Left and Right

Not Left vs. Right, But Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up

One thing I have noticed is that folks on the left who like me claim me as one of their own, as do folks on the right, while those on the left who don’t like me say I’m on the other team, as do those on the right. Then there are those on both the left and right who say, “he’s on the other side but he’s one of the good ones.”
While I would agree there are important philosophical differences between the left and right (views of human nature as malleable vs. fixed, constrained vs unconstrained visions, metaphysical vs. materialist outlooks, egalitarianism vs elitism, universality vs. particularity, linear views of history vs. some other view, mythical idyllic pasts vs. mythical utopian futures), I think an important problem with the left/right spectrum is that it has nothing to say about the question of power per se. I tend to prefer Kirk Sale’s model.

“In a flat world, you can have left and right, but in a round world, which is what we live on, there are totalitarians at the top (Stalin, Hitler, Genghis Khan) and anti-authoritarians at the bottom (anarchists, communalists, libertarians), with squishy liberals and mindless conservatives in between.”-Kirkpatrick Sale
Politics is first and foremost about statecraft and the exercise of power. All of these other questions shape political actions and political outcomes. But they are not the essence of politics.
Of course, flat-earthers won’t like Kirk’s view.

Categories: Left and Right

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