Everyone is talking about the Left, Right and Center, but these things mean different things to different people. What is a moderate right or a center to a right-winger will be a far right or extreme right for the left-winger. So there needs to be a logical, coherent way of defining these things.
I will attempt to do this in this article. However, since political ideology is a complex thing, I will examine matters based on certain basic questions.
Basic difference in mentality between the Left and the Right is the treatment of the ingroup versus outgroup. Right-winger will give a preference to his own, to the ingroup. Left-winger will give a preferential treatment to the outgroup. From this distinction will everything else be drawn.
Identity (Community, Society, Nationality)
First question is the extent of the community. There are several ways in which a community can be defined:
- all people alive in the world
- people who feel a sense of community
- people who live in a defined area
- people who fill out a defined structure of society and/or structure of power
- people who share certain characteristic or origin
This starts with the question of the identity, which is to say, membership of the community. This in turn can be defined in two essential ways:
- tribalism / familialism
Leftist idea is one of voluntarism: everybody can become a member of the community if they so wish. Right-wing idea is one of familialism / tribalism: person becomes a member of the community through tribal or familial ties.
Therefore, globalism is the ultimate leftist idea – not only can everyone become part of the community, but everyone is a part of the community.
Civic nationalism is another leftist idea, though not as far left as globalism. It is, in fact, a very clever fraud. It pretends that nation is something completely voluntary, completely arbitrary – a mere subunit of the ultimate global society. According to it, genetic and cultural heritage of the people can be completely destroyed, but so long as someone keeps using the name of said people, people in question still exist. Fundamentally, that is no different from saying that a person eating beef is a vegan because he only eats beef as part of a meat salad.
Ethnic nationalism, as noted, is the only right-wing variant of nationalism. Unlike globalism and civic nationalism which are based on voluntarism, ethnic nationalism is based on familialism. It is also the only real version of nationalism. Nationalism comes from Latin word “natio”, which means “birth”. It is literally a community of shared birth, of blood. Shared genetic heritage – shared ethnicity – forms the basis of a nation. Therefore, ethnic nationalism – based not just on cultural, but also temporal, historical and biological-genetic heritage – is the only real form of nationalism.
Values (progress / conservation)
Left-wing value is progress. Leftists are optimists: they believe in the better tomorrow, at any price. Future is worth fighting for, and not just fighting for, but also destroying what is extant right now. Thus it is no surprise that leftist ideologies (Communism) or ideologies with elements of leftism (Nazism), all of which were characterized by their belief into progress, invariably caused mass murders and genocides.
Traditionally, right-wing has been defined as conservativism. But this is a false idea. In reality, there are three temporal possibilities: progress, conservation, and regress. Therefore, conservatives are actually centrist: they are trying to preserve status quo, or at least the values they are familiar with.
Actual right wing are traditionalists and reactionaries. While traditionalists somewhat overlap both conservatives and reactionaries, they are better defined as right-wing than center, as they look to the past instead of merely trying to preserve extant values. Reactionaries meanwhile actively seek to return to the previous state.
Leftist political structures are based on the idea of equality. Everybody is equal, and thus everybody can make decisions.
Right-wing political structures are based on the idea of family. Monarch is pater familias, head of the family, and his duty is to take care of his children: which is to say, of his people. Therefore, some level of inequality is unavoidable.
There is however a twofold problem with the above. First one is that political structures based on equality simply do not work. Second problem is that leftist elites hold everybody else in undisguised contempt. What this means is that while leftist theory supports the idea of democracy, in practice leftists take away power from the people as much as possible. And while a monarch will have considered people his own children and feel responsibility towards them, leftists have no such emotional link to the people they rule. To them, people are merely numbers, or tools to be exploited. This lack of emotional connection is in fact a relic of the idea of equality. If everybody is equal, then everybody is in competition, and everybody is an enemy.
Moreover, the constant competition means that long-term considerations are completely out of the picture. In monarchy, monarch was expected to leave kingdom to his children or relatives. This naturally meant that he wanted to ensure kingdom was in as a good shape as possible.
In a democracy, this perspective disappears. Primary goals are to win power for the next four years, and the only perspective longer than today is winning power again in the voting after four years (or eight). Après moi, le déluge fully applies here. And while the original saying was more likely a forecast of the events to come – writing on the wall was fairly obvious at that point – with modern politicians it takes on a rather more sinister note. None of the democratically-elected politicians care about the long-term considerations, and will happily destroy the country just to win power.
So what happens is that, rather than being defined by the power given to the people, left-wing political structures are defined by exploiting people in their political rhetoric, and by using alleged “will of the people” to shore up their legitimacy and attack their enemies. A monarch was aware that he is protector of the people, but his duties were clear, and there was little need for such rhetoric. By comparison, leftist political systems are defined by calling upon the nebulous “will of the people” as both a popular mobilization tactic and to justify their own actions. By this definition, modern democratic states, Mussolini’s Fascists, Hitler’s Nazis and Stalin’s Communists are all leftists.