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Right Wing Vs. Left Wing

Right Wing Vs. Left Wing: The Clash of Ideologies Explained

To understand the concept and the implications of right wing and left wing politics, one needs to study human history. Both ideologies can be right in their own way, and both can also be distorted to cause a lot of mayhem.
Rahul Thadani
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
One of the most important debates in politics today, and for the many centuries preceding today's time as well, is the right vs. left wing politics conundrum. The difference in these two ideologies is what separates many political activists and spectators from each other, and this is a slightly uni-dimensional way of looking at the nature of politics and state policies. Every political party that functions can be classified into one of these categories (or the 'Center' if neither are applicable), and this gives the argument from both sides more relevance.

By floating in the center, most parties attempt to appease as many voters as possible. But the general view of each and every political party can be placed in one of these two categories. Both views have often held the fancy of many studies of the political world, and history has enough instances of the pros and cons of each of these schools of thought.

Right Wing Politics

Needless to say, right and left wing politics are the polar opposites of each other, and each focuses on a method that is completely discarded by the other. As a result, there is always a conflict between the two spectrums, and it is impossible to view one as superior to the other.

Right wing parties are often viewed as capitalists and traditionalists, and this has made it difficult for them to operate idealistically in today's equality centric society. They have thus shifted more towards the center in their views, with the purpose of being accepted by a greater degree of voters. As opposed to the left wing, they propagate the progress and the development of the individual over the progress of general society.

Though, this sounds like a positive message to portray, it does come at a cost. The development of society is absolutely necessary for civilization to evolve further, and by placing all the focus on individual development, right wing parties are walking a thin line. When a debate crops up, most leftists bring the example of fascism to the surface. This was a school of though that was taken to the extremes, based on the supposed superiority of a certain race. The results were universally dangerous, and the entire world suffered as a consequence. Just like any other political views, right wing politics that are taken to the extreme can be life-threatening.

The advantages of right wing views today, is that individuals are treated on par with each other. Equal pay and individual liberty are given more importance over the vested interests of the government, and this ultimately results in a society that is less disgruntled with economic strife.

Left Wing Politics

George Orwell coined the famous line 'All men are equal, but some are more equal than others'. This line accurately depicts what the left wing parties are trying to say exactly. In their opinion, the state and the government are far more important than the individuals that comprise it, and this is the only way to progress and develop.

It sounds like a reasonable and noble claim, but when you see the extent of the atrocities committed on people in the name of the state, things take a rapid turn for the worse. Communism, in its peak, was the prime example of left wing extremism, and all it ultimately achieved was the stifling of people's voices and minds, that has left unhealed scars many years after its end.

The obsolesce of communism (for most of the world), today, has caused many left wing parties to also shift towards the center and take a more liberal view of this entire dilemma. Social equality is being focused on more intently, and a state of mutual growth and benefit has been adopted. This does not disguise the fact that in the height of its extremism, left wing views caused a lot of suffering as well.

We can conclude that all forms of politics can be a curse if they are not controlled properly. This is a necessary evil that we need to live with, because some form of administration is required to govern civilized life, or the world will fall into complete anarchy. We still may not know how to tell left wing from right wing in politics, but we must make a conscious effort to control extremism in both cases.