4 thoughts on “Right vs. Left Wing Ideologies (Video)”

  1. Hey, I follow your logic in Right and Left wing, and I agree that those “wings” of the political spectrum are essentially variations on a theme.

    I also agree that their viewpoints are inherently political. Which is what I think you mean by saying they are not “scientific” i.e. internally consistent.

    I was wondering though, how you explain Libertarians? where do they fit on your scale?

    My personal thinking is that the real confusion is that we have labelled Republicans (social conservatives) “Right Wing”. Aren’t they really just a variant of Progressivism, which seeks to “advance” society through some sort of central management of its development?

    American Liberals (as distinct from liberals, in the sense of Libertarians) see societal advancement primarily in economic terms, and seek to manage economic activity accordingly (the old “Left Hegelians”) whereas, the “Right” sees societal development primarily as the development of virtue – thus they stress moral fiber as the measure of people (the “Right” Hegelians).

    Both sides spend a lot of time arguing that they have a superior solution to the other side’s primary concern (the “Right” argues that liberal economic policies would lead to more rapid economic development, while the “Left” argues that a more equitable society would also be more virtuous – think how the “Right” argues for growth and the left argues that egalitarianism would lead to less crime).

    But at root they are both Hegelians – focused first and foremost on the idea of societal development – with an effort to speed up the process of synthesis.

    It also means that they are both Hegelians when it comes to ideas of state and the relationship between the State and people. This includes a notion of freedom usually associated with children. Children, are “free” in the sense that they are free from responsibility of having to make big decisions for themselves. We send them to school give them assignments and generally restrict their activities – economic, moral and sexual – in their own interest.

    In short, the “Right” is not the opposite of the “Left” – they are the Right of the Left.

    The true Right, is the classical liberal, who believes in individual agency in all facets of their life: economic, religious, social and otherwise. In short, the views of the British Englightenment, to which Continental rationalism and radicalism were in fact a response.

    Given your interest in the topic, I would recommend you read Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism. He details how close the two strains are.

  2. Thanks for the link. I agree with most of what you said in the linked post.

    I note that you yourself found it hard to locate libertarian principles on a traditional right/eft spectrum. I would suggest that the existence of observations that fall outside of the “universe” of positions, implies a need to either, correct the means and methods of observation, or a rethink of the universe and its boundaries.

    You can probably guess that my view is that we need a rethink of the universe of political opinion, away from the narrow limiations of Hegelian Philosophy of Right (Rechtsphilosophie, in German) and to a broader perspective of possible political philosophies.

    Like you, I am a fan of Scottish Enlightenment reason and positivism, and believe that people should be compelled as little as possible, though I am a bit too cynical to believe that anarchism is a possible, regardless of its philosphical purity.

    I like the notion of being an Independent Sovereign Entity, but I am not sure that I like the idea of OTHER people being Sovereign Entities, as I do not trust that they will exercise their power effectively.

    At some level, reasonable people will trade some freedom for “security”. And though this may be nothing more than trading one set of risks for another, sometimes trading a known loss against the risk of a low-probability, devastating loss, is not a bad deal. Some level of government intervention (policing, say), is worth the trade off of having to protect myself against every form of barbarism.

    Unfortunately, history does not have bright shining examples of human behavior during periods in which civil society finds itself, through lack of government mandate, in an anarchic state. Usually, we find people shooting each other, whether in Libya, Somalia, Afgahnistan, or the English Civil War, we tend to see the Hobbsian “war of all against all” with its expected impact on the life of man (“solitary, nasty poore, brutish and short”).

    Still, I believe that we can positively improve society through further reduction in government scope and mandate.

  3. But I’m not really viewing the left/right spectrum as a “universe” that voluntaryism is “outside of”.

    I view them as phenomena of two completely different categories.

    Left/right ideologies are the exploitation and/or re-enforcement of people’s emotional inclinations with the objective of attaining special privileges to exert power over them.

    Voluntaryism, meanwhile, is a scientific conclusion that arises out of logical and empirically testable hypotheses in the science of Human Action, in particular Ethics, Praxeology, and History (http://www.economicsjunkie.com/human-action-ethics-praxeology-economics-and-history/)

    In regards to your comment “history does not have bright shining examples of human behavior during periods in which civil society finds itself, through lack of government mandate, in an anarchic state”, I beg to differ strongly:

    As I outlined in http://www.economicsjunkie.com/anarchism-voluntaryism-faqs/

    7. But there are no examples of voluntaryism ever having worked, are there ??

    This is a very commonly held notion. It shows how severely our beliefs have been compromised by false ideologies throughout our lives.

    For if one took one simple look around oneself, he would find the answer to this question at once. The best example of voluntaryism working … is yourself.

    You cooperate in society on a voluntary basis. You don’t use aggression to buy groceries. You don’t use aggression to get your clothes. You don’t use aggression when debating with friends and family. You don’t use aggression to find a job. You don’t use aggression to settle disputes with neighbors, clients, vendors, employees, etc. You are perfectly capable of living peaceful, free, and beautiful lives.

    It is in very few cases where we ever interact with anybody from the state. Every April 15th we file our taxes to confirm how much the state has taken from us throughout the year. Sometimes we don’t, and then a tax collector shows up to make us do it or kidnap us at gunpoint if we don’t. Sometimes we go to the DMV to get a driver’s licence. At times we get fined by the police because we do a U Turn where they decree, for whatever reason, that it is illegal. We send our kids to public schools where they spend 14 years of their life being indoctrinated about how great the state is, where diverse talents and opinions are put through the meat grinder of collective thinking and conformity, where opposing ideas such as presented in this article are not even for a second tolerated.

    All these interactions we have with the state are, in general, rather unpleasant, boring, frustrating, and un-gratifying. Yet, due to a lack of proper education about the alternative of voluntaryism, we believe that it is utterly necessary to have this group of people with the right to use aggression against us to fund their destructive activities, be it domestic or foreign depredations, to borrow our children’s future into oblivion, and then, out of all things, to EDUCATE those same children for 14 (!!) years of their lives.

    It will take years of enlightenment, dedication, and education, to open people’s eyes about one of the most simple facts about themselves: that they are inherently good.

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