Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Understanding Politics - Right Wing, Left Wing and all that stuff

Many people will be keen to say how opposed to Communism or Nazism etc they are, yet are unable to actually explain these ideas in detail. Many just have insufficient understanding of what each party in politics is really about anyway. Hopefully this will help in unravelling the mystery.

The biggest problem in recognising right wing policy from left wing policy is that parties aren't usually extreme. If the people like a particular policy the party will often adopt it even if it is opposite to their ideals. So we end up with left wing parties presenting some right wing policies and some right wing parties presenting some left wing policies. But they will attempt to introduce the ideas they want eventually.

The left wing extreme is Communism. But on the left we also find Socialism. Nazism was National Socialism (for example). There are many democratic Socialist countries in the world these days.

Right wing is Capitalism and Imperialism (kings etc). Many of these are democratic (the people get to have a fair vote) also.

Most countries are a collection of both of these ideas. In fact Socialism tries to present itself as a middle option between right and left.

Communism means (as the name suggests) a communal sharing of all products and services. Thus there are no rich and poor (in theory). All things are public. So it is about having public transport, public medical, public dental, public schools, public university, controlled shopping by vouchers, government selected employment, public housing, pensions, unemployment benefits equal to wages, etc. All people are equal and therefore are given equal rights.

This equality may sound great in theory. However in practice is where the problems arise.

It isn't a voluntary equality, is the first problem. Thus it has to be enforced by a government that then becomes powerful by its ability to control all things in people's lives.

Secondly it puts certain people in charge of these individual goods and services for their distribution. Thus if you are in such a position you can play favourites (corruption). Then you end up with the same system of rich and poor, but just given a different name.

The next problem is that the state becomes the family. The concept of equality of people is taken to the extreme that parents lose the right to discipline their children. State ideas are indoctrinated into the children, who must all attend state run schools.

Individual thought and ideas are suppressed for the good of the community(?). Religion is controlled by the state or disposed of.

One final problem that bears mentioning is that new technology is rare, as there is no monetary incentive for anyone to create anything.

Socialism is in the same direction as Communism. The difference is that the state only runs or controls large businesses. Socialism is more subtle as a state can control a business without even needing to remove its owner. It can be done by raising business taxes and putting many monetary demands and restrictions on them. This makes the profits communal.

The problems in Socialism are about the same as Communism. Yet less power is given to the government as it isn't so all-encompassing. Most Socialists are really Communists who either know they are and pretend they aren't or don't even realise that they are.

Capitalism, in its fulness, allows a total monetary freedom to businesses and is completely opposite to Communism. There is NO restriction whatsoever (the US isn't entirely Capitalist). The government provides no social services at all. So there are no public schools, transport etc. All things are obtained according to the money you have. There are no public roads. All roads are built by businesses who have a purpose for building the road there or local communities according to their financial ability.

The down sides of Capitalism are people dying of starvation, poorer overall education, class distinction, slavery, homelessness, etc.

The upsides are freedom of religion, freedom of the family, more acceptance of individual opinion (theoretically), choice of occupation, choice of where to live, Choice of schools, etc.

Imperialism in its fullness has a king that has supreme power. He has knights who own areas of land and have complete autonomy within the rules of the king for knights. Each knight works out his rules for the people in his area. Mostly they appear to have run a Capitalist type system.

Overall - Fortunately it doesn't happen that there is a country that is entirely one of these systems in most cases. The ability to vote for any party makes it that parties wanting to get in have to make a good balance. However I must point out that each party WILL attempt to implant its ideas and policies in the minds of the people. Their policies will also reflect their ideas IN APPLICATION. This has to be remembered whenever voting.


Seth R. said...

Actually, the extreme right wing includes fascism. Dictators and capitalism actually go together fairly well, and have done for quite some time.

If you ask anyone else in the world about the USA's political parties, the will tell you they are pretty-much indistinguishable. The natural result of the two-party system - parties tend to move to center.

Anonymous said...

No mention of fascism or totalinarianism? And, the Nazis were not really socialists (despite having socialism in their name), just like East Germany was not a democracy despite the official name having the word democracy in it. Also, the regimes of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc. were just as totalitarian than they were communistic.

In short, you have NO IDEA what you are talking about and have obviously never had any serious exposure to political science at any meaningful level of education.

I suggest you skip politics as a post topic.

Doug Towers said...

seth r.

Some good points. I deliberately left fascism out of it because the idea of facism is sticks joined together for strength: That one stick on its own could be broken, but uniting many sticks there is strength - a left wing concept. Yet there seems to be a bit of capitalism thrown into the practice anyway. So it is too debatable in my opinion.

Yes, the two party system does have that good point of the left having to have some right wing policies, and visa-versa.


I have answered your concerns about facism in the points above. As to Nazis there is a point at which I feel Hitler well and truly crossed the line into state control of large companies.

Totalitarianism isn't so much a political system as a measurement of government control. So, yes, I agree with you that those you mention were totalitarian in control, yet were still running their general policies according to either right wing or left wing ideals.

And, yes, you are right, I haven't been brainwashed by the left wing state education system to believe the nonsense that some have been instructed in. That is why I actually DO know what I'm talking about.

Denidowi said...

Actually, Seth & Anonymous & DukTowels, although there is no doubt that the 2-party system does necessarily draw somewhat center at times, in order to simply get policies and ideas through parliament, that is not the post-modern, Prime reason why the two are often so often barely distinguishable on so many items today.
For instance, had you examined the differences between the parties in [say] the 1950's compared with 2000, you would realize that the difference across many issues today is so negligible by comparison.

The chief reason is that, as Doug pointed out, the solidly left-wing state and world education systems train all professionals today before they enter their various fields of endeavour; and psychology and sociology are becoming mandatory subjects qualifying in degrees of most disciplines.
So the good ol' Socialist academic of today spreads his influence throughout!
Nursing degrees include social studiesof one kind or another; teaching degrees must to qualify teachers, and you can go on through the great bulk of handed-out "degrees". They all preach in favor of secular humanism, come-feminism-come-soclialism.
All the subjects associated with Law and politics spread right along that spectrum.