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Thread: What is the left/right divide?

  1. #1

    Default What is the left/right divide?

    Hello Dissensus,
    This is my first post on here and I haven't really got to grips with this forum yet, but I thought I good way to get a feel for the place would be to ask people what their thoughts were on the political distinction between left and right wing.
    It's something I've thought about a lot. I got an MA in Ideology and Discourse Analysis from Essex uni in 2015 and I am often surprised by the ubiquity with which the distinction is used, despite the fact that people seem to mean totally different thing by using the division all of the time.
    This has led me to think that the distinction is basically unhelpful, divisive and lacking in coherent meaning...
    Depending on who you are it seems to me that the left-right divide could refer to a number of different dichotomies, but the specifics of this distinction are never made explicit by those who use it... even among political theorists, thinkers and philsophers.
    Does it refer to the distinction between Capital vs anti-capital? Neoliberalism vs Keynesian economics? Authority vs the Polis? The oppressor vs the oppressed? Reactionaries vs Social Justice Warriors?
    If we cant agree on what the distinction consists of, is it a helpful distinction to use?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004


    First off, welcome to the forum!

    The left-right divide is always pretty incomprehensible, and especially so in current times, without subdivision into social and economic. I think you could get pretty far in plotting different parties' positions on these two axes, to understand the trends in Europe at least.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    The Fear - Dublin


    Increasingly I think its about complexity vs simplicity.

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