The Weekly Sedition

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

The Idiocy of “Left vs. Right”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — weeklysedition @ 1:02 AM

We hear it all the time — “___________ is a left-winger,” “___________ is a right-winger,” etc. While most people rely on these “standards” as Gospel, in reality, it’s just a pile of crap.

The whole “left vs. right” game isn’t based upon any rational or objective analysis of the respective philosophies, doctrines, platforms, manifestos, etc., involved, but upon the seating arrangements of the 1791 French National Assembly.

After all, why should you think for yourself in examining the group or issue in question, when you can rely on some newspaper or TV pundit to think for you, using a 200-year-old seating chart as the basis of that analysis?

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2 Comments »

  1. Fun thought, but definitions do change over the years.  Por ejemplo, I wonder if Abraham Lincoln could today refer to one of his friends as, “…a charming Niggress,” without getting shot, again. 

    Comment by RebelwoaCloo — Friday, 1 August 2008 @ 5:50 AM

  2. The whole “left vs. right” game isn’t based upon any rational or objective analysis of the respective philosophies, doctrines, platforms, manifestos, etc., involved, but upon the seating arrangements of the 1791 French National Assembly.The seating arrangement IS the source of a rational and objective analysis. Moreover, Karl Marx staked his claim to the “left” early on, always calling his movement a movement of the “left” as early as 1830. (The right did not claim the “right” until the 1930s.) Opponents of the Marxian plan were the conservatives of the day, and necessarily advocates of the status quo. Those conservatives can now be seen as short sighted, and the enemy of the kind of liberty we seek today, but they were the bulwark of opposition to a philosophy that was sweeping the world. Had the Marxian plan been more widely adopted and adopted earlier the prosperity of the late 19th century would have never got a foothold and 20th century “Age of Discovery” would never have taken place. The Wal-Mart shoppers and computer users of today owe much to those early opponents to Marx.Mike, “words mean things”. The word right itself as you track it backwards in time it converges with being proper as in righteous and upright. However, we need not go back that far. Suffice it to say, the First Estate, (the clergy) and the Second Estate (the landed nobility) got the best seats in the house, to set on the right hand of the King.Without trying to unscramble the omelet of confusion, or blow away the smoke that clouds the thinking of today let me say, the clergy and the nobility were VERY important components of the liberty that was slowly evolving. The clergy was there to teach us what was right and wrong, and the nobility was there to establish property rights. See Mike you just cannot get away from “right as in right and wrong or right as in property rights. You see, Mike, “words mean things”.To make my point let me just share with you and the readers of this blog a statement made by Murray Rothbard at a pivotal time in his life, he said, “All of our political positions, from the free market in economics to opposing war and militarism, stemmed from our root belief in individual liberty and our opposition to the state. Simplistically, we adopted the standard view of the political spectrum: ‘left’ meant socialism, or total power of the state; the further ‘right’ one went the less government one favored. Hence, we called ourselves ‘extreme rightists’.” Confessions of a Right-Wing Liberal by Murray N. Rothbard [This classic piece appeared in Ramparts, VI, 4, June 15, 1968.] There is more much more, but I will stop here.Chuck McGlawn Orange County California

    Comment by chuckest — Monday, 25 August 2008 @ 12:11 PM


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