Left and Right

The Range of Ideological Opinion?

The conventional model of the Left/Right political spectrum might be summarized in this way:

The Far Right: Sectors of the Right that are outside the Republican Party. These would include a wide range of often divergent or contradictory ideologies and and belief systems such as fascists, Nazis, hardline authoritarian nationalists, white racialists/separatists/supremacists, monarchists, proponents of military dictatorship, genuinely theocratic Christians, the “patriot movement,” militiamen/survivalists, the Constitution Party, neo-reactionaries, alternative right, and the dark enlightenment. The intellectual forbears of the far Right would be throne and altar traditionalists like Maistre, Bonald, and Cortes, apologists for antebellum America, theological opponents of the Enlightenment, and fascist theoreticians of the twentieth century,

The Center Right: The various factions of the Republican Party. These include the neoconservatives, traditional corporate/Wall Street country club conservatives, fiscal conservatives, ordinary right-wing libertarians and neo-classical liberals, the “religious right,” social conservatives, and paleoconservatives. The intellectual forbears of the present day center right would be Hobbes, Locke, Burke, Smith, Metternich, the English and American Puritan tradition, the Federalist wing of the early American leadership, the classical liberals (Bentham, Mill), the Social Darwinists, and the neoliberals (e.g. Hayek, Knight, Friedman).

Centrist Liberals and the Center Left: The various factions of the Democratic Party. These include centrists like the Clintons or Obama, left-liberals or center-leftists like Elizabeth Warren, Al Franken, Bernie Sanders, or John Conyers. The intellectual forbears of this would be the English Fabians and the American progressive tradition from the late nineteeth/early twentieth century.

The Far Left: Sectors of the Left that are outside the Democratic Party. This would likewise include the various social democratic organizations and minor parties (e.g. SPUSA), the Green Party, reform Communists, reform Trotskyists, left-libertarians, left-anarchists, Stalinists, Maoists, and revolutionary Marxists. The intellectual forbears of this would be the Romantic or Counter-Enlightenment thinkers like Rousseau and Hegel, and nineteenth century and early twentieth century European anti-capitalism, e.g. Marx, Engels, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Bernstein, Luxemburg, and Lenin.

The Cultural Far Left: Sectors of the Far Left whose primary focus is on cultural politics rather than economics, law, statecraft, or international relations. This includes an amalgam of ideas like radical feminism, privilege theory, critical theory, critical race theory, queer theory, the LGBT movement, the radical ecology movement, and postmodernist philosophy derived from Foucault, Lacan, and Derrida. The principal forbears to this would be the Frankfurt School and a wide range of anti-racist, feminist, ecological, postmodern or sexual theorists. While there is an overlap between the Far Left and the cultural Far Left, these are not entirely the same.


Categories: Left and Right

3 replies »

  1. Classification systems ought to be much more comprehensive. None of them seems to include e.g. the great variety of hyphenated forms of anarchism and their very opposites of hyphenated forms of anarchism. See my still very incomplete anarchist spectrum at http://www.butterbach.net. The samekind of compilation may still have to be started for the varieties of libertarians and the variety of statists. Not even an anthology of all the diverse classification systems, with all their pros and cons, seems to have been attempted so far. Biologists and chemists, for instance, seem to have been much better in classifying the varieties of their subjects.

  2. Well, the Paleo-cons are moving into the national Front movement. Pat Buchanan wants to seize all us jobs over seas which is to use a lot of government hardly conservative. Also, the Trump followers want to tax some rich people more in the National Front line than any Central right..

  3. Well, the economic nationalism/mercantilism of Trump, Buchanan, the paleocons or the National Front is an improvement over the supply-side/neoliberal Republican norm. The former is at least about preventing unemployment and the most extreme forms of class polarization, while the latter is just about grinding down the poor and working class to the lowest common denominator.

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