needed to discern the truth in political and in health matters. If I give an opinion, I will use the words “I believe” or “I think” this or that to distinguish the opinions from the facts.

 

LIES

 

            The political realm is filled with lies and propaganda.  This is because groups are fighting for power.  Fighting with weapons is not allowed, but fighting with words and ideas is permitted.  To implement their agenda, some must deceive the people.

Among the most important political lies are:

1. Some groups are more qualified than others to run the government.

2. Government-run services such as health care, education and welfare are fairer and more efficient than if these were run privately.

3. Christians are the “extreme right wing”.

4. High taxes are not a disincentive for people to work hard.

5. Being in favor of traditional marriage is an “extreme right wing” position.

6. Most people cannot run their own lives and need government help.

7. Guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens are the cause of violence in America.

To understand this topic in more depth, please read Lying on this site.

 

 

                 

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